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Serco and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust sign pioneering pathology partnership

Date: 30 Jan 2009

Serco Group plc (Serco) and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust today announce that they have formed a partnership to improve the Trust's pathology services and target the significant national and international pathology market.

The 50:50 joint venture - the first of its kind in the NHS - is branded as GSTS Pathology and will operate and enhance the Trust's existing pathology capabilities under a ten-year contract valued at around £250m to Serco. This Joint Venture was agreed on 22 December 2008 with a start date of 1 February 2009.

GSTS Pathology is one of the largest pathology organisations in the UK. Around 550 employees conduct more than seven million pathology tests a year, consisting of over 1000 different types of test across a broad spectrum of disciplines including histopathology, blood sciences, microbiology, and genetics.

For Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation Trust, GSTS Pathology will help improve patient care and increase efficiency by extending the range of pathology services offered, improving training, recruitment, procurement services, logistics, data management and standardising and automating processes.

More than 70% of all health care decisions in the UK relating to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of disease involve a pathology investigation.

In the wider market, GSTS Pathology will offer a range of innovative solutions for delivering high quality efficient pathology services suitable for other NHS organisations, the private sector and for customers outside of the UK. The NHS pathology market is valued at around £2.5bn per annum, with demand for diagnostic tests growing at around 8-10% a year.

Ron Kerr, the Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are delighted to be entering into this joint venture with Serco to deliver pathology services both to our own organisation and to the wider pathology market.

"Pathology is an area where clinical advances and new technologies are driving change across the NHS, and we believe this partnership makes us well placed to take advantage of new opportunities. Through our combined and complementary skills and expertise we will provide a comprehensive pathology service, ensure new diagnostic tests are introduced rapidly for patient benefit and we will undoubtedly enhance efficiency, both in terms of cost and turnaround times."

Christopher Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco, said: "Guy's and St Thomas' is one of the best-known and most respected organisations in the NHS and we are delighted to form this partnership. I believe Serco's skills in service management, transformation and logistics will complement the Trust's clinical and scientific excellence. Together we will develop and deliver a world-class pathology service that will benefit patients and staff alike.

"Healthcare offers a major growth area for us. The NHS has to meet challenging targets and deliver efficiency savings and we can play a critical role in supporting this. This partnership with a world-renowned Foundation Trust demonstrates our ability to deliver innovative partnership models to meet these significant challenges."

Serco will announce its preliminary results for the full year ending 31 December 2008 on 27 February 2009. This has been moved from 26 February because of the number of other companies in the same market sector reporting on that day.

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Last Updated: 30 Jan 2009