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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22930: Jackson Carlaw (Eastwood)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 1 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what safeguards have been put in place to prevent poor storage of patient blood samples occurring when this is being transported from GP surgeries to laboratories for analysis of the results in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and across Scotland.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 15 May 2019

In order to fulfil the ISO standard, each accredited laboratory within NHSGGC will have local policies detailing the steps the individual labs take to monitor the integrity of samples as they arrive in the lab e.g. local transport and acceptance and rejection policies, use of haemolytic indices, delayed sample comments and other safeguards against transport/ storage conditions impacting patient results.

If the specific conditions required for the examination requested are not met then the policies will detail what remedial steps are taken to ensure patients do not receive inappropriate results. For example if a blood sample is received in South Biochemistry and is more than 12 hours old, the potassium result will be removed.

The local specimen transport policies will also detail how the laboratory audits sample transport from source in order to fulfil standard 5.4.5 as above.

The NHSGGC sample transport policy and guidance along with the individual laboratories transport monitoring and acceptance and rejection policies exist so the laboratories, their regulators and the users can be assured that all blood samples taken in GP surgeries in NHS GGC are delivered, received and tested within a time frame and temperature appropriate to the examinations requested.