HSJ approached the 29 pathology networks proposed by NHS Improvement to ask if local trusts had signed up. In most cases the proposed “hub” trust was able to answer on behalf of its network. 

Trusts in three areas in the north are yet to confirm if they will form pathology networks as suggested by NHS Improvement.

Research by HSJ reveals senior chiefs in Manchester, Merseyside and the North East remain in discussions over whether to form the networks or pursue a different option.

One proposed network in east London is also yet to confirm its intentions, as is a network spanning parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

In total, 12 networks have agreed with NHSI’s plans, while 12 networks either have different members, or are still waiting for confirmation from one or more trusts. 

The list below gives the name of NHSI’s proposed networks, the proposed membership, and the networks’ responses to HSJ. It does not show which networks have agreed to NHSI’s “hub and spokes” model. 

Networks agreed as proposed by NHSI

London 1

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals FT, Imperial College Healthcare Trust.

London 4

Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT, King’s College Hospital FT, Lewisham and Greenwich Trust.

Midlands and East 2

Chesterfield Royal Hospital FT, Derby Teaching Hospitals FT, Kettering General Hospital FT, Northampton General Hospital Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals FT, University Hospitals of Leicester Trust.

Midlands and East 3

Heart of England FT, University Hospitals Birmingham FT.

Midlands and East 7

James Paget University Hospitals FT, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals FT, Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn FT.

North Midlands 1

Barnsley Hospital FT, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals FT, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals FT, Rotherham FT.

North Midlands 3

East Cheshire Trust, Mid Cheshire Hospitals FT, University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust.

North 2

Airedale FT, Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT, Calderdale and Huddersfield FT, Harrogate and District FT, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

South 1

Plymouth Hospitals Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter FT, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, Torbay and South Devon FT.

South 2

Taunton and Somerset FT, Yeovil District Hospital FT.

South 3

Gloucestershire Hospitals FT, North Bristol Trust, Royal United Hospitals Bath FT, University Hospitals Bristol FT, Weston Area Health Trust.

South 8

Dartford and Gravesham Trust, East Kent Hospitals University FT, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust, Medway FT.

Networks mooted by NHSI for which alternative plans have been proposed

London 2

London North West Healthcare Trust, North Middlesex University Hospital Trust, Royal Free London FT, The Whittington Hospital Trust, University College London Hospitals FT, West Hertfordshire Hospitals.

Network agreed - but excludes Whittington and West Hertfordshire trusts.

London 5

Croydon Health Services Trust, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals FT, Kingston Hospital FT, St George’s University Hospitals FT.

Network agreed – but Epsom and St Helier not yet confirmed membership.

Midlands and East 1

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, The Dudley Group FT, Royal Wolverhampton Trust, Walsall Healthcare Trust.

Network agreed and business case drawn up – but Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust not yet confirmed membership.

Midlands and East 4

Burton Hospitals FT, George Eliot Hospital Trust, South Warwickshire FT, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust, Worcestershire Acute Trust, Wye Valley Trust.

Network agreed – but Worcestershire and Wye Valley trusts yet to confirm membership.

Midlands and East 5

Bedford Hospital Trust, East and North Hertfordshire Trust, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital FT, Milton Keynes University Hospital FT.

Network agreed by Bedford and Luton and Dunstable trusts – but Milton Keynes and East and North Hertfordshire trusts are in other networks.

Midlands and East 6

Cambridge University Hospitals FT, Colchester University Hospital FT, Ipswich Hospital Trust, West Suffolk FT, North West Anglia FT.

Network split into two agreed networks (East and West). East comprises Colchester, Ipswich, and West Suffolk trusts, and West comprises Cambridge, North West Anglia, and East and North Hertfordshire trusts.

Midlands and East 8

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals FT, Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, Southend University Hospital FT, Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust.

Network agreed - but Princess Alexandra yet to confirm membership.

North 3

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals FT, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals FT.

Network agreed – but includes University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay FT while East Lancashire Hospitals yet to confirm membership.

South 4

Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, Great Western Hospitals FT, Oxford University Hospitals FT.

Network agreed – but includes Milton Keynes University Hospital FT.

South 5

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals FT, Frimley Health FT, Hampshire Hospitals FT, Royal Berkshire FT, Royal Surrey County Hospital FT.

Network agreed – but excludes Hampshire Hospitals FT.

South 6

Dorset County Hospital FT, Isle of Wight Trust, Poole Hospital FT, Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, Salisbury FT, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals FT, University Hospital Southampton FT.

Network agreed – but includes Hampshire Hospitals FT.

South 7

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, East Sussex Healthcare Trust, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust, Western Sussex Hospitals FT.

Network agreed between Brighton and Surrey and Sussex trusts who already work together, but East Sussex and Western Sussex trusts yet to confirm they will join the network.

Networks proposed by NHSI which have not been agreed and for which no alternative has been proposed:

London 3

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, Barts Health Trust, Homerton University Hospital FT.

North Midlands 2

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole FT, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, York Teaching Hospital FT.

North 1

City Hospitals Sunderland FT, County Durham and Darlington FT, Gateshead Health FT, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool FT, Northumbria Healthcare FT, South Tees Hospitals FT, South Tyneside FT, The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals FT, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay FT.

North 4

Aintree University Hospital FT, Countess of Chester Hospital FT, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospital Services Trust, Warrington and Halton Hospitals FT, Wirral University Teaching Hospital FT.

North 5

Bolton FT, Manchester University FT, Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, Salford Royal FT, Stockport FT, Tameside Hospital FT, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh FT.

  • List updated at 4.38pm on 28 February after North Midlands 2 network clarified its response. The network has not yet formally agreed to be established as planned by NHSI, and nothing has been finalised. 


NHSI pathology proposals agreed by less than half of trusts