How much more before loss-of-service admitted?

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On a point of information relating to the Herald’s article (December 10) about the proposed reorganisation of pathology tests at the DGH.

The current pathology department embraces a number of different medical disciplines, microbiology, haematology, bio-chemistry, histology and cytology.

Your readers should be quite clear that the reported reassurances that on-site provision will be retained for urgent results required within four hours do not include microbiology.

Quite simply, there will be no on-site provision for the identification of acute infections such as meningitis.

The present on-call service whereby biomedical scientists are available day or night to identify critical infections will be withdrawn and the medical consultants treating the patients will have to wait an unspecified time until the patient samples have been sent away, analysed and returned.

Despite the undisputed intention to remove the present microbiology emergency service, which will result in both patients and their consultants waiting significantly longer for the patients’ urgent results, it has not stopped the ESHT spokesman claiming ‘these changes will not impact on the front line services our patients receive’.

One has to ask, therefore, how much more has to be axed before the managers will acknowledge any loss of service?

Colin Amess, Willingdon Road, Eastbourne.