£1m to set up lab project – but still no business case

Over £1 million has been spent so far on developing a Business Case for centralising pathology services in Lancashire covering four NHS trusts, according to information released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The request for disclosure was submitted by Unite shop steward Cllr Jonathan “Jono” Grisdale, as the union remains concerned at the implication both for jobs and for potential delays and problems in the resulting service if the centralisation goes ahead.

Back in May the Lowdown reported that the plans to drive through the merger of four NHS hospital laboratories serving a population of 500,000 people in Lancashire and South Cumbria (Blackburn, Blackpool, Lancaster and Preston) into a single hub in Lancaster, were being progressed “under the radar” of the Covid pandemic.

The initial proposals, first raised in 2016, had been put on hold last year awaiting allocation of the required funding, delaying possible implementation from the original target date of 2021 to at least 2024.

Full story in The Lowdown, 7 July 2020

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