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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14517: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-13542 by Shona Robison on 9 February 2018, what its position is on whether the NHS has increased its reliance on privately-funded lab results for diagnosis in order to address backlogs and waiting periods for NHS-funded laboratory results.

Answered by: Shona Robison 7 March 2018

The use of private laboratories by the NHS is a matter for individual Boards and will be dependent on demand and availability of services.

Private laboratories are not used by the NHS to process Scottish Clinical Microbiology and Virology samples however this is different south of the border where public-private partnerships exist.

Some labs have used these companies in the past to address short term staff shortages but there is no long term use and there is no evidence to suggest an increasing use.