The North West London Pathology (NWLP) joint venture agreement (JVA) was signed on 23 August between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
North West London Pathology will consolidate the pathology services from the three North West London Trusts to better manage demand, standardise operations, improve value for money and make use of new technologies.
The service will operate in a shadow form in this financial year and go-live in April 2017. It will operate on a ‘hub and spoke’ model whereby the majority of routine, specialist and non-urgent activity will be delivered at Charing Cross Hospital. Pathology required urgently for the immediate treatment of patients will be performed in 24/7 essential service laboratories based at the other hospital sites in the group.
The partnership is expected to manage 25 million tests per year and will provide the opportunity to drive more transformative research and innovation, as well as supporting training for medical and scientific staff.
The Carter Review in 2008 highlighted the need for development in pathology by estimating that the NHS could save £250-500 million per year by improving the way pathology services are delivered. The NWL Pathology service is expected to deliver significant benefits over 10 years which will be reinvested by the NHS.
The service will be provided as a NHS owned shared services operation (SSO) hosted by Imperial College Healthcare Trust. The SSO will be a single concern, with a single income and expenditure account, run by its own management team delivering a quality service to the patient and users alongside best value for money.