Point of care testing guidance
As part of the Community pharmacy contractual framework agreement 2019-2024, NHS England and Improvement committed to explore point of care testing (POCT) by community pharmacists. They have now produced guidance that describes the standards and safe environment required for the use of point of care testing equipment and devices for diagnosis, monitoring and screening in community pharmacy.
It is a guide for commissioners and community pharmacies delivering NHS services that focuses on:
- Buy it right: equipment must be fit for its intended purpose.
- Use it right: equipment function and operation must be understood by the users.
- Keep it right: equipment must be maintained in a safe and reliable condition.
The guidance signposts relevant legislation and resources to support the delivery of services and provides a structured approach to establishing POCT.
The IBMS welcomes this guidance but reiterates the need for biomedical scientists and laboratory experts to be involved in the selection of equipment, quality assurance and governance of diagnostic devices when used for patient care.