Community Infrastructure, Pathology Services, Somerset and Essex

Project: Pathology Services | Start Date: Jul 2012/Feb 2015 | Completion Date: Feb 2013/Nov 2015

Driving improvements in the efficiency and quality of Pathology services

Working in partnership with Integrated Parthology Partnership (iPP) on their Pathology Solutions since 2013. Ashley House carried out extensive design consultation with those who would be working in the new laboratories to ensure efficient layouts are achieved.

Project background

The current Essex based development is the construction of a new off-site pathology hub, to serve Basildon Thurrock University Hospitals and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts. The investment made into this upgraded/refurbished facility for Pathology First (a diagnostics partner of iPP) will improve service efficiency, release on site capacity and modernise pathology provision for the hospitals. The Basildon Hub is the third such pathology development by Ashley House.

What we did

A bespoke facility in Taunton, Somerset was financed, designed and built by Ashley House on behalf of iPP, converting a disused industrial building, allowing services to be delivered locally from a more efficient, high-tech laboratory hub. The pioneering commissioning model allowed each hospital to retain its Essential Services Laboratory at both Musgrove Park and Yeovil District Hospitals to handle emergency and essential testing on site. As a result of the Trusts partnering with iPP there is space for the expansion of existing services or the addition of new ones within each hospital. This new laboratory in now regarded as one of the top laboratories in Europe.

Points of interest

The model used by Southwest Pathology Services (a joint venture between iPP and the Trusts) involved retaining an Essential Services Laboratory at both Musgrove Park and Yeovil District Hospitals to handle emergency and essential testing on site. As a result of routine tests being moved to the hub, there is now space for the expansion of existing services or the addition of new ones within each hospital.

As Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust explains: “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.”

Sue Hardy, Chief Executive of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust adds: “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.”

Stuart Quin, Chief Executive of iPP stated: “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 beyond.”

Project Partner

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“The patients, hospital and staff employed are able to access the very best technology and processes. Patients will benefit from faster turnaround times, new tests and the extra capacity.”

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust