First NHS POCT accreditation awarded to the Trust

The POCT team with Chief Executive Ros Tolcher (third right).

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) has become the first NHS organisation to have its Point of Care testing (POCT) services accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Point of care testing is, put simply, a way of performing a pathology test and generating a result in the setting in which the patient is being cared for.  Having the result available immediately can be of enormous benefit for the patient as they become directly involved in the management of their condition and it enables quick clinical intervention and treatment.

The Blood Sciences department achieved UKAS accreditation against the international standards ISO 15189:2012 Medical laboratories – particular requirements for medical laboratories and ISO 22870 –Point of Care Testing. HDFT now holds UKAS accreditation for all it’s Pathology departments.

On receiving accreditation Dr Sarah Glover, POCT Clinical Lead, said: “The latest POCT accreditation is a fantastic achievement for Pathology, the Trust and our patients, as it is a clear demonstration that quality and patient safety are at the heart of our diagnostic and clinical services.  It offers reassurance to our patients that our point of care devices are used safely to generate robust and accurate test results, enabling more effective clinical care to be delivered both on and off site.”

Nicky Hollowood, POCT manager at HDFT, said: “POCT offers the opportunity to manage patients safely in the community or their own homes when appropriate to do so.  Having access to timely and accurate diagnostic testing will prevent unnecessary hospital attendances or admissions whilst supporting more appropriate clinically effective care pathways for patients. Having our POCT services accredited by UKAS enables our staff to achieve many of these principles whilst giving confidence to patients that their care requirements are being managed well and safely by staff who are competent to deliver clinically effective services.”

Paul Stennett, CEO UKAS, said: “Congratulations to the Pathology team at HDFT on becoming the first NHS organisation to add POCT to its scope of UKAS accreditation. It is essential that diagnostic tests are performed competently wherever they take place. UKAS expects the demand for accreditation of POCT to increase as it is recognised as an important mechanism to provide confidence in the test results obtained, thus providing greater assurance to patients and clinicians.


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