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Pathology service “could be better”


22 December, 2008  

A review into NHS pathology services has suggested a number of recommendations to improve the quality and safety of the service.

According to the independent review of NHS Pathology services, the system could be made more responsive to the needs of patients, and a number of things could be done to make substantial annual savings.

Around 70% of decisions on diagnosis and treatment are made by pathologists, and the growing need for personalised care is due to increase the workload of the pathology service, making the need for a more efficient service even greater, the review found.

Recommendations included a faster turnaround time of test results and enhancing IT connectivity.

The review also suggested that a centralised management structure should be used to co-ordinate all areas of the service, and that by using new technology as soon as it becomes available to improve diagnosis.

Dr Ian Barnes, the clinical lead for the Department of Health Pathology said: “The review has found much good work already under way, but there is room for improvement and the review has highlighted key areas for us to take forward. We have examined the review’s recommendations in detail and now begun the process to determine how services can be enhanced.”

Copyright Press Association 2008NHS Pathology Services