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Clinical Lead Cellular Pathology University Hospitals Bristol And North Bristol Nhs Trust Starts Work

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) and North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) have jointly appointed a Clinical Lead of Cellular Pathology, who will work across both Trusts to improve histopathology services in Bristol.

Dr Robert Pitcher started work on 3 May. Dr Pitcher has worked in the NHS as a consultant histopathologist since 1987 based in Cornwall. During that time he developed an interest in leadership and management and has held the roles of clinical director and medical director within Cornwall. For the last three years he was a national clinical lead in the Department of Healths informatics directorate. 

The appointment of a Clinical Lead of Cellular Pathology to establish an integrated histopathology service for Bristol is one of the central actions that arose from the independent inquiry into allegations of histopathology misdiagnosis at UH Bristol.

Chief Executive of UH Bristol, Robert Woolley, said: Both hospital trusts are committed to implementing the recommendations of the inquiry panel and together we have drawn up an action plan that will enable us to do this. Central to this was the appointment of a joint Clinical Lead of Cellular Pathology and I am delighted to welcome Dr Robert Pitcher to the role.

It is vital that the public has confidence in our services and both trusts will continue to report progress implementing the inquiry panels recommendations at their trust boards, through our Membership Council and through Bristol City Councils Health Scrutiny Commission.

Chief Executive of NBT, Ruth Brunt, said: It is essential to have strong management and effective clinical leadership in place as we work to establish an integrated histopathology service for Bristol. The job description for the joint Clinical Lead of Cellular Pathology was drawn up and agreed by both trusts and submitted to the Royal College of Pathologists for their view. We are delighted to welcome Dr Robert Pitcher and look forward to working with him.

Dr Robert Pitcher said: I am both pleased and excited to have been appointed to this post. The skills and knowledge in both clinical histopathology and medical leadership that I have acquired during my career are a good basis for those required in my new role. I was a medical student in Bristol in the 1970s and began my pathology training here and have fond memories of that time. Now I have returned I will be focusing my energies on developing the cellular pathology service in Bristol into one of which we can all be proud.