King’s recognised for boosting its rapid diagnostic testing

20 June 2022 - The Trust has been shortlisted at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for the Clinical Governance and Risk Management award at this year’s Patient Safety Awards. The award recognises the Trust’s approach to improving patient care and safety and increasing diagnostic capacity, by addressing the governance for Point of Care Testing (POCT).

Point of care testing (POCT) is a laboratory test conducted outside of the laboratory setting that offers rapid results and can have an immediate impact on patient care. A wide range of health care professionals can perform point-of-care tests, including paramedics, radiographers and healthcare assistants.

King’s set up a Committee in 2016 to ensure that all clinical teams were trained on how to use and maintain POCT equipment. The Committee also ensured that an ongoing reporting system was in place to investigate faults with the various testing equipment.

Prior to 2016, the Trust had no formal governance system around POCT but since the formation of the King’s POCT Committee, new ways of working have been established to ensure equipment is being used safely and appropriately - reducing any potential risks to patients.

The number of POCT equipment across all Trust sites - such as glucose meters, which measure blood glucose levels and are an integral part of successful diabetes management - has increased from 224 in 2016 to over 1000 this year.

Paul Donohoe, Corporate Medical Director for Quality Governance and Risk at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, heads up the POCT Committee and said:

“I delighted that we have been shortlisted as a finalist at this year’s HSJ Awards. Myself and the other Committee members have been delighted with the continuing commitment from clinical staff across all our hospital sites. We were determined to make sure that procuring and using POCT equipment would be much easier than it used to be.

“The success of our POCT Committee now means that our clinical team have the confidence to deliver this rapid style of testing and that patients are being diagnosed, monitored and treated more quickly.”