State-of-the-art pathology laboratory secures final approval

A new modern 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 facility, at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, will support hospitals across the region to improve diagnostics for patients and help to meet the growing regional demand for specialist treatment and care.

Construction of the pathology laboratory will begin on site this March. The 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).

The laboratory will allow Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to incorporate most of those pathology services currently housed in outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) as well as some of those delivered from St James’s University Hospital.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: “This announcement is a huge boost for our plans to take healthcare to the next level in Leeds and the wider region, not just with the new pathology laboratory but also the development of a new adults’ hospital and new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital on the Leeds General Infirmary site.

“Our pathology teams have done a magnificent job during the pandemic, despite working in outdated facilities, and have been delivering huge numbers of daily test results for the region’s hospitals.  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, said: “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.”

The trust says it aims to develop a “world-class” pathology building that is flexible, digital by design and supports the net zero carbon target.

It will also incorporate a single, shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the area which will mean test requests can be ordered, tracked and results reported electronically to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Leeds-based BAM Construction was confirmed last June as the preferred developer for the laboratory and is expected to begin work in March.