South East London Pathology Services:

About The Hub

New South East London Hub Pathology Laboratory

Our new hub laboratory will be at Friars Bridge Court, Blackfriars Road, London. Due for completion in 2025, this laboratory will be at the heart of our plans to deliver and transform pathology services in South East London. It will become one of the largest, purpose-built pathology laboratories in the UK, capable of processing around 70 per cent of all pathology activity in the region.

It will be converted to create a modern, spacious work environment with open-plan and shared office space, clinical training rooms, training rooms for microscopy, spaces for community meetings and privacy areas. It will also have a café, vending services, a multi-faith room, cycle storage and showers, among other facilities.

As we seek to build on the strengths of today’s service provided by Viapath and the NHS, the hub and spoke model will work by separating out urgent from non-urgent tests to dramatically improve testing turnaround times and patient care. It will also free up valuable hospital estate to be used by the NHS for other patient services.

The building was chosen following an extensive review of potentially suitable sites across central London.

Friars Bridge Court was identified as the optimal location when considering distance from the various NHS organisations it will serve, as well as the excellent public transport links that surround it.

Another major consideration was the building’s size, layout and infrastructure, which will enable it to be converted to meet the partnership’s future needs. These needs include weight-bearing floors that will be capable of hosting a multitude of specialist laboratory equipment.

Work will now begin on creating a world-class, inspiring environment for scientific and clinical testing services – a place where colleagues will feel proud to work

Mark Dollar, the Chief Executive Officer for SYNLAB UK & Ireland, which is responsible for the pathology service’s delivery and transformation

Served by excellent transport links and surrounded by a range of amenities, Friars Bridge Court will house infection, tissue and blood sciences, as well as specialist services such as COVID testing, toxicology and manual immunology.

The new hub laboratory will be home to a fully equipped training centre committed to excellence in pathology, offering learning and development opportunities to scientists, NHS clinicians, junior doctors and others working across all healthcare settings.

Cutting-edge IT systems will link laboratories with referral sites, providing easier, quicker and remote access to testing services and results – in hospitals as well as in the community. This will mean clinicians can diagnose a patient’s condition more quickly and provide faster access to the treatment they need. It will also support better patient flows in hospital and enable more people to be treated in the community, helping to prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

Digital pathology services – covering histology, microbiology and haematology, among others – will allow clinicians to review results remotely, without needing to visit the hub in person. Those who do need to attend will be able to use dedicated work spaces and enjoy access to the building’s many other facilities. Though it is too early to say who will transfer to the hub and when, all moves will take place by 2024, at which point the new laboratory will be fully operational. Before we finalise relocation proposals, there will be a full consultation with colleagues potentially affected by the move, and there will be regular updates and opportunities for you to find out more and get involved in the meantime.

Please note: photos are of current building layout and design and may be subject to change during hub laboratory construction”

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