Date of release: Wednesday 2nd July, 2014
Wolverhampton's state-of-the-art £16million integrated pathology laboratory has been shortlisted for a major national award for boosting efficiency and saving hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) will find out in September if it has won the Value and Improvement in Pathology Services category at the prestigious Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare Awards.
The Trust's path lab, which opened in Spring 2013, delivered a vision to create a single integrated department, increasing capacity through the use of lean technology and the very latest technology.
To date the team has improved service quality while reducing costs by more than £950,000.
It has introduced a number of ground-breaking working practices to achieve improved efficiency while saving money.
- Barcode tracking of samples throughout the entire process, allowing GPs to trace the progress of samples from their consulting room.
- Internal logistics - results are available for consultants' morning ward rounds, allowing early patient discharge or diagnosis. Samples are collected directly from the ward, improving turnaround times by two hours.
- External logistics - Services were redesigned to provide sample hubs around the city. Improvements to transport services mean 30 per cent of samples from GPs arrive at the lab by 11am, 55 per cent by 2pm. All departments complete community work by 5.30pm.
- Equipment: detailed modelling exercises ensured the very latest equipment was bought which will meet the needs of the laboratory for at least seven years. Track systems moving samples around the lab have increased capacity in both Clinical Chemistry and Haematology.
The Trust provides testing for the Black Country Chlamydia screening and in June 2013 merged Cytology screening services for Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton into one department within the new pathology building.
Pathology Services Manager Graham Danks said being shortlisted for the award was recognition of the hard work that had gone into drawing up the new path lab vision, and the commitment of the team to delivering services.
He said: “Our philosophy is to place the patient at the centre of everything we do, so providing an efficient, cost-effective service to GPs and our hospital colleagues is of paramount importance.
“We have designed a building, facilities and team to deliver the UK's very best pathology services both now and into the future.
“The design incorporates highly flexible spaces which will accommodate significant future service change.
“The quality improvements arising from this project have proved that change is possible and can benefit both patients and staff while also reducing costs.
“A framework is now in place for continued improvement and lean projects and demand management projects will continue to improve the service for all our users.”
For further information please contact Graham Danks, telephone 01782 307999.