Newcastle Laboratories

Newcastle Microbiology Update

Transfer of PHE North East Diagnostic Services to the Trust

Dawn Barclay – Microbiology Quality Manager




From 1st September 2017, the TB and Molecular Diagnostics services currently provided
by Public Health England (PHE) North East will transfer to the Newcastle upon Tyne
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This is accompanied by a major investment by the
Trust to remodel the provision of molecular infection diagnostics with state of the art
diagnostic platforms in a newly refurbished laboratory space at the Freeman Hospital.
PHE and the Trust are working closely together to ensure a seamless transfer of service
and we are extremely excited by the forthcoming changes, which will provide a
comprehensive microbiology service on one site, including bacteriology, virology, TB,
mycology and parasitology.
Full details will be provided closer to the implementation date, but key points are:

  • ¬†Transfer of PHE TB, molecular and clinical virology staff to the Trust, retaining
    the expertise of these highly qualified and experienced individuals
  • TB diagnostic services to remain on site at Freeman Hospital
  • Molecular diagnostics service to transfer to Freeman Hospital. Laboratory space
    within Microbiology has now been fully refurbished and new state of the art
    analysers installed. Work is well underway in validating assays to run on the new
    platforms, meeting the high standards required for laboratory accreditation
  • Courier services will be adjusted to optimise the transport of samples from the
    RVI site to the Freeman Hospital
  • ¬†The new testing platforms will provide a faster and more responsive service for
    the existing test repertoire. They will also support an ambitious service
    improvement plan to introduce new assays and bring a number of referred tests
    back in house.

We are all looking forward to these exciting service changes and anticipate a significant
positive impact on patient care.


For further information, please contact: Dr Kathy Walton, Head of Department,
Microbiology (37777), Dr Sheila Waugh, Consultant Virologist (48948) or Dr Michael
Ford, Laboratory Manager (48884), Professor Kate Gould, LPHM, Newcastle PHE
(38783) or Anne Barrett, Regional Head of Operations, North East, Yorkshire and the
Humber (38783)