Since May 2019, the Blood Sciences operations provided by Barnsley and Rotherham integrated laboratory Service (BRILS), have been receiving a major equipment replacement and automation upgrade.

BRILS blood science labs will be significantly enhanced, through the replacement of their battery of analysers, robotics and automation, with new updated equipment, which will benefit patients, GPs and other health professionals alike.

The replacement of the automation is going well at both Barnsley and Rotherham hospitals and has progressed past the half way stage.  The BRILS team has been working closely with Siemens Healthineers, to implement the project on each site, whilst still delivering the essential service it provides.

At both Rotherham and Barnsley sites, the power, water, drainage and deionised water systems were upgraded for the new equipment, with the help of both Barnsley and Rotherham Estates departments.  Space in the laboratories had to be made for the delivery and installation the new analysers and equipment, to enable BRILS to continue to provide the current level of service whilst it is being improved.

BRILS have taken steps to try to prevent any impact on the service provided to our users.  An additional 8 staff have been trained and deployed, to operate parts of the service manually during the periods when robotics and automation are not available.

In the last month, all four Atellica Analysers have been delivered and installed.  These have all passed their Atellica Test Protocols and are currently being configured ready for validation and verification testing at the Barnsley Rotherham Blood Sciences labs.  In addition eight key of BRILS personnel have been trained on the Atellica solution by Siemens at Frimley.

All were very impressed by the replacement system they have learned to use and have returned to spread their enthusiasm for the system to their colleagues.  They firmly believe the Atellica solutions will enhance their work, benefit patients and improve the efficiency of the service alike.

In an effort to speed up the project, BRILS have worked closely with Siemens Healthineers on a new plan to concurrently install all of the analysers, then configure and test them earlier than was planned.  It is intended that this will bring forward the project’s completion to the end of June 2020. Siemens Healthineers will then provide on-site support until mid-July.

At the end of this project, Barnsley and Rotherham Hospitals will have modernised and enhanced the service it provides, through the installation of ‘state of the art’ automation and additional functionality.  This will also reduce the number of breakdowns, the time instruments are unavailable and enhance the service’s productivity through this important investment for the future.