Clinical biochemistry and immunology has laboratories at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate (QEQM). We provide a comprehensive clinical service to the hospitals, primary care and the community by screening, diagnosing/excluding disease and monitoring response to treatment and drug therapy.
Our laboratories process 9 million individual tests per year. Analyses are performed using the latest technology by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered healthcare scientists, assisted by trained support staff. All processes are rigorously quality controlled and the discipline participates in all relevant external quality assessment programmes.
We have the facilities to measure or detect a range of analytes (electrolytes, intermediary metabolites, enzymes, proteins, allergens and drugs) in blood, urine and other body fluids. Some investigations are provided through arrangements with specialised referral laboratories throughout the UK.
The majority of the requests from primary care are transported directly to the main automated laboratory at the William Harvey Hospital, using a dedicated transport system. Our laboratories at Kent and Canterbury and QEQM hospitals support the inpatient and outpatient work arising from those sites. All three laboratories provide laboratory support required for urgent patient management on a 24/7 basis.
The Head of Service is a consultant clinical scientist supported by a team of clinical scientists. All clinical scientists are HCPC registered and rotate through the discipline’s ‘duty biochemist’ desk approximately one day per week, offering comprehensive clinical advice to the Trust, primary care and community, reviewing exception results and validating some of the more complex analyses. The discipline also has up to three Scientist Training Programme (STP) trainee clinical scientists at any one time (one in each year of the training programme). One of the principal clinical scientists acts as the discipline’s quality lead.
The discipline is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) for training of biomedical scientists and by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) for training of pre-registration and higher specialist training clinical scientists. Please refer to the UKAS accreditation certificate below to see the scope of assays accredited to ISO 15189:2012.
Our biomedical scientists (BMS) are led by a Head BMS (operating across the Trusts three sites), supported by three Chief BMS. Each site has a team of senior BMS staff, and a number of BMS, trainee BMS and Assistant Healthcare Scientist (AHCS) staff.
The discipline incorporates the Kent and Medway Pathology Network’s diagnostic clinical immunology laboratories, supported by a visiting Consultant Immunologist and led by one of the Chief BMS staff mentioned above. The laboratory is based at the William Harvey Hospital and undertakes a range of analyses for the investigation of autoimmune diseases, dysproteinaemias, immunodeficiency, B cell malignancy, allergy and hypersensitivity.
We have an active research programme, focusing particularly on markers of renal disease and clinical aspects of protein and lipid biochemistry. This work is published in peer-reviewed scientific and clinical journals (average six publications/year) and widely disseminated at national and international meetings. The discipline collaborates with several external research and academic partners.