We did not rate this service. This is because CQC does not have the legal power to rate independent laboratory services.
We looked at 4 key questions: is the service safe, effective, responsive and well led. We did not inspect caring as the service did not have direct contact or interaction with patients at the time of our inspection.
• There were systems and processes which had achieved the internationally recognised International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189:2012 accreditation. There were enough staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience. The service controlled infection risk well. All areas and equipment within the laboratory were clean and well-maintained. The design, maintenance and use of facilities, premises and equipment kept people safe. Staff completed risk assessments for each test carried out, and for equipment used and the environment. The service had a system to monitor safety incidents and staff knew how to report incidents and near misses.
• Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent. The service ensured testing was based on national guidance and evidence-based practice. Staff worked well together and with their partners for the benefit of patients and the service.
• The service planned and provided a service in a way that met the needs of referring clinicians. Facilities and premises were appropriate for the services being delivered. Customers could access the service when they needed it and received the laboratory results promptly.
• Managers had the skills and abilities to run the service and were visible and approachable. Staff felt respected, supported and valued. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. They used systems to manage performance effectively. Managers ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Information systems were integrated and secure. Managers and staff engaged well with each other and there were positive, collaborative relationships with external partners.