Final approval for new hospital pathology laboratory in Leeds

A new pathology laboratory to serve Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate has been given the final go ahead by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The building at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, aims to 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.

The approval of the Trust’s full business case means construction of the new pathology laboratory will begin on site next month.

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The new building, expected to be operational in the autumn of 2023, is also part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Pathology Network, formed through the collaboration of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT), and will support the plan to consolidate services across the region.

Fiona Babbington and Andy Smith, biomedical scientists who will be based in the new laboratory.

The decision by the department is also a boost for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s wider health improvement plan to take a huge leap forward in the delivery of care for patients from Leeds, the wider region and beyond.

Those plans include the development of a new adults’ hospital and new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital – and centralising maternity and neonatal services - on the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) site as well as supporting an innovation district for the city making use of surplus estate.

The new laboratory will allow the Trust to incorporate most of those pathology services currently housed in outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at LGI as well as some of those delivered from St James’s University Hospital.

Simon Worthington, the Trust’s director of finance and senior responsible officer for the building the Leeds Way project, said: “Our pathology teams have done a magnificent job during the Covid pandemic, despite working in outdated facilities, and have been delivering huge numbers of daily test results for the region’s hospitals,” he said.

“The new laboratory will enable them to work with new state-of-the-art equipment and buildings.”

Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “The Government decision on the new pathology laboratory shows how committed they are to our exciting plans for taking healthcare to the next level in Leeds, the Yorkshire region and beyond.

“Our development of two new hospitals and a new innovation district for the city is the catalyst for wider regeneration of Leeds city centre with the innovation district bringing new investment and jobs.”

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