Gael Ltd have won a significant contract which will help to transform pathology services across seven health boards throughout the East of England.
The East Kilbride-based quality, safety and compliance management leaders will build a ‘hub and spoke’ model, supporting the pathology services for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust; East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust; Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust; Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust; Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
The project, known as Transforming Pathology Partnership (TPP), will centralise vital aspects of pathology care in order to improve clinical outcomes and deliver cost savings. It’s aimed at meeting efficiency recommendations raised in the Carter Report and is described as “an innovative and entrepreneurial partnership delivering pathology services.”
The TPP will be one of the UK’s largest pathology providers with an annual turnover of circa £77 million and 1,000 staff. Moving away from the traditional model of every hospital having its own stand-alone pathology department, TPP will deliver services through two centralised ‘hubs’ for high volume, non-urgent work and smaller ‘spoke’ laboratories at each Trust for urgent work, similar to hot and cold labs. This hub and spoke model follows recommendations for modernising pathology in the UK and is already established practice in many parts of the world.
Gael’s expertise, service portfolio and the ability to create the desired hub and spoke solution, were key factors in overcoming a series of competitors following extensive, competitive tendering. The company’s bid was also boosted thanks to previous experience in managing projects of this size and scale, having overseen and managed the creation of a central database for nationwide pharmacy services in Wales.
Each NHS Trust individually went through the tender, with Gael being chosen as the only organisation whose capabilities and solutions could meet the objectives of the TPP. As well as Q-Pulse being the main solution, the TPP will also benefit from Gael Academy – which will boost the roll-out of the project through staff and management training – as well as Q-Pulse’s ability to integrate with Datix, the most widely used patient safety and risk management software in the NHS.
Ashley Marron, Gael’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This project highlights the capabilities of Gael and the strength of the solutions and services that we provide.
“We are delighted to be announced as the preferred bidder for this project. Each of the seven NHS Trusts involved felt that our expertise and solutions were best placed build a ‘hub and spoke’ model for them to help meet their objectives. The hospitals felt confident that through a close partnership, we can provide the platform needed to improve quality, patient safety and efficiency.”
Mr Marron added: “Across the UK, pressures on pathology are likely to drive further pathology consolidation and we are delighted to support the TPP in being among the first to take active steps in improving Pathology services in the UK.”
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