IBMS Chief Executive responds to Metro letter
Last Friday, a letter published in the Metro stated that NHS laboratories were "overstaffed with unproductive people."
IBMS Chief Executive David Wells was impelled to reply:
In response to your letter from Amelia published today:
As the professional body for biomedical scientists - representing over 17,000 NHS scientists and laboratory staff working in healthcare laboratories in the UK - we felt the need to respond to Amelia's letter of 13th January which stated that NHS laboratories are "overstaffed with unproductive people."
On the contrary, there is a workforce crisis throughout the NHS. Our diagnostic services have struggled with underinvestment for many years and many laboratories are operating with minimum staffing levels. The staff in place are highly qualified experts processing 1.1 billion tests every year in England alone.
However, the healthcare service is struggling - causing long waits for many patients, and this creates backlogs. There is currently an elective care backlog effecting millions of future laboratory tests that will be used to diagnose diseases and monitor treatments. When things get moving again and the front end of healthcare can cope with the demand - the only way to get people through the system will be through vital laboratory testing. The NHS laboratory workforce will struggle, but will show professionalism and cope with this demand and as such every single person in the laboratory will be needed to ensure care for patients.
IBMS Chief Executive