NHS Grampian has begun testing Covid-19 samples, making the north-east body one of the first health boards in Scotland to do it on their own.
Specialist scientists at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary started checking and declaring their own patient samples after their methods were nationally approved.
Up to 160 samples can now be tested in Aberdeen each day, and there are plans to increase the figure in the coming weeks.
NHS Grampian’s consultant and service clinical director for medical microbiology and virology, Noha EL Sakka, said: “Prior to Monday we were sending samples to the reference lab and there is a high turnaround time and time is wasted on transportation – that has all been cut-off.
“It cuts down on work for the lab with packaging and also in terms of reporting results too.
“That is why we tried to streamline things and make the test available as quickly as possible and the process as simple as possible – it ensures we have a prompt and robust system for our patients in NHS Grampian.”