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All performance monitoring returns required by the Department are cleared by the review of central returns process. Subsequently, data standards and definitions are developed, with guidance on form completion issued and a central query service provided to the national health service.
NHS trusts and commissioners are responsible for the accuracy of their data returns, which in addition to local audit will be subject to processes such as the Audit Commission spot checks.
Deliberate misreporting of waiting list data is inexcusable and we have made it very clear that serious consequences will follow any individual or trusts that seek to manipulate their performance data.