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Consolidation of pathology services in England: have savings been achieved?

Satta, G and Edmonstone, J (2018) Consolidation of pathology services in England: have savings been achieved? BMC Health Services Research, 18. ISSN 1472-6963

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Background: During the last decade, pathology services in England have undergone profound changes with an extensive consolidation of laboratories. This has been driven by some national reviews forecasting a national reduction of costs by £250–£500 million ($315–$630 million) a year as a result.
The main aim of this paper is to describe the financial impact of such consolidation, with a specific focus on the forecasted savings. A secondary aim is to describe the development of private sector involvement in laboratory services in a traditionally publicly funded healthcare system and the development of pathology staff size.
Methods: In the English scenario, the majority of hospitals and laboratories are publicly funded and a survey was sent as Freedom of Information request to all directors of pathology. A descriptive comparison of savings among consolidated and non-consolidated pathology services was made by using the pathology budgets in two different periods (2015 versus 2010), adjusted by inflation and increased activity.
Results: The hub-and-spoke model has been implemented as part of the consolidation process of pathology services in England. Consolidated pathology networks have achieved higher savings compared to non-consolidated single laboratories. There has been an increased role of private providers and savings were achieved with negligible personnel redundancies.
Conclusions: Consolidated units have on average achieved larger cost savings than non-consolidated units but further analysis with stronger research design is required to independently evaluate the impact of pathology consolidation on both savings and quality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0807 Library and Information Studies, 1110 Nursing, 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
Divisions: Doctoral Management Studies (from Sep 19)
Publisher: BioMed Central
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2020 12:32
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 06:25
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s12913-018-3683-8
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13960
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