A review of pathology services delivered across Kent and Medway is underway.

The review, undertaken by provider NHS trusts across the county, is driven by a desire to deliver an improved, sustainable service, as well as national requirements to develop a pathology network.

The review will lead to the development of a modern and innovative service for Kent and Medway which provides a high quality pathology service. By developing a more efficient and streamlined service, there is also the opportunity to reduce the overall costs, ensuring best value for taxpayers.

Lesley Dwyer, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Pathology Review Steering Group said: “Trust chief executives in Kent and Medway have recognised that change is needed to create a more vibrant, self-sufficient pathology service which meets the needs now and in the future, and is affordable for trusts. The national requirement for regional networks is also a driver to implement change at pace.

“We are actively engaging pathology leaders and trust representatives. We will now be engaging staff and unions as we build on the success of closer partnership working over the past few years in Kent and Medway pathology services.

“It will take time to reach a new model of service, but we have a clear goal and look forward to creating a clinically-led and sustainable service that is more suited to future ways of working. This will include improved technologies, and enable us to create a service where people wish to come to learn, work and carry out research. ”

Work has already started to scope potential options which will then form part of a strategic outline case. The new service is likely to be fully implemented in 2021.

Background information

The provider trusts involved in the review are:

  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.