Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine, when training to become a biomedical scientist, that I would be part of the team involved in one of the most significant pathology projects to be initiated in the UK; and the Halo project is one that has, in many respects, been led by laboratory staff.
At its heart, this new laboratory, its staff, services and infrastructure will bring together disciplines that have historically been independent. It will enable our scientists of all grades to learn from colleagues, enabling services to develop to offer the best and most efficient care via the latest generation of testing.
Our new laboratory infrastructure allows us to bring in-house the kind of services that were once sent away, providing a comprehensive diagnostic service. It allows investment in people and training, research and development and cross-pollination of ideas and education across the pathology spectrum. This represents significant advancement for pathology services and ultimately the medical community, having a positive impact on services ranging from routine primary care through specialist tertiary teaching hospital services to improved interactions with academia and industrial partners.
We’ll be able to react faster to the next generation of testing; creating a pathology service that’s more responsive to latest developments, intuitive to potential outbreaks and seasonal needs and fully equipped to push the boundaries of laboratory medicine. Not only do we now have the tools to do our job, but we have the tools to do the jobs that we aren’t yet aware of.
For almost 20 years I’ve worked in diagnostic services, both in hospitals and academia and spent time in the commercial sector working both in the UK and overseas. I know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset the landscape and set a new gold standard in UK pathology services, combining new technical innovations with novel pathology research and new diagnostics – the best research always has an eye on how it can be translated into clinical practice, so we are committed to embedding this approach into our organisation. Working with our local academic and clinical research partners to achieve this is crucial to our success.
Our executive and clinical management team have had the confidence to allow laboratory experts to help lead this project. It’s why I’m enormously proud of what the team has achieved so far – and, I’ve no doubt, what we will achieve in the future.