Work has restarted on looking at the creation of a new partnership between Barts Health and two other NHS trusts for the future provision of pathology services.
The proposed partnership would see Barts Health joining Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in running a pathology service for the seven hospitals managed by the trusts.
The Royal London Hospital would be the hub laboratory, dealing with the bulk of routine testing whilst the other hospitals, such as Homerton, would run an essential services laboratory or ‘hot lab’ handling urgent and specialist tests.
A jointly run project board had spent much of last year drawing up proposals for the new NHS partnership with an outline business case approved by the three Trust Boards in December 2019.
Detailed work towards drawing up a full business case (FBC) carried on through the winter months but was suspended in March with the onset of the coronavirus emergency.
Work on developing the FBC has now restarted and the document is scheduled to go before the three Trust Boards for consideration at the end of July.
If the FBC is approved, work will then go forward on developing the partnership including deciding on a name, confirming management arrangements, aligning IT systems across the hospital sites, and drawing up plans for the redeveloping laboratory facilities at Homerton to establish the essential services laboratory.