QA Hospital pathology boss loves the challenge of his role

WORKING behind the scenes, one team at Queen Alexandra Hospital works to identify infections and give advice on how to treat them.

Saturday, 26th May 2018, 7:05 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:51 am
Andrew Flatt, director of pathology Picture: QA Hospital

The pathology department looks at thousands of specimens from across the Cosham site and is one of the biggest units in the country.

The service is led by Andrew Flatt who was appointed clinical director of pathology last year.

He is sharing his experience of working for the NHS as part of The News’ countdown to NHS70.

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On July 5, the health service will be celebrating its 70th anniversary and, as part of the occasion, we have been sharing stories of NHS employees and patients.

Andrew began working at QA Hospital nearly four years ago as a consultant in microbiology.

He was inspired to join the NHS by his mother who was a nurse at St George’s Hospital, in London.

As well as his mum, Andrew was also inspired by 19th Century physician and bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin who identified the cause of the plague.

Andrew said: ‘It is very satisfying to be involved in cases where we’re able to help give an answer for the cause of a problem.

‘I love the intellectual challenge and the unpredictability of the job.’

Andrew did his medical training at the University of Cambridge and spent time as a foundation doctor in his home county of Devon.

He then did speciality training at the University College Hospital London to become a consultant microbiologist and did placements at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

He added: ‘To care for a patient with infection requires a large team of healthcare professionals across the hospital wards, laboratories and offices.

‘We are proud to be a part of that.

‘In pathology we do not normally have a high public profile and a lot of people are unaware of what happens in our departments.

‘Each day throughout QA Hospital we have many patients fighting unseen adversaries such as infections, cancers and metabolic problems.

‘We have divisions of unseen scientists, doctors and support staff to fight with them.’

Portsmouth Pathology Service is made up of a number of roles including medical staff, clinical scientists, medical laboratory assistants and anatomical pathology technologists.