Construction by BAM of a new regional pathology laboratory at the Leeds General Infirmary has been completed, and – once operational – Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says it will help ‘transform’ diagnostic services and testing right across West Yorkshire.
The new Centre for Laboratory Medicine will also accommodate some pathology services from Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as part of a wider regional pathology services ‘transformation programme’. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says the ‘regional partnership’ – formed through a collaboration with the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) – ‘will support the delivery of innovative testing and diagnostics, using advanced equipment and new technologies to generate faster results for patients, no matter where they live’.
Construction began in April 2022, and has seen 338 pieces of glass installed to form the windows and a further 1,357 individual rainscreen cladding panels fitted to the façade. The Centre is one of the key new-build projects in the Leeds Teaching Hospital’s ‘Building the Leeds Way Programme’ of capital investment and improvements. Currently, most of the Trust’s pathology services are delivered from what it acknowledges are ‘outdated facilities’ in the LGI’s Old Medical School and Leeds’s St James’s Hospital.
The Trust says the new building will bring together many of these services into one purpose-built facility, and, once vacated, the Old Medical School will be ‘repurposed’ as part of a plan to use surplus estate at the LGI to develop an ‘innovation village’ expected to deliver up to 4,000 new jobs, over 500 new homes, and almost £13 bn in net present value. It said: “Bringing together these pathology services into the new building will enable routine and direct access testing from fewer sites, create better working environments, and simplify continuity and transfer of care easier across the region.”
The Trust says it has developed ‘a world-class pathology building that is flexible, digital by design, and supports the delivery of Net Zero carbon’. Fully mechanically ventilated, with heat recovery systems to minimise power and re-use heat, the Centre is ‘on track to achieve high certified standards in staff wellbeing and sustainability’. It will become fully operational in 2024 following the installation of new equipment and technology.
Pictured, left to right, are: Mike Philpott, General manager, Pathology; Olorunda Rotimi, Clinical director, Pathology; Simon Worthington, Finance director; Emma Storey, senior Project manager; Dame Linda Pollard, Chair, LTHTT, and Professor Phil Wood, CEO, LTHT.