NHS Scotland awards national lab framework to Citadel Health

Lab SNBTS Jack Copland Centre (Photo © Andrew Lee)

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SCOTLAND is on its way to becoming home to the UK’s largest connected laboratory medicine network, following the appointment of Citadel Health as the supplier for NHS Scotland’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) framework.

The new software will connect NHS laboratory medicine labs and hospitals across Scotland. The network has the potential to link and streamline complex clinical processes to improve the patient experience for the population of Scotland.

Laboratory Medicine provides laboratory services to primary and secondary care centres across Scotland. Laboratories across the majority of Boards perform over 100 million tests per year and employ over 4,000 staff. Laboratories provide a 24/7 clinical and medical laboratory service and a comprehensive range of investigations including decentralised testing sites. Laboratory tests play a part in 70 – 80% of all health care decisions affecting diagnosis of disease, treatment, and monitoring response to treatment. 

LIMS is crucial to the function of Laboratory Medicine as it is used to result and report all primary, secondary and tertiary laboratory requests received by Laboratory Medicine. It also provides capability to create automation of workflows, integration of instruments, and management of samples and their associated information. LIMS systems interface with several key local and national healthcare systems.

The 10-year partnership with Citadel Health has the prospect of dramatically enhancing diagnostic capability across NHS Scotland through collaboration, national standardisation and improved systems.

By managing more than 100 million specimen and test requests processed each year by NHS Scotland’s pathology labs, the system has the potential to improve equality in patient access, cutting duplication and freeing up clinicians to manage resources within the network. Citadel Health’s Evolution vLab software already supports NHS Trusts in England and Wales and the new NHS Scotland partnership follows their recent successful tender to roll out the LIMS network across Wales.

The contract with Citadel Health reflects the global health tech leader’s proven ability to operate seamlessly across vast geographies, including the Southern Hemisphere’s largest single instance public health LIMS.

Mary Morgan, Chief Executive at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said: 

“Enabling health and social care transformation is one of our strategic priorities and this new partnership with Citadel Health represents a positive step for laboratory medicine in Scotland – where focusing on transformational change will lead to improved patient experience and greater efficiency, collaboration and connection across NHS Scotland boards.”

“Our National Procurement team in NSS conducts national procurements and assists local implementation to help NHS Scotland boards achieve the best value for money on goods and services to support the vital work of teams across NHS Scotland.”

Mike Gray, Laboratory Service Manager, NHS Lothian and Chair of the LIMS implementation programme, said: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for seamless interfacing across systems and the ability to quickly pull data from an efficient and effective LIMS on a national scale, so we sought a new LIMS supplier. Being able to share standardised results in real time will enable effective diagnosis for patients across the whole of the NHS Scotland, paving the pathway for improved patient outcomes.”

“All boards involved look forward to working in partnership with Citadel Health to ensure the new LIMS is developed to meet NHS Scotland requirements and safely deployed across all pathology laboratories and services.”

Stephen Lynch, Executive General Manager at Citadel Health, said: 

“We are delighted to be partnering with NHS Scotland Boards eager to embrace our approach of delivering essential laboratory services and improving efficiency and streamlining standardisation. The growing demand for seamless clinical collaboration across diagnostic networks to improve patient outcomes illustrates why we remain the natural choice to evolve digital health solutions across the UK.”

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