Newly released rapid testing functionality at Blackpool Victoria Hospital will allow patients to receive COVID-19 test results in less than 15 minutes, ensuring a safer and streamlined patient flow across the Trust.
The ‘Abbott ID Now Point of Care Testing’ equipment has emerged as a critical piece of kit in the Trust’s fight against outbreaks of COVID, with the technology capable of producing fast diagnosis to patients arriving at the Emergency Department and other walk-in areas of the hospital. The Trust has commissioned a new area within the hospital, a new ‘hot lab’ where the testing will take place.
The new test is now in the final stages of being fast-tracked for use at the hospital’s Rapid Access Testing Centre, and will help patient flow across all areas of the trust.
“This new Covid test will benefit patients and staff enormously. said Clare Ellis, Acting Pathology Directorate Manager at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
“It uses the latest technology to provide a result in only 15 minutes. Our POCT team, in conjunction with Virology and our Consultant Microbiologist have undertaken a tremendous amount of work to roll this out and it will benefit patients by leading to earlier diagnosis.
“It is really good news for patients and it is really helpful for the Trust in managing patient needs. We really hope the wards will really see the benefit.
“We have carried out a verification with some initial test kits and worked alongside Biomedical Scientists and Consultants in Virology to achieve this. We hope to get a bigger delivery this week so we can roll this out more consistently and move forward with the rapid testing.
“We are absolutely delighted to have these devices in our Trust We are really excited about this, it is a big achievement for the team to get these implemented in such a short space of time.”
The challenge now is to understand how the introduction of a 15 minute diagnosis can improve systems and processes across all areas of trust. Clare says: “This will give clinicians and their teams relevant clinical information very quickly so they are able to determine the best treatment and care for each patient. As a consequence we hope that this earlier diagnosis helps with patient flow and will have an overall positive impact on the care our patients receive. We are grateful to the wards for their support during our early testing period.
“We will work with the patient flow team, infection prevention, our consultant microbiologist plays a big role in this as well, to try and work out where in the patient journey these tests fits and how patients can be managed best.
“A lot of work has been going on with the COVID tests, with all the manufacturers for all the different platforms and everyone is racing trying to get tests out.
“But we are not taking shortcuts, but COVID is the one priority now, to get this stuff done.
“Our virology team have got several tests that they worked on and have introduced over the last few months, it has been a mammoth effort and everybody in the pathology lab has played some role in some aspect in helping to manage the COVID pandemic.”