A pathology partnership in London has contracted CliniSys to deliver a new laboratory information management system (LIMS) that will create a single, network-wide database. 

South West London Pathology, established in 2014 by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is working with IT systems provider CliniSys to create a single, integrated pathology service across south west London and beyond.

The new WinPath LIMS will replace the mix of legacy systems currently used by the different services run out of these labs, including the iLab APEX LIMS at St George’s and older versions of WinPath used at Kingston and Croydon.

Its deployment by South West London Pathology will enable all the network’s sites to use a single database, with better reporting and analytics tools. The roll-out of the new system will be delivered in phases, with the aim of making the first service live by the end of 2019.

It is hoped that all sites and services will have deployed within 18 months.

Simon Brewer, managing director of South West London Pathology, said: “We have a 25-year old LIMS that was never designed to support a network, and we have created so many workarounds that it is no longer sustainable.

“We need a LIMS that can do a lot more; one that will enable us to further harmonise our workflow and enable us to grow. WinPath Enterprise has already been deployed into large, networked environments, so we are confident that CliniSys can help us to further modernise and streamline our service.”

South West London Pathology was set up in response to a national report on pathology services conducted by Lord Carter of Coles and the Modernising Pathology in London Programme.

The Carter report argued there was a strong case for the consolidation of pathology services, so non-urgent and more specialist work could be carried in laboratories with the staff and resources to ensure high-quality results.

Several pathology networks have now been set up or are being developed in response to a second report from Lord Carter on efficiency and the recent NHS Long Term Plan.

At South West London Pathology, the new LIMS will be integrated with the electronic patient record systems used by the different partner trusts, as well as the seven order communications systems used across the network.

Donald Saum, business development director at CliniSys, said: “South West London Pathology has used an integration strategy to enable information to flow between systems, but there comes a point when you need to take a consolidation approach.

“That is what WinPath Enterprise will enable the network to do, while also laying the foundations for further consolidation and growth. We are delighted to be working with the network as it takes that next step.”