Medstor helps Centre to prepare ‘for vital role’

Medstor has recently installed specialist storage and materials management solutions as part of a major upgrade of the cytopathology department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s (NNUH) Cotman Centre, preparing it for its new role as one of eight laboratories across England responsible for implementing the amended NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

Following UK National Screening Committee recommendations for the NHS Cervical Screening Programme in England, cytology (until recently the first test performed on all screening samples) has now been replaced by Primary Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Screening. HPV causes over 99% of all cervical cancers, and NHS England says this process will identify more women at risk, potentially preventing around 600 cases of cervical cancer annually. 

To maintain quality standards for the NHS Cervical Screening programme, laboratory services covering larger geographical areas and populations have been introduced, with the Cotman Centre serving the East of England. 

The screening changes will see the number of smear tests the Centre processes up from 90,000 to 450,000 annually. Medstor has played an important part in preparing the laboratory for this increase, helping to deliver an upgraded infrastructure to handle the samples safely and efficiently. The refurbishment will also help ensure a comfortable, positive, and productive working atmosphere. 

The cytology team worked with Medstor’s in-house design department and the hospital Estates team to develop specialist workbenches with integral shelving and drawer space, suitable for standing or sitting stools, ensuring maximum user comfort. The laboratory features a roller shutter wall hatch, so the workbench surfaces had to be flameretardant to comply with fire regulations. To meet this requirement, Medstor sourced specially treated Trespa panels, which were then incorporated into the design.

Medstor also provided high-density cabinets able to store, label, and access thousands of samples safely with maximum space utilisation, as the 50 mm trays were the perfect size for the smear test slides. Alongside providing several new cabinets, Medstor updated existing laboratory cabinets with the addition of a new liner system. 

Everything Medstor makes is designed and built ‘in-house’ in the UK, so quality is controlled ‘from start to finish’