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DH launches major review of pathology services

NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh announced that the lab machines and the safety checks done in NHS pathology centres will be scrutinised at the start of 2013.

The review was initiated because of ‘technical issues’ during the sampling of 120 breast cancer tests  at Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust in October.

Sir Bruce said: ‘The NHS has a strong reputation for providing high-grade laboratory tests. With advances in technology and practice, I want to ensure that quality remains at the forefront.’

The review will bring together experts to find out what can be done to strengthen processes to detect, correct, and prevent problems.

Dr Ian Barnes, national clinical director for pathology, will lead the review. He said: ‘The UK has an enviable reputation for its pathology services and I look forward to making recommendations as to how the NHS can maintain and better this.’