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New laboratory officially opened at CMFT

lab openingThe PHE Public Health Laboratory at Central Manchester University Hospitals (CMFT) has become the first microbiology laboratory in the North West to become automated using COPAN WASPLab (Walk Away Specimen Processor) technology.

The eight-month long laboratory refurbishment and equipment installation was the culmination of a four year project, made possible by investment from PHE, the Department of Health and CMFT.

It was recently officially opened by PHE Chief Executive Duncan Selbie and our Chief Executive Sir Michael Deegan.

Duncan Selbie, from Public Health England, said: "The new technology and investment we have made into our microbiology laboratory here in Manchester will facilitate major improvements in clinical and public health microbiology. I would like to thank all the Manchester staff for their hard work in making this project a success."

The refurbishment and automation project is part of a national programme of work to support fully automated microbiology laboratories utilising modern technologies. As well as Manchester, other laboratories in the PHE regional network are in the process of rolling out full automation.

The regional laboratory is part of the Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership (MMMP); a collaboration between PHE and CMFT. The automation project has seen its main laboratory completely refurbished and two COPAN WASPLab systems installed.

Sir Michael said: "This investment puts the Microbiology service here in Manchester at the forefront of developments in the field. The automation of the laboratory will bring significant benefits, both for the clinical teams that use the service, and the patients they care for. It has been exciting to see how the laboratories have been transformed with this state-of-the-art investment, and I look forward to the positive impact these changes will bring."

Note to Editors

  • · The Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership (MMMP) is collaboration between Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and Public Health England (PHE).
  • · The Manchester microbiology laboratory is the home to the PHE Meningococcal Reference Unit (MRU), the PHE Vaccine Evaluation Unit (VEU) and is also part of the Clostridium difficile Ribotyping Network (CDRN). For more information, see the  Central Manchester Foundation Trust website.
  • · The WASPLab is a total laboratory automation system: specimens received into the lab will be processed on the Walk-Away Specimen Processor (WASP), and then incubated automatically. Biomedical Scientists will no longer be faced with stacks of plates, manually inputting results into the laboratory information system. Instead they will be interpreting and reporting results from 27 megapixel images.
  • · Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

Public Health England Press Office - North West

Tel: 0344 225 0562 - option 5 (includes out of hours)