£3m invested in hi-tech blood laboratory at Sandwell Hospital

Sandwell | News | Published:

Almost £3 million has been invested in creating a new blood sciences laboratory at Sandwell Hospital.

The laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment to analyse samples quickly and accurately to speed up the diagnosis of patients.

The former microbiology and histopathology laboratories at the hospital in West Bromwich have been refurbished into a large open plan space where new modern robotic analysers and equipment have now been installed. Robots and conveyor tracks are now being used to help cope with increasing demand by reducing the cost of testing and minimising errors.

More than 7,000 samples a day are processed producing around 30,000 test results a day. The facility, run by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by a team of scientists, doctors and laboratory support workers.

Staff test samples from the Trust's inpatients and outpatients as well work from GPs, helping in the diagnosis of everything from cancers, to HIV and vitamin deficiencies.

It is the first of two phases of reconfiguration of the laboratories designed to fit with the needs of the proposed new Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick which will see microbiology, specialist laboratories and eventually the histopathology laboratories transferred to the Sandwell site. Toby Lewis, chief executive of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Local GPs know the value of the high quality, quick turnaround service offered by our teams.

"As we look to integrate care in Sandwell and in West Birmingham, diagnostic services have to be at the forefront. I am delighted that another promise made in Right Care, Right Here, is being fulfilled."

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