One of the first public-private joint venture pathology services for the NHS has posted its first multi-million pound profit since its launch in 2009, its accounts reveal.

GSTS Pathology, a joint venture set up by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust and outsourcer Serco, posted a £3.8m net profit for the year ending December 2013, up from £300,000 in 2012.

Revenues increased by 6 per cent from £87.6m in 2012 to £92.5m in 2013, according to the  accounts which were released as the majority-owned NHS joint venture rebranded itself Viapath.

Richard Jones, CEO of Viapath

Richard Jones, CEO of Viapath

The joint venture’s progress is closely watched by the market as trusts continue to explore different models to reconfigure their pathology services, principally to cut costs. Reformers claim clinical improvements are also possible.  

Its robust set of financial results represents a considerable upturn in fortunes for the company which suffered a challenging first few years. In 2011, it posted a £5.9m loss.

The company said its improved performance had enabled it to further invest in its infrastructure. It plans to spend £11m on a new laboratory information management system, according to a statement.

The joint venture now involves King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust and Bedford Hospital Trust which both joined in 2010. It has around 1,000 employees and  conducted more than 22 million pathology tests last year.

Viapath chief executive Richard Jones said, “This result is excellent news for the organisation; and proves how good working partnerships and consistent efforts in the market deliver results; the organisation is steadily growing as an important player in the pathology market and I would personally like to thank our staff and partners for contributing to this result through their continued support.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’s chief executive sir Ron Kerr said: “The GSTS annual report shows excellent progress. We were pleased last year when our joint venture made a surplus, but the improvements in performance and staff engagement this year, along with an increased surplus, are very good news.”