The Independent Review was set up in September 2005; its first report was published in August 2006. It sets out the Review Panel's findings and conclusions and makes wide ranging recommendations for the development and improvement of pathology services. DoH accepted the Review Panel's proposal that their findings should be tested and refined through a nationwide programme of twelve demonstration sites, in partnership with the NHS. This second phase of the Review's work focussed on the collection, analysis and modelling of robust, comparable cost and activity data, to provide an evidence base for the Review's final report and recommendations.
Later reviews have called for the consolidation of pathology services to improve quality and patient safety whilst at the same time producing significant savings. Further to this it is suggested that there should be networks producing the benefits of scale required to provide pathology for the future.
There are various models but one suggestion, and the one that GSTS Pathology are taking forward, is that governance and accountability for a network should be contracted out, i.e. the joint venture company that we have established.
It is our vision that starting with the right central core will provide a stable hub on which to centre a network pathology service this will become the envy and model for all pathology services across the UK.
Other initiatives driving pathology
It is vital that we get our service requirements right since there are numerous Government and Department of Health initiatives which require pathology support or involvement.
Connecting for Health
Amongst these are the information technology initiative Connecting for Health. It is GSTS Pathology's aim to be among the first to offer end to end connectivity as suggested in Lord Carter's first report.
The waiting time nationally is 18 weeks but the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust wish to achieve a 12 week waiting time. GSTS Pathology is at the heart of assuring that this aim is met.
Meeting Infection Control targets
The Microbiology department of GSTS Pathology plays a key role in ensuring that MRSA and the C. difficile infections are monitored and controlled.
GSTS Pathology is committed to meeting and exceeding all Government initiatives and expectations.