A laboratory at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has been given an award from Philips for becoming fully digital.

The histopathology department at Peterborough City Hospital has become the first laboratory in the UK to win the Philips Fully Digital Award.

With a slowdown in routine pathology work due to Covid, the team took the opportunity to kit itself out with new state-of-the-art pathology equipment to become fully digital. As a result the pathology team are able to make cancer diagnoses with even greater reliability and confidence.

Dr David Bailey, consultant and clinical lead for cellular pathology at the trust, said: “Five years ago, I could never have imagined that I would find digital pathology as useful as glass slide microscopy. Now that we have it, I believe we see things on digital imaging that we don’t necessarily pick up on glass.

“The process is also more efficient and very much speeds up the patient pathway which subsequently improves their experience as the waiting can add to the stress and upset of an already worrying time.”

As a result of the pandemic, more cancer meetings are being hosted remotely, and the new system means the six pathologists can access digital imaging and results from anywhere with a secure internet connection. Cases can also be shared with pathologists in other hospitals to seek second opinions in complex cases, which also helps to speed up how long patients have to wait for their results.

Jodie Bridge, business marketing and sales leader precision diagnosis at Philips UKI, added: “Philips have supported the digitisation of approximately 2.5million slides in the UK in 2020. However, North West Anglia have stood out globally as a site who have fully embraced the technology and made changes in their process to maximise the use of the system. It has been an honour to present them with this award, the first in the UK, and to celebrate their achievement”.

The news follows One Dorset revealing its partnership with Fujifilm Digital Pathology Solutions and ambitions to create a fully digital workflow for cellular pathology across all its sites.