All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diagnostics launched

Wednesday 8 February 2023

After months of work, we are delighted to announce that an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diagnostics was formally launched in Parliament today, with The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and The Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) providing the joint secretariat for the Group.

Maggie Throup MP, who has a rich background in medical diagnostics and has previously held a junior minister role within the Department of Health and Social Care, will be expertly chairing the Group.

Several MPs and Peers were elected to support her as Vice-Chair including Lord Bethell, Elliot Colburn MP, Grahame Morris MP, Jim Shannon MP, Sir Oliver Heald MP, Tim Farron MP, and Mary Robinson MP.

We appreciate their interest and support as there has never been a more important time to establish an APPG to discuss and provide solutions to optimising diagnostic services and innovations such as Community Diagnostic Centres.

Workforce shortfalls, long waiting lists, and inefficient equipment and IT systems are all issues the diagnostic sector is facing right now.

Diagnostic activity forms part of over 85% of clinical pathways, leading key figures in NHSE to state that “diagnostics capacity has emerged as one of the main enablers for restoring patient services” as part of the recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the APPG’s inaugural meeting Dr Kath Halliday, President of the RCR, highlighted the role clinical radiologists and interventional radiologists play in delivering diagnostic services and the challenges the workforce face.

Other experts in the room, including RCPath President Professor Mike Osborn, and representatives from charities such as Cancer Research UK expanded on her points, sharing information about the importance of an early diagnosis, the vital work the workforce does, and the barriers the NHS must overcome to optimise diagnostic services.

Next steps for the APPG include holding debates in Westminster Hall and running an inquiry on Community Diagnostic Centres.