Below is the full transcript of The Area News questions on Griffith base hospital pathology service changes, and NSW Health Pathology’s responses.
The Area News questions:
1) Are the cuts to pathology services [mentioned by Dr Jaya] at Griffith base hospital happening?
2) If so, why is this happening given the promised funding for an upgrade last month?
3) Why weren't council, staff or the community consulted before this decision was made?
3) How will these changes impact on patients?
NSW Health Pathology response (Chief Executive Tracey McCosker):
NSW Health Pathology is proposing changes to its histopathology service at Griffith Base
Hospital to improve our service to local clinicians and patients.
This will provide local clinicians with access to 24/7 expert histopathology advice and reporting for the first time.
It will have no impact on where patients receive their care nor the outstanding quality local care they currently receive.
Under the new arrangements, histopathology samples collected from patients at Griffith will be sent to NSW Health Pathology’s Wagga laboratory for testing and diagnosis.
This will give clinicians at Griffith access to a much larger team of pathologists at Wagga which will enable fast turnaround of vital information crucial to patient care.
This change does not affect any other part of the pathology laboratory at Griffith Hospital which has in fact been further enhanced recently with the addition of rapid flu testing services.
We’ve discussed this with local hospital management, clinicians and our staff and will continue to work with the two affected employees to support them during the proposed transition.
We are committed to providing the best possible care for patients in the Griffith region and this change will enhance the already exceptional care provided to them by clinicians and pathology staff.
As The Area News felt this response didn’t answer our queries, we asked the following follow up questions:
1. The two employees losing their job say they were only consulted after the decision was made, and received no warning. Can you confirm if this is true?
2. How many days warning did the two employees receive?
3. Why didn't consultation with staff take place before the decision was made rather than after?
4. Why wasn't Griffith City Council or the Griffith community consulted on this major change to Griffith base hospital?
NSW Health pathology response:
Proposed changes to the histopathology service at Griffith Base Hospital will provide 24/7 expert advice and reporting for the first time.
We would only be changing the way we deliver this service to provide overall improvements for the community.
We were invited by Griffith Hospital’s management to present the recommendation to the hospital’s Medical Staff Council, which we’ve done.
We’ve also discussed the proposed changes with our staff. We want to reiterate that both of the staff continue to be employed by NSW Health Pathology.
The proposed changes will have no impact on where patients receive their care or the outstanding quality local care they currently receive and as such does not affect Griffith City Council.
We will continue to engage with our staff and local clinicians and will work through any questions they have.