Regional LIMS Launch

Health Minister launches major new £40m investment to improve Regional Pathology diagnostic services

Update: 30 September 2021

Health Minister Robin Swann has today launched a new £40m Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that will significantly improve the delivery of clinical diagnostic services for key areas of healthcare. Health and Social Care (HSC) pathology services perform around 40m diagnostic tests in Northern Ireland each year, the results of which inform over 80% of all healthcare diagnostic and therapeutic decisions for patients.

Regional LIMS Launch


From Left: Karen Bailey – Interim Chief Executive of BSO, Jennifer Welsh – SRO of NIPIMS, Ricard Craven – CEO of CliniSys, Health Minister Robin Swann and Karin Jackson – SRO of LIMS

The Minister said: “A world class digital healthcare service is at the heart of our future healthcare needs, and the launch of LIMS is a shining example of transformation being delivered. LIMS is a modern and improved digital e-health solution, the first of its kind in the UK, that will future-proof HSC pathology services and boost Northern Ireland’s regional diagnostic capabilities, across cancer care, blood services and COVID-19.

The £40m investment in the LIMS system, using software from CliniSys, supports the building of a new, tailored platform. It will significantly enhance standardisation of pathology services across Northern Ireland resulting in better quality of care for every patient and will support all of our healthcare needs by providing 24/7 testing support to hospitals and GPs.

I’m very proud of the hard work of HSC laboratory staff,  a workforce of around 1,100 people who are often unseen but whose work is so critical to the majority of diagnostic and clinical pathways, even more so during the pandemic. COVID-19 has placed unprecedented demands on our pathology services and heightened the need for a modernised service which this investment provides.”

The Department of Health has been working with the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and the Pathology Network NI on a programme to modernise pathology services. A consultation in 2016 noted that laboratory tests underpin the vast majority of patient diagnoses, and that demand will grow as HSC services respond to the needs of an ageing population, advances in cancer medicine, and the spread of genetic testing and precision medicine.

Regional LIMS Launch

From Left: Melissa Cochrane – Programme Manager for NIPIMS, David Bryce - Assistant Director of ITS, Health Minister Robin Swann, Craig Young – Head of Programme Delivery at ITS and Karen Bailey – Interim Chief Executive of BSO

Regional LIMS Launch

From Left: Melissa Cochrane – Programme Manager for NIPIMS, Health Minister Robin Swann, Paul Reid – Core LIMS Senior Project Manager and Karin Jackson – SRO for Core LIMS Project


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