The Scottish Government has been accused of a "culture of cover-up" in the NHS by Scottish Labour after revelations of a flawed report into the care of older people at a city hospital.
Health inspectors from Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) are alleged to have produced a diluted report about Ninewells Hospital in Dundee after initially shelving it altogether.
The document analysing care at Ninewells Hospital was doctored to disguise the extent of problems, according to the Sunday Herald.
A draft of the report is understood to state that 35 patients had been left on trolleys and wheelchairs for as long six hours while waiting for a bed over an afternoon and evening while the final copy only detailed "some".
The report was shelved by HIS 24 hours after its managers met with Gerry Marr who is both chief executive of NHS Tayside as well as a board member of HIS, the newspaper claims.
In response to questions of the appropriateness of holding both these positions, a spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: "As chief executive of NHS Tayside, Mr Gerry Marr is the accountable officer for any inspections carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) on NHS Tayside premises and services. Therefore, it is absolutely appropriate that, just as happens in every other health board area, it is the chief executive who takes responsibility for raising factual inaccuracies contained in any draft report presented to the organisation.
"There is no conflict of interest as Mr Marr has not been involved, or indeed present, when any decisions relating to the Ninewells Older People's report were made by HIS.
"NHS Tayside frontline clinicians presented clinical evidence and patient data which raised significant factual inaccuracies relating to a specific section of the draft report."
Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour's health spokesman, said: "Over the last few days, we have seen the lengths that the SNP Government will go to in a bid to cover up the mismanagement of our health service. The full extent of the hidden waiting list scandal under Nicola Sturgeon was laid bare yet the SNP continue to deny there is a problem and insist this is somehow about IT systems.
"Now we have NHS bosses trying to bury and play down the poor treatment of elderly patients at Ninewells who were left to wait for hours on trolleys and wheelchairs in corridors because beds were unavailable. It is clear we face real pressures in our health service and patients are suffering as a result. But rather than face up to this and tackle these underlying problems, Nicola Sturgeon and now Alex Neil are content to turn a blind eye or help cover up these failings. Scottish patients deserve better."