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What are national networks?

Published on 30 January 2020

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 Diagnostic Steering Group (DSG)

The Diagnostic Steering Group (DSG) 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

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

It’s split into the main group and the DSG Advisory Group. Take a look at our governance structure in the terms of reference document for more information.

Download the DSG terms of reference document (PDF, 1.28MB).

Paul Hawkins, Chief Executive of NHS Fife, chairs the DSG. Dr Ian Godber, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and SCBN Lead Clinician, chairs the DSG Advisory Group.

The DSG consists of:

  • members of the Scottish Government
  • members of NHSScotland
  • representatives from all National Managed Diagnostic Networks (NMDNs)
  • representatives from the two consortiums (genetics and molecular pathology)
  • non-network diagnostic disciplines (immunology, medical physics, physiology)
  • other laboratories (reference laboratories, screening laboratories)
  • National Laboratories Programme

This group also provides strategic direction to the diagnostic networks. It’s a forum where the NMDNs can access support from specialist disciplines and professionals. The Clinical Lead and Network Scientific Manager represent NMDNs in the DSG.

Discussions and actions from both groups are fed back to networks in steering group meetings. This ensures that all networks get the same guidance from a range of organisations.