Pathology partnership secures services for local population
13 March 2014
This week sees the launch of a new partnership that is set to deliver state of the art pathology service for patients in south Essex.
The new local service brings together the clinical expertise of
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the
investment and scientific knowledge of iPP (Integrated Pathology
The venture will see investment of over £10m in modernising
equipment and facilities to deliver an improved service for
patients. In particular phlebotomy services will become more
focussed around patients, improving their access to the
Clare Panniker, chief executive at Basildon and Thurrock
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Jacqueline
Totterdell, chief executive at Southend University Hospital NHS
"We have always been committed to ensuring our pathology
services remain fit for the future and can provide a high quality
of provision for the communities we serve.
"Bringing in a private sector partner allowed the trusts the
best of both worlds - investment to transform our service, yet
retaining NHS clinical leadership and a local service.
"iPP were selected as our preferred bidder because of their
commitment to both our vision for growth and the quality of the
service we provide.
"This partnership means we can invest in new state of the art
equipment and processes, as well as improve quality, to deliver one
of the most innovative pathology services in the country.
"iPP have already successfully formed a partnership with two NHS
trusts in the south west of England so their knowledge and
expertise as we move forward together will be invaluable."
The move is a response to the Lord Carter pathology review,
which found that consolidating local pathology services could save
the NHS £500 million to reinvest in other services. Initially, this
meant moving local pathology services to Bedford, but following a
high profile public campaign, local Clinical Commissioning Groups
withdrew the plans to move community pathology out of the area.
The trusts underwent a joint procurement process to find an
expert partner to help deliver pathology services, enabling them to
keep them local, consultant led, and maintain the high quality
provision that currently exists.
As part of the new service, the trusts and iPP will refurbish
the existing hospital laboratories to process urgent testing. They
are also building a brand new state of the art laboratory in south
Essex to process non-urgent testing, due for completion in 2015.
The heavy investment in these new laboratories will make pathology
services more efficient for the local community.
The new service will continue to be governed by Southend and
Basildon and Thurrock hospitals and the board of the new
organisation will be made up of six representatives; two from
Southend Hospital, two from Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals and two
The new hub laboratory will also be subject to the same
regulatory inspection including Clinical Pathology Accreditation
(CPA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Stuart Quin, chief executive from iPP said:
"We are excited to be partnering with Southend University
Hospital Trust and Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital Trust
to transform the quality of the pathology service for patients in
"iPP is investing over £10m to develop a state-of-the-art
laboratory that will be located close to the existing Trusts.
"Whilst the hub laboratory will focus on routine testing, we
shall retain vital diagnostic services on site at the hospitals for
tests requiring more rapid turnaround.
"We have successfully delivered a similar service in Somerset
and look forward to working closely with the pathology teams
from both hospitals to deliver an improved service for patients in