Buildings to streamline care

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Centre for Laboratory Medicine has officially been opened by the minister of state for health and secondary care, Will Quince

The pathology laboratory, which is set to serve patients across West Yorkshire, will house pathology services from Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
The regional partnership, in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT), is intended to drive innovation in testing and diagnostics. The laboratory is equipped with advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment and aims to deliver faster results for patients, irrespective of their geographical location.

Purpose-built facility
At the moment, many of the pathology services provided by the Trust are delivered from outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) as well as from St James’s Hospital.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 the pathology service together in a purpose-built facility. Once the transition is complete, 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.
It is hoped that consolidating the pathology services into one facility will streamline access to routine and direct testing while fostering improved working environments for staff. It will also facilitate seamless continuity and transfer of patient care across the region.
Construction began in April 2022 with 338 glass panels to create windows, and 1,357 individual rainscreen cladding panels on the facade.

Building the Leeds Way
This new laboratory is part of the Leeds Teaching Hospital’s “Building the Leeds Way” capital investment and improvement program. This is a long-term vision to transform healthcare facilities across Leeds Teaching Hospitals for patients and staff and also includes a state-of-the-art new hospital at Leeds General Infirmary, which will deliver a range of adult health services and be the home of Leeds Children’s Hospital. The buildings will be designed to offer patients modern, individual healthcare based on the most advanced treatments, technologies, innovation and research.
Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is a landmark occasion for Leeds Teaching Hospitals and is the fruition of months of hard work from our staff and partners.  
“I am incredibly proud to see that this fantastic new facility is now officially opened. 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.”
She continued: “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.”

The building demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. It has been designed with flexibility and digital integration in mind, and is set to achieve high-certified standards in staff well-being and sustainability.
Sustainability features include full mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems to minimise power consumption and promote heat reuse.
The laboratory will also utilise a single, shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to enable electronic test requests, tracking, and results reporting to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

The centre is scheduled to become fully operational in 2024 after the installation of equipment and technology.
Health minister Will Quince said: “This new, cutting-edge pathology laboratory will serve thousands of patients across West Yorkshire – helping to deliver faster results, speed up diagnoses and cut waiting lists.  
“Backed by £35million of government funding, this new lab will look at more innovative ways to test and diagnose patients and will be equipped with advanced technology and the latest equipment. Crucially, by consolidating current services into one place it will streamline access to testing and improve working environments for staff.”
The opening was also attended by West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin and young scientists from Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School who took part in pathology experiments alongside staff from the trust, as part of the project’s wider community engagement programme.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This new centre firmly cements West Yorkshire as a global leader in health technology – it will fuel innovation in diagnostic testing and deliver better outcomes for patients worldwide.
“It was inspiring to meet the staff who will pioneer these new technologies, as well as the talented high school students who could be our homegrown pathologists of the future.  
“With this new centre, I’m confident that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will continue to play a vital role in our mission to build a brighter, happy West Yorkshire that works for all.”