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Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008

Section 16 Notifiable organisms: duties on directors of diagnostic laboratories

33.This section places a duty on the director of a diagnostic laboratory, (1)where the laboratory identifies a notifiable organism, to(b) provide written confirmation of the organism to the relevant health board and the Common Services Agency, no later than 10 days after identification. If the director of the diagnostic laboratory considers that the case is urgent, the director must orally notify the relevant health board as soon as possible. In determining whether a case is urgent, the director must have regard to the nature of the organism, the nature of the disease which that organism causes, the ease of transmission of that disease or organism, the patient’s circumstances (such as the patient’s age, sex and state of health, where known), and any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers.

34.For the purposes of subsection (1), a diagnostic laboratory identifies a notifiable organism where the laboratory identifies the organism itself or the organism is identified by another laboratory under an arrangement with that diagnostic laboratory. This will include identification of organisms by laboratories outwith Scotland under an arrangement with a diagnostic laboratory in Scotland. In these cases, the day of identification for the purposes of notification will be the day on which the first diagnostic laboratory becomes aware of the identification by the other laboratory with which it has the arrangement.

35.The “relevant health board” in this section means the health board in whose area the diagnostic laboratory is situated. Where a health board receives notification from the director of a diagnostic laboratory and the information relates to a person who does not usually reside in that board’s area, the information must be transmitted to the health board for the area in which the person usually resides.

36.This section defines the director of a diagnostic laboratory as a clinical microbiologist, consultant pathologist or other registered medical practitioner or other person in charge of a diagnostic laboratory or to whom the function of making a notification has been delegated, thus providing that the role of director of a diagnostic laboratory can be fulfilled by a person with a non-medical background.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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