NHS Forth Valley Introduce Rapid Covid-19 Tests for Urgent Patient Admissions

Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert is one of the first acute hospitals in Scotland to introduce rapid Covid-19 tests for patients who have to be urgently admitted to hospital for treatment at any time.

NHS Forth Valley already offers advance Covid-19 testing for patients who are coming into hospital for a planned operation or procedure as part of their pre-admission procedure however, it has now created a new mini-lab to provide rapid Covid-19 and flu tests for patients who need to be urgently admitted for an operation or treatment.

The rapid Covid-19 PCR tests, which normally produce results in under an hour, enable staff to admit the patient to the most appropriate ward and ensure that all necessary infection control measures are in place to help reduce the risk of transmission.

Dr Elan Tsarfati, Consultant Microbiologist, NHS Forth Valley, said: “This new services allows us to quickly identify if a patient who needs to be quickly admitted to hospital is positive for Covid-19 so that we can keep them, other patients and our staff as safe as possible.

“Having test results back quickly also helps avoid potential delays regardless of when the patient is being admitted and helps our staff make the right decisions on where they should be cared for within the hospital. It also provides reassurance to other patients and the healthcare staff involved in their care and treatment.”

Liz Kilgour, Microbiology Laboratory Manager, NHS Forth Valley, said: “Our local laboratory staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to introduce Covid-19 testing for local health and social care staff, patients and care homes. We now have the capacity to carry out around 600 batched Covid-19 tests a day in our main laboratory which are normally processed in around 8 or 9 hours once they have reached the microbiology laboratory.

“This new mini-laboratory, which is located in our Day Medicine Unit, provides even faster testing for patients where we need to know their Covid-19 status very quickly to help keep everyone safe. I’d like to pay tribute all our local healthcare scientists, healthcare assistants and other colleagues who have helped establish this important new facility in record time as well as continuing to deliver all other diagnostic testing activity which takes place every day to help inform the care and treatment of a wide range of health conditions.”

John Frickleton, from Bo’ness, was one of the first adults to benefit from the new rapid Covid-19 after he was referred to Forth Valley Royal Hospital by his local GP for further tests and urgent treatment. He said he was pleased that people who had to be admitted to hospital unexpectantly were able to find out very quickly if they had the virus as this would help keep them and others safe.