Pathology services at Gateshead praised by executive leads

The Pathology Centre at Gateshead has received high praise from directors following a recent visit.

Newly appointed operations director for clinical support and screening, Michael Graham recently visited the Pathology Centre and a significant number of areas of good practice were highlighted.

Michael’s role is to ensure the Trust continue to deliver high-quality clinical support and screening services for the Gateshead community.

The highlighted areas of the visit were:

  • General: More than 95% of the tests in Pathology were received electronically, improving efficiency and reducing the number of errors due to minimising human interaction with samples.
  • Transport: There has been a significant investment into the transport services within QE Facilities including temperature control and more timely runs which have reduced the need for patients to come to A&E for urgent repeat tests.
  • Microbiology: Microbiology was one of the early adopters of 24/7 working which improved turnaround times and has been one of the few departments in the UK to expand the clinical work by having biomedical scientist awarded a higher specialist training post.
  • Blood sciences: Similar to microbiology, the blood services team were praised for impressive turnaround times across all sites for emergency department support.
  • Point of care: Strong point of care service in hospital. One of few of the point of care services in UK to be accredited and only multi-hospital service. Working closely with user groups and in the community. 
  • Haematology / Blood Transfusion: Important role of the lab in supporting primary care clinical VTE pathways via D-dimer testing. Improvements in blood stocking and cross-site use of O negative blood has improved over recent years reducing waste. 
  • Histopathology: Expanded scientist roles to support consultant clinical activity. Now have BMS staff with diploma performing cutup and one reporting GI pathology (previously medical consultant activities only). 

Pathology services are an essential part of the efficient and safe running of a hospital, analysing the thousands of tests that are done for patients every day. In fact, pathology is involved in more than 70% of all diagnoses made by the NHS.

Chief operating officer, Jo Baxter said: “The pathology services are an essential part of running the hospital and we are extremely lucky to have a fantastic centre here in Gateshead.”

“We provide most of the pathology services across Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside.”

Read more about the state-of-the-art Pathology Centre.