THE PRIVATE firm who run Bedford Hospital’s laboratories are not fully accredited by the appropriate professional body, the Echo can reveal.

Our campaign against the move of pathology services from Basildon and Southend to Bedford Hospital has been widely supported by the local community.

Routine blood and other specimen samples will travel 88 miles to Bedford by road for screening raising concerns about delays in getting products there and then results back to GPs and patients.

GSTS Pathology at Bedford Hospital are awaiting accreditation with the Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) for cellular pathology and haematology.

John Gibson, founder of the Asset Trust which has funded millions of pounds of equipment at Southend Hospital who is fully supporting the campaign, said: “The significant of this is huge. The authorities are already so far down the line with this move they are clearly quite prepared to accept them to do this service on our behalf yet they are not accredited. Its worrying they are not certified by the professional body.”

A spokesman at Bedford Hospital said: “Bedford Hospital NHS Trust currently has temporary pathologists in place and we are working on a permanent solution to support the accreditation of those services.”