NHS Wales has selected Citadel Health to provide a new laboratory system which aims to enable faster processing of tests and improved clinical safety.

The new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Service will be responsible for handling the 35million plus test processed by NHS Wales in Blood Sciences, Cellular Pathology and Mortuary, Microbiology and Public Health Wales Cytology and Newborn Bloodspot Screening Services.

Implementation of Citadel Health’s Evolution vLab should see a faster turn-around time for tests, reduce the volume of repeat tests and improve clinical safety by utilising electronic test requesting and ensuring the service is able to cope should demand increase.

The contract also includes a range of systems and services in addition to the LIMS, including Haemonetics Blood Track and Nuance’s Dragon One Digital Dictation.

The £15.9million deal will see the IT supplier providing its Evolution vLab software for seven years with an option to extend the contract for a further two years.

Kevin Williams, lead pathology subject matter expert at NHS Wales, said: “This has been a very successful procurement involving a tremendous amount of engagement and effort from staff across multiple organisations. Because of COVID-19, we have learned to work remotely in an entirely different way, making the best use of technology to facilitate the work involved, including supplier demonstrations, supplier dialogue and virtual site visits across the world.”

The new system will begin roll out in 2023. It follows on from upgrades made earlier this year to all six of NHS Wales’ pathology labs from its current LIMS supplier, InterSystems, to ensure optimum performance.

Jointly funded by the seven Welsh health boards and Digital Transformation Funding from Welsh Government, it will support every health board, hospital and GP practice in the country and will integrate with core NHS Wales health IT systems.

The procurement was managed by Digital Health and Care Wales on behalf of and in partnership with the NHS Wales Health Collaborative Laboratory Information Network Cymru (LINC) Programme.