Aims (last reviewed 20 Jan 2012)

Aims and Objectives of Pathology

The Pathology Directorate at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust aims to provide clinically relevant information to its users through the provision of a timely, accurate and reliable service of appropriate diagnostic tests, their interpretation and further advice, as relevant. We are committed to providing a service of the highest quality and shall be aware of, and take into consideration, the needs and requirements of our users. We aim to attain and maintain CPA (Clinical Pathology Accreditation) standards. These pages outline the ways in which the quality of this service is ensured. The Pathology  Quality Policy may be viewed here.

The diagnostic services incorporate Clinical Chemistry, Haematology, Transfusion, Histology, Cytology, Immunology, and Microbiology.

The Pathology directorate also provides Infection Control, Phlebotomy and Mortuary services, and a dedicated information technology service, providing electronic results to hospital wards, clinics and General Practitioners.

Aims of Our Pages

The aims of these pages are to provide an up to date summary of services offered by the laboratory in an easy to read format.  The emphasis is on the range of tests available during and out of hours; conditions in which samples should be received to minimise the effects of pre-analytical error; suggestions and guidelines for investigation of common tests; the protocol for out of hours/emergency requesting and an outline of the specialised investigations that are routinely available in each Department.

This site also aims to provide you with an easy and direct means of communication with Pathology for you to make your wishes known to Pathology in terms of:

  • Content of these web pages - what information do you require?
  • Complaints and compliments - if you have anything you wish to comment on, please email the Quality Manager or contact either the relevant laboratory manager, the head of service, the or the Pathology Services Manager (see Contacts).

Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) Standards

New standards for medical laboratories in the UK were first introduced in 1992. There was a significant change to these standards in December 2000. These have since been revised and are currently a combination of

  • ISO 15189:2003 Medical laboratories - Particular requirements for quality and competence
  • ISO 9001:2000 Quality managements systems - Requirements

Those laboratories granted accreditation status have been deemed compliant with the standards and indicate that a high quality service is offered.

Currently, only Cytology departments have a mandatory requirement to be accredited. However, all the departments within the MTW Pathology Directorate have accreditation status, under the new standards.

The new system for accreditation is a main visit comprising on-site assessment of compliance every 4 years,  with annual registration and biannual one-day surveillance. The assessors for the main visit comprise clinical and scientific peers, and a full-time assessor from the assessment body (CPA).