Oxera report reveals value of biomedical scientists in NHS

A new Oxera report has found that the NHS benefits by up to £571 million annually in bowel cancer care alone thanks to biomedical scientists, active in 95% of patient pathways, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) has announced.

The new independent report - commissioned by the IBMS - shows that the presence of biomedical scientists in the bowel cancer patient pathway benefits the NHS by an estimated £115 million to £571 million per year. This amount is equivalent to the annual salaries of between 1,700 and 8,500 specialist doctors or between 3,400 and 17,000 nurses annually.

The report highlights the significant contributions of biomedical scientists in the bowel cancer patient pathway, including towards patient health and efficiency of care. The findings demonstrate how biomedical scientists' expertise and efforts significantly reduce cancer patient costs and save lives that may otherwise be lost due to late-stage cancer detection by ensuring patients receive care at the earliest point in their patient journeys.

The IBMS highlighted the Oxera Report on Biomedical Science Day - held on Thursday, 6 June 2024. This year's theme was the crucial contributions of biomedical scientists.

IBMS Chief Executive David Wells commented: "The Oxera Report highlights the immense value biomedical scientists bring to the NHS, demonstrating 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 report also found that:

  • Around 95% of clinical pathways rely on pathology services, where biomedical scientists play a crucial role
  • The work of biomedical scientists resulted in between 2,400 and 5,600 additional quality-adjusted life years for each annual cohort of patients who receive a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) in the initial testing stage for bowel cancer
  • Annually, biomedical scientists are estimated to contribute between £9,100 and £21,400 per cancer patient.

IBMS President Joanna Andrew commented: "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. 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."

The full Oxera report is available to download here.


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