Pathology services in North West London strengthened by merger

Pathology services in three North West London Trusts have joined forces to create a modern and more efficient service.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have agreed to consolidate their pathology services to better manage demand, standardise operations, improve value for money and make use of new technologies.

The service, which starts on 1 April 2017, will operate on a ‘hub and spoke’ model whereby the majority of routine, specialist and non-urgent activity will be delivered at Charing Cross Hospital. Pathology required urgently for the immediate treatment of patients will be performed in 24/7 essential service laboratories based at the other hospital sites in the group. The partnership is expected to manage 25 million tests per year.

Stephen Snewin managing director of NWL Pathology, said:

“This partnership aims to provide a modern, innovative and sustainable pathology service which delivers outstanding quality for clinicians and patients. It will also give us an opportunity to drive more transformative research and innovation, as well as supporting training for medical and scientific staff.” 

The Carter Review in 2008 highlighted the need for development in pathology by estimating that the NHS could save £250-500 million per year by improving the way pathology services are delivered. The NWL Pathology service is expected to deliver net benefits of £96 million over 10 years which will be reinvested by the NHS.

The service will be provided as a NHS owned shared services operation (SSO) hosted by Imperial College Healthcare Trust. The SSO will be a single concern, with a single income and expenditure account, run by its own management team delivering a quality service to the patient and users alongside best value for money.

Notes to editors
The hospitals included within this partnership are: Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which comprises St Mary’s Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital and the Western Eye Hospital; Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust which comprises Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital; and, Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which comprises Hillingdon Hospital and Mount Vernon Hospital.