Decision due on pathology lab at Stamford Hospital

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A DECISION on plans to close the pathology lab at Stamford Hospital will be made on Monday.

The Peterborough and Stamford Hospital Trust has been consulting with staff on closing the lab and moving pathology services to Peterborough City Hospital.

A decision was expected this week but the trust’s executive directors announced yesterday that a final verdict would be released on Monday.

The trust expects the proposal to be accepted. It has repeatedly insisted that services to patients and GPs will not be affected by the move.

A trust statement said: “Patients will continue to have their blood taken in Stamford Hospital, through the current phlebotomy service, with point-of-care testing technology being used for those patients who need instant results.

“The high specifications machines at Peterborough City Hospital’s laboratory are capable of absorbing the number of samples from Stamford and producing high quality, timely results, available to view remotely.

“Stamford Hospital plays a key part in the role of the Trust and this change would enable us to work in a more cost-effective manner that maintains services to our patients and GPs.”

On Tuesday last week the trust invited members of the public to attend a board meeting to hear a presentation on the future of Stamford Hospital.

Medical director John Randall revealed that outpatient clinics could be expanded with more treatment options to avoid unnecessary trips to Peterborough City Hospital.

The minor injuries unit would become be nurse-led, with nurses able to perform tasks previously undertaken by junior doctors. They would be trained in areas such as resuscitation.

The trust is consulting with GPs and staff to see what other services could be included in the new-look hospital.

The only area that might be lost is the operating theatre but a second procedure room could be provided.

The trust also wants to work with a charitable or non-for-profit organisation to redevelop the rest of the site into a “health campus”.

It is not clear how much the revamp would cost but the trust hopes any profits from working with another organisation would be used to redevelop the rest of the hospital.