Published: 27/06/2002, Volume II2, No. 5811 Page 8 9

Scottish trusts have been told to improve management of waiting lists, following a report which found widespread inconsistency in the way rules are applied.

The Audit Scotland investigation found no evidence of systematic or deliberate irregularities in the way lists are managed, but it raised a number of significant concerns.

Review of the Management of Waiting Lists in Scotland, published on Tuesday, was commissioned last year by first minister Jack McConnell, following opposition claims that lists were being manipulated.

Audit Scotland questioned the rationale behind having two lists - one 'real', one 'deferred' - for patients who had been unavailable for treatment. The report said it was unclear why patients did not go back on the 'real' list when they were available for treatment.

The report also said there was no consistency in how patients were reclassified, if, for example, they were to go on an outpatient list.

Audit Scotland called for more public information on waiting lists and times, for early warning systems to flag up when patients are not being treated in time and for formal policies on dealing with 'closed' lists, to which no further patients are added.

www. audit-scotland. gov. uk