The Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust was formed in 1994 and on achieving Foundation Status, became the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2008. The trust employs 3,300 staff and serves a population of about 300,000 people. Our annual turnover is around £156 million. The Trust consists of three major sites: 

  • The Great Western Hospital - a modern district general hospital providing emergency care, surgery, diagnostics, out patient and day case services.
  • The Brunel Treatment Centre - a 128 bed unit designed to provide high quality elective (planned) care and diagnostics.
  • The Shalbourne Suite - a 20 bed private patient unit within the Brunel Treatment Centre. 

There are several other hospitals, clinics and services provided by the Trust, such as Marlborough House, Savernake Hospital and Fairford Hospital.

The Great Western Hospital opened on December 3rd 2002. Services provided on site include general medicine, respiratory medicine, oncology, cardiology and cardiac catheterisation, rheumatology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, medicine for the elderly, dermatology, A & E, clinical haematology, paediatrics, genitourinary medicine, renal dialysis, general surgery, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, ENT, oral surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology. There are comprehensive diagnostics including MRI/CT and PACS with digital imaging. Patients have individual access to TV, radio and telephone services. There are plans for electronic requesting of pathology tests.

The Department of Histopathology is housed in light and airy accommodation on the top floor of the hospital. There are far reaching views of the surrounding area. The laboratory in the process of CPA accreditation and was designed in collaboration with the staff and has a linear stainer for histology and automatic cover slipper and an automated immunostainer. The MDM’s take place in the education centre with full video conferencing facilities.

Surgical specimens are received from all major specialities except thoracic surgery, neurosurgery and paediatric surgery. A wide range of material is examined including endoscopic, gastrointestinal, colposcopic and respiratory biopsies. There is a substantial amount of new tumour pathology and we have Cancer Unit status for breast (we are also the main screening and assessment centre for Wiltshire), colorectal, upper GI, ENT, gynaecology (a joint venture with Oxford), urology and lung cancers.

The mortuary is situated on the lower ground floor and is a spacious modern facility with 50 fridge spaces and pleasant accommodation for relatives. There is currently a mortuary manager a qualified APT, and a trainee APT.

There are facilities for digital photography and there is a digital dictation system. A voice recognition system is being trialled by the department. The laboratory uses the Winpath computer system. The hospital has a research and development department.


  • Surgical specimens per year – 20,000
  • Cervical cytology specimens per year – 20,000
  • Non-cervical cytology specimens per year – 4,000 (incl. semenology)
  • One stop clinics per week – 3 (2 breast, 1 head and neck)
  • MDMs per month – 43
  • Autopsies per year – 600


  • Dr. J  Armstrong (breast and gynaecological pathology)
  • Dr. L John (dermatopathology, bowel cancer screening, GI and non-forensic autopsy  pathology, Mortuary lead)
  • Dr. D Lazic (lymphoreticular, ENT and GI pathology)
  • Dr Kim Billingham (Consultant histopathologists and cytopathologists)
  • Dr Saumitra Banergee (Consultant histopathologists and cytopathologists)

 Educational Supervisors

  •  Dr. L John

 Trainees and Posts 

  • ST2-5 posts – 1


  • Personal work space
  • Personal computer
  • Personal microscope
  • Internet access
  • Text books and journals
  • Library access with Athens 

Educational Programme 

  • Monthly Training School FRCPath study days (Severn and Peninsula)