Skip to the content

Leeds blood transfusion service deploys new lab info system


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


Centre for Laboratory Medicine
Centre for Laboratory Medicine
Image source: Clinisys

The blood transfusion service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has started working with a new laboratory information management system (LIMS) as part of a larger project to deploy a single system across the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT).

Its laboratories at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’ University Hospital are now live with Clinisys WinPath.

The deployment has included the labs’ adoption of Clinisys’ ICE order communications system, which could not be suitably integrated with the previous system. Clinisys said this will enable clinicians to access blood test results much faster than the old paper reporting process, supporting quicker patient diagnosis and improved outcomes.

The labs have also upgraded the blood tracking system, adding increased functionality.

The implementation will also inform the roll out of Clinisys WinPath to other pathology disciplines at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and eventually all the labs in WYAAT’s network of six trusts.

Forming networks

Stephen Stephenson, head of profession for pathology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “NHS England has been encouraging the formation of pathology networks, in response to reports from Lord Carter of Coles.

“We have been moving in that direction for some time, so we are ahead of the curve and one of the things that we recognised early on was that a single LIMS was crucial to the future of pathology services across our region.

“A single LIMS will enable our trusts to standardise working practices and reporting procedures, invest in new equipment and be ready for the future development and introduction of AI. The Leeds ‘go live’ is an important step in a huge change programme that will create a platform to build on in the future.”

WYAAT is making a significant investment in pathology with the creation of a Centre for Laboratory Medicine in Leeds. This will consolidate some pathology services, opening up opportunities for new testing methods, and the collaborative chose Clinisys WinPath as its single LIMS three years ago.

The blood transfusion laboratories in Airedale and Bradford went live last year, followed by the Leeds laboratory in November 2023.

Starting point

Janine Bontoft, WYAAT LIMS implementation manager, said the collaborative decided to start with blood transfusion because it is a highly regulated service - and did not require a lot of work to standardise tests and working methods that other disciplines need to complete prior to adopting the new technology.

She added: “The new LIMS will also enable us to introduce bedside blood tracking and integrated blood fridges to improve patient safety and make the best use of blood products, which are a precious resource.

“Leeds was our third trust to go live with blood transfusion, and from a technical standpoint it was the smoothest so far as we took learnings from our two  previous go lives. Now it is live, we can move on to implementing Clinisys WinPath at the three remaining blood transfusion laboratories within WYAAT and start planning for blood sciences and microbiology implementation in Leeds.

The major building work on the Centre for Laboratory Medicine was completed in September. There is some final finishing work is complete, but once this is done and the roll out of the single LIMS has progressed further, the pathology network will undertake a big refresh of its equipment.

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.