An Innovative Workshop Embedding Pathology Service Users into the Undergraduate Biomedical Science Curriculum

Amreen Bashir*, Kayleigh Wilkins, Ross Pallett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The integration of pathology service users into the biomedical science curriculum has been driven by the refinement of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency. This study aimed to design and implement a novel and innovative service user event with a reflective assessment to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the impact of pathology laboratory results on the patient pathway. The 4-h workshop consisted of a series of service users. Patients discussed how pathology services had contributed to their diagnosis and treatment, while service providers—a Microbiology Consultant, a director of primary care, and the patient referral optimisation officer—discussed their roles and their interactions with pathology services. Post-event, students completed a 750-word reflective assessment, highlighting challenges experienced by service users and providing suggestions for improving the delivery of pathology services. In total, 57.5% of respondents (57/99) completed a post-reflection survey, which included open- and closed-ended questions. Quantitative analysis of the survey data revealed that over 87.7% of respondents had increased knowledge and understanding of the revised HCPC standards. Following the assessment, students reported a significant increase in their confidence with respect to reflective writing (p < 0.001), with over 90% of respondents agreeing that the reflective assessment had increased their knowledge and understanding of the limitations that may negatively impact service users and patient care. Moreover, respondents highlighted how advancements in point-of-care testing (POCT) and improvements in communication can improve patient experiences. Thematic analysis revealed that respondents agreed that embedding patients into the curriculum reinforced the importance of there being a patient behind every sample. Respondents reported that reflecting upon service user experiences enabled them to identify improvements to the delivery of pathology services while recognising the essential role that Biomedical Scientists play in the patient pathway. This successful workshop has created a platform encompassing a range of pathology service users in the undergraduate curriculum. We recommend that other accredited biomedical science programmes adopt and embed this innovative workshop and reflective assessment into their programmes to help them meet these standards relating to service users while fostering important transferable skills in their students.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11584
Pages (from-to)11584
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
Early online date8 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Bashir, Wilkins and Pallett. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) []. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • patient care
  • biomedical science
  • higher education
  • reflective writing
  • service users


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