PATHOLOGY services across the area are being transformed – thanks to £12 million of NHS funding.

A new system is to be introduced which will see improvements to the way information is shared between clinical services throughout West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

The so-called Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) will involve acute hospitals run by six health trusts, including Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

Under the initiative, test requests will be ordered and tracked – and the results reported – electronically and all hospitals will have equal access to patient information.

Behind the implementation of the system is West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.

It says the programme will mean the standardisation of testing processes and systems throughout the area and a reduction in test request duplications, as it will be easier to check before submitting a request whether a patient has already been tested.

Martin Barkley, the chief executive officer lead for pathology services for West Yorkshire Association Acute Trusts, said: “Our aim is simple – we want to place the patient at the centre of everything we do, by providing an efficient pathology service to GPs and our hospital colleagues.

“Pathology services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate have been working together for some time.

“In January, we agreed to establish a single pathology network for the area and to deliver a single LIMS.

“We’re delighted to have received this funding. It reflects our collective priorities to embrace new technology while making the most of our staffs’ expertise and skills.”

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership covers an area serving 2.6 million people, including Bradford district and Craven.

It comprises a number of organisations, such as the NHS, local authorities, Healthwatch and voluntary and community bodies.

Collaboration on pathology services began in 2017 and that year NHS Improvement published a national strategy to establish 29 pathology networks, designed to improve quality and efficiency.

It was decided in January to create a West Yorkshire and Harrogate pathology network, following an appraisal of options. Work is now being carried out on the future model of the system.