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Creating a COVID laboratory

Microbiology Service Lead Susan Lovegrove outlines the process of creating a new PCR laboratory at Black Country Pathology Services.

In 2020, Black Country Pathology Services (BCPS) microbiology section was planning on uniting four microbiology departments at the hub laboratory within Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT). As we started to set out plans in the first quarter, little did we realise that our best-laid plans would change so dramatically. 

BCPS, or “Midlands 1” as it is referred to in Pathology Network plans, is operationally lead by Graham Danks and was formed in October 2018. To accommodate the hub laboratories at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust site, a four-storey extension was designed, and work commenced in March 2019. 

Blood sciences and histology fully developed the ground, third and fourth floors, whilst on the first floor an independent serology laboratory and molecular histology laboratory were commissioned. The remainder of the first floor space – over 180m² in total – was fallow space primed and ready for development as BCPS required.

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