The need for radical investment and reform of diagnostic services was recognised at the time the NHS Long Term Plan was published in 2019
The Covid-19 pandemic has further amplified the need for radical change in the provision of diagnostic services, but has also provided an opportunity for change. Many beneficial changes in relation to diagnostic pathways, such as increased use of virtual consultations and community services, have already been made. These changes must now be embedded.
However, much more now needs to be done in the recovery period to establish new pathways to diagnosis, so that both patients and healthcare professionals can be assured that investigations will be done safely.
The AAPT notes Recommendation 16: "There should be a major drive to expand the pathology workforce, specifically histopathologists, advanced practitioners and other healthcare scientists, with an emphasis on skill mix. The establishment of training academies/schools should be considered"