Major government department

Pathology is an important and influential part of NHS expenditure, accounting for around £2.5 billion each year or nearly 4% of NHS spend and touching the lives of substantial numbers of people. In 2007 Lord Carter of Coles was commissioned by the Department of Health to carry out a detailed review of the way NHS pathology services were delivered, with the objective of identifying efficiencies and improving service.

Alsbridge were selected to provide overall Programme Management of the Carter Review of Pathology Services, as well as to provide specific expert support on the available options for the delivery of pathology specific IT systems.
Programme Management Services
Alsbridge provided the programme management discipline and structure required to carry out an independent review of this nature, working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders in a politically sensitive, complex environment and working under tight budget and schedule constraints.
Pathology IT Systems Research
Alsbridge were also asked to carry out specific research regarding the provision of pathology related IT systems, to enable the review to compare different models, methods and systems for laboratory medicine analysis and result generation.
How Alsbridge helped
Alsbridge set clear objectives for the multi-disciplined team and set up a programme management office where all aspects of the project plan were centrally co-ordinated. Governance and reporting structures were put in place and regular communications were established to the various members of the pathology community. Alsbridge provided:
  • Overall Programme Management
  • Planning
  • Budget Monitoring & Management
  • Resource Management
  • Programme Reporting
  • Issue & Risk Management
Alsbridge shortlisted a number of relevant service providers, carried out a mixture of desk based research and site visits and provided comparative analysis, benchmarked costs and service provision and made recommendations to the review.
Alsbridge also provided advice on the ability for specific providers to contract with the government department, looking at models for outsourcing or joint venture collaborations.
The Carter Review published its recommendations in 2008. The review was delivered on time and budget and was generally accepted to have been a very valuable and informative exercise. The review’s recommendations are being followed by a number of SHAs and regional pathology networks. Alsbridge are currently supporting specific organisations through the pathology sourcing process.

"Alsbridge plc has been attached to the independent Review of NHS Pathology Services since January 2007.
They have been responsible for developing an overall plan for the review, in liaison with twelve pathology pilot sites across England and working alongside the Review Team’s core team, and for holding people to account for implementation of their elements of the plan. This has required the firm to understand the aims and purpose of the review and, in conjunction with a wide and disparate group of stakeholders, assign ownership of the priorities for delivery.
Alsbridge plc has carried out these functions very effectively. They swiftly got to grips with the task, building very strong positive relationships with all members of the core team and maintaining them throughout the review. They were rigorous in keeping to timetable and to budget – and ensuring the same was true for the review overall.
In particular, Alsbridge plc led for the review on IT matters. They arranged for the development and implementation of a website for the review. They also researched the IT issues relevant to the Review’s role, and reported on these matters to the review chairman and Project Board.
Overall they carried out their duties professionally and punctiliously. More than that, it was a pleasure to have them within the team."
Review Manager