An expert group has been formed to review NHS genetic services and the application of new genetic knowledge in Scotland, to make sure that the NHS in Scotland continues to keep pace with advances in genetics and their healthcare applications. Scottish Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm commented: "The findings and recommendations of the Group will provide a framework within which we can plan and develop our genetic services and maximise opportunities for advances in genetic knowledge to be used to enhance other services currently being offered by the NHS" (see press release).

The group, which will meet for the first time at the end of June, is to be chaired by the former Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, Professor Sir Kenneth Calman. Their intention is to review current genetics services in the light of the Genetics White Paper of June 2003 (Our Inheritance, our future realising the potential of genetics in the NHS'), to consider how current standards can be maintained for existing genetics services and to assess the potential impact of developments in genetics harnessed for the benefit of academia, the biotechnology industry and the NHS in Scotland.