POC analysis helps keep vulnerable patients safer in Cornwall

Horiba Medical has announced that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) in partnership with the Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust have recently purchased and installed five new Microsemi CRP point-of-care (POC) haematology analysers.

The installation of these POC analysers (delivering full blood count plus CRP results) across Cornwall is enabling patients to have pathology tests performed locally by clinical staff in acute and community settings, rather than visiting the main Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. This is not only relieving pressure on the main hospital, but also enables patients to be treated in the community, closer to home, where possible; which is advantageous during COVID-19 and paves the way for future pathology provision across the county supporting the improvement of patient pathways.

Originally the installations were planned to improve patient experience and access to pathology testing across the winter, and to aid the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions including flu. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic the Microsemi CRP install was expedited. Horiba Medical responded rapidly to the Trusts’ order following a successful validation study of its POC analyser with main laboratory haematology samples. A Horiba team of two then ensured installation and staff training within just two days during ‘lockdown’.

“Our focus on using new POCT, such as the Microsemi CRP analysers, is supporting the population across Cornwall with a new way of triaging patients to help keep them out of hospital and A&E unless truly necessary,” said Lisa Vipond, Lead BMS Clinical Chemistry & POCT, RCHT. “It is also helping to get many patients home sooner from hospitals where they previously had to wait for main lab results. All these factors are supporting patient safety, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to any infection.” 

Microsemi CRP analysers are now located in Bodmin and Camborne Redruth Community Hospitals, with another planned soon for St Austell. Unnecessary trips to hospital can be prevented as patients are tested close to home, providing GPs and community clinicians with immediate results so they can best manage treatment. This is enabling different patient pathways using community hospitals and minor injuries units for people who still need monitoring and support, but not urgent care. It is also keeping vulnerable patients, such as the elderly, away from risk in the main hospital whilst being reassured by test results that they are receiving appropriate care.

Due to the creation of green and red COVID-19 zones within the Trust, a further two new Microsemi CRP analysers are placed in the Surgical Assessment Lounge at Truro and St Michael’s Hospital, Hayle, to support surgical teams with pre- and post-surgery patient assessments. POCT in these locations is enabling faster turnaround times to results, so streamlining service and enabling patients to be discharged sooner which is helping to maintain social distancing, particularly where space is limited.