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13 Jan 2012
IBMS President Derek Bishop at at launch of National Pathology Year
Last night, Thursday 12 January, the Royal College of Pathology launched National Pathology Year. Derek Bishop, President of the IBMS was invited to deliver a speech to guests.
"President and members of the Royal College of Pathologists; It is a great privilege to be invited to say a few words at the launching of National Pathology Year. As has been mentioned this is part of the celebration both of the College’s 50th Birthday and the centenary of IBMS.
"Having had two of the College’s Presidents as my pathology clinical leaders in my career through Professor John Anderson and Professor Roddy McSween during my formative years in histopathology at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow, they instilled in me a professional pride in pathology which I still hold today. It is also coincidental that your current President and I started out on our laboratory journeys in the same hospital. I would guess that little did either of us know that we would end up at the pinnacles of our respective professions from these early days in Glasgow in the 1970s.
We are here tonight to launch national pathology year and to widen the public perception of the role and impact of pathology on the patient pathway and patient safety. We are all part of a team in pathology whether a consultant pathologist, clinical scientist or biomedical scientist and it has been my role in a number of the positions I have held to support that team for the delivery of high quality patient care.
"My own career has taken me from my original discipline in histopathology to managing genetics services. During this period we have seen the synergies of genetics and histopathology develop in the field of molecular diagnostics.
"Having worked closely with my consultant colleagues on the conjoint Board of RCPath/IBMS in the development of the first tissue dissection examination under the chairmanship of IBMS Past President Ken Rae, I am always impressed about where there is a greater vision we have a tremendous ability to work together and deliver good outcomes for patient, practitioner and the service.
"Pathology and laboratory medicine in its wider sense is taking a much higher public profile around the quality agendas of all four countries of the UK and in particular England where commissioning through Any Qualified Provider will and is bringing many challenges to the thought processes of those who deliver high quality pathology. This has also brought significant professional scrutiny to the development of standards to reassure patients and the public that they will receive the same or improved quality of service they experience today.
"Having been involved with the Scottish Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee and the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland to take forward the professionalism and excellence in medicine agenda I feel the professionalism and care for patients through the delivery of pathology services 24/7 365 days a year exemplifies what being a professional is about. I would suggest professionalism and excellence extends as a concept across all of the staff providing pathology services. This quality of service is being delivered in a background of significant political, economic and technological change.
"In histopathology in my own area (Scotland) there are over 700 staff who looked at 350k biopsy requests last year with over 1.5 million H&Es reviewed and has a budget of circa £43m. Since 1999 we have seen an increase of 75000 cases and an additional half a million slides . I would guess that figure multiplied by 10 for the rest of the UK brings the scale and scope of only 1 discipline in to perspective. Without a team ethos across medicine and science the service could not survive.
"As I have said to biomedical scientists we in pathology have a Darwinesque ability to adapt and I have no doubt we will continue for many years to come to provide high quality clinical services. It is in this challenge I think it is important that our strategic alliances and our vision for the delivery of laboratory medicine are similar or the same across the professional bodies involved in the delivery of the service whether in the public or private sector.
"We will work together in labs, locally regionally and nationally to ensure National Pathology Year makes the impact with patient, public, practitioner and comissioner alike to ensure the value that pathology brings is recognised widely.
"Having experienced the NHS as a consumer first hand it was apparent to me how important the integration of diagnostic laboratory services are. From initial diagnosis in histopathology through the utilisation of the many aspects of biochemistry, haematology, microbiology, transfusion and molecular diagnostics it was clear to me how important clear communication was between the laboratory services, other diagnostics and the clinical users. I think I have had my monies worth.
"In my two years of Presidency I would hope to build on the work of my predecessors and ensure that we work together to raise the public profile of pathology in every setting we can and ensure we have a shared vision for the delivery of these services. I would agree wholeheartedly with the article in the RCPath Bulletin in that we need an informed public engagement strategy to ensure this year provides the legacy that opens the doors of pathology to the wider world and widens public perception around the importance of a sustainable high quality pathology service. Thank you."
The year aims to raise awareness of the importance of pathology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. A range of events including laboratory tours, talks in schools, displays and art exhibitions will be taking place throughout the year. For more details please http://www.nationalpathologyweek.org