STRUCTURE: The second stage of a consultation that would see the merger of the pathology services of three trusts in West Surrey is due to start in September, focusing on workforce changes.

Board papers from January noted the intention to create an integrated Surrey Pathology Service for Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Park NHS Foundation Trust and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Board papers from July said the “first stage of consultation” with pathology staff on the proposals had now finished.

The chief executive’s report from Ashford and St Pater’s states: “This first stage entailed consulting on the proposed service model with a second consultation phase – to cover the employment implications of the service changes – scheduled to take place in September.

“A feedback meeting following this first consultation stage was held with staff this month covering a variety of issues raised including quality and safety issues, site selection discussions relating to individual pathology services and logistics such as IT and transport.”

The report added: “As a result of this first stage of consultation, the service model and individual locations have been confirmed as well as the leadership and senior management arrangements, with shadow appointments to this structure expected to be made shortly.

“The second stage of consultation will commence in September and will focus on specific employment implications for individual staff. Further staff engagement regarding the implementation plans will take place once the shadow senior management team has been appointed.”