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Lancashire and South Cumbria to benefit from multi-million-pound investment in pathology services

28th March 2018

Lancashire and South Cumbria to benefit from investment in a single pathology diagnostic service across the region.

Forty NHS hospitals and community services will receive funding for plans worth £760 million to modernise and transform their buildings and services in the year of the NHS’s 70th birthday.

The capital funding announced today by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt, is the single biggest injection of its kind in the NHS in over a decade, and will be spent by the NHS on programmes to meet local demand, such as new urgent care centres and refurbishing mental health facilities.

Lancashire and South Cumbria will receive funding to support a £31 million scheme to create a single pathology diagnostic service between Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The proposal will enable the health and care system to better manage growing demand for, and complexity of, test requests which will lead to improved services for patients. It will facilitate investment in new technology which is developing at a faster pace than current individual trust resources allow and facilitate closer links with universities undertaking research and development in clinical and biomedical sciences.

Dr Amanda Doyle, GP and Chief Officer for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: "This investment will support us to make faster progress on modernising pathology diagnostic services which will help to improve lives for people across our region.”

“The proposal to develop non-urgent pathology services co-located in an off-site hub and urgent and emergency services provided from essential services laboratories on acute hospital sites will also help to address workforce challenges in recruitment, retention and sustainability.”

Simon Stevens NHS England CEO, said: "These significant investments in local areas will turbo charge much-needed improvements for patients and the public including better A&E facilities, children and adult mental health services, diagnostics and general practice. While rightly acknowledging the NHS's past in its 70th year, it's critical to build for the future and to develop the new more joined up and interconnected services people will need."

Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement said: “As part of helping the NHS meet the challenge of dealing with increasing demand from an ageing population we need to ensure we’re using the money given to us in the best way possible. But we also must recognise that the NHS needs more money to transform it into a service fit for the future. The NHS has been a world leader in innovation over the past 70 years. Today’s announcement will mean it can continue to offer better care to patients, in state-of-the-art facilities, for years to come.”

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