Private firm defends its pathology service

Private firm defends its pathology service

Private firm defends its pathology service

First published in Echo News
Last updated

THE PRIVATE firm which will deal with our blood samples should they move to Bedford has spoken out in its defence.

The Echo revealed last week GSTS Pathology is not fully accredited with Clinical Pathology Accreditation to carry out blood tests at Bedford Hospital and other failings were found with its services last year.

GSTS is a venture between private firm Serco and King’s College and St Thomas’ hospitals.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Corporate Watch, a not-for-profit research group, found 400 clinical incidents in 2011 – including losing and mislabelling samples – at St Thomas' labs.

It also failed to meet the agreed monthly turnaround times for tests 46 times in 2011, with ‘critical risk levels’ breached 14 times..

Now the firm has responded to the Echo’s questions from last week stating: “Our pathology laboratories at Bedford Hospital are either accredited by CPA, or presently awaiting assessment by CPA.

“Importantly any new service that GSTS might in the future provide to meet the needs of local GPs would be the subject of a new CPA inspection.”

The firm says it has acknowledged that the first two years of the partnership from 2008 were ‘operationally difficult and that the necessary change did not happen as quickly as the partners had hoped’.

However it says the quality of its services was not affected and it continues to be comparable to pathology services across the NHS.

Richard Jones, Chief Executive of GSTS, said: “There were operational difficulties in the early period of GSTS. However, recent clinical, operational and financial performance make us confident that we have turned a corner. Modernisation of pathology is a national priority and GSTS exists to support the NHS in achieving that.”

Dr Jonathan Edgeworth, Consultant Microbiologist at Guys and St Thomas’Trust and Medical Director of GSTS, said: “My prime concerns are the safety of patients and the quality of our service. Our clinicians and scientists are dedicated to service improvement, and this includes actively investigating any incident to identify the cause and put in place measures to prevent recurrence. The quality of our service bears comparison with any other in the NHS.”

Comments (4)

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12:40pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Ian P says...

“Dr Jonathan Edgeworth, Consultant Microbiologist at Guys and St Thomas’ Trust and Medical Director of GSTS, said: “My prime concerns are the safety of patients and the quality of our service”. Clearly Dr Jonathan Edgeworth has very good reason to be seriously concerned about the safety of patients and quality of his service - 400 clinical incidents in 2011 – including losing and mislabelling samples & failure to meet the agreed monthly turnaround times for tests 46 times in 2011, with ‘critical risk levels’ breached 14 times….
“Dr Jonathan Edgeworth, Consultant Microbiologist at Guys and St Thomas’ Trust and Medical Director of GSTS, said: “My prime concerns are the safety of patients and the quality of our service”. Clearly Dr Jonathan Edgeworth has very good reason to be seriously concerned about the safety of patients and quality of his service - 400 clinical incidents in 2011 – including losing and mislabelling samples & failure to meet the agreed monthly turnaround times for tests 46 times in 2011, with ‘critical risk levels’ breached 14 times…. Ian P
  • Score: 4

1:49pm Thu 14 Feb 13

stopmoaning1 says...

Any project involving SERCO or G4S, however remotely should be strangled at birth. Looks like this other bunch GSTS are not much better. Join them with SERCO and disaster will be only a breath away
Any project involving SERCO or G4S, however remotely should be strangled at birth. Looks like this other bunch GSTS are not much better. Join them with SERCO and disaster will be only a breath away stopmoaning1
  • Score: 3

2:26pm Thu 14 Feb 13

sosad 1 says...

i bet james(tory boy)and fat robbing banker mates will have some connection with the firms invovled in this as i keep saying on here the nhs is the torys crown jewels and its for sale to there mates only
i bet james(tory boy)and fat robbing banker mates will have some connection with the firms invovled in this as i keep saying on here the nhs is the torys crown jewels and its for sale to there mates only sosad 1
  • Score: 1

4:31pm Thu 14 Feb 13

GentleGiant says...

How many incidents were there locally? Stats from one company are useless without knowing how many mistakes are made in the current setup.
How many incidents were there locally? Stats from one company are useless without knowing how many mistakes are made in the current setup. GentleGiant
  • Score: -2

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