The SAS is comprised of a group of highly specialist diagnostic laboratories that collaborate to ensure that the service they deliver, within their areas of expertise, remains of the highest standard. Each specialist laboratory’s recognized excellence is based on their analytical expertise and a thorough knowledge of the clinical application and interpretation of the tests they provide.
The organisation was initiated in 1974 by the Department of Health recognising that there were specialist investigations which were best suited to being undertaken in designated centres of excellence. The SAS continues to grow with the number of centres now past thirty. These are organised into a number of Groups, each with its own reporting mechanisms, Chairperson and Secretary. These report to the Committee of Directors which meets to consider operational matters and provides updates across the SAS on current advances. In turn this reports to the Management Executive which considers the wider issues of SAS function, such as overall strategy and performance and is composed of the Sub-Group Chairpersons and external members, representing service users, the Royal Colleges and the Department of Health.