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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10183: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 5 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-09726 by Aileen Campbell on 27 June 2017, what involvement ministers or its officials have had in recent decisions to change the content of publication summaries on chronic pain waiting times.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 26 July 2017

The content of the chronic pain waiting times publication is determined by the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS Scotland, who publish the information.

ISD adheres to the Code of Practice for Official Statistics which is underpinned by the Statistics and Registration Services Act (2007). This is achieved by listening to users of their statistics through consultations and adjusting their statistical outputs accordingly, ensuring their statistical reports are protected from any political pressures, and presenting statistics impartially and objectively.

For example, changes to their Chronic Pain publication summaries were made recently as a direct result of feedback from users and patient representatives. Officials met with ISD on 13 January 2017 to provide feedback from patient representatives of the Ministerial Steering Group (MSG) on Chronic Pain. This was following discussion of the waiting times at the MSG on 4 October 2016, and is captured in the minutes from the meeting which are available on the Scottish Government website:

ISD ‘s Head of Profession for Statistics has responsibility for deciding on statistical methods, standards and procedures, and on the content and timing of statistical releases. ISD can be contacted directly by any user of their statistics by emailing