Pathology is a branch of medical science primarily concerned with the diagnosis of disease. Bridging science and medicine, it underpins the delivery of every aspect of patient care.
- From diagnostic testing and treatment advice to the use of cutting-edge genetic technologies and the prevention of disease the department through its five sub-specialties supports 70-80% of all clinical decisions. The five separate specialties under the local Pathology umbrella are Haematology, Clinical Chemistry, Medical Microbiology, Cellular Pathology and Blood Transfusion. These are central to the provision of healthcare in Guernsey. Their work secures the foundations on which evidence-based treatment and care plans are built and from which effective disease diagnosis, monitoring and management can be provided and developed. The Department has a team of just under 40 staff (30 whole time equivalents) of whom approximately half are qualified biomedical scientists.
- The laboratory provides a comprehensive Pathology service to the Committee for Health & Social Care (HSC) Bailiwick of Guernsey including the Islands of Alderney, Sark and Herm, The Medical Specialist Group (MSG) and five local primary healthcare groups, consisting of eleven surgeries. The service embraces most aspects of clinical pathology and is an accredited training centre for all professions within the speciality of medical pathology.
- As well as the comprehensive range of local diagnostic testing the laboratory maintains close relationships with a number of specialist service providers such as Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust , Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Trust, and Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust.
- Microbiology provides a comprehensive Bacteriology, Virology, Serology and Mycology service. The department grow, identify and determines treatment options for most clinically important bacteria. It offers interpretation and advice in the diagnosis, management, treatment of infectious disease.
- The department works in close conjunction and with support from the Microbiology Consultants at Heartlands hospital, who are available 24/7 and visit every three weeks. The Department also works closely with the HSC's Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPACT) and Sexual Health service providing rapid screening tests for transmissible infections.
- This unit is central to the provision of routine healthcare in the Island, both acute and primary care.
- The largest of the specialities, this section provides diagnostics for renal, liver and cardiac function, therapeutic drugs, immunology, tumour markers and hormones.
- It supports the Diabetic service, Blood Donor service and the Sexual Health service by providing all primary screening for Hepatitis, HIV, and Syphilis.
Histopathology (Cellular Pathology)
- This unit is at the heart of Cancer services for the States of Guernsey and deals with approximately 6000 cases per year.
- It is responsible for the dissection, preparation, cutting and staining of tissues for the diagnosis of cancer and related conditions. It liaises closely with other UK centres, for specialist molecular testing and is an integral part of the Multi-Disciplinary Team that develop and deliver on-going management and treatment.
- The section also provides the Islands' Andrology service a major part of which involves fertility investigations.
- The Haematology section provides a comprehensive diagnostic Haematology and Coagulation service.
- It looks at the formed elements of the blood, red and white blood cells and platelets, for signs of infection, anaemia or malignancy. The section also undertakes the investigation of clotting abnormalities, as well as providing support to two large anticoagulant control clinics a week.
- Although the unit does not have its own Consultant Haematologist on site, it has contractual links with a centre of excellence - Birmingham Heartlands Hospital - who provide 24hr Consultant grade cover, as well as visiting the site every three weeks to work with the Guernsey team and to provide a non-malignant Haematology service to the Bailiwick.
- This unit undertakes two key roles, the processing and provision of blood collected by our nursing team representing the Guernsey Blood Transfusion service, and cross matching, or compatibility testing, to provide safe blood for transfusion.
- Blood for transfusion is needed to support the Trauma services, surgery, cancer treatment, and the physicians.
- The hospital has a transfusion committee which is chaired by a Consultant Haematologist from Birmingham, and who also works closely with the transfusion service to provide advice.
- Pathology Department:
- Princess Elizabeth Hospital, Le Vauquiedor, St Martins, Guernsey, GY4 6UU,
- Tel: 01481 725241 ext: 4120
- Opening Times: Mon - Fri 08.30 till 17.00, Sat - 09.00 - 10.00
- Pathology is available to clinicians as an emergency on-call service outside of these hours 365 days a year.