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Patients in Wales to benefit from a new laboratory system

A new laboratory system is announced today for NHS Wales. The new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Service will manage the 35 million plus tests processed by NHS Wales’ 21 pathology labs every year.

The new LIMS Service will be used across NHS Wales in Blood Sciences, Cellular Pathology and Mortuary, Microbiology and Public Health Wales Cytology and Newborn Bloodspot Screening Services.

Citadel Health has been selected as the preferred IT supplier for a £15.9 million contract to supply its Evolution vLab software for seven years, with the option to extend for a further two years. The contract not only covers the LIMS but includes a range of systems and services including Haemonetics Blood Track and Nuance Dragon One Digital Dictation. 

The contract award follows a rigorous procurement process managed by Digital Health and Care Wales on behalf of and in partnership with the NHS Wales Health Collaborative Laboratory Information Network Cymru (LINC) Programme.

The new LIMS will support every health board, hospital and GP practice in Wales and will integrate with NHS Wales core health IT systems.

Key benefits include faster turnaround of tests, a reduction in the number of repeat tests, improved clinical safety through electronic test requesting and ensuring the service can cope with increasing demand.

Judith Bates, LINC Programme Director, said: This is an exciting time for the Pathology service.  LINC is looking forward to working with the new supplier, in partnership with Digital Health and Care Wales and NHS Wales Pathology services, to ensure the new LIMS is developed to meet NHS Wales requirements and safely deployed across all Pathology laboratories and services.  

Kevin Williams, Lead Pathology Subject Matter Expert, commented: “This has been a very successful procurement involving a tremendous amount of engagement and effort from staff across multiple organisations.  Because of COVID-19, we have learned to work remotely in an entirely different way, making the best use of technology to facilitate the work involved, including supplier demonstrations, supplier dialogue and virtual site visits across the world.”

The new system will begin roll out in 2023 and will replace the existing LIMS system, supplied by InterSystems and introduced in 2013.