The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) has recently completed the construction of a state-of-the-art regional pathology laboratory. BAM Construction undertook the project, and this new facility is poised to revolutionise diagnostic services and testing throughout West Yorkshire.

Known as the Centre for Laboratory Medicine, this cutting-edge facility will also accommodate certain pathology services from Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as part of a broader regional pathology services transformation initiative. The collaboration with the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) has led to the establishment of this regional partnership, enabling the delivery of innovative testing and diagnostics. By leveraging advanced equipment and technologies, the Centre aims to produce faster results for patients, regardless of their location.

The construction commenced in April 2022, and the process involved installing 338 glass pieces to form the windows and an additional 1,357 individual rainscreen cladding panels on the exterior façade.

The Centre for Laboratory Medicine represents a significant component of the Leeds Teaching Hospital’s Building the Leeds Way Programme, which focuses on capital investment and improvements. Currently, the majority of the Trust’s pathology services operate from outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) and St James’s Hospital.

Upon its completion, the new building will consolidate many of these services under one purpose-built roof. This consolidation will free up the Old Medical School, which will be repurposed as part of a plan to utilise surplus estate at the LGI. The vision for the repurposed area is an innovation village, projected to generate up to 4,000 new jobs, over 500 new homes, and nearly £13 billion in net present value.

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 been 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.