Published: 05/12/2002, Volume112 No. 5834 Page 8

A battle over statistics has broken out in Scotland over the latest waiting-list and waiting-times figures, published last Thursday.The figures show waiting times have gone up for both outpatient appointments and inpatient or daycase treatment. Crucially, they also reveal that 19 patients have been waiting more than a year for treatment - the current Scottish target.But the Scottish National Party said 2,500 patients were waiting longer than a year and demanded an investigation.The Scottish Executive said SNP claims were based on old figures and included patients without a treatment 'guarantee', such as those waiting for tattoo removal.

See Wait watcher, pages 24-25.