Microbiology 7 Day Working Means Quicker Results for Patients

Seven day working is now up and running in the microbiology department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, providing quicker sample 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.

NHS Forth Valley Deputy Manager Microbiology, Shona Traynor, said: “Technically 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. Our staff understood the need to provide a seven day service and have been flexible to allow the new arrangements to be put in place.”

NHS Forth Valley 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 and commitment of all the 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. Staff handle a wide range of work including all the acute activity from Forth Valley Royal Hospital as well as samples from community hospitals, care homes, GP practices and sexual health services across Forth Valley.