27 July 2017
Liverpool Clinical Laboratories’ (LCL) blood sciences laboratory was officially opened this month at Aintree University Hospital, following a £600k refurbishment.
The laboratory reconfiguration which took 12 weeks to complete, brings together haematology, transfusion, biochemistry and specimen reception into a centralised and open plan working space, opposite Aintree’s Urgent Care and Trauma centre.
The new way of working, recommended by the Carter review and known as a hub and spoke delivery model, is part of national plans to improve the quality and efficiency of pathology services for hospitals and GPs.
Spoke laboratories or ‘hot labs’ such as the one at Aintree, process urgent work from A&E, trauma centres, acute wards and theatres and more specialist tests for infections like Sepsis and MRSA are sent to a hub laboratory, such as the LCL hub based at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital.
Dr Ian Watson a retired Consultant Clinical Biochemist, was the driving force behind the new laboratory during his time as Clinical Director at Aintree, officially opened the laboratory and said:
“I was pleased and honoured to be asked to open the laboratory and really enjoyed the opportunity to see how it has changed, it is even better than originally envisaged. An open plan laboratory is clearly an efficient and flexible concept.
Change and innovation has always been a key theme throughout healthcare science, there has always been a drive to produce better, more accurate results and I look forward to seeing what LCL does in the future.”
Around 600,000 patients require blood testing each year at Aintree, a service provided by the laboratory, with requests ranging from routine blood testing to cross matching blood for patients admitted to the Accident & Emergency department, suffering blood loss.
Tracey Smith-Straney, Laboratory Manager at Aintree said:
“Staff worked really hard during the relocation phase to make sure the service ran as normal; one of the greatest benefits of having an open plan space is that it encourages sharing of knowledge between teams. Overall that makes for a more inclusive working environment for staff and in turn, improved outcomes for patients.”
Guests enjoyed a tour of the laboratory before listening to Dr Ian Watson reflect on progress in healthcare laboratories to date and what the future might hold for pathology services.