Review will aim to find truth about A&E waiting times at St John’s

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An independent review has been ordered into an alleged cover-up of true A&E waiting times at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Under the spotlight are claims that staff felt pressurised into under-reporting cases where the four-hour standard waiting time wasn’t achieved.

Health secretary Shona Robison is said to have been first alerted to claims of non-compliance with recording practices in October, when she was contacted by a whistle-blower.

She is said to have responded immediately by ordering NHS Lothian to carry out a full investigation, which began within two days.

Now, following findings said to confirm areas of concern, she has asked the Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to undertake an external review to investigate the full circumstances.

The review. chaired by Professor Derek Bell, will report back early in the new year.

Ms Robison said: “These are serious allegations and the early findings are clearly a cause for concern.

“That is why I have asked Professor Bell to lead an independent review of these allegations.

“We are working very closely with the Board to ensure that lessons are learned from the investigation and recommendations made are fully implemented as soon as possible and shared across NHS Scotland.”