Leading Edge 2022 Issue 2

www.alphalabs.co.uk 15 The Legacy For over 10 years, Judith and her laboratory and clinical colleagues have worked tirelessly to advance faecal testing and she was instrumental in designing and rolling out one of the most well-coordinated FIT testing services in the world. This dedication has been duly recognised in the Foundation Award – and Judith joins three other NHS Tayside Foundation Award winners: Callum Fraser (1995), Brian Burchill (1997), and Bill Bartlett (2017), adding to NHS Tayside’s illustrious history for innovation and dedication to healthcare. Now to the Future The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on cancer pathways has been devastating. With reduced access to diagnostic tools, endoscopy services reduced to a mere fraction of what they once were, laboratories are working harder than ever to not only keep up with a general increase in demand, but to clear the backlog of patients whose diagnosis or treatment was delayed due to the pandemic. Patients are more aware of their health now than ever before. Familiarisation with lateral flow tests, at-home testing, and even a more detailed understanding of routine laboratory tests means they are better engaged with healthcare professionals. This makes them more likely to participate in screening, and to discuss health concerns quickly. Whilst these factors are hugely positive in the context of healthcare and population health management, the demand on the hospital and laboratory must not be underestimated. Judith made clear in her speech that FIT should continue to evolve and so too should other diagnostics. FIT is not a perfect test, and whilst it has been hugely beneficial in the triaging of patients, healthcare industry, laboratories, and clinical teams should not consider the work on FIT “complete”. There is always scope to improve services, and the pandemic served as a stark reminder that healthcare is not a static system, and there is a need to remain flexible, reactive, and cognisant of current limitations to ensure there is a drive for continuous improvement. We hope you join us in congratulating Judith, and in celebrating the work she has done these past thirty years. Alpha Laboratories is extremely grateful to her, her colleagues, and the wider team at NHS Tayside for their advice and guidance over the years. We look forward to continuing this valued partnership. With Thanks; Judith made a special note to thank the following people in her speech: Callum Fraser, Robert Steele, Craig Mowat, Blood Sciences Staff and Bowel Screening Staff at NHS Tayside, the Tayside Research Group, and National Services Division (NSD). Alpha Laboratories would also like to thank the following personnel for their help in ensuring the Screening Programme was launched, and still runs, as smoothly as possible; Mairi White, Alan Hankinson, and Matthew Davis. For more information, visit our website faecal-immunochemical-test.co.uk Figure 1: Comparison Graphs Bowel Cancer Screening Uptake in Scotland - Comparison of gFOBT and FIT Testing Methods Age range