Ground-breaking pathology partnership launched 

01/04/2015 00:00 
UCLH, Royal Free London and The Doctors Laboratory have today launched Health Services Laboratories (HSL), a ground-breaking pathology joint venture which will improve care for patients and deliver better value for the health economy.

HSL will bring together the best from both the independent and public sectors to provide a wide range of benefits for patients, staff, clinicians, academics and the founding partners.
Health Services Laboratories will be a strong, dynamic and clinically-led organisation always aiming to maintain and improve the highest quality of care, while delivering substantial efficiencies for the NHS through economies of scale, leading edge technology, investment in infrastructure and IT, and the adoption of best working practices. It will also build on and strengthen research, service development and teaching activities.
UCLH was the first NHS trust to develop a significant commercial relationship with an independent pathology company – The Doctors Laboratory - more than 10 years ago. The partnership has been successful using the latest technology and processing more samples and saving tax payers’ money due to shared costs.
Lord Carter, who was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2005 to review pathology services across the NHS, is the first chairman of HSL. His report developed an inspiring vision where reconfigured networks such as Health Services Laboratories would bring economies of scale while putting patients first.
Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive, said: “This new venture will deliver on the vision for pathology services outlined by Lord Carter in his seminal report, and builds on UCLH’s strong record in partnering with the private sector when it gets the right outcomes for patients and saves money. I want to thank all of our pathology staff for their commitment and energy during the detailed work that was done to negotiate this new partnership.”
The joint venture will use the efficient hub and spoke system, recommended by the Carter Report where on-site rapid response laboratories handle urgent, small volume work, and are linked to the core hub, which will process all non-urgent tests. A key benefit of using this model is that it delivers a better ability to drive positive change through research, development and innovation. HSL is investing in new facilities for a core laboratory in central London, which is expected to go live in 2016.
The partnership model for the joint venture will enable the new organisation to recruit, retain, motivate and develop the highest quality workforce by offering an excellent working environment, opportunities for personal and professional development. It will also ensure all parties are best equipped to maximise research and educational opportunities ensuring the service stays at the forefront of patient care.
The new organisation will employ around 800 pathology staff with the majority transferring from UCLH, the Royal Free and its first non-partner customer, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust. Staff representatives were full members of both the workforce and project steering groups and staff side representatives also took part in the evaluation process for the selection of commercial partner.

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