Three London NHS trusts confirm new pathology partnership network

A new London pathology network has been formed by three London NHS trusts.

Barts Health NHS Trust, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust have approved a full business case for a new London pathology network.

The partnership will be called the East & South East London NHS Pathology Partnership, that will aim to consolidate all pathology services held by each trust into one central pathology service, hosted by Barts Health.

Once fully operational, the partnership will manage pathology laboratories across seven sites including: The Royal London Hospital, which will also serve as the hub for the network, Whipps Cross Hospital, Newham University Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Homerton, Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and University Hospital Lewisham. Except for RLH and QEH, the other hospitals will retain an Essential Services Laboratory (ESL) on-site which will include the Biochemistry, Haematology, Blood Transfusion and Microbiology services necessary for addressing any of each hospital’s urgent needs. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich will run as an ESL+ lab providing an extended testing scope for the high GP workload received.

The three trusts, who have equal ownership of the partnership, hope to realise a number of benefits including an estimated £51million of savings.

All pathology services will continue as they are until at least Spring 2021.

Alwen Williams, Chief Executive of Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “We are proud to be part of this much needed NHS partnership with two of our neighbouring trusts. We are committed to improving our pathology services across this patch of London and have great plans for the new network including creating a central hub hosted by The Royal London Hospital, which we will take great pride in. We believe the investments made will pay off tremendously for our patients, staff and the wider London community that we serve.”

Tracey Fletcher, Chief Executive of Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to have approved the business case for this important NHS partnership which will manage pathology services for hospitals in both east and south east London. We will also see the development, at Homerton, of new laboratory facilities in the shape of an Essential Services Laboratory to ensure we can provide fast turnaround testing services for our A&E and other key acute services. We will now be supporting the setting up of this partnership over the next few months.”