Construction of a new Acute Hospital Laboratory (AHL) has begun at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). The 24/7 operated AHL is being created to provide urgent pathology facilities to support clinical teams at the LGI when the main pathology service relocates to the brand-new state-of-the-art pathology laboratory currently under construction at St James’s Hospital.
Morris & Spottiswood started construction of the AHL this week and is set to complete in summer 2023. The new lab will co-locate Blood Sciences and Blood Bank together in one purpose-built facility. To ensure there is no disruption to the service during the works, the Blood Bank team moved to a temporary lab within the LGI in December 2022.
Pathology is one of the key projects in Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Building the Leeds Way programme of capital investment and improvements across the Trust. Currently, the majority of the Trust’s pathology services are provided from outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at the LGI and from St James’s Hospital.
The new pathology laboratory will bring most of these services together and will be home to advanced equipment and technologies that will support leading-edge testing and diagnostics for patients right across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Staff will move into the new building on a phased basis at the end of 2023 and into 2024.
Simon Worthington, the Trust’s Director of Finance and Senior Responsible Officer for the Building the Leeds Way Programme said: “We have reached yet another exciting milestone within our project that is set to transform pathology services for both Leeds and West Yorkshire. While many of our pathology teams will move to the new St James’s site later in the year, the AHL will continue to provide a vital service at the LGI, giving clinical teams on-site access to urgent and emergency testing when required.
“It will also allow our staff to work in an environment that is equipped with new technology, supporting our drive to improve the way we provide diagnostic testing for people right across our region.”
Funding for the new pathology laboratory is supported by the Health and Care Partnership and the Trust aims to develop a world-class pathology building that is flexible, digital by design and that supports the delivery of net zero carbon. It will be mechanically ventilated with heat recovery systems to minimise power and re-use heat.
It will also incorporate a single shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the region, which will mean tests can be ordered, tracked and results reported electronically to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, speeding up results for patients.