Friends of Stamford Hospital chairman ‘understands’ decision to close pathology lab

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THE chairman of the Friends of Stamford Hospital says it is a shame the hospital’s pathology lab is to close, but he understands the decision.

The Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust revealed yesterday (Monday) that the lab will close on August 31, with services moved to Peterborough City Hospital and starting in September.

The trust says patient care will not be affected. Point-of-care machines will be used for urgent blood testing where required, and blood will still be taken at the hospital.

Mike Dronfield is chairman of the Friends of Stamford Hospital, which raises funds for the facility.

He said he understood the decision to close the lab, but was disappointed to see it go.

“I think the trust can make a good case for it but I think it is a great shame,” he said.

“It is sad for the staff who offer a very high service. But if these point of care machines are available then I don’t think it will affect patient care.”

The decision to close the lab follows the unveiling of a long-term strategy for the hospital.

Outpatient clinics are set to expand with more treatment options and the minor injuries unit will become nurse-led. The only other area that could be lost is the operating theatre.

Mr Dronfield said he was pleased the trust was thinking about a long-term strategy for the hospital, but was still concerned that the operating theatre may be next to go.

He added: “I welcome the strategy and the idea that the hospital is going to be maintained as a health campus.

“But the removal of the operating theatre would be a very substantial downgrade.”