Construction completed for new Centre for Laboratory Medicine
27 July 2023
Construction of a new, state-of-the-art regional pathology laboratory at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) has been completed.
Works on the new pathology facility have been completed by BAM Construction and once operational, the new laboratory will help to transform diagnostic services and testing right across West Yorkshire.
Named the Centre for Laboratory Medicine, the facility will also become home to 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.
This 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 fitted to form the windows and a further 1,357 individual rainscreen cladding panels fitted to the façade.
The new Centre for Laboratory Medicine 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Currently, most of the Trust’s pathology services are delivered from outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) as well as from St James’s Hospital.
The new building will bring many of these services together 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 which is expected to deliver up to 4,000 new jobs, more than 500 new homes and almost £13bn in net present value.
L-R: Mike Philpott (General Manager, Pathology), Olorunda Rotimi (Clinical Director, Pathology), Simon Worthington (Finance Director), Emma Storey (Senior Project Manager), Dame Linda Pollard (Chair, LTHT), Professor Phil Wood (CEO, LTHT)
Bringing these vital pathology services together into the new building will enable routine and direct access testing from fewer sites and will create better working environments for staff and will make the continuity and transfer of care easier across the region.
Dame Linda Pollard, Chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud to see that this fantastic new facility has been finished. Pathology plays a crucial role in the delivery of frontline care and I am excited to see how, together with our colleagues in Calderdale and Mid Yorkshire, we can really drive innovative diagnostic testing across West Yorkshire.
“This impressive new building is a key milestone in our wider capital investment programme, as we start to progress our plans for a new hospital at the LGI. The completion of our new pathology laboratory is a catalyst for our proposed innovation village when the Old Medical School is vacated, bringing far-reaching economic benefits for the whole region.”
Olorunda Rotimi Consultant Cellular Pathologist and Clinical Director for Pathology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “The Centre for Laboratory Medicine will play a crucial role in helping us all to meet the growing, regional demand for specialist treatment and care. Not only will state-of-the-art equipment and technologies be installed in the new healthcare facilities, but they will also further support professional development for our staff.
“I am looking forward to welcoming colleagues from Mid Yorkshire and Calderdale and Huddersfield trusts, and to see this regional collaboration drive improvements in diagnosis, treatment and care for all of our patients.”
Emma Godfrey, Deputy Director of Operations - Pathology at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust commented: “This is an exciting new development for the Pathology services at Mid Yorkshire. We are looking forward to cementing this partnership, whilst providing more opportunity and innovation with the use of new, advanced equipment set to speed up the testing process, resulting in a better patient experience.”
Sarah Ramsden, Pathology General Manager at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that the construction of these state-of-the-art facilities has been completed. We look forward to developing our services in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals and The Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust for the benefit of our colleagues and our patients.”
The Trust has developed a world-class pathology building that is flexible, digital by design and that supports the delivery of net zero carbon. It is fully mechanically ventilated with heat recovery systems to minimise power and re-use heat and is on track to achieve high certified standards in staff wellbeing and sustainability.
Andy Smithson, Project Manager at BAM said: “We are proud to have built this new pathology laboratory for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which will make a difference to people across West Yorkshire.
“This scheme’s success is the result of the outstanding collaboration between all parties working on the project, and the passion of the whole team to create a state-of-the-art laboratory facility.”
It will also incorporate a single, shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) which will mean test requests can be ordered, tracked and results reported electronically to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
The building will become fully operational in 2024 following the installation of new equipment and technology and plans for an official opening are being made for autumn.
Construction of a new Acute Hospital Laboratory has also completed at the Leeds General Infirmary to provide essential pathology testing facilities to support clinical services when the main pathology services at the LGI relocate to the new laboratory at St James’s.