The Microbiology team at Nottingham University Hospitals, which sits in West Block at the Queen’s Medical Centre, have been the hidden heroes driving forward the Trust’s testing machine during the Covid-19 pandemic, and have now completed their 100,000 Covid-19 test.
The laboratory, led by Dr Annie Joseph, Laboratory Head of Service and Rebecca Walker, Service Manager, was ahead of the curve from the very start of the first wave of the pandemic, being set up for business at the end of March, providing results for both patients and staff within 24 hours or less. In cases of urgency, the swab results for the rapid-testing route were turned around in just under an hour. This wouldn’t have been possible without the Microbiology Research, Development & Innovation Team and Specialist Biomedical Scientists that undertook the validation of the several different testing pathways used within the department.
Manjinder Khakh, Higher Specialist Biomedical Scientist, said:
“Reaching 100,000 Covid-19 tests is a huge achievement for the department; this is testimony to the dedication and hard work of all the staff involved. It has been a challenging year and we have been able to bring in a new test in such a short space of time, indicating that we have a reactive service that consistently strives to meet the needs of the Trust.”
This efficiency and determination of the department, part of the Cancer and Associated Speciality Division at the Trust, meant that Nottingham University Hospitals were supporting our other local Trusts with their testing for the initial stages of the pandemic. Going above and beyond their contracted hours of work, to operate a 6am – 10pm service seven days a week, the passion and dedication for patient care has shone through.
Despite increasing pressures and demands, the team have managed to maintain and improve the 24 hour turnaround time for results, which has been pivotal in keeping patients, staff, and visitors safe.
Sharon Foster, Quality & Virology Deputy Service Manager, said:
“The staff have been extremely adaptable, hard working and willing to provide so much voluntary overtime to support this service.
The department was one of the first labs in the UK to be accredited with UKAS for Covid-19 related testing and have also maintained UKAS IS015189 accreditation for the rest of the Microbiology service despite this very challenging time.”
The hard work of the Microbiology Department has ensured that both NUH patients and staff have had access to testing throughout the pandemic and has meant that we could continue to safely care for those in need of medical attention.
A huge well done to all involved for this work, and their continued work.