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NHS cancer testing service 'at breaking point'

Cancer Research UK: tests for cancer diagnosis are under threat as labs struggle to cope with rising demand

Without more staff to meet the demand, long waits for test results could become the norm, says Cancer Research UK.

One in two of us will have cancer at some point, and getting it diagnosed early is vital.

The government says it is investing in cancer services, which includes having the right number and mix of staff.

Response from Dr Paul Cross, Chair of the BAC:

"The BAC fully support the conclusions of the CRUK report, in that Pathology services are struggling to cope with the clinical demand. This reflects mostly staffing issues, in a lack of trained staff at the necessary grades and experience, particularly  in Pathologists and BMS.  The impact of changes in the Cervical Screening programme is adding to this, as are lab re-configuration and funding reductions across the NHS. The BAC fully agrees that there is a need for more staff, and will work with all bodies to help train, retain and prepare the workforce for the future"

Further professional body responses:

Royal College of Pathologists - Testing Times to Come

Institute of Biomedical Science - IBMS President welcomes pathology report