Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) is one of the NHS trusts that will benefit from a £13.5m national funding boost to further enhance cellular pathology services and provide faster and more accurate diagnosis of deadly diseases such as cancer.

The PathLAKE (Pathology Image Data Lake for Analytics Knowledge and Education) digital pathology consortium, led by University Hospital in Coventry and including OUH, is one of three initiatives developing artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose disease to receive a total of £50m in government funding.

Through the digitisation of NHS laboratories and the creation of a computational pathology hub, the PathLAKE consortium aims to develop the use of AI innovation in cellular pathology in the UK and create the world’s largest depository of anonymous annotated digital whole slide images. 

OUH was one of the original three founding partners in England of PathLAKE, awarded by Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in 2018. The programme has allowed the Trust to become a leading centre in the adoption of digital pathology, reaching the key milestone of being one of the first NHS Trusts in the UK to scan 100% of its cellular pathology surgical histology workload.

The additional £13.5m in ‘PathLAKE Plus’ funding was awarded as part of the government’s aim to upscale AI Centres of Excellence. This will fund or complete the full digitisation of at least 13 NHS Trusts in England, creating key infrastructure on which to build fully digital pathology networks. 

A proportion of that funding will go to the South 4 Pathology Partner Trusts, which includes OUH, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Great Western Hospital, Swindon and Milton Keynes University Hospital

Professor Clare Verrill, Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and Honorary Consultant in histopathology at OUH, is leading the Oxford PathLAKE team. She said: “This infrastructure will enable testing and deployment of AI in pathology at scale in the NHS. Ultimately, this will mean patients will get earlier and more accurate diagnoses, and more personalised treatment.

“The funding that we and our regional partners have received will enable us to move ahead with full digitisation of our network in this programme. This will unlock the many benefits of digitisation of pathology, such as better access to second opinions and case sharing across the network. 

“We are pleased to be working with our consortium partner trusts, led by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire on this innovative transformation of NHS cellular pathology services,” she added. 

Evelyn Waddell, Patient and Public Involvement member of the PathLAKE project, said: "What is significant about PathLAKE is that it uses AI to reflect the changing landscape in pathology to revolutionise diagnostics which will work to improve patient outcomes in the future.

“This will give patients a faster and more accurate diagnosis at a time when it's needed and this can only be a positive for patients."

The funding for ‘PathLAKE Plus’ forms part of a Government initiative to invest an extra £50 million in technology centres and deliver digital upgrades to pathology and imaging services across an additional 38 NHS trusts.

Similar stories

Omair Shariq wins Best Clinical Paper at the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons 2021 Annual Meeting

Dr Omair Shariq, a DPhil student and clinical research fellow in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) and Oxford Centre for Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), has received the 2021 Best Presentation for Clinical Research award during the 41st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES), which was held virtually on 25-27 April 2021.

Artificial intelligence tool for streamlining pathology workflow

A multidisciplinary team, comprising Andrea Chatrian, Dr Richard Colling, Professor Clare Verrill, Professor Jens Rittscher and colleagues, develops an algorithm for automated requesting of additional investigation in diagnostically uncertain prostate biopsies.

Professor Peter McCulloch receives NIHR Senior Investigator Award

We are delighted to announce that Professor Peter McCulloch of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences has been awarded the title of NIHR Senior Investigator.

NDS project awarded Public Engagement Seed Funding 2020-21

Seven projects from the Medical Sciences Division, including a project from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, have received funding in the 2020-21 round of the Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund for innovative projects to engage the public with medical research.

Cochrane ENT awarded NIHR funding for COVID-19 project

Cochrane ENT at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences has been awarded funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to complete a suite of living systematic reviews investigating the effectiveness and safety of interventions to prevent and treat loss of smell after COVID-19 infection.

Applications for Oxford-Wolfson-Marriott-Patel Scholarship now open

The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) are pleased to confirm that one scholarship will be available for Home (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI) candidates for the DPhil in Surgical Sciences, starting in Michaelmas Term 2021.

Blog posts

Celebrating women of NDS

To celebrate 100 years since women were admitted as full members of the University and on the occasion of International Women's Day, a group of inspirational women in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) reflect on their journeys, their place in Medical Sciences and their vision for the next 100 years.

The life of a research nurse: supporting the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Research nurses in the NHS are playing a crucial role in helping to trial new coronavirus treatments and vaccines. Three NDS research nurses stepped up to help with the fight against this new disease. Here Bhumika Patel shares her experience of working on the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial.

Why I became a Peer Supporter

The Peer Support Programme was developed in recognition of the essential role students play in supporting and encouraging one another on a day-to-day basis throughout their time at university. NDS’ own Helen Stark discusses her experience of becoming a Peer Supporter.

Racism under the microscope

As Black History Month gets underway in the UK, NDS Athena SWAN Coordinator Emily Hotine puts racism under the microscope.

In memory of Sue Bonnington

Pete Holding shares his memories of a much-loved colleague, Sue Bonnington. Based in Leicester, Sue worked remotely for the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) as a ProtecT study Lead Research Nurse from 2002 to 2017.