The Pirbright Institute will support the NHS Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services (BSPS) and the national NHS Test and Trace programme by providing induction and training for staff joining the new Lighthouse Laboratory in Bracknell. The Lighthouse Laboratory is designed to increase the UK’s COVID-19 diagnostic testing capability and will process COVID-19 samples from drive-in centres as well as swabs that people take at home.
Pirbright will play a key role in diagnostics training for newly recruited staff using cutting-edge high throughput diagnostics equipment located on its campus in Surrey.
Pirbright, a world centre of scientific excellence in viral diseases, is home to several Reference Laboratories in highly infectious viral livestock diseases including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and African swine fever (ASF) and has significant expertise in surveillance and diagnostics, particularly in relation to disease outbreaks.
The Institute is supporting BSPS in delivering a training programme for newly recruited laboratory testing staff which will comprise of an induction on sample management and biosafety followed by a period of training in scientific diagnostic procedures. This will include using state-of-the-art, highy automated COVID-19 testing equipment, which requires detailed technical knowledge to operate.
Ongoing training will continue to be provided by the Institute during 2021. Pirbright will also be offering a number of its scientists experienced in high throughput diagnostics on secondment to the new facility.