The virology laboratory at Ninewells Hospital is now processing almost 300 COVID-19 tests every day.
Ninewells was the third laboratory in Scotland to begin providing diagnostic testing for COVID-19, along with labs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The team of 13 highly trained technical staff quickly adapted and changed from its normal working pattern to a new seven-day testing service to meet the rising demand of coronavirus testing in Tayside.
Since testing began on 12 March, the numbers of samples processed has steadily increased from 40 per day to the current 280 per day, with almost 1300 tests carried out in the past week alone.
This increase in capacity also allowed NHS Tayside to become the first Health Board in the country to test health and social care staff and their household contacts. Around 1400 samples have been tested by the virology laboratory since this was launched on 18 March.
Chris Hind, Clinical Laboratory Manager, Access Laboratories, said, “Most results are turned around the same day and all within 24 hours. Once the sample has arrived in the laboratory it only takes four hours from the start of the test to reporting the results.
“This has been possible, in no small part, thanks to the dedicated, flexible work by our biomedical scientists, the return of recently retired staff and the co-operation of colleagues from across NHS Tayside.
“Our lab team, along with the staff and patient testing teams, is ensuring we can maintain and protect frontline services as much as possible.
“All we ask is that the public help us in return: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.