HRH The Duke of Kent opens state-of-the-art Pathology First laboratory
03 February 2016
Sue Hardy, chief executive of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, accompanied HRH The Duke of Kent during the official opening of the state-of-the-art Pathology First in Basildon, marking an important first step towards realising the vision of an innovative and high quality pathology service in south Essex.
Pathology First is a joint venture between Southend University
Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Integrated Pathology
Partnerships (iPP), part of Synlab International, Europe's leading
pathology services company.
Sue Hardy said: "It is really pleasing that our local
communities and the patients we serve will benefit from the
state-of-the art equipment which will help revolutionise key
aspects of pathology services.
"The joint venture enables the Trusts to do more for our
patients by expanding the service, introducing new tests, making
test results available faster and assisting our doctors to make the
decisions they need to in providing care for our patients. Setting
up Pathology First means the Trusts have taken full advantage of
the resources and expertise available and our teams have the
opportunity to work with the latest technology."
Built as one of the highest specification laboratories in the
country - iPP will deliver efficiencies, improved quality, faster
turnaround times for tests and improve value for money.
Since being awarded the contract in 2014, iPP has committed
nearly £10m investment in the new, state-of-the-art pathology
laboratory and the reconfiguration of the on-site facilities at
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Basildon and
Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Clare Panniker, chief executive of Basildon and Thurrock
University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "The investment by
iPP has enabled the Trust and staff to benefit from equipment and
facilities that are among the best in the country. Due to its size
and expertise, the patients, hospital and staff employed at the lab
are able to access the very best technology and processes. This
means that patients will benefit from faster turnaround times, new
tests and the extra capacity as volumes increase in the future.
Employing over 400 staff, iPP is responsible for achieving
significant savings in the delivery of pathology services in the
region. The new hub laboratory in Basildon will be processing
almost 13 million tests per year with the capacity to expand
As well as investing in the new laboratory, iPP has improved the
urgent testing facilities at the hospitals. A Pathology First
Emergency Service Laboratory (ESL) is situated at each of the
two hospitals. These laboratories process the emergency
samples that require a one hour turn-around-time enabling doctors
to treat patients faster and more effectively. Samples arrive
from departments such as A&E and paediatric wards. Blood
transfusion is also based in the ESLs because this service has to
remain on the hospital sites.
By analysing the non-essential tests at the hub instead of in
the hospital, the latter is able to turn around the essential tests
faster and help the Trusts discharge patients sooner. Initially the
new hub laboratory in Basildon will be processing 6,000 sets of
samples per day with the capacity to expand. It will also analyse
the tests for 250 GP surgeries in the region.
By combining the pathology services of the two Trusts and
implementing a fully-integrated hub and spoke network, iPP has
provided a model which, when executed correctly, is recognised for
improving quality and speed, whilst delivering cost savings.
Stuart Quin, chief executive of iPP, said: "The opening of the
Pathology First laboratory in Basildon is an important first step
towards realising the vision of an innovative and high quality
pathology service in south Essex. When fully operational in April,
it will utilise the very latest state-of-the-art, automated
technology processing over 12 million tests a year. The external
investment provided by Integrated Pathology Partnerships comes at a
time when there is tremendous pressure on NHS budgets and will
ensure that a future-proofed, high quality and resilient service is
retained for the benefit of patients in south Essex and