Pathology outsourcing

Posted by Alison Patten-Hall on
Many NHS organisations are exploring the possible service and financial benefits of new models for the provision of pathology services.

This often involves either the consolidation of services across a number of Trusts or geographical areas. It can also involve commercial arrangements with other organisations either NHS Trusts or private companies to support investment in new models, new technologies and reorganisation of pathology support. We support NHS organisations in their projects to change the delivery of pathology services including outsourcing, collaboration and joint ventures.

We can help you to find a legally robust, commercial solution for the future delivery of pathology on a local or regional basis. In particular, we can offer:

  • Procurement advice and advice on options available
  • Strategic advice to ensure the Trust remains compliant but commercial as the project progresses
  • Advice on setting up contract structures and specifications to support procurement¬†
  • Property, commercial and workforce due diligence
  • Support with procurement processes including negotiation with bidders
  • Drafting contracts including any supplementary agreements around property, workforce, and corporate and commercial arrangements to implement the chosen procured commercial solution

Case Studies

An English district general hospital

An English district general hospital needed to upgrade its pathology services and invest in new equipment. As part of that exercise, it agreed in principle to the reorganisation of its pathology services with a neighbouring district general hospital. It agreed to pool workforce assets and investment, to free up property in one of the Trusts to allow more cost-effective investment in equipment at the other Trust, to create a shared workforce to minimise cost and maximise expertise, and finally to be able to offer a more cost-effective, responsive service to external users of pathology services in primary care.

We supported the process by:

  • Negotiating the key commercial and partner arrangements;
  • Drafting detailed service conditions and information governance conditions; and
  • Conducting due diligence and providing other areas of project support.

A teaching hospital in Wales

A teaching hospital in Wales: we helped the hospital from start to finish with the procurement of two separate but parallel services (biochemistry and haematology) together worth £48 million over an initial 8 year period, which resulted in major savings for the hospital as well as securing a high level of service provision.

We supported the process by:

  • Advising on the procurement process throughout
  • Drafting and negotiating all contract documentation
  • Advising on the financing model and related commercial matters
  • Advising on VAT reclaim and off-balance sheet treatment

Added value offering

We can add value by offering:

  • Strategic and detailed procurement advice
  • Due diligence preparation
  • Advice on market engagement
  • Providing workforce change advice
  • Drafting and negotiating all contractual documents
  • Working closely with technical and clinical experts to ensure regulatory, clinical governance, data protection, patient confidentiality and other requirements are met, and robust service levels and payment regimes are put in place
  • Managing the procurement process from start to finish, including avoiding / dealing with potential challenges
  • Estates and construction advice

About the Author

Alison is head of Blake Morgan's Commercial team. She is a Partner specialising in commercial and complex high value projects. She has a great deal of experience of working with clients in the health and care sector, but also acting for large corporates on commercial projects.

Alison Patten-Hall
Email Alison
0118 955 3075

View Profile