Design and build contractor chosen for £27m pathology laboratory

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A new £27m state-of-the-art pathology laboratory based at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, has moved a step closer with the appointment of BAM Construction as the design and build contractor.

The facility – which will also provide pathology services to hospitals across West Yorkshire and Harrogate – will allow Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to bring many of its pathology services together into a purpose-built laboratory.

BAM’s appointment follows a competitive process under the Government’s capital framework for health known as Procure22.

It sees the Leeds-based contractor re-united with the trust having previously delivered its interoperative MRI scheme and NHS Nightingale Hospital.

Built to accommodate cutting edge equipment and specialist technology, the laboratory – due to be completed in 2023 – will be designed for fast, accurate, routine and specialist testing.

It will allow some of the services currently housed in outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) to move to this new base.

The development is part of 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.

BAM has begun work on designs for the pathology facility, which will include engagement with service users in hospitals across Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Simon Worthington, director of finance for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said the appointment of BAM Construction as the Primary Supply Chain Partner (PSCP) was a step forward for the project.

“This is a huge milestone having a PSCP on board and will mean we can move forward at pace to progress to a full design for the new building,” he added.

“By bringing many of our pathology services under one roof we can maximise new technology and manpower to continue delivering a high-quality clinical service to support patient care.  It will also allow staff to develop their skills in a new hi-tech facility.”

Paul Cleminson, BAM’s preconstruction director, said: “We are really pleased to continue our working partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

“This pathology project allows us to build on that trust and understanding that our expertise in modern methods of construction, carbon net zero and smart digital technologies can deliver a true future-proofed building serving needs across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. There has been a demanding programme but we are on track.

“This scheme has the potential to push the boundaries of what digital construction can achieve, so we are very excited about not only the benefits it will bring for local people but also, what can be learned to help us all improve all healthcare buildings.”

Subject to progress, BAM anticipates starting on site late this year and completing in late spring 2023.