Kingston Hospital – First Hospital in the UK to introduce Point of Care Testing for Flu patients

Thursday 25 January 2018

Only takes 20 minutes to test patients for flu

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has recently introduced a new way of testing adult patients for flu, using a new molecular analysing device.

Last month, Point of Care Testing (POCT) for Flu was introduced in both the hospital’s Emergency Department and its Acute Assessment Unit, where senior nurses were trained in how to use the new molecular analyser to test for Flu. This new way of testing gives a result in 20 minutes, allowing staff to diagnose adult patients with flu faster than ever before.

Kingston Hospital is the first hospital in the country to fully implement this new molecular test by the bedside, and after an increase in flu cases over the Christmas period, the device has been extremely useful. From 21st – 31st December the testing was called into action 87 times, with a third of these cases testing positive for Flu.

With this increase of flu cases at the hospital, having the POCT analysers in place has not only meant patients have been diagnosed and treated quicker, but has also had a positive effect on bed management. It has led to a significant reduction in the need to close bays and isolate patients due to infection control reasons.

Sally Brittain, Director of Nursing and Quality at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have Point of Care Testing for Flu at Kingston Hospital, and it couldn’t have been introduced at a better time. Having the POCT analysers in place over the Christmas period has meant we can diagnose and treat patients with flu in a timely manner.

“The hospital has been extremely busy this winter and having the device has helped our ward staff, as we have been able to keep more bays open and utilise the number of beds we have.

“I want to give special thanks to the team who worked on this: Linda Stocks, Biomedical Scientist; Dr Elli Demertzi, Consultant Microbiologist; and Fran Brooke-Pearce, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Infection Control.”


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