Responding to the letter from members of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) to the prime minister, Theresa May MP, setting out their concerns about the capacity and resources needed to meet the demands on the NHS, Dr Suzy Lishman, President of the Royal College of Pathologists said:
‘This is an important and constructive intervention in the current debate about how to ease the intense pressure on the NHS and improve care for patients. While frontline staff dealing with emergencies are making the headlines, there are unprecedented pressures on almost all aspects of health and social care.
‘Pathologists, for example, are busy supporting their frontline colleagues, ensuring that diagnostic tests are performed quickly and accurately so that patients receive the right diagnosis and can be treated without delay. They are deeply concerned about the pressures on frontline emergency staff but also about the longer term effects that will be seen in delays to appointments and cancelled operations.
‘The health service is facing a perfect storm – with staff shortages, increasing use of Emergency Departments, social care pressures resulting in delayed discharge, and under-investment in equipment and infrastructure. The current challenges affect all specialties and professional groups. The Royal College of Pathologists joins the Royal College of Physicians in offering to work with the government to work towards the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View. Unless we unite to start finding solutions, the NHS will be unable to deliver the care patients need and deserve.’