Demolition at St James' Hospital signals start of work on £27m pathology lab

Work on a £27m purpose built pathology lab in Leeds has got underway with the demolition of several old hospital buildings.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 4:45 pm

Preparation of the site at St James Hospital continues and it is expected that construction will start later this year, with a completion date set for 2023.

It will serve hospitals across Leeds West Yorkshire and Harrogate and will allow the Trust to bring many of its pathology services together into a purpose-built laboratory for fast, accurate, routine and specialist testing.

As part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Pathology Network, formed through the collaboration of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT), the new laboratory will support hospitals across the region to improve diagnostics for patients and help to meet the growing regional demand for specialist treatment and care - as well as providing development opportunities for staff.

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Old buildings on the St James' site are being demolished to make way for a new lab.

Dr Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, welcomed the progress with the project, and paid tribute to all pathology staff who have been among those in the frontline dealing with the COVID pandemic.

“Pathology teams have played an absolutely vital role in the fast turnaround of testing during the current COVID pandemic. Progressing work on these fantastic new facilities is

great news, not just for the services we’ll be able to offer patients in the future – but for pathology staff who’ll be working with state-of-the-art equipment and buildings.”

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Peter Kabuga (biomedical scientist), Olorunda Rotimi (clinical director for pathology), Dr Phil Wood (chief medical officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust), Julian Hartley (chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust) on site.

The laboratory will also incorporate a single, shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the area which will enable a system-wide approach for pathology across

West Yorkshire and Harrogate acute hospitals.

Once in place the system will mean test requests can be ordered, tracked and results reported electronically to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. All will have equal access to patient information, regardless of where the hospital is based.

That follows a desire within Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Building the Leeds Way programme, a long-term vision to transform healthcare facilities across the Trust for patients and staff. Work on a new adults’ hospital and a new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital on the Leeds General Infirmary site has already begun.

An impression of what the new lab will look like.

Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Julian Hartley, welcomed the pathology development. “The new laboratory is part of our wider improvement plans to enable the Trust to take a huge leap forward in how it delivers care for patients from Leeds and beyond."

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