Eurofins County Pathology Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Eurofins County Pathology Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Eurofins County Pathology Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.countypathology.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | EUROFINS COUNTY PATHOLOGY LTD
Laboratory Manager Sandie
Wreford and Laboratory Director
Bill Wreford
Samples for processing
County Pathology Ltd was founded in 2006 by Bill and Sandie
Wreford and is now a leading laboratory for handling small
samples, such as those from the home testing market that
often use finger-prick blood. After recognising the rapid expansion
of home testing market and the company’s potential, Eurofins
acquired County Pathology in 2018. County Pathology has 11
staff and offers 2,000 tests, but as part of Eurofins it can now
offer more than 200,000 analytical methods through a team of
45,000 staff in over 800 laboratories. Bill tells
The Parliamentary
Review
about Eurofins County Pathology’s diagnostic capabilities
and how it sets itself apart from other competitors in the market.
County Pathology Ltd was incorporated in September 2006 with the aim of
providing a rapid, high-quality blood-testing service at a competitive price to the
local private health market in Guildford. The company grew steadily, expanding
into the home testing market, and now has a turnover in excess of £5 million
peryear.
In essence, our diagnostic laboratory acts as a sophisticated data handling system.
Requests come through to us and are entered onto the Laboratory Information
System. The associated samples are barcoded and loaded onto analysers, where
tests are carried out according to the instructions from the LIS. The results are then
returned to the LIS to be checked and released back to the customer.
Handling this data efficiently and accurately is crucial to keeping our costs down
and providing a service that can be trusted to produce both reliable and timely
results. The home testing market adds a further layer of complexity due to the
FACTS ABOUT
EUROFINS COUNTY
PATHOLOGYLTD
»Laboratory Director:
BillWreford
»Founded in 2006
»Located in Guildford
»Services: Clinical diagnostic
testing
»No. of employees: 11
Eurofins County
Pathology Ltd
25EUROFINS COUNTY PATHOLOGY LTD |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
»ISO15189
To achieve ISO15189, we are required to prove we:
1. verify all kits, and analysers we use comply with the
manufacturers’ claims
2. ensure staff are properly qualified and trained to comply with our
operating procedures and policies
3. run internal quality control and external quality assurance samples
to make sure our results compare well over time and when
compared to other laboratories
4. maintain all equipment to a high standard
5. support our customers by answering their technical and clinical
questions
6. continually monitor and improve the quality of our service.
fact that the samples taken are small;
typically, between five and ten drops
of blood are taken with a lancet from
the finger at any one time.
Accredited body
Clinicians need to be able to trust
the accuracy of the service they are
using. This trust can be developed
over time, but new customers need to
be confident that the service they are
using is of a high standard before they
begin using it.
The best way to do this is by using an
accreditation body. We are accredited
with the CQC and with UKAS under
ISO15189. While CQC is useful, as
it is widely recognised, ISO15189 is
a far more challenging standard and
the mark our high-quality laboratory
aimsfor.
Registering and reporting
To keep costs down, we rely on
automation as much as possible. We
stress to prospective customers that
the less work they provide us with, the
lower the cost, which is particularly
relevant at sample registration and
result reporting.
We recommend using QR codes, which
are printed on a request form, for
requests that come from a distribution
centre and have been ordered online.
The QR code holds the demographic
information of the person from whom
the blood has been taken, the tests
that ought to be performed, and
where the results are to be returned
to. Our barcode readers load this
information directly into theLIS.
For kits that have been purchased
over the counter, we recommend that
customers register their kit online using
the kit’s unique barcode to select the
tests they want. Their request is then
sent on to us electronically, where it is
uploaded onto the LIS in preparation
for when the sample arrives.
Less blood, more results
In the laboratory, we have invested in
the latest and fastest analysers, which
use the smallest volumes of blood to
perform tests. The average test uses
about 10uL of blood – for context, one
drop is about 50uL – and the tests are
processed at speeds of up to one test
every three seconds. This gives us the
capability to process 16,000 results in
any given eight-hour shift.
When the results come off the analysers,
they are sent to the LIS and matched to
the record of the person from whom
the sample was obtained. The results
are then checked twice before they are
uploaded to the customer’s servers to
be imported anddisplayed.
Checking sample quality
We are
accredited
with the CQC
and with
UKAS under
ISO 15189
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | EUROFINS COUNTY PATHOLOGY LTD
Laboratory Manager Sandie
Wreford and Laboratory Director
Bill Wreford
Samples for processing
County Pathology Ltd was founded in 2006 by Bill and Sandie
Wreford and is now a leading laboratory for handling small
samples, such as those from the home testing market that
often use finger-prick blood. After recognising the rapid expansion
of home testing market and the company’s potential, Eurofins
acquired County Pathology in 2018. County Pathology has 11
staff and offers 2,000 tests, but as part of Eurofins it can now
offer more than 200,000 analytical methods through a team of
45,000 staff in over 800 laboratories. Bill tells
The Parliamentary
Review
about Eurofins County Pathology’s diagnostic capabilities
and how it sets itself apart from other competitors in the market.
County Pathology Ltd was incorporated in September 2006 with the aim of
providing a rapid, high-quality blood-testing service at a competitive price to the
local private health market in Guildford. The company grew steadily, expanding
into the home testing market, and now has a turnover in excess of £5 million
peryear.
In essence, our diagnostic laboratory acts as a sophisticated data handling system.
Requests come through to us and are entered onto the Laboratory Information
System. The associated samples are barcoded and loaded onto analysers, where
tests are carried out according to the instructions from the LIS. The results are then
returned to the LIS to be checked and released back to the customer.
Handling this data efficiently and accurately is crucial to keeping our costs down
and providing a service that can be trusted to produce both reliable and timely
results. The home testing market adds a further layer of complexity due to the
FACTS ABOUT
EUROFINS COUNTY
PATHOLOGYLTD
»Laboratory Director:
BillWreford
»Founded in 2006
»Located in Guildford
»Services: Clinical diagnostic
testing
»No. of employees: 11
Eurofins County
Pathology Ltd
25EUROFINS COUNTY PATHOLOGY LTD |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
»ISO15189
To achieve ISO15189, we are required to prove we:
1. verify all kits, and analysers we use comply with the
manufacturers’ claims
2. ensure staff are properly qualified and trained to comply with our
operating procedures and policies
3. run internal quality control and external quality assurance samples
to make sure our results compare well over time and when
compared to other laboratories
4. maintain all equipment to a high standard
5. support our customers by answering their technical and clinical
questions
6. continually monitor and improve the quality of our service.
fact that the samples taken are small;
typically, between five and ten drops
of blood are taken with a lancet from
the finger at any one time.
Accredited body
Clinicians need to be able to trust
the accuracy of the service they are
using. This trust can be developed
over time, but new customers need to
be confident that the service they are
using is of a high standard before they
begin using it.
The best way to do this is by using an
accreditation body. We are accredited
with the CQC and with UKAS under
ISO15189. While CQC is useful, as
it is widely recognised, ISO15189 is
a far more challenging standard and
the mark our high-quality laboratory
aimsfor.
Registering and reporting
To keep costs down, we rely on
automation as much as possible. We
stress to prospective customers that
the less work they provide us with, the
lower the cost, which is particularly
relevant at sample registration and
result reporting.
We recommend using QR codes, which
are printed on a request form, for
requests that come from a distribution
centre and have been ordered online.
The QR code holds the demographic
information of the person from whom
the blood has been taken, the tests
that ought to be performed, and
where the results are to be returned
to. Our barcode readers load this
information directly into theLIS.
For kits that have been purchased
over the counter, we recommend that
customers register their kit online using
the kit’s unique barcode to select the
tests they want. Their request is then
sent on to us electronically, where it is
uploaded onto the LIS in preparation
for when the sample arrives.
Less blood, more results
In the laboratory, we have invested in
the latest and fastest analysers, which
use the smallest volumes of blood to
perform tests. The average test uses
about 10uL of blood – for context, one
drop is about 50uL – and the tests are
processed at speeds of up to one test
every three seconds. This gives us the
capability to process 16,000 results in
any given eight-hour shift.
When the results come off the analysers,
they are sent to the LIS and matched to
the record of the person from whom
the sample was obtained. The results
are then checked twice before they are
uploaded to the customer’s servers to
be imported anddisplayed.
Checking sample quality
We are
accredited
with the CQC
and with
UKAS under
ISO 15189
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | EUROFINS COUNTY PATHOLOGY LTD
Not in vein
Testing capillary blood is very attractive.
It allows people to take their own
sample without the need to go to a
clinic, avoiding the time and expense
this involves.
Theranos launched a service in the USA
in 2003 and was valued at $10 billion
before it collapsed. The company’s
collapse was down to unfulfilled
promises about its micro sampling
analyser rather than to its business
model, which has now been taken
on by other companies. One of the
companies caught up in the collapse was
Walgreens, which has now re-entered
the UK market and is operating in Boots.
We provide the testing for its service.
The main issue with capillary testing
is the quality of the samples. Some
people struggle to get enough blood,
or require multiple attempts, while
others damage the sample by using
inappropriate techniques to collect the
blood. However, this is changing.
We have been collaborating with a
company in the USA called Tasso Inc.
It has developed what is essentially a
slightly altered lancet. The device sticks
onto your arm, and when the button
is pressed, the device pricks the skin
and draws blood into a tube using a
vacuum. The process is typically painless
and can reliably collect 400 to 500uL of
good-quality blood. Version 3 will collect
1,000uL. With 200 to 250uL of the
serum this method produces, we can
perform around 20 blood tests without
pain or a requirement to visit aclinic.
The process is so painless that people
do not mind having more than one
device attached at a time, which
allows us to double or even treble the
volume collected. Initially, the Tasso
will be rolled out to the home testing
market, but there is interest from NHS
providers, who see this as a way of
avoiding the need for a patient to visit
a clinic or hospital for the procedure.
Our initial trials of a next-day service
monitoring antibiotics in patients with
cystic fibrosis at the Brompton Hospital,
in collaboration with Thriva, has proved
popular with patients and clinicians.
The samples are sent to us overnight
and are run the same day, before being
published on the Thriva website. As
more NHS clinical services move to online
platforms, it is not hard to imagine a
time when an initial consultation, a
blood test and a diagnosis will be made
without the need to leave your home.
The Tasso will
be rolled out
to the home
testing market,
but there is
interest from
NHS providers,
who see this
as a way of
avoiding the
need for a
patient to visit
a clinic or
hospital for the
procedure
Sample processing

www.countypathology.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Eurofins County Pathology Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development