Peterborough histopathology department wins award as it goes digital

A laboratory at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has been given an award by Royal Philips after investing in state-of-the-art equipment, which makes it the first laboratory in the UK to receive the award.

In April 2020, during the first lockdown, the histopathology department at Peterborough City Hospital took advantage of the slowdown in routine pathology work to install new digital equipment that can help pathologists make cancer diagnoses with more reliability than before.

Consultant and clinical lead for cellular pathology Dr David Bailey said: “Five years ago, I could never have imagined that I would find digital pathology as useful as glass slide microscopy. Now that we have it, I believe we see things on digital imaging that we don’t necessarily pick up on glass. The process is also more efficient and very much speeds up the patient pathway, which subsequently improves patient experience, as the waiting can add to the stress of an already worrying time.”

The department’s six consultant pathologists and the wider team report on approximately 32,000 specimens each year, including analysing tumours and non-cancerous diseases.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more cancer meetings are being hosted remotely and patho-logists are able to access the digital system from anywhere that has a secure internet connection.

Dr Bailey added: “The new equipment also means that we are able to report more cases in shorter periods of time. We can share cases remotely with pathologists in other hospitals to obtain specialist second opinions for complex cases. This can be done much more rapidly with digital imaging, which means that patients wait less time to receive their results.”

Philips UKI business marketing and sales leader precision diagnosis Jodie Bridge commented: “Philips has supported the digi- tisation of approximately 2.5 million slides in the UK in 2020. However, North West Anglia stood out globally as a site that has fully embraced the technology and made changes in its process to maximise the use of the system. It has been an honour to present it with this award, the first in the UK, and to celebrate its achievement.”

Picture: Chief medical officer Dr Kanchan Rege, Philips business development manager Matthew Burke and consultant and clinical lead for cellular pathology Dr David Bailey.

Published on page 3 of the September 2021 issue of RAD Magazine.

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