A new phone line for patients seeking advice on waiting times is to be introduced.

The line will be piloted in the summer of 2013 for 12 months and will be run by Health Information Service NHS Inform, which is part of NHS 24.

The advice line is part of a range of measures to increase transparency and understanding of waiting times in Scotland following a report by Audit Scotland into their management.

This includes letters to all day case and inpatients confirming any requests to have their treatment delayed for any reason and improving the training of board liaison officers to be able to offer specialist advice.

In welcoming this innovative service Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“Waiting times are amongst their lowest ever levels in Scotland and they continue to improve.

“Patients in our area have an entitlement to be treated as quickly as possible but also at a time that fits in with their lives, and we would want to make sure that patients know what they are entitled to, what they can expect and what options are available to them.

“This advice line will improve patients experience with the health service and make sure that if they need help and support they will get it.”

Patients have a legal right to complain, give feedback or comments, or raise concerns about the care they have received from the NHS as part of the Patients Rights Bill. Help and advice here – www.cas.org.uk/patientadvice