When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Plan to move Dorset County Hospital pathology service
PATHOLOGY services at Dorset County Hospital are set for a shake up as bosses carry out a major review.
The hospital board is currently looking at the future of the service in light of national guidance suggesting a more centralised system and some services could be transferred to Taunton.
The hospital insists it will be at least a year before any changes are implemented but a governor has hit out at the prospect of moving services off site.
Michel Hooper-Immins, said he wanted to see jobs retained in Dorchester and Dorset.
He said: “Privatisers and centralisers have the capacity to damage Dorset County Hospital, with a steady drip of services and jobs to other hospitals and private companies.
“Every service or job that leaves our hospital is a danger to the future of DCH.”
Mr Hooper-Immins also questioned the knock on effects on GP surgeries and the cost of transporting samples to Taunton or wherever the centralised base may be.
He said: “I don’t actually believe that bigger is better, particularly in rural areas like Dorset.”
The hospital’s chief executive Jean O’Callaghan said: “Nationally there is a move towards centralising pathology services rather than having a full pathology service in every hospital as this is more sustainable for the future and maintains quality.
“A review by Lord Carter in 2008 identified the need for such moves.
“Quality standard requirements are much higher now for laboratory services and it’s difficult for smaller centres to keep up with these. Larger networked services can maintain the highest standards using the latest equipment and provide an efficient service.
“For these reasons we are currently exploring options for the future of pathology services and looking at the feasibility of outsourcing management of our services to another provider as many hospital trusts have already done. We appreciate that this is unsettling for pathology staff at the hospital and they are being kept fully informed. This process will take at least a year.
“The final decision as to what option we take will be made by the trust board. Any arrangement will include maintaining essential hospital pathology services on site.”
A hospital spokesman added that 93 people were currently employed in pathology services at the hospital and stressed that, while the trust will look at all available options, essential pathology services will remain on site.
Comments are closed on this article.