PATIENTS in Fife suffering from winter vomiting virus (norovirus) could be discharged from hospital more quickly after NHS Fife became the first microbiology laboratory in Scotland to be recommended for ‘flexible scope’ by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Earlier this year, NHS Fife successfully applied to upgrade the analyser it uses to test for norovirus. The new analyser enables tests to be taken more often and makes results available more quickly.

Chief Operating Officer (Acute), Ellen Ryabov, said: “I am delighted that our labs have been awarded flexible scope status – not only does it mean real benefits for patients in terms of getting lab results quicker, it also recognises the consistent high standard of work that goes on each and every day and often under the radar in our microbiology laboratory.

“Where patients and clinicians used to have to wait until the next day for results, the new analyser ensures that they will know their results on the same day, ensuring patients get home quicker and reducing the risk of passing on the virus to other patients and staff in our hospitals.