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Pathology services at Princess Alexandra Hospital pass tough watchdog test

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Pathology services at Princess Alexandra Hospital (7869294)
Pathology services at Princess Alexandra Hospital (7869294)

Pathology service staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) have maintained their top ranking by a health watchdog.

As many as 2,000 samples a day are received in the PAHT chemistry section alone and almost as many in haematology, but it is the work of the entire 150-strong team that has led to maintaining accreditation in all pathology areas – the first trust in Essex to do so.

The staff have implemented improvements to speed up testing and other processes, such as accuracy, reliability, record keeping, risk assessment, communication and how the department deals with incidents.

This hard work has resulted in acknowledgement from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Ayse Casey, quality and governance manager, of pathology, explained the assessment: “It’s quite an intensive process. Assessors came in for a total of four days. Technical assessor watched lab staff perform specific tasks across the laboratory to make sure that they are carried out as described in the approved standard operating procedures, and look at staff competency, safety, efficacy and quality.

“We are the only lab in Essex that has achieved accreditation and maintained it across the pathology service. This demonstrates the commitment to high quality we have across the department.”

All departments will be subject to a third surveillance visit in 12 months’ time.

The trust operates outpatient and diagnostic services from the Herts and Essex Hospital, Bishop’s Stortford, St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping and the Cheshunt Community Hospital as well as the main hospital in Hamstel Road, Harlow.

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