UPDATED - Results Back For Future Of Pathology Service
8:22am 8th October 2014
(Updated 7:12am 10th October 2014)
Campaigners in Dorset have been celebrating the decision by Dorset County Hospital's board not to transfer the hospital's pathology lab to a private provider.
Protestors had gathered outside the Hospital's Children centre this morning to have their voices heard on the future of the service, which provides diagnostic tests.
12,000 people have signed a petition against the move.
Bridport County Councillor Ros Kayes said "I am absolutely delighted that the Board has reconsidered its original proposals. I believe that a local pathology basis should continue here in Dorchester, keeping jobs and continuing the centre of cancer excellence that has been developed here."
You can watch their protests here:
The Board members made their decision at their monthly meeting after hearing the findings from the group, which was led by pathology staff at the hospital.
The group led an evaluation of proposals from eight organisations who were invited to bid to run the labs in partnership.
Trust Chairman Dr Jeffrey Ellwood said: “With NHS funding under tremendous pressure it is incumbent on the Board of DCH to ensure that services provided are of high quality, are safe and provide value for money for taxpayers - and if we didn’t we would be negligent in our duty.
“It is not surprising therefore that the Board decided to benchmark DCH pathology services against other pathology service providers.
“We followed strict NHS procurement rules to ensure the final outcome had integrity.”
Trust Chief Executive Patricia Miller added: “We have already invested over £500,000 in pathology services over the last year to improve the service, and today committed an additional £100,000.
“I believe our in-house service will now go from strength to strength and I want to pay tribute to our staff for their leadership and professionalism during the tendering process.”
Dorset Health Campaign have released the following statement :
"We believe this is the right decision for the people of Dorset and for the long term future of the hospital. Pathology is at the centre of a well functioning hospital. We were particularly worried about the long term impact of the lab being passed over to a private provider, not just because of the distance it might have involved but because of the potential risk in quality and of increase in costs which have often occurred with past privatisation. We would like to thank the 12,000 people who signed our petition, many of whom have also agreed to sign the pledge to write to their MP to protest about the privatisation of the NHS. This is one small battle won but we still need to be vigilant because winning one battle is not winning the war, and there will be other services under threat in the future.'