NHS boss to probe surgery allegations

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THE chief executive of NHS Lothian is to investigate claims that patients were offered surgery appointments in England and then removed from waiting time target lists when they declined.

The move by James Barbour follows reports that a number of patients were offered surgery in Harrogate and Northumberland. It was claimed that, while they remained on the waiting list when they declined, they were removed from the list of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment, a target due to be introduced in December.

Prof Barbour said: “I had already instigated an immediate investigation and have committed to having an initial report to the Cabinet Secretary next month. We would want any offer made to patients to be reasonable and appropriate.”

At the NHS annual review on Friday, deputy chief operating officer Sandra Mair said 2300 patients had accepted surgery outside NHS Lothian in 2010/11.