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NHS: Primary Care Trust Finances

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made by strategic health authorities and primary care trust commissioners in the consolidation of NHS pathology services in their areas, as recommended by the two independent reports by Lord Carter of Coles; and when they expect NHS commissioners to deliver the potential savings of £250–£500 million a year that could be achieved by such consolidation. [HL4744]

The department plans to publish a full report on progress towards implementing all the review's recommendations later this year.

Three strategic health authorities (SHAs)—East of England, South East Coast and Yorkshire and the Humber—agreed in 2008 to work with providers and commissioners on developing approaches that responded to Lord Carter's recommendations about improving quality and patient safety and driving forward efficiencies in pathology services in England. The department is now also working with National Health Service London and is in discussion with NHS North East about how best to support the work in that region; and is continuing to support delivery by funding projects that will enable the improved end-to-end services, full IT connectivity, and best practice in the clinical leadership of pathology services that were assumed in the potential savings identified by Lord Carter. The department and the SHA medical directors together will review progress and next steps in the autumn.