In the United Kingdom, Pathology and Medical Laboratory Testing Face Tough Challenges as the NHS Implements Reforms and Budget Cuts
Innovative pathology laboratory organizations in the UK and Europe will come together at the Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) conference on January 31-February 1, 2012
For decades, the pathology and medical laboratory service in the United Kingdom has been the envy of many developed nations. But times change and the National Health Service (NHS) finds itself coping with increased demand, shrinking budgets, and soaring healthcare costs. As a result, the NHS is asking pathology testing labs in the UK to do more with less.
Consequently, the status quo for pathology and medical laboratory medicine in the United Kingdom is undergoing fundamental change—often at a rapid pace. In some areas, multiple hospital laboratories are being asked to consolidate into a single regional lab organization.
Another change is that price competition for pathology testing has become a factor. Within the NHS, primary care trusts now tender for pathology testing services and commission those pathology laboratories that bid the most competitive prices. The tender and commissioning process is creating new economic winners and losers among pathology laboratories throughout the United Kingdom. (more…)