QVH pathology lab first of its kind in the country to achieve new standards

Thursday 4th December 2014

The QVH cellular pathology laboratory is the first of its kind in the country to be awarded accreditation against ISO 15189 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). UKAS is the national accreditation body that assesses organisations against internationally agreed scientific standards.

The new standard, known as ISO 15189, sets tighter criteria than previous accreditation standards. This includes greater levels of precision for the lab’s results and strict competencies for staff including training and monitoring.

In addition to supporting the specialist work of the hospital, the QVH pathology lab also provides a valuable community service for samples and referrals from general practice. The lab analyses cell and tissue samples in order to exclude and to diagnose and assess cancer as well as many types of inflammatory conditions.

The accreditation is the result of a number of improvements in the laboratory’s service over recent months which have also seen response times transformed so that QVH is now amongst the best in the country. National standards are for 90% of results to be reported within ten days and 80% within seven days. At QVH 97% are reported with ten days and 91% within seven days.

The improvements are part of the trust’s QVH 2020: Delivering Excellence strategy and have been overseen by Dr Rachael Liebmann, Registrar of the Royal College of Pathologists, who was appointed QVH’s Clinical Director for Pathology in March.

Rachael said: “We’re delighted that the high quality service we provide has been recognised as amongst the very best in the country. Achieving this accreditation has been the result of leadership and vision at board level and a fantastic joint effort by all the staff in the team.”