We are working to develop a network for pathology services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. This is to address challenges around staffing, increasing demand and upgrading equipment, and will mean we can invest in developing services and staff to improve services for patients. In line with the recommendations from the two Carter reports and NHS Improvement requirements, this will bring some testing into ‘hubs’ but each trust will retain onsite testing to support acute care needs.

A strategy has been agreed by all six trusts, which sets out the delivery model and structure for the network. Work is underway to deliver this, led by the pathology collaboration group, which comprises the pathology leads and clinical directors for pathology from each trust. It is overseen by the Pathology Programme Board, which has executive director representation from each trust and is chaired by Martin Barkley, Chief Executive of MYHT and lead chief executive for the programme.

The pathology programme also includes two other important areas of work:

  • the procurement of a common Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to support the network approach, enabling joint working and ensuring all trusts have access to the latest technology; and
  • the roll out of digital cellular pathology. This will create digitised images of cellular pathology microscope slides, enabling them to be stored, shared and reported digitally. Cancer Alliance funding has been obtained to provide and connect digital scanners for all WYAAT trusts.

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