What We Do

Pathology Network – NHS South Central

  • The NHS South Central Pathology Network has been in operation for approximately three years (est. March 2011).  It came together when pathology was identified as a QIPP national work stream and included pathology clinical directors and pathology managers as well as commissioning leads.  Over time, and as the pathology programme shifted from a national QIPP programme to a regional one, the pathology network changed into a clinical network.

For delivering change in the NHS there are some critical success factors as identified, among others, by the Institute of Improvement:

  • Having a vision
  • Clinical and managerial leadership
  • A small, but large enough, group of interested people to share and spread enthusiasm
  • Belief and commitment to shared goals
  • Keeping the message fresh

Using measurement and transparency to drive change, The South Central clinical reference group, developed a vision and terms of reference – See Pathology Modernisation Clinical Reference Group – ToR v3 – pdf  for the group and this has been re-examined and regularly reviewed.  There has been broad support for the group by the pathology community with high attendance from most acute trusts in the region.   The network is able to work constructively in a collaborative capacity despite a competitive environment.  It has been a key route for communicating with the pathology community in the region and for debating the changing face of pathology services.

It provides a forum for sharing and discussing ideas relating to:

  • QIPP
  • Benchmarking
  • Commissioning
  • Reconfiguration
  • Education  and Training
  • Demand Management
  • Lean
  • Specialist testing

Key Successes

  • Clinical and managerial engagement
  • Open and transparent benchmarking
  • Development of alliances between acute trusts in the network for partnership working
  • Sharing developments within reconfiguration of shared laboratory services
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What are the goals of the Group going forward from 2013 into 2014?

Although the group has no official capacity to enforce initiatives within pathology services it does have a voice. It is hoped that recommendations around some of the ideas listed above can be picked up by the wider NHS community. It is precisely for this reason that two new programmes of work will be undertaken within the 2013/2104

Pathology Clinical Reference Group Web Site

In order to engage the wider NHS community there has to a depository where innovative ideas around improvements to pathology services such as best practice & demand management can be viewed by the widest audience possible. Technology in partnership with a good marketing strategy can succeed in delivering this message. The Thames Valley HIEC Web site gives the group for the first time a platform to publish the work of the group. Couple this with an expanding portfolio of contacts gathered by the HIEC & use of existing marketing HIEC tools such as a monthly newsletters & use of digital communication tools such as twitter & social networks, there is an opportunity to have the this voice heard.

Finding a new home within the NHS landscape

Although the Thames Valley HIEC has agreed to support the group for the interim period of 2013 into 2014, a permanent home must be sought where the ambition of the group can be realised & secured for the future long term.

As part of a legacy transition project undertaken by the pathology modernisation team at the SHA , the team looked at where the CRG could gain a permanent home within the new NHS landscape.

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