Open All Hours – 7 Day Working In Microbiology Labs

Biomedical science is a biology and chemistry-related discipline used mostly in healthcare laboratories to identify, research, monitor and treat diseases. As one of the broadest areas of modern science, it focuses on the complexity of the human body and underpins much of modern medicine.

Seven day working is now up and running in the microbiology department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, thanks to the efforts of staff who have agreed to operate an out-of-hours weekend full day service to provide quicker results for patients.

The switch from a Monday to Friday service, which was backed by an on-call emergency system, now means staff work five days out of seven, which can involve weekends. Deputy Manager Microbiology Shona Traynor said: “Previously a sample could have arrived in the lab on a Friday evening and not get processed until the Monday. But this new system means the samples can be tested every day of the week.  It has required some effort to get the new arrangements in place but people have been flexible and understand the need.”

Microbiology manager Liz Kilgour added: “At the end of the day it is all about patient care and getting a quicker sample result. I do think staff have embraced the changes and we are getting positive feedback from people working weekends, as staff can see the benefit for the patient in what they are doing. I am proud of them, and appreciate the hard work of all staff involved.”

The Microbiology Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital tests almost 280,000 samples a year including bloods, urine and swabs, and around 70% of patient diagnoses are due to laboratory results. They handle a wide range of work including all the acute activity from Forth Valley Royal, and samples from community hospitals, care homes, GP practices and sexual health services across Forth Valley.