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London, Surrey and Sussex trusts tender for 20-year pathology services contract

Can the trusts make this large and lengthy contract work well?

South East London pathology programme board officials have released a tender for a large 20-year large pathology contract for services for eight trusts in south east London, Surrey and Sussex.

The contract covering all pathology services could be worth £2.2bn over the contract term, Health Service Journal (HSJ) editors have reported.

The tender follows an NHS Improvement instruction to acute trusts to form pathology networks in a bid to release £200m of savings by 2021.

The trusts involved are:

  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust (FT)
  • King’s College Hospital FT
  • East Sussex Healthcare Trust
  • Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust
  • Oxleas FT
  • South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust
  • South London and Maudsley FT
  • Royal Brompton and Harefield FT

The clinical commissioning groups of the South East London Commissioning Alliance are also involved.

Lewisham and Greenwich Trust has opted out of the tender and aims to keep its pathology service within the NHS

According to the South East London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, the procurement’s aim is to deliver efficiencies, which are likely to be achieved by adopting NHS Improvement’s proposed ‘hub and spoke’ model.

In the hub and spoke approach, one lead provider processes complex and high volume tests, while other trusts undertake only tests essential to the operation of their hospitals.

Further information

NHS Improvement: Pathology networks

NHS Networks: Report of the review of NHS pathology services in England