Outstanding Results For Local Labs

Since the start of the pandemic, the Microbiology Department at Forth Valley Hospital has processed more than 186,000 samples in the fight against Covid-19.

This figure is seen as an excellent response for a smaller health board and has been achieved by working closely with partners in Public Health.

With result reporting exceeding an outstanding 95% turnaround time, Microbiology Laboratory Manager Elisabeth Kilgour said: “Staff have gone above and beyond with increased shift patterns, often until late into the night, to deliver patients Covid-19 results. I am very proud of them and all that the lab as a team has achieved so far and will continue to deliver going into another winter!”

To help speed up results, a Point of Care satellite lab was also set up in November 2020 to deliver results in under an hour for patients who had to be urgently admitted to hospital. It meant a new skill set for our excellent band of bank workers (nursing students, healthcare support workers and biomedical science students) who are trained to staff this lab 24/7.

In addition to Covid-19 testing, the Microbiology Department, continues to deal with all of the routine diagnostic testing which has now seen a return to pre-pandemic levels. In 2020/21 it tested more than 277,000 samples. Microbiology staff also offer advice to local GPs and hospital-based doctors, to help them make a diagnosis or prescribe the correct antibiotics to treat an infection. In addition, they work closely with NHS Forth Valley’s Infection Prevention and Control Team to help reduce the spread of infection, such as C. difficile, MRSA and other resistant bacteria.