We have a new website go to gov.scot


This content is not being updated. You can find the latest Scottish Government information on health workforce on https://www.gov.scot

Healthcare Science

Healthcare Scientists are an essential part of the NHS workforce and are the fourth largest clinical group in NHSScotland covering the three strands of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Physiological Sciences.  Collectively they contribute to 80% of all diagnosis and treatment.

The Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan   http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/05/8743 was published in May 2015 and focuses around the delivery of key improvement programmes that will take their place within the national culture of improvement in Scotland and will make a real difference towards achieving high quality, sustainable, safe and effective health and care services.  A related document is the Demand Optimisation Report http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/02/5322 taking forward the ambition within our Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan.

Improvement Programmes

The overall aim of the Delivery Plan is to drive improvement and maximise the contribution of healthcare science to the delivery of sustainable and coherent teams and services that will promote the overall ambitions of NHS Scotland.  The Delivery Plan creates the framework for 5 Improvement Programmes that will take their place within the national culture of improvement in Scotland:

  • Streamlining health technology management;
  • Effective point-of-care testing;
  • Demand optimisation;
  • Developing sustainable services; and
  • A new integrated model for clinical physiology services.


The governance of the Delivery Plan will sit within the Scottish Government Diagnostic Steering Group, but NHS Boards are responsible for developing local implementation plans to underpin all 5 Improvement Programmes within the Plan.

The Healthcare Science in Scotland Knowledge Network can be found at http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/hcsleadscommunity.aspx

The NHS Education for Scotland Healthcare Science Education and Training page:http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/education-and-training/by-discipline/healthcare-science.aspx

The Academy for Healthcare Science page:https://www.ahcs.ac.uk/

Who the Healthcare Scientists are:

Life Sciences – Analysis, testing and interpretation of clinical samples and products

  • Anatomical pathology
  • Andrology
  • Blood transfusion
  • Cervical Cytology
  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Clinical cytogenetics
  • Clinical embryology
  • Clinical immunology
  • Electron microscopy
  • External quality assurance
  • Haematology
  • Haemostasis and thrombosis
  • Histocompatability and immunogenetics
  • Histo and cytopathology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Tissue banking
  • Toxicology
  • Virology

Physiological Sciences – Observation and objective measurement of human performance

  • Audiology
  • Hearing therapy
  • Autonomic neurovascular
  • Cardiac physiology
  • Clinical perfusion
  • Gastrointestinal physiology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Ophthalmic science
  • Renal dialysis
  • Respiratory physiology
  • Sleep physiology
  • Urodynamics
  • Vascular technology
  • Vision science

Physical Sciences  - Using physics and engineering for patient imaging, measurement and treatments

  • Biomechanical engineering
  • Clinical measurement
  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Equipment management
  • Information technology
  • Maxillofacial prosthetics
  • Medical electronics
  • Medical engineering and design
  • Medical illustration
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Radiation protection
  • Radiotherapy physics
  • Rehabilitation engineering
  • Renal technology
  • Ultrasound