Plan for state of the art pathology lab at St James's Hospital given go ahead by Leeds City Council
A new state of the art pathology laboratory at St James's Hospital is a step closer after councillors gave approval for the outline plans.
The new lab will serve hospitals across Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate and will allow Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) to bring many of its pathology services together into a purpose-built laboratory that incorporates advanced equipment and technology for fast, accurate, specialist testing.
Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease or injury.
The plans involve demolishing vacant buildings at St James's, expected to begin later this year.
It will also be part of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts pathology network and provide opportunities to improve staffing and skill sharing, as well as equipment efficiencies.
The lab is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2023.
Many of LTHT's pathology services are currently housed in outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).
Most of those services, as well as some of those delivered from St James’s, will be incorporated in the new laboratory.
Phillip Wood, chief medical officer at LTHT and a consultant immunologist said: “I am delighted that this new laboratory has been given the go ahead by Leeds City Council.
"The trust is a world-leader in pathology and this new state-of-the art facility will enable staff and partners to work in a bespoke environment that reflects and enhances the leading-edge services they provide.
“Demand for pathology services has continued to grow from year to year and has played an absolutely vital role in the current coronavirus outbreak.
"This new facility, when built, will provide a wide range of diagnostic services for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate region.”
The new development is part of LTHT's Building the Leeds Way programme, a long-term vision to transform healthcare facilities across the trust.
The programme also includes the Hospitals of the Future plans to build a new hospital for adults and a new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital at LGI, as well as developing the old estate at LGI to create a "world-class" hub for innovation, collaboration and education as part of the wider vision for an Innovation District in Leeds.
Simon Worthington, the trust’s director of finance, added: “This is a fantastic step forward in our plans to provide patients across the region with the most advanced health services and care.
“The new laboratory will not only give hospitals in Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate access to leading-edge pathology services, it will also enable us to release old estate at Leeds General Infirmary that could be developed to benefit Leeds as a city in the future.”
Preparation work for the new pathology laboratory will begin soon, with design work the next step in the process.
The lab will house biochemistry, haematology, immunology and microbiology services.
Cellular pathology and laboratory genetic services are already delivered from the St James’s site.
Emergency testing will remain at both the LGI and St James’s.
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