Biomedical scientists

The profession boosting the NHS by over half a billion a year

New research has revealed that the presence of biomedical scientists in the bowel cancer patient pathway benefits the NHS by nearly £600m a year.

More specifically, the benefit — which has been captured by an Oxera report and announced by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) — is thought to be between £115m and £571m per annum.

This is the equivalent to the yearly salaries of 1,700 and 8,500 specialist doctors, or 3,400 and 17,000 nurses.

Other findings in the report include:

  • 95% of clinical pathway relying on pathology services, where biomedical scientists play a crucial role
  • Biomedical scientists’ work resulting in between 2,400 and 5,600 additional quality-adjusted life years for each annual cohort of patients who received a faecal immunochemical test in the initial bowel cancer testing stage
  • Biomedical scientists contributing between £9,100 and £21,400 per cancer patient annually

On the report, IBMS CEO, David Wells, said: “Its findings demonstrate the need for wider recognition from government of the contribution of the biomedical scientist workforce.

“We are excited to work collaboratively with stakeholders to support the development of a sustainable pipeline of talent within the sector which can help relieve NHS backlogs, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.”

The research comes on Biomedical Science Day 2024, with this year’s theme centred around the contributions of the occupation.

"Biomedical Science Day is an opportunity to showcase the critical role our members play in healthcare — providing high-quality outcomes for 95% of all patient pathways,” explained Joanna Andrew, IBMS president.

“As part of this year’s celebrations, I am proud to announce the findings from the Oxera report that shows the economic value of biomedical scientists. We now know that each year their work benefits in up to 5,600 additional quality adjusted life years for bowel cancer patients."

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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