Readers' letters: Misleading figures on NHS waiting list

The latest data on the NHS Scotland website claims that the SNP have got waiting times for orthopaedic operations down to a mere 26 weeks.
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 19 September 2022Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 19 September 2022
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 19 September 2022

This figure was attained by means of a new method of counting which considers only the median waiting times of 7564 people who actually managed to get themselves treated between April and June this year.

The Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, anticipated that the "new platform" would "provide people with some reassurance on the possible length of their wait".

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You can just imagine the wave of reassurance sweeping over the 42,372 people still on the waiting list, 12,209 of whom have already been waiting for more than a year!

Not surprisingly the information has been branded by surgeons as "grossly misleading", obviously by omitting to report the waiting times of those still on the list.

Yet another example of smoke and mirrors in the SNP's standard approach of playing down or hiding its abject failures.

Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh.

Wear it Pink and aid Breast Cancer Now

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is back again this October and I want to encourage your readers to Wear It Pink, on 21 October.

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By taking part in Breast Cancer Now’s biggest and brightest fundraising event, readers can help raise as much money as possible for our world-class research and life-changing support services, helping thousands living with breast cancer across the UK.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK.

Every 10 minutes one woman is diagnosed with the disease and cases have increased by almost a quarter in the last 30 years.

We’re moving towards a vision that by 2050, everyone diagnosed with breast cancer lives, and is supported to live well.

Because of the impact of Covid-19, our researchers missed over 230,000 hours in their labs, and we had to pivot our support services online overnight.

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Despite these challenges, we continue to provide expert support now and vital hope for the future for all those affected by breast cancer, and we’re more determined than ever to reach our goal. And we know that with your support, we’ll get there.

Together, we’ve been wearing it pink for over 20 years. We’ve dressed up, baked, quizzed and pulled off all kinds of incredible sponsored challenges.

You’ve had a lot of fun and raised over £37.5 million in the process. We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved together, but we can’t stop there. People affected by breast cancer need us – and they need you too.

Ever wanted to dye your hair pink? This is your moment. Voice of an angel? Let the world hear it with a pink karaoke night.

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Throw on something pink at home, school or work or get friends near and far together with a virtual extravaganza. The possibilities are endless.

However, you decide to fundraise, you will help make sure that our vital support services and world-class research continues.

So, on Friday 21 October wear it pink, raise money and help us fund life-changing breast cancer research and support. Join us and sign up today at

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive, Breast Cancer Now

Broadcasts make mourning mandatory

According to Sergei Loznitsa's documentary 'State Funeral', loudspeakers in the streets sought to make mourning for Stalin compulsory.

We don't need to do that. We have the BBC.

Alastair Mcleish, Edinburgh.

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

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