C. Gordon’s Laboratory Visit

Gordon Sturmey returned to the Royal Berkshire Hospital to visit Pathology laboratories and staff, who would have performed thousands of tests necessary to enable clinicians to make decisions on his treatment


On the 12th November 2013, Gordon visited the Royal Berkshire Pathology Laboratories to gain a unique perspective of the work carried out by Pathology within his recovery of Gullain-Barre Syndrome. Prior to his visit the 125 unique tests (Guillain-Barré Syndrome – A Laboratory Perspective) identified by Laura Dunn from the John Radcliffe Microbiology department was forwarded to Royal Berkshire Pathology services to enable staff to give examples of the type of tests carried out.
Pictured Left is Paul Cain (Senior Biomedical Scientist – Microbiology) explaining to Gordon some of the work they would have undertaken to aid Gordon’s recovery      



It is recognised that back-end services such as Pathology & Pharmacy do not get the recognition they deserve within the patient pathway. It is certainly not feasible to give patients tours of Laboratories such as Gordon has had. It is however necessary that the profile of pathology be raised within Trusts, to patients & the greater NHS community. Pathology needs to step out from behind the back door & bring their influence to bear on the wider community.
Pictured right is Dr Cabrera-Abreu (Consultant Chemical Pathologist) showing Gordon some of the equipment used within Biochemistry


Letter of thanks to Richard Rodgers, Dr Cabrera-Abreu, Paul Cain & Sharon Yarwood for arranging & facilitating this laboratory tour at the Royal Berkshire Hospital From Gordon Sturmey

Sharon, Ann, Paul, Jose  and Richard

I wish to express my thanks to you all for making the time to show me around your departments.

Up until this point in time, for me, Pathology was somewhere in the hospital where samples were sent for testing and the results used to form the basis for the next step in a patients treatment. I had never envisaged the complexity of the steps in the control of the samples through the process, the vast amount of data that can be extracted from each sample and the high level of quality control necessary to ensure the results obtained can be relied upon. The large number of samples passing through the system on a daily basis I found utterly amazing. I also now appreciate the effort that your staff put into ‘fast tracking’ those samples emanating from ICU where timing is so important in the treatment of the patient. I found the whole experience very humbling.

Once again thank you so much. 

Kind regards


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