Human Medicine:

Landmark Day for Pathology Partnership with Launch of Synnovis Brand

Published: 4th October 2022

A pathology partnership performing 32 million tests a year has been relaunched as ‘Synnovis’ – officially heralding the start of a new era for clinicians and patients in South East London.

SYNLAB, Europe’s leading medical diagnostic services provider, has been working in collaboration with Guy’s and St Thomas’, and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts since April 2021, to deliver and transform pathology services for hospitals, GPs, community services and other NHS healthcare providers.

For the past 18 months, the focus has been on developing local pathology services to build on the strengths of the service provided by Viapath, in readiness for major investment and transformation.

From today (4 Oct), however, the partnership will be known as Synnovis, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the NHS, SYNLAB and pathology services in the capital, under a contract spanning 15 years.

We’ve been working with colleagues, NHS clinicians, service users and others to co-develop a brand which represents the real essence of our organisation, both today and in the future. It stands for the collaboration, innovation and excellence which drives the quality of our services and the care provided by our clinical service users.

Our new identity will not only be a great source of pride for colleagues and customers, but also strengthen our ties with the NHS and open the door to the many benefits that being part of SYNLAB can bring.

Through the partnership, the NHS gains access to SYNLAB’s global laboratory and diagnostic network, providing access to a wide range of scientific, operational and transformational expertise, as well as innovative research and development opportunities across the world.

Together, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver and transform pathology services in south east London and this is an exciting milestone reached along that journey.

Mark Dollar, Chief Executive Officer for SYNLAB UK and Ireland

Pronounced ‘Sin’-‘no’-‘viss’, the name is made up of three parts. ‘Syn’ represents synchronicity and the strong partnership between the NHS and SYNLAB, ‘nnov’ is a nod to organisational innovation and ‘novis’ means ‘new’ and hints at ‘star’ (nova), symbolising both the creation of the new partnership and a continual aspiration towards distinction and excellence.

Synnovis will transform pathology services over the next three years to improve ways of working for clinicians and scientists, as well as delivering better value for money for the NHS. Faster testing services and cutting-edge laboratories will enable more people to be cared for in the community, while supporting the NHS in managing patient flows within its hospitals more effectively.

To deliver these aims and in line with the NHS’s own clinical vision, Synnovis is helping to create a world-leading, integrated ‘hub and spoke’ pathology network. A state-of-the-art ‘hub’ laboratory is being developed in Blackfriars Road, London, providing access to new and improved testing services and equipment.

Due for completion in 2025, it will become one of the largest, purpose-built pathology laboratories in the UK, with facilities providing learning and development opportunities to scientists, NHS clinicians, junior doctors and others working across all healthcare settings.

On-site hospital ‘spoke’ laboratories will be developed to provide essential services, which focus on the rapid turnaround of urgent tests, such as for inpatients or those attending A&E departments.

The hub and spoke model is based on the principle of separating specialised and urgent testing from routine, non-urgent pathology workflows. SYNLAB has made this model a proven standard of operational excellence in many countries and, in its other UK hub and spoke partnerships, has demonstrated how the approach can dramatically improve testing turnaround times, while freeing up valuable NHS hospital estate to use for other patient services.

In addition to Guy’s and St Thomas’, and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts, the other NHS organisations participating in the Synnovis pathology partnership are South London and Maudsley, and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trusts. They are joined by the South East London Integrated Care System, encompassing GP practices, clinics and other community services across the boroughs of Bromley, Lambeth, Southwark, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham, as well as various NHS tertiary services across the UK.

Pathology plays a key role in supporting the diagnosis of illness and devising new treatments to fight viruses, infections and diseases, and has been critical in helping to formulate the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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