News

Welcome to the news section of the website, where we’ll aim to keep you up-to-date about the ongoing changes at the company.

For press enquiries, please contact Tim Davies, Marketing Manager here.

Does archiving Histological materials offsite require a leap of faith?

The University Hospital Aintree previously used an all-purpose storage company for their external archiving of histological materials. This article details the problems overcome and the improvements made by switching to CellNass.

Mike Venney from University Hospital Aintree shares his experiences

“At University Hospital Aintree, the space we have available for storage is finite with every available inch used throughout. So inevitably we got to a stage where we had to consider using an external archiving partner. We looked for a company that could store slides, blocks and associated paperwork and a colleague recommended a well-known storage company. Initially, we made the decision to only store materials over 5 years old, after which samples are infrequently recalled.

But things didn’t go according to plan. Our account managers changed on a regular basis and when we requested a sample, our first point of contact was a call centre where the understanding of the stored samples and how to handle them was low. We also had problems with basic indexing, caused by errors in their database and the fact that whole consignments were indexed with a single bar code. When we requested an individual slide it was difficult for them to locate, and on one such occasion, this involved a patient with a recurrence of breast cancer whose sample we needed to test for tolerance towards a type of chemotherapy.

In such a serious situation we requested back the whole batch and found the individual sample ourselves. CellNass first came onto our radar when we were looking for a partner with an HTA licence necessary to store post mortem material. Straight away we found that CellNass knew exactly what we needed and understood the way laboratories work. We were also given the chance to tour their facility and meet the team. The first big difference we discovered was that blocks and slides were indexed in small usable amounts within agreed sample ranges. This gave us reassurance that we would be able to get samples back without experiencing the problems of the past.

When the material was eventually transferred from the storage company to CellNass it was found to be damaged with many slides broken – something we’d experienced on previous recalls. CellNass did their best to recover and repair as many as possible. They knew where things were at every stage and gave us realistic timescales. During this transfer we needed some material returning that the storage company had not catalogued. CellNass went out of their way to locate and return them – a great test at a challenging time.

When previously asked for material by colleagues, we always hoped they could be returned – but could never guarantee it. Now we are about as close to 100% confident as we’ll ever be. To say we’re pleased is an understatement!”

Mike Venney, University Hospital Aintree

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CellPath Welcomes Mid-Wales Manufacturing Group

On Wednesday 16th February, CellPath had the pleasure of welcoming the Mid-Wales Manufacturing Group to our headquarters, here in Newtown, Powys.

During the visit, we gave them a tour of our manufacturing facility; one of our unique selling points that allows us to guarantee the quality of our products.

We also gave them a tour of our CellNass service, offering a complete Cellular Pathology archiving solution, plus a look at our newly built warehouse, due to officially open in approximately 3 months.

We are always happy to welcome customers to have a look at our facilities - if you'd like a tour, please use the form on the right and a member of our customer care team will be in touch to arrange an invitation to visit.

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Change of Packaging

CellNass would like to give notice of a recent change in packaging design. The new boxes for recalled items has changed colour and is now purple. Commentary on the outside of the boxes ensure that those handling the package understand the importance of its contents and to handle with care. 

If you have any comments, please feel free to let us know.

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CellNass Shortlisted for Powys Business Award

CellNass is proud to have been selected as a finalist for the ‘Growth Award’ at the Powys Business Awards. As a trading brand of CellPath Ltd, we have a good record at these awards, having won the innovation award and company of the year over recent years.

The ceremony will be taking place on 30th September 2016.

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The Royal London Hospital - Meeting our Customer’s Challenges from Amalgamation

Amalgamation of laboratories can be a mixed blessing, bringing increased efficiencies on the one hand, but at the same time raising challenges. Not least among these is the centralisation and increased volume of samples being stored. We asked The Royal London Hospital to tell us about his experience of amalgamating, and why they turned to CellNass for a solution.

“The Royal London and Bartholomew’s Hospital laboratories joined forces in 1994, although it wasn’t until 2006 that we aggregated them as part of a new move – driven by the Carter Report – toward gaining full benefit from automation by increasing the size of laboratories. It’s an approach that actually works better for blood sciences, where items can be bulk-processed, than for cellular pathology, where you still need space for people and equipment.”

Staff in the resulting combined laboratory were dealing with 60,000 specimens a year, and due to a strict ‘no cull’ policy, no sample was ever destroyed. “Because we’re a teaching hospital and do a lot of research, we save everything.”

Pressure increased further in 2012 when the laboratory was unexpectedly merged with that of Whipps Cross University Hospital, adding substantially to the volume of blocks and slides. Whipps Cross already outsourced to CellNass as its archive management solution and it seemed sensible to look at the possibility of expanding this off-site strategy for the laboratories as a whole.

“We wanted somewhere with appropriate HTA-compliant facilities as well as proper organisational controls and systems. In fairness, there were not many options around at that time and no one else offered anything like the full portfolio available from CellNass. They were also from our world, knew the business we were working in, and had staff with the necessary laboratory background experience. We felt we could trust them. Some of our colleagues were worried about access to old samples, but we received a guarantee that any item could be returned within 24 hours.”

As space diminished, the outsourcing began. Specimens were also transferred to CellNass from two older off-site stores, containing material from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, whose environment had become unsuitable and whose lack of supervision gave cause for concern. A few years on, they still believe the right decision was made.

“Outsourcing to CellNass has enabled us to maintain our policy of retaining samples indefinitely, which would otherwise have been impractical and costly. By freeing up a huge amount of premium space on hospital sites, as well as saving time, it has delivered very good value for money. When we consider the reasonable price, flexible service and reliable retrieval, along with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the archive environment and staff are dedicated to our needs, we are happy to say that our experience with CellNass has been very positive.”

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