In May the International Organisation for Standardisation’s working group one, which is responsible for ISO 15189 (the internationally recognised standard for quality and competency in medical laboratories) came to visit the Halo. The group meets twice a year to review and develop standards, and its members include experts from across the world, including Japan, Canada and El Salvador.
Starting in the genetics department on level 6, and working down through molecular pathology, infection sciences, manual and automated blood sciences, all the way to sample reception on the ground floor, the tour highlighted the integrated and open feel of the laboratory, designed to help foster collaborative relationships between different disciplines.
Particular points of interest were the GLP track, a unique and highly complex sample tracking system with vertical connectivity; the CL3 lab for highly infectious materials (complete with bulletproof glass); the specialist parasitology and mycology reference labs; and the terrace gardens, filled with flowers that support the “bee highway” running through central London.
David Ricketts, HSL’s Head of Laboratory Improvement, is part of the ISO 15189 working group. He says: “Everyone was impressed by the size and scale of operations within the Halo, its specialist diagnostic facilities and high-tech, clinically-led approach. It was a privilege to showcase such a new and unique model of pathology provision – and essential for informing future international standards.”