Speaking at a seminar outlining the future of pathology in the UK, Matthew Custance, partner in KPMG’s Healthcare Management Practice, called for radical changes to the way pathology and phlebotomy services are managed and delivered.
His comments came in an address in which he stated that commissioners of healthcare are facing unprecedented pressure brought about by three core factors: rising patient expectations due to intense media focus on healthcare reform, fear around revenue loss at individual trusts and the multiple health needs of an aging population.
Custance said: “One of the biggest questions facing commissioners of healthcare today is how they grapple with the conundrum of delivering a streamlined service that operates efficiently, and yet still provides the best possible patient outcomes. Against a backdrop of trying to find savings worth £20 billion, their determination to succeed should not go unnoticed, but nor should the fact that the quality and accuracy of service delivery is sometimes variable across the country.
“From the perspective of the patient, our care system appears fragmented, lacking in coordination and wasting many opportunities to deliver the care they need. Even where a hub exists to provide patient care, patients see collaborating partners more at loggerheads than in agreement with one another and the effect of inevitable tensions between management teams and clinicians. To address this we need to see greater consolidation across the regions, because although competition is a good thing, questions will rightly be asked if it comes at the expense of providing the best possible support for patients.
“But bringing pathology services closer together will not resolve current problems overnight. Access to convenient collection centres remains a problem for many, with inadequate and overcrowded hospital waiting rooms a commonplace means of collection. Not only is that frequently unpleasant for patients, it is an inefficient use of costly hospital infrastructure. Improving pathology will reduce costs, it will improve operational management, but the wider benefits will only be seen when delivery models are changed so that commissioners and patients have easier access to the support services that make the pathway from diagnosis to treatment a shorter journey.”
Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.