Fate of St Helier's new laboratories thrown into doubt
The future of two new hospital laboratories was thrown into doubt, on the same day they were officially opened containing £2m of new equipment.
On Friday, May 18, the state-of-the-art pathology equipment was unveiled at St Helier Hospital.
But on the same day a plan to centralise pathology services for the four hospitals in SW London with a super laboratory at St George’s was also announced.
If the proposals are approved less testing would be done at smaller labs, or "spokes", at each acute of the other hospital sites.
It is predicted even less testing would be done at St Helier if loses its A&E.
It is unclear if the new equipment, which is on a lease, would then be required at the hospital. If it is transferred to another hospital it is believed they would take on the lease.
A spokesman for South West London NHS Pathology Programme Board, that is proposing the centralisation of services, said the next stage would be to explore exactly what equipment would be needed at what site and how best to use the equipment there is across south west London, and any changes would take at least two years to be brought in.
St Helier chief executive Matthew Hopkins said it was business as usual despite the uncertainties currently surrounding the hospital.
He said: "Ensuring we have the latest technology is part and parcel of the job that we do, and we are pleased to be able to boast such wonderful new equipment."
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