New labs unveiled at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn

Multi-million pound labs have been unveiled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The QEH now has a fully-automated blood sciences laboratory as part of a �10m project to increase the number of tests it offers so more people with cancer can be treated at home. A new aseptic suite was also opened on Monday when Sir Keith Pearson, chairman of the NHS Confederation, visited the QEH.

The suite produces chemotherapy preparations for cancer patients and has the capacity to meet increasing demand. The development means patients should not have to travel to Norwich or Cambridge for their treatment.

The new blood laboratory means the hospital doubles its capacity to at least 6,000 tests a day – about half of which come from GP practices around the area. Samples are barcoded and loaded on to a track and automatically tested. GPs can access the results the same day if they need to.

'It frees up the scientists here to be scientists rahter than just production line workers doing this,' said Dr Jane Keidan, consultant haematologist and clinical lead for pathology.

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The new laboratory has been provided through a 10-year contract with Siemens Healthcare. The value of the deal has not been revealed.

The �2m aseptic unit is a controlled environment suitable for producing sterile pharmaceutical products.

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'The number of patients being treated with chemotherapy is greatly increasing and there is every indication that will continue. This new unit means we can keep up with demand,' said Charles Barsted, chief pharmacist.

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