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Point of Care Testing (POCT)

Point of Care Testing (POCT) is any analytical test performed by a healthcare professional at the point of patient care, outside of a conventional laboratory setting. Testing this way gives fast access to test results so that clinical decisions can be made immediately.

Examples of POCT include glucose and ketone meters, urine analysis dipsticks or blood gas machines. POCT happens all around the county, within the Royal Cornwall Hospitals and other primary care providers such as GPs and community hospitals in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The POCT team oversees and manages all aspects of POCT including:

  • Choosing the right equipment
  • Assessing accuracy and precision of results
  • Implementation
  • Staff training
  • Instructions for use
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Internal and external quality control
  • Routine maintenance and troubleshooting of devices
  • Managing operator access to barcoded devices

Opening times

Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 17:30

Out of hours

If there are any issues relating to POCT equipment please phone Radiometer (01293 517599).

The POCT Committee

We also manage all aspects of point of care testing in accordance with recognised guidelines, and this is done through the Royal Cornwall Hospitals POCT committee, a multidisciplinary forum that meets twice a year. Please contact Helen Hobba on 01872 252556 or for details of the next meeting.

Implementing new POCT

If you would like to implement new point of care testing, you will need approval to do so through the POCT committee. Please involve us early so that we can help with procurement, business cases and planning. We will make sure any POCT has a clinical need, is beneficial to the patient and cost-effective. We’ll also put any new procedure, device or system through a rigorous evaluation to make sure it meets the required standards.

Further links and information

Departments in our service