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New research calls for pathology services to be better funded and prioritised

Research report from MindMetre presents evidence of the high value offered by pathology services, and suggests that current efficiency savings plans be reviewed

ID: 1471777
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(businesspress24) - London – November 2016 - A new report from independent research organisation MindMetre has summarised the evidence for return-on-investment from pathology services in the NHS and questioned any urgent pressure to consolidate pathology laboratories - within and between NHS trusts.

The MindMetre report, which reviewed the range of existing evidence and also canvassed views among a sample of 30 laboratory managers and principal biochemists in England and Wales, was conducted in response to Lord Carter’s latest report, Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations (February 2016)[1].

The Carter report notes that, “If benchmarks for pathology are unlikely to be achieved [by the deadline of April 2017], trusts should have agreed plans for consolidation and outsourcing to, other providers by January 2017.” The MindMetre review and research cautions against such a tight deadline being imposed, arguing that merger planning is not a substitute for within-laboratory efficiency and improvement drives.

The MindMetre review suggests that a mandatory pathway is set for laboratory productivity improvement (particularly turnaround time reduction), recognising that all aspects of the NHS have to deliver efficiency savings in the current policy environment. However, the review also suggests that the high value offered by pathology services be re-appraised at the strategic level to determine their position in the NHS service funding priorities.

Evidence covered in the review suggests that the immediate and knock-on effects of pathology service capacity and efficiency/productivity are more considerable than service funding would suggest, and could make an even more disproportionately positive contribution to patient outcomes, rapid diagnosis and the avoidance of unnecessary interventions and chronic condition development further down the line.

Paul Lindsell, MindMetre Managing Director, comments: “A knee-jerk push to consolidate pathology labs is not an easy universal panacea. There is evidently significant headroom for efficiency and productivity gains in pathology workflows and emerging technology. Our report recognises frustrations that greater productivity gains have not yet been achieved. However, we also suggest that the through-the-line benefits that pathology services offer mean it would be a mistake to potentially squeeze such resources in the NHS. In fact, there may be a rationale to put greater resources into pathology services, so long as they are strictly pegged to productivity improvements.”



[1]Department of Health, Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: unwarranted variations, 5 Feb 2016



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About MindMetre
MindMetre Research is a leading consumer and business analyst. The organisation has been investigating and publishing on trends in a number of fields and sectors since the late 1990s, particularly healthcare, web technology, financial services and marketing. MindMetre research programmes are regularly conducted across the globe, embracing geographies from the Americas to the Far East. In the healthcare sector, MindMetre is particularly known for its series’ on healthcare financing, beginning in the early 2000s, healthcare worker safety and sharps injury prevention, and healthcare acquired infections. For further information go to: http://www.mindmetreresearch.com.

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For further press information, please contact:
Harriet Hall
harriet(at)mindmetre.com



published by: RealWire
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Date: 11/23/2016 - 14:33
Language: English
News-ID 1471777
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