Posted: Friday, 17th February 2012
Jill Rodney, chief executive of the Institute of Biomedical Science and Professor Bill Gilmore are shown the Clinical Skills Suite by Roman Greig-Pylypczuk and Joyce Overfield
MAN Met’s new £200,000 clinical skills suite will help the NHS treat and test more patients nearer home and could help make large savings from the cost of primary care.
The suite in the John Dalton extension will be a one-stop facility for University and NHS pathology staff to train doctors and nurses so that patients can be tested in GPs’ surgeries, at home or in the community without the need to go to hospital or send samples to a pathology lab.
This ‘point of care testing’ (POCT) will be quicker and more convenient for patients as well as supporting the new Quality, Innovation, Prevention and Productivity initiative which aims to save the NHS up to £20bn.
The new suite, which was funded by HEIF (the Government’s Higher Education Innovation Fund), will firstly focus on testing, for example, for heart failure, blood sugar, cholesterol, anticoagulant treatment monitoring, and infectious diseases.
Professor Keith Hyde who is leading the project said: “The NHS wants to move diagnostics and care nearer to the patient in the community but it has been recognised that there is a potential lack of competence in point of care testing, and therefore a potential for compromising patient safety. There is also a lack of appropriate training materials.
“In order for this initiative to be successful we need NHS pathology staff to be able to train and educate healthcare professionals to an acceptable level of competency in POCT in the community, using the relevant equipment and interpreting the results correctly.”
The project is currently in the pilot phase, and it is hoped that it will be sustainable by 2013.
Professor Bill Gilmore, Head of the School of Healthcare Science, hosted a visit to the new suite last week from Jill Rodney, Chief Executive of the Institute of Biomedical Science.
Jill said: “With NHS changes advocating a move towards greater diagnostic testing in the community, the new clinical skills suite at Manchester Metropolitan University will help to ensure that the biomedical workforce will have access to the skills and knowledge they need to embrace innovations in healthcare technology and practice.
“The skills suite also represents real partnership working across academia and industry and this arrangement for me signals the way forward.”
Professor Hyde added: “This is an innovative idea in health and has the support of the NHS both locally and nationally.
“This project will prove that we can carry out point of care testing safely in the community and also reinforces the idea that Manchester Metropolitan is a key stakeholder in Health and Education.”
The clinical skills suite which is managed by a project called the Metro – POCT is a collaboration of MMU, the NHS and UK NEQAS (National External Quality Assessment Service) which helps ensure that clinical laboratory test results are accurate, reliable and comparable.
Working with Professor Keith Hyde is academic lead Professor Valerie Edwards-Jones and business development manager Margaret Eastcott. They will be supported by Metro-POCT administrator Anna Beaumont, graduate intern Louise Miller, two PhD students and two MSc students. Simon Kimber and Roman Greig-Pylypczuk are managing the project nationally and locally.
Metro-POCT is one of the projects under Professor Bill Gilmore’s care in the School of Healthcare Science.