25 October 2021

Professor Mike Osborn, President, The Royal College of Pathologists said:

`We welcome the announcement from government of £5.9bn to tackle the backlog of people waiting for crucial diagnostic tests. This funding will be a significant boost for the NHS in England struggling to catch up with the delivery of services that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

It is absolutely crucial however, that pathology services are allocated a portion of the new funding to help further workforce expansion, investment in IT and digital solutions. Without it, it will not be possible to tackle the backlog irrespective of how much is invested in other types of diagnostic centres, such as imaging. Increasing the latter, whilst necessary, will ultimately lead to significant increase in referrals to the already stretched pathology services for additional investigative tests, necessary for patient management.’