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Influence and shape policy

IBMS Chief executive David Wells on how the Institute and its members can influence government policy.

David Wells

As the next general election looms, we are urging all political parties to include a dedicated pathology plan in their election manifestos.

We have reminded them that biomedical scientists and laboratory staff are the backbone of the NHS, conducting vital tests that underpin every stage of patient care, from diagnosis and treatment to research and development.

We have also sent key figures and their representatives our suggestions and highlighted the challenges, like workforce shortages and outdated technology, that threaten to hinder our progress and, ultimately, impact patient outcomes.

Our recommendations are clear and achievable:

  • Invest in the workforce: Support the IBMS Long Term Biomedical Scientist Workforce Plan to ensure a skilled and sustainable pathology workforce.
  • Tackle cancer backlogs: Implement the Time to Test report recommendations, jointly authored by the IBMS and AstraZeneca, to improve cancer testing efficiency and outcomes.
  • Recognise expertise: Biomedical scientists deserve recognition as the core workforce in pathology, with IBMS qualifications serving as the cornerstone for professional development.
  • Harness technology: AI and data analysis can streamline processes, reduce burdens on general practice and enable swifter access to care pathways.
  • Build the future: Expand laboratory training positions and introduce a registration training grant to attract and retain talent.

These measures are not just about improving pathology; they are about enhancing patient care across the entire healthcare system. Faster diagnoses, better treatment decisions and reduced waiting times are the tangible benefits that a robust pathology plan can deliver.

IBMS members can help us to make a difference:

  • Contact your local MP: Share the IBMS’s recommendations and highlight the importance of pathology in your constituency.
  • Join the conversation: Engage with us on social media, raising awareness by highlighting the impact of a well-functioning pathology service on patient care.

The more visible your voice is, the more it matters. By working together, the IBMS and its members can influence government policy and ensure that pathology receives the recognition and resources it deserves. Let’s make pathology a priority and pave the way for a healthier future for all.

David Wells Chief Executive

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