The Infection Sciences team at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) have reached a milestone of processing 100,000 COVID tests.
Laboratory teams at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital sampled the 100,000th COVID test on January 18 2021.
The record amount of samples taken in one day was 1,201.
Debra Padgett, Infection Sciences Operational Manager, said:
“December had broken new records for Immunology/Virology activity related to COVID (Blue line) and January has already been even busier.
“Non-COVID work is relatively stable (Red line) but as you can see COVID has doubled the testing activity of a very small lab team!”
On-site testing commenced in March 2020 and since then the teams have been processing COVID samples for GP testing, care home testing and they have also tested HMP Haverigg Prison.
The average turnaround time for non-urgent and staff testing samples is 6.8 hours. However, the team has also developed a rapid diagnostic service which currently has a turnaround of 2.3 hours, this is to make sure A&E can maintain flow and also help with discharges.
“We have amazing team in Infection Sciences that have gone above and beyond over the last 11 months. They have extended their working day to maximise testing hours, and we have implemented 11 new testing platforms to make sure we could continue testing during periods of supply issue and outbreak situations.
“Everybody is working weekends and late into evenings and whilst we have brought in new staff, they all need training in the most complex of tests we have in Virology.
“It has made me very proud to watch how the team have pulled together to develop the service our patients have needed. We should also thank our Blood Sciences colleagues who have carried out A&E testing at West Cumberland Hospital and overnight A&E testing at the Cumberland Infirmary.”