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Somerset and iPP link up for lab services

23 February 2012

Integrated Pathology Partnerships (iPP) has joined two Somerset NHS trusts to set up a 20-year pathology services joint venture.

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will work with iPP to deliver the full range of lab services, focusing on the processing of routine and non-urgent testing.

However, clinical interpretation and clinical advice functions will continue to be provided by the trusts' medical staff, who will remain employed by the NHS, said a statement from Sodexo, iPP's parent company.

The joint venture will trade as South West Pathology Services and have a catchment area of around 500,000 people and more than 100 GP offices.

"Plans for a multi-million pound, state-of-the- art laboratory in Taunton to house the pathology service are already underway,” the statement said.

“There will also be an essential services laboratory at Musgrove Park and Yeovil District Hospitals to ensure that all urgent and essential tests remain available on-site. The current patient referral process for tests will remain unchanged.”

Sodexo said the joint venture “has been deliberately structured in a way that allows other trusts in the region to join the collaboration and benefit from investment in the new service and the wide range of innovations and service improvements it will deliver”.

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