Labs Are Vital is a global programme aimed at raising the profile of laboratory medicine. In the UK, it is run as a joint initiative between the ACB, ACP, IBMS, RCPath, BIVDA and Abbott Diagnostics.
The initiative aims to communicate the value of laboratory medicine by motivating laboratory professionals to spread the message at the local level. The Labs Are Vital website carries a great deal of material and tools that can be used by laboratory professionals in their activities.
Additionally, in the light of the fundamental developments proposed in the (English) NHS in 2011, the Labs Are Vital strategy introduced direct involvement with “Commissioners” of health services (in the widest sense of the term) as well as participation in high level events attracting the participation of such individuals. This has developed in 2012 into a “pathology Champions” initiative through which key individuals from the supporting organisations actively deliver our key messages. They will also act as local focal points acting with motivated colleagues to promote those messages.
The work of supporters of the initiative to highlight the contributions of laboratory medicine to efficiency, patient safety and quality is particularly important in this context.
Many ACB members have signed up as “supporters” and contributed their own experiences as well as making use of the support materials already available through the site. The Association actively encourages participation and has embraced Labs Are Vital in its information and communications strategies. Contribution of experiences that might be of interest to the public (see the “Labs and Lives” section of the site) are always needed and welcomed. Only a relatively simple outline of the event is needed – there are communications professionals working on the initiative who can produce a polished version to be put up on the website.