Laboratory Services Reform

Welcome to the Laboratory Services Reform Programme (Incorporating the National Clinical Pathology Programme).

HSE Laboratory services play a central role in detection and management of disease in both the community and in the hospital (Laboratory Medicine). In addition, HSE laboratories play a key role in supporting agencies and services that work to promote and protect health (Laboratory Medicine, Public Analyst Laboratories and Food and Water Microbiology Services).

The work of the National Clinical Programme for Pathology continues as part of the HSE Laboratory Services Reform programme.

HSE Laboratory Services Reform Programme includes the HSE Clinical Lead for this Programme and the Scientific Lead, Programme Manager and Clinical Advisors in Microbiology, Chemical Pathology, Histopathology, Immunology Haematology and Blood Transfusion from the National Clinical Programme for Pathology.

National Clinical Programme for Pathology

The National Clinical Programme for Pathology was established in 2011 and aims to support all clinical laboratories to achieve the highest standards of quality and efficiency. To date it has developed a series of a series of guidance documents across a range of specialties to support best practice in laboratory medicine.

This work will continue within the HSE Laboratory Services Reform Programme as part of a comprehensive reform programme for all HSE Laboratory Services.

Public Health and Public Analyst Laboratories

The HSE Public Health (PHL’s) and Public Analyst Laboratories (PAL’s) play an essential role in the protection of the public across an array of different areas in relation to food, water, environmental matters and consumer protection. The statutory role of the PHL’s and PAL’s is to test food compliance with the relevant legislation and guidelines. They also provide a water quality monitoring service in response to requests from the Environmental Health office. This may encompass microbiological water quality and/or chemical analysis. The PAL’s also provide statutory microbiological and chemical analysis of cosmetic products in the interests of consumer protection. The PHLs additionally provide a number of services related to monitoring of the environment in healthcare facilities

Programme Objectives

A central element of the work of the HSE Laboratory Services Reform Programme is to develop a HSE Strategy for Laboratory Services 2025-2029 (PDF, size 436.5 KB, 2 pages) in consultation with all stakeholders. This will build on the recently published Review to Inform the Strategic Direction of Laboratory Medicine (PDF, size 3.6 MB, 136 pages).

This reform programme will also encompass ongoing support for HSE laboratory services including implementations of existing HSE plans and policies for laboratory services, alignment of service delivery with the new RHA regions, support for appropriate use of near patient testing, assessing efficiencies related to consolidation of services at regional and national level and assessing synergies from links with other public service laboratories.