17 Nov, 2020
Congratulations to Ann who was recognised in the most recent Queen’s Birthday Honours. She received a British Empire Medal for her services to healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The short citation only hints at the scale and complexity of what Ann has achieved. Quick to point out that it’s a team effort, she has been instrumental in organising Covid tests for many new sites, most of which are processed by the Crick Laboratory.
It’s one thing to have advanced scientific techniques to boost testing capacity, but it has to be supported by extensive logistics.
As well as liaising with IT colleagues to establish new systems to manage the receipt and booking in of samples and manage results, couriers need to be organised to collect and deliver samples to and from various sites. Enquiries need to be handled, practical details need to be explained.
As well as the complexity of bedding in several new sites from scratch (in the case of care homes for example, staff also have to be trained how to take samples), HSL’s existing clients are having to do more and more tests. The Halo is processing considerably more routine tests as all hospital patient admissions now have to be tested. Not to mention the national trials and surveys that, despite being processed by the Crick lab, still all have to be handled by HSL.
In a final testament to Ann’s ever more challenging job, like many at HSL, she has had to manage this multi-layered, multi-functional role from her home. It’s another example of resilience in the face of Covid!