The Sussex Pathology Network has selected Clinisys for the deployment of a laboratory information system (LIMS) that will help its labs to collaborate and maintain a high-quality pathology service for clinicians, patients and residents.

A single, hosted instance of Clinisys’ WinPath Enterprise will replace the existing four live LIMS systems in use at the three trusts and seven laboratories within the network, of which two are at the end of their life.

The replacement is crucial to ensure the labs maintain their capability to deliver a comprehensive range of pathology services, supporting vital aspects such as diagnosis and treatment decisions, blood transfusion and trauma care.

An implementation team will work alongside laboratory and IT staff to make sure the new LIMS supports consistent, efficient, and high-quality processes, so clinicians and patients receive the same service, wherever they work or live.

The new system from Clinisys, which partnered with mTuitive in March, will also enable better communications so laboratories can share workload and expertise, and support remote working.

In time, it will enable the introduction of automation and AI technologies, so highly trained pathologists can focus on urgent and complex cases, where their expertise is most needed.

Emily Gaskell, programme director, pathology, at NHS Sussex, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, our pathology laboratories worked more closely together, and that encouraged us to move forward and adopt the NHS England model for pathology networks.

“However, because most of the labs are spread along a long, thin, coastal patch, with very poor road communications, a hub and spoke model for all work is impractical.

“Instead, we want to focus on creating a consistent pathology service, so it doesn’t matter whether you get a test in Rye or in Chichester; you will get the same test, and the same quality of results, in the same appropriate timeframe.

“To do that, one LIMS is essential. We see Clinisys WinPath as a key enabler for the network, and critical to improving services for people in Sussex.”

WinPath Enterprise will provide a stable, safe and secure platform for the three trusts the Sussex Pathology Network serves: East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, and Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Felice Di Rienzo, professional services director at Clinisys, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Sussex Pathology Service on the deployment of this new LIMS. The project team want to work at pace, and we are absolutely up for that.

“We look forward to standing alongside the implementation team and the network’s clinicians as they roll-out Clinisys WinPath as a stable, secure and safe platform for pathology services today and in the future.”

Implementation is at an early stage, but the aim is to roll-out the new LIMS site by site, and to have the first two sites live by December next year.