BLACKPOOL, England, May 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A contract for the implementation of a new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) across all NHS pathology services in Lancashire & South Cumbria has been awarded to Citadel Health.

The new single LIMS will replace four standalone systems across eight hospital sites, cutting costs via a common platform linking all laboratories for the first time. It will support 800 employees and a population approaching 1.8 million people.

A key enabler in improving patient pathways across multiple health areas including cancer, this is a major step forward for the network , moving pathology into the next generation of digital opportunities and improving patient outcomes as part of a first-class service.

Of all the suppliers in the procurement process, Citadel Health came out with the top score overall and demonstrated that they could provide both the best technical solution and value for money. The contract follows Citadel Health’s recent appointment to roll out the countrywide connected LIMS network in Wales, the largest such project in the UK to date.

Professor Anthony Rowbottom, Clinical Director of the Lancashire & South Cumbria Pathology Service said: “The pathology network was awarded just under £10 million following a successful bid to NHS digital to support the procurement of the system.  This really takes us into the next level of technological advancement and will support our future aspirations for utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence. It will also support the transition that we are planning to near patient testing and future wearable technology.

“Having a common platform that links all laboratories in the health economy together is an essential enabler in supporting our future plans. I am really pleased that we have now awarded the contract to Citadel Health and that work can begin on making our vision a reality.”

Implementing Citadel Health’s Evolution vLab LIMS to perform over 42 million tests each year  will realise multiple benefits. A common platform across laboratories will improve communication and enable access to patient data from any site, bolstering patient care by supporting the completion of full records. The seamless movement of orders and results between all pathology sites will reducing turnaround times by streamlining processes so samples are analysed more efficiently. Data shared across IT systems can inform research and enhance patient care. The new system will also support future intended developments such as Digital Pathology (digitisation of pathology slides) and artificial intelligence.

Stephen Lynch, Executive General Manager at Citadel Health, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Lancashire & South Cumbria Pathology Service, a forward-looking organisation that has shown it is ready to deliver essential pathology services in a more structured, efficient and connected way. Clinical collaboration across pathology networks cuts costs, streamlines processes and helps improve patient outcomes – delivering a win for everyone. The cooperative model will offer the rest of the country a clear example of what best practice connected pathology can achieve.”