Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Amanda Babington, the Head Biomedical Scientist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, talks to a member of the CellNass team about her experience as a new client of the CellNass archiving management service.

When I spoke to Amanda she had that weekend completed a half marathon and wasn’t happy about it.

“I’ve hurt my foot, the weather was horrid and I was nowhere near my personal best time – this injury will also affect my training for the next one.”

Though very friendly she clearly demanded a lot of herself and I suspected, the 35 members of staff for which she’s responsible.

Moving to the CellNass pathology archiving solution

As the organisation providing archiving solutions for Amanda and her department CellNass are part of her extended team, and I was keen to find out how she felt CellNass were performing, as well as exploring the reasons why the 4,000 staff at Royal Berkshire Hospital (fittingly, where Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was born) decided to choose the CellNass archiving solution.

“Originally we stored the blocks and slides on-site. Eleven years ago they were moved to a location off-site, in a side-building of the old hospital adjacent to the ambulance park. It was cramped, through two sets of locked doors and right in the centre of town – we have traffic problems! It also required sending staff away from the lab for quite lengthy periods, if and when a block or slide needed retrieval. It wasn’t HTA licensed and we certainly needed a new solution anyway: That need was intensified when the old hospital site was put up for sale.”

Colin Brewer, CellNass Manager, helped Amanda’s predecessor Jill Stinchcombe with implementing the new arrangement:

“Though Jill and I had discussed the RBH’s needs over a number of years the Hospital Trust had been quite resistant to using third-party remote storage and archiving. The HTA were not satisfied with their current location and had already prevented the RBH from storing post-mortem material there, so we did have an earlier small contract for this material. When the site was sold the Trust finally agreed that CellNass were the best option for the material. It was in the nick of time, we collected the material just as the power was being turned off!”

Amanda has worked at the RBH for eight and a half years and took over as the Head of Biomedical and Histopathology department when Jill moved on in January:

“Since taking over I’ve developed a good relationship with Myrna, my customer care contact – she’s bubbly and a lot of fun. Of course, CellNass is HTA certified; we had our inspection in December and they were impressed with the arrangement.”

Customer satisfaction is important to CellNass. Initial pickup involved a large quantity of both slides and blocks and as an arrangement established by her predecessor, it’s important Amanda feels comfortable with how it’s working.

“CellNass is convenient for the RBH. Not only does it take away the need for a large site here in Reading, it’s time-saving and requires little effort at our end. We don’t use the retrieval system that often, perhaps only once a month, but when we do the slides we’ve wanted have been returned within promised service times. At present we have some limited on-site storage that is not quite full so we haven’t actually sent any blocks or slides since the initial load last year. Once it’s full I imagine we would do bulk pickups on a yearly basis to move ‘years’ at a time.”

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