Point of Care Testing

Point of Care Testing (PoCT), or Near Point Testing is laboratory tests and analysis performed in a clinical setting outside the laboratory in various wards, departments and clinics. These tests are performed by non-laboratory healthcare professionals.

As PoCT is performed close to the patient the results are available significantly quicker than samples that have to be sent to the laboratory for analysis. This can have significant benefits to patient pathways and subsequent treatments. PoCT is also used in day case and outpatient clinics to improve efficiencies and reduce patient waiting times.

The PoCT team is a multi-disciplinary team who ensure the results being provided are subject to the same levels of governance that are applied within the laboratory setting, with safety and quality being ensured.

The South of Tyne and Wear supports a wide variety of test and devices including


Blood Glucose (Roche Inform II)


 Blood Gas (Radiometer ABL90 Flex/Flex Plus)

Full Blood Count (Sysmex XS-1000i)

 Blood Ketone (V-Trust)








 INR (Roche PRO II)

        PCR (Cepheid GeneXpert)

Covid Antigen (Lumira DX)

 Urinalysis (Siemens Clintek)


       Haemoglobin (Hemocue)




The South of Tyne and Wear Point of Care team manage all near patient testing across the region. This includes services in the following locations:

Bensham Hospital

Gateshead Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Palmers Community Hospital

Primrose Hill Hospital

South Tyneside General Hospital

St Clare’s Hospice

Sunderland Eye Infirmary

Sunderland Royal Hospital

The Point of Care team also support services in the community, including community nursing and dental services.


Aims of the service

The aims of the Point of Care Services across SoTW are:

Standardisation and management of Point of Care services across the three Trusts

Gain accreditation for all of our Point of Care Services

Ensure that the Point of Care department provide the most suitable technologies for the purposes of Point of Care Testing

Provide a fully interfaced Point of Care Service ensuring that all results are communicated into the patients’ electronic medical records

To provide day to day management, IQC and EQA monitoring, user management and co-ordination of training for all POCT devices

To provide a cost effective service through the consolidation of consumable purchasing


 Quality Assurance

The point of care testing service endeavours to make quality a fundamental component of all its work, and to continually monitor its performance and improve deficiencies.

All analyses are subject to internal quality control procedures, involving analysis of “IQC” samples with known values to check that the analysis remains accurate and precise.

In addition all analyses are subject to External Quality Assurance procedures involving the blind analysis of samples distributed from nationally recognised Reference Centres. These allow the accuracy and precision of this Laboratory’s results to be compared with other laboratories in the country and with reference values.

The point of care testing service performance in External Quality Assurance is available on line.

The Department is accredited to ISO15189:2012 and ISO22870:2016 ; our full scope of accreditation is published on the UKAS website.



The point of care policy is available by clicking here

For those users who have been trained and competency assessed on how to use the point of care devices the latest documentation can be found by clicking here. The password is provided at the point of training