Senior public health figures have condemned the Scottish government's decision to engage PricewaterhouseCoopers to run its patient experience programme.
In an open letter to health minister Nicola Sturgeon, 14 directors and professors of public health said the move "introduces serious commercial conflicts into NHS service planning and information and public research".
The Scottish government said the contract represented "best value for money". Surveys will still be conducted by health boards.
Read the letter at www.health.ed.ac.uk