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What are national networks?

Published on 15 November 2021

Diagnostic networks

Diagnostic networks bring professionals together to improve diagnostic services across disciplines. This ensures that patients have the right test at the right time.

Follow the links below to learn more about each network. Each link will take you to an external website.

Haematology and Transfusion Scotland Network (HaTS) – working to connect and support those working in haematology and blood transfusion.

Scottish Clinical Biochemistry Network (SCBN) – encouraging cooperation between stakeholders, commissioning reviews, running educational events and more.

Scottish Microbiology and Virology Network (SMVN) – preventing infection and protecting public health by providing expert advice, peer and professional support, and other initiatives.

Scottish Clinical Imaging Network (SCIN) – bringing professionals together to deal with quality issues around clinical imaging.

Scottish Pathology Network (SPAN) – steering service change, modernisation and redesign across Scotland's pathology services.

The Diagnostics in Scotland Strategic Group (DiSSG)

The Diagnostics in Scotland Strategic Group (DiSSG) is the senior decision-making group, responsible for supporting the progress of the Executive Board agendas at the highest level and ensures the ongoing, coherent development and delivery of high-quality services.

It takes into account the strategic direction set by the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan and the National Clinical Strategy. In particular, it focuses on the effective and safe quality ambitions:

  • the most appropriate treatments, interventions, support and services will be provided at the right time to everyone who’ll benefit, with no wasteful or harmful variation
  • no avoidable injury or harm to people from the healthcare they receive, and that they are cared for in an appropriate, clean and safe environment at all times.

DiSSG aligns with and delivers the needs of the National Laboratories (NLP) and Scottish Radiology Transformation (SRTP) programmes.

Take a look at our governance structure (appendix b) in the terms of reference document for more information.

Download the DiSSG Terms of Reference Document Download the DiSSG terms of reference document (PDF, 1.28MB) Jeff Ace, Chief Executive of NHS Dumfries & Galloway, chairs the DiSSG.

The DiSSG consists of:

  • Chief Executive (Chair)
  • Representatives from each Executive Board
  • NHS Board Medical Director
  • NHS Board Finance Director
  • NHS Board eHealth Lead
  • Director of Healthcare Science, NSS
  • Public Health Scotland Representative
  • Partnership Representative
  • National Planning Board Representative
  • Scottish Government Representatives
  • Commissioned Services Director, NSD
  • National Managed Diagnostic Networks
  • National Laboratories Programme (NLP)
  • Scottish Radiology Transformation (SRTP) programmes.

The DiSSG is accountable to Chief Executives with a clear route to Scottish Government. DiSSG provides an oversight function for 4 Executive Boards: Laboratories Executive Board (LEB); Imaging Executive Board (IEB); Medical Physics Executive Board (MPEB) and Clinical Physiology Executive Board (CPEB).

DiSSG roles and responsibilities include:

  • Transformation Programmes - including Oversight; Escalation and Scope
  • Strategic Direction - such as new tests (including companion diagnostics)
  • Data and Intelligence
  • Workforce
  • Network Workplans – including setting strategic direction as required
  • Escalation and risk management