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MANAGED SERVICES


Pathology partnership strengthened during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic


Earlier in the year, during lockdown, award-winning NHS partnership SWLP adopted equipment from Beckman Coulter’s AutoMate 2500 family of automated sample processing systems, which has streamlined pre- and post-analytical processes to help the laboratories gain optimal performance and use of resources.


Beckman Coulter established a partnership with South West London Pathology (SWLP) in 2014. Over time, the partnership evolved, growing in size and capacity, and encompassing various aspects within the Managed Service Contract. During the summer of 2020, when the country was at the height of lockdown and hospital laboratories were figuring out a new way to work, this partnership led to the adoption of the AutoMate 2550, featuring the Intelligent Sample Banking (ISB) software.


The SWLP partnership provides an integrated pathology service across south-west London. Initially set up by three large hospitals – St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – the partnership serves more than 3.5 million people. The partnership also covers the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the New Victoria Hospital, as well as over 200 GP practices and 30 healthcare centres.


South West London Pathology Each of the three hospitals in the partnership has a trauma centre, A&E department, operating theatres and maternity services. Laboratories at each hospital are responsible for processing and testing samples collected on and off site. Across the network, over 43 million tests were carried out in 2019, with around 25,000 samples processed daily. This includes samples from GP practices and healthcare centres, bringing the number of samples tested at St George’s to around 9000 a day. The laboratories at all three hospitals operate 24/7, covering essential services. The hub laboratory at St George’s has blood sciences and microbiology departments, an immunology laboratory with a specialist Protein Reference Unit, and modern cellular pathology laboratories that provide histopathology and cytopathology services.


Non-gynaecological cytology services St George’s Hospital had the need to expand its capability around sample banking, looking to improve efficiency and automate processes to enable the laboratory to save critical sample data relating to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease testing in a reliable and compliant system. The request came at a time when the client faced an urgent need to move quickly, while the whole country was in lockdown, facing stringent restrictions, with staff shortages and a highly unpredictable situation.


Intelligent Sample Banking for the The SWLP partnership provides an integrated pathology service across south-west London. 50


AutoMate 2500 family provided a fully integrated sample bank solution for long- term archiving, and the team worked with the laboratory staff and management to integrate the new solution into the existing workflow. Beckman Coulter’s


DECEMBER 2020 WWW.PATHOLOGYINPRACTICE.COM


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