Reference laboratories


On behalf of our organisation, PHM have the responsibility for commissioning reference laboratory services for NHSScotland. They carry out this role in partnership with NHS National Services Division (NSD). The Reference Laboratory Advisory Group (RLAG) advise NSD and our organisation on the appropriate development of reference laboratory services in Scotland. The Reference Laboratory Operational Group (RLOG) discuss issues that may significantly impact on the service delivery of reference laboratory services and the Public Health Microbiology Strategy for Scotland. The RLOG also provide a forum for focused discussion on the continued implementation of pathogen genomics in Scotland.

Scottish national reference laboratories provide support to guide the clinical management of individual patients, as well as providing an analytical and advisory service for the epidemiological data that is collected by the NHS and PHM.

Each laboratory maintains an archive of samples that contributes to:

  • research
  • quality assurance
  • audit
  • teaching

Frontline diagnostic testing is undertaken in local laboratories and is not centrally funded.

Visit the following websites for further reference laboratory information: