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Pathology is the study of disease, its causes and progression.

Nearly every patient in the NHS has had dealings with pathology services at some point. Every time you give a sample, it is analysed by a pathologist or pathology scientist, known as a biomedical or clinical scientist, depending on their skills and qualifications.

Pathologists look for abnormalities within samples but, quite often, these tests are performed to confirm everything is OK. Through preventative screenings, tests can help with the early detection of potentially fatal conditions.

Pathology also plays a major role in research, such as finding treatments for cancer and ensuring that blood transfusions are safe.

Collaboration across Lancashire and South Cumbria

Four hospital trusts in Lancashire and South Cumbria are collaboratively working together to improve these pathology services for patients.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, have been working on this project for a number of months, working with staff and external partners.

The project aims to provide a streamlined, sustainable service which is clinically and cost effective and is part of a national strategy led my NHS Improvement.

Across Lancashire and South Cumbria options for different ways in which the pathology service can be delivered are being formulated with staff and other stakeholders being fully involved in reviewing the models.

The preferred option for the services going forward retains urgent pathology services in every trust whilst centralising non-urgent analysis on the Lancaster University Health Innovation Campus which will aid recruitment and retention of staff as well as develop research opportunities.

If you want more details, or would like to get involved in the review being undertaken by the Lancashire and South Cumbria Pathology Partnership, please contact Gillian Crankshaw or on 07801 399 666.

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