Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services (BSPS) has been commissioned by the Government to join the Lighthouse Laboratory Network by establishing a new COVID-19 testing facility at Bracknell. This will be a wholly owned and run NHS Lighthouse Laboratory.
We are one of the largest NHS pathology networks in the country, with a strong track record in providing timely and reliable diagnostics. We already carry out COVID-19 testing in our laboratories, testing up to 4,000 swabs from NHS and other health and care staff every day (this is known as Pillar 1 testing). We will use this experience as we develop an automated scalable testing facility at the Bracknell. Once our new laboratories are fully established, we will analyse tens of thousands of COVID-19 swabs every day.
- Autumn 2020: create the laboratory space, work with partners to secure the appropriate kit and robotic equipment, and recruit staff.
- Late 2020: carry out the appropriate safety checks and ensure our processes are validated.
- Early 2021: we expect to start testing and we will gradually increase our capacity so that we can test more samples each day.
- By March 2021: we expect to be testing tens of thousands of COVID-19 swabs each day.
Would you like to be a part of the nation’s testing effort? Science is playing a vital role in tackling the coronavirus and it’s an exciting time to develop your career with us at BSPS. We have begun recruiting for 400 scientific and support roles. Full training and support will be provided.
At the BSPS laboratory at Bracknell, scientists will receive tests from the drive-through and walk-in centres, as well as swabs from care homes and those that people have taken themselves at home.
The new laboratory space is being kitted out with state-of-the-art technology and equipment that will enable safe, accurate and rapid testing of samples at scale. We are working very closely with several NHS, academic and commercial partners to ensure we can begin testing on time. We are very grateful for all the support we are receiving as we prepare for COVID-19 testing at Bracknell.