Welcoming the Cabinet secretary’s response to Audit Scotland’s report into management of patients on NHS waiting lists, SNP MSP Bob Doris said that, with the Scottish Government already having enacted 91% of the 105 recommendations of the recent internal audits, it was important for all politicians to focus on progress instead of using Scotland’s NHS for party political point-scoring.

The extensive investigation by Audit Scotland also found no examples of any deliberate manipulation of waiting list records, outwith NHS Lothian.

Mr Doris also highlighted the 2012 Scottish Inpatient survey which found that 88% of patients were satisfied with waiting times.

Today Health Secretary Alex Neil announced the creation of a new Patient Advice Line, through which patients can access information about their rights surrounding waiting times.

He also confirmed that NHS Boards will be asked to conduct further reviews of their waiting times procedures within a year.

Commenting, Mr Doris said:

“I welcome the response today from the both the First Minister and the Health Secretary, who have made clear the action that has been taken to re-enforce the confidence people across Scotland have in their NHS.

“Patient satisfaction with management of waiting times is very high – and that is because of the Scottish Government’s commitment to openness and transparency.

“It is extraordinarily hypocritical of the Labour Party – the Party who allowed over a third of the total inpatient and day cases to languish indefinitely on hidden waiting lists – to accuse anybody else of manipulating waiting times.

“Labour have repeatedly accused staff up and down Scotland of fiddling the figures – but the Audit Scotland investigation found no evidence of this.

“Of course there are improvements which can be made, but it’s time that the opposition stopped using the NHS as a party political tool to attack their political opponents.”