The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Outline plans for new Pathology laboratory at St James’s Hospital given unanimous approval

14 August 2020

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is delighted to have been granted Outline Planning Permission from Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel to build a state-of-the-art Pathology laboratory on the St James’s University Hospital site.

The panel gave its unanimous approval for the outline plans, giving the Trust the go-ahead to move forward with the new Pathology laboratory, which will benefit patients across the region.

The new laboratory will serve hospitals across Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate and will allow the Trust to bring many of its Pathology services together into a purpose-built laboratory that incorporates advanced equipment and technology for fast, accurate specialist testing.

It will also be part of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) Pathology network and provide significant opportunities to improve staffing and skill sharing as well as equipment efficiencies.

Many of Leeds Teaching Hospital’s Pathology services are currently housed in outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).  Most of those services, as well as some of those delivered from St James’s University Hospital, will be incorporated in the new laboratory.

Phillip Wood, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and a Consultant Immunologist said: “I am delighted that this new laboratory has been given the go ahead by Leeds City Council. The Trust is a world-leader in Pathology and this new state-of-the art facility will enable staff and partners to work in a bespoke environment that reflects and enhances the leading-edge services they provide.

“Demand for Pathology services has continued to grow from year to year and has played an absolutely vital role in the current coronavirus outbreak.  This new facility, when built, will provide a wide range of diagnostic services for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate region.”

The new Pathology development is part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Building the Leeds Way programme, a long-term vision to transform healthcare facilities across the Trust for our patients and staff. 

The programme includes the Hospitals of the Future plans to build a new hospital for adults and a new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital at Leeds General Infirmary, the new Pathology laboratory at St James’s and developing the old estate at Leeds General Infirmary to create a world-class hub for innovation, collaboration and education as part of the wider vision for an Innovation District in Leeds.

Simon Worthington, the Trust’s Director of Finance who is also responsible for the Trust’s ambitious Building the Leeds Way programme added: “This is a fantastic step forward in our plans to provide patients across the region with the most advanced health services and care.

“The new laboratory will not only give hospitals in Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate access to leading-edge Pathology services, it will also enable us to release old estate at Leeds General Infirmary that could be developed to benefit Leeds as a city in the future.”

Preparation work for the new Pathology laboratory will begin soon, with design work the next step in the process.  Demolition of old buildings on the St James’s site is expected to begin later this year with the new laboratory scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2023.

The new Pathology laboratory will house Biochemistry, Haematology, Immunology and Microbiology services. Cellular Pathology and Laboratory Genetic Services are already delivered from the St James’s site. Emergency testing will remain at both the LGI and St James’s.