Blood test centre plans for industrial estate in Basildon

Site – the new centre

Site – the new centre

First published in Local News by

A BLOOD testing centre is set to be created on a Basildon industrial estate to deal with samples from south Essex hospitals.

Plans have been drawn up to transform a former pharmaceutical firm, in Bentalls, Pipps Hill, into a pathology centre.

Blood tests for Southend Hospital and Basildon Hospital would be carried out there.

The proposed move comes three months after Clare Panniker, chief executive of Basildon Hospital, and Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive of Southend Hospital, announced a private firmhad been hired to run the service.

Staff will have their NHS contracts transferred to Integrated Pathology Partnership (IPP).

It’s a joint venture between two French companies which already runs a similar service in the South West, from Friday, August 1.

At the time of the shock announcement, both hospitals maintained local staff would “continue to interpret the results”, but would not reveal where the blood would be analysed.

Pathology workers from Southend Hospital are already thought to have plans to leave because of the proposals to create the blood testing centre in Basildon.

It was originally expected a site in between the two hospitals would be found.

Sam Older, from union Unison, said: “We are in ongoing talks with both hospitals and the IPP.

“We don’t think an industrial site is the best location for a service like this, and it is going to be a much longer journey for the Southend staff.

“We are really concerned about the safety of the staff. The proposed centre is in a high crime area, compared to both hospital sites at the moment.

“More than 400 staff members are transferring to IPP, but there are only 32 car parking spaces available, so I don’t know how that is going to work unless they plan to get rid of people.

“Hopefully it isn’t going to affect the patients who are having their blood taken.”

A shuttle bus service is expected to be set up for staff.

The existing pathology departments at Basildon Hospital and Southend Hospital will stay open to handle emergency tests.

In December 2012, NHS bosses announced plans to outsource blood tests to private company Community Pathology Services for analysis.

The blood would have been transported 90 miles to Bedford, prompting fears of delays due to traffic jams on major motorways.

The controversial scheme was dropped after the Echo campaigned to keep blood testing local, with more than 16,000 people signing our petition.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:18am Mon 23 Jun 14

Nebs says...

What a shame that there are no British companies capable of carrying out this task, and that the hospitals are incapable of working out a way to do the job in-house for a similar cost as outsourcing.
What a shame that there are no British companies capable of carrying out this task, and that the hospitals are incapable of working out a way to do the job in-house for a similar cost as outsourcing. Nebs
  • Score: 11

6:58pm Mon 23 Jun 14

runwellian says...

This means patients confidential information will be sent to yet another 'hired' NHS company increasing the risk of identifiable information being filtered off for private use.

Nobody can convince me that the staff in all these 'hired' companies are trustworthy!
This means patients confidential information will be sent to yet another 'hired' NHS company increasing the risk of identifiable information being filtered off for private use. Nobody can convince me that the staff in all these 'hired' companies are trustworthy! runwellian
  • Score: 6

6:44pm Tue 24 Jun 14

jolllyboy says...

Why the French. They already own utilities etc. I cannot believe that we are putting ourselves in the hands of other european companies like we are surely we have enough english workers in the health service.
Why the French. They already own utilities etc. I cannot believe that we are putting ourselves in the hands of other european companies like we are surely we have enough english workers in the health service. jolllyboy
  • Score: 1

1:55am Fri 27 Jun 14

watchthebirdie says...

As one of the 400 workers affected it is ridiculous to think this site will be big enough, especially with regard to parking, access and its distance from Basildon Station and nearest bus stop - ASDA is the nearest bus stop and buses don't stop there after 7pm (lab is open till 10pm) there is only the 100 bus which is no good for most staff who live from Southend to East London.
A shuttle service from the hospitals wont help as our cars will be left at the hospitals, clogging up the car parks there! There are bound to be at least 200 staff working there at any one time, even more at shift changes, and for all these reasons I fervently hope the council refuses planning permission and the consortium is forced to find a site with more parking and good public transport links elsewhere!!
I would urge other staff to contact their MPs wherever they live so that they can bring pressure to bear on the company and council to seek more suitable premises.
As one of the 400 workers affected it is ridiculous to think this site will be big enough, especially with regard to parking, access and its distance from Basildon Station and nearest bus stop - ASDA is the nearest bus stop and buses don't stop there after 7pm (lab is open till 10pm) there is only the 100 bus which is no good for most staff who live from Southend to East London. A shuttle service from the hospitals wont help as our cars will be left at the hospitals, clogging up the car parks there! There are bound to be at least 200 staff working there at any one time, even more at shift changes, and for all these reasons I fervently hope the council refuses planning permission and the consortium is forced to find a site with more parking and good public transport links elsewhere!! I would urge other staff to contact their MPs wherever they live so that they can bring pressure to bear on the company and council to seek more suitable premises. watchthebirdie
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree