National Demand Optimisation Group (NDOG): demand optimisation in laboratory medicine - phase IV report

The National Demand Optimisation Group (NDOG) is a Scottish Government commissioned group. Its main objective is to reduce unwarranted variation in laboratory diagnostic testing, contributing to improved patient outcomes The group has recently completed its fourth phase of work.

6 Engagement

Throughout Phase IV, the NDOG engaged extensively with clinical colleagues throughout Scotland, mainly through the established NMDNs and the Genetics / Molecular Pathology consortia. A list of stakeholder engagement and all relevant meetings detailed in Annex E.

The NDOG were Royal College of Pathologists 2020 Awards winners in the 'Innovation in Pathology Practice' section and core team members attended an online awards ceremony on 19 November 2020. The NDOG also submitted an application for the 2021 Advancing Healthcare Awards, where they were finalists in the Scottish Government's award for 'Driving Improvement, Delivering Results' category. This recognition of the work and achievements of the programme has helped to raise the profile of the group at a national level. The NDOG is looking forward to be presenting posters and showcasing work at future events, including at the June 2021 UKMedLab event, 2022 IBMS Congress, and future NMDN education events.

In April 2021 it was agreed with Genetics NDOG representatives and the leads of the four Genetics laboratories in Scotland to define a genetics data set with the view to collecting and publishing as part of the anticipated Phase V programme of work.

The group continues to maintain and regularly update its website with pertinent programme information and links ( and interacts with colleagues regularly via the NMDN Twitter account (@NMDNScot).

6.1 COVID-19 Impact

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all face-to-face meetings were replaced with online meetings from mid-March 2020 onwards. As a result, there were no NMDN education days, large conferences or wider Primary Care meetings at which to present work and network.

However, as highlighted in section 4.3 and Annex E, the NDOG has continued to engage extensively with the diagnostic networks, clinical colleagues and other key stakeholders throughout Phase IV.

Holding all Phase IV associated meetings remotely has in fact enabled the NDOG to engage with individuals and groups with whom it might otherwise have been difficult to meet with and strengthen existing working relationships. It has allowed for strong working relationships to develop with new groups and programmes of work, including Scottish Government Policy Teams and engagement with clinical colleagues from remote and rural Boards.



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