Three new Lighthouse Labs open for COVID-19 test processing
Three new Lighthouse Lab testing facilities have opened in Brants Bridge, Baltic Park and Plymouth, adding to the list of test processing sites across the United Kingdom. These labs will be working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace to identify new cases of coronavirus, thus ensuring that the chains of transmission are broken in communities. The labs are managed by local NHS trusts, and form the largest network of diagnostic facilities ever set about in British history.
The Lighthouse Laboratories are being managed by the Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust organisations. The geographical spread of the new facilities ensures more testing capacity is available locally. All three sites are fitted with the latest, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment in order to process PCR results from home testing and local testing sites in their specific regions.
The new Lighthouse Laboratories will lead to the creation of new jobs in their respective areas, in terms of running lab operations, manufacturing and supply chain resources. NHS Test and Trace now has the capacity to carry out more than 750,000 PCR tests per day compared to 2,000 just 9 months ago. The NHS Test and Trace network includes more than 1,000 sites across the UK, including 90 drive-through sites, 514 walk-through sites, 7 Lighthouse laboratories, home testing and satellite kits, and a large number of mobile units.
“I am delighted these new Lighthouse laboratories are now up and running as planned. They are part of Britain’s largest-ever network of diagnostic testing facilities and will play a crucial role in our collective efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus”, said Health Innovation Minister Lord Jim Bethell on the opening of the new sites.