IBMS Response: Dangerous incidents at UK laboratories

IBMS Response: Dangerous incidents at UK laboratories
5 July 2022
Our response to the Guardian’s report of 47 “dangerous occurrences” involving COVID-19

In today’s Guardian, Science editor Ian Sample reports on “at least 47 “dangerous occurrences” involving coronavirus at UK research facilities, hospitals and Lighthouse labs over the course of the pandemic” - citing the “immense pressure that scientists, healthcare workers and staff at Lighthouse labs came under”.

From the outset of the pandemic, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) emphasised the fact that “high quality staff deliver high quality services” and that the UK’s established diagnostic testing facilities (i.e. pathology laboratories in the NHS and private healthcare sector) have some of the highest quality and safest testing programmes in the world.

The UK’s high professional standards and robust quality management systems have been achieved through Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration training and UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation (IE: ISO15189:2012).

IBMS Chief Executive David Wells comments:

The IBMS continues to expect that any workforce undertaking diagnostic testing for COVID-19 should meet the same minimum requirements as any other medical laboratory workforce that is involved in diagnostic testing.

A testing system that utilises highly skilled, HCPC registered staff and UKAS accredited processes provides a rapid and safe response, and limits transmission.

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