Randox hosts Polo Weekend 2016 in Scotland
Piano, polo and cardiac risk profiles were part of the mix enjoyed by more than a hundred guests from around the world at the annual Randox Laboratories’ weekend in Scotland.
World-renowned concert pianist Barry Douglas launched the event at Gleneagles Hotel with an intimate recital of his new music, as well as performing O’Carolan’s “Farewell to Music” and Tchaikovsky’s “Autumn Song.” The evening concluded with dinner and a talk from Manufacturing Manager David Martin who presented Randox’s innovative plans for the future which included our new state of the art Science Park.
A range of impressive seminars were held on Saturday morning, many of which were live-streamed for the first time on our social media channels to international followers. Guests were shown ground-breaking studies completed using Randox products, with the potential to truly transform the way healthcare is delivered. Highlights included a talk by Professor Ray Sherwood from Kings College London who studied “Cytokines for Diagnosis of POEMS syndrome and Castleman Disease” and research by Dr Ibrahim Mansoor from the International Medical Centre in Jeddah on “Extended Lipid Profile, Roles of sLDL”.
The polo match ball was hand delivered to Dr Peter FitzGerald by the Red Devils Parachute Regiment who impressed the crowds by jumping from thousands of feet up in the air to land squarely on the field at Errol Park. Some of the world’s best players took part including Sébastien Pailloncy (3-goals) who wore the England jersey. After three games, England were crowned the 2016 winners, South Africa followed closely behind as the runner up while Scotland came in at third place.
As well as the action on the polo field, guests enjoyed browsing a selection of stalls assembled by the Prince’s Trust (Randox official corporate charity) which included businesses such as “Maddy Burrows Illustrations,” “My Fantasy Bouquet” and “The Family Tree”.
The weekend’s events concluded that evening with the Highland Ball and dinner, followed by a breath-taking firework display – which was also enjoyed by members of the Errol community!
Plans are already underway for our next Polo Weekend – held this weekend for the first time at Dundarave House in Bushmills, Northern Ireland.
71 people including scientists, engineers and IT specialists, from across the UK and Europe are taking the first steps in their Randox careers this week, as the company celebrates a record intake to its student placements and graduate programmes.
Now in its 26th year of providing student placements and 6th year for graduate programmes, Randox is recognised internationally for providing world-class opportunities for students and graduates – one of the core reasons that the global diagnostics company was established in 1982. Thirty years on, its founder Dr Peter FitzGerald remains as committed as ever to championing new talent and driving innovation.
Nadine McKerrow, who graduated this summer with a 2.1 in Biomedical Science from Ulster University, said,
“It’s always been my ambition to work for Randox because of the value it puts into R&D which is my speciality. Not only does it invest 16% of turnover into it – which is something very few companies do, but it’s also building the Randox Science Park which will house pioneering R&D labs. The research we do is going to make an incredible difference to saving lives and improving health, and I’m very proud to be part of the team.”
One of a number of people who have moved to Northern Ireland to take up a placement post is Ross Moir, a Chemistry student from the University of Edinburgh. He said,
“When I go into the lab, I am working beside people who came up with the test that detects Alzheimer’s – it’s incredibly inspirational. I’m not standing on the side-lines either – I’m getting right into the nitty-gritty of the work here. On-the-job experience with a company that is right now developing more new tests than any other diagnostics company in the world is an amazing opportunity.”
Randox founder Dr Peter FitzGerald said,
“I am pleased to welcome these ambitious and bright young people from across the UK and Europe to join the Randox team; they are key to continuing our success. It is no exaggeration to say that during the course of their careers many of them, through their innovative work in diagnostics within the labs at Randox, will save lives. The importance of supporting STEM students has never been so important, a fact recognised by business and political leaders across the world, and here at Randox we are delighted to be playing a significant part in that.”
University students across a range of disciplines take part in a 50-week placement with Randox. They gain invaluable experience in fields ranging from Business and Marketing to Biological and Life Sciences, Graphic Design to Mathematics and Physics, and Engineering to Computer Technology. At the end of their placements, subject to attaining a 2.1 degree or above, students are offered a full-time position in their chosen field.
Graduates enter a two-year programme, which is divided into a series of six-month placements, designed to provide a valuable insight into a variety of roles and departments. Many of the successful graduates who join Randox in full-time positions after this have progressed to attain senior positions within the Company.
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)
The Point-of-Care testing market, better known as POCT, is growing rapidly as the demand for faster patient testing increases. This point is fully backed up through the results of the recent BIVDA (British IN-Vitro Diagnostics Association) survey of 2016. This survey focuses primarily on Point-of-Care Testing and there were a few questions asked that sparked an interest amongst us. The questions can be seen below;
“What are the challenges you face regarding POCT?”
“What do you see in the future for POCT?” (BIVDA, 2016)
Although many answers were put forward there was one (answer) that appeared for both questions. Accreditation. We found this intriguing yet far from surprising. POCT and accreditation go hand-in-hand, with laboratories striving to achieve ISO accreditation with the ultimate aim of allowing patients to have peace of mind that they are being tested properly and effectively.
The ISO standard that relates to POCT is ISO 22870:2006 Point of Care Testing- Requirements for quality and competence. This standard gives specific requirements applicable to POCT testing and apply when POCT is carried out in a hospital, clinic or a healthcare organisation providing ambulatory care. However, it is important to note and remember that ISO 22870 is not to be seen as a separate, standalone document, in fact, it is to be used in conjunction with ISO 15189:2012 (medical laboratories – particular requirements for quality & competence).
With accreditation in POCT becoming a major factor to laboratories, it is no surprise to see accreditation as one of the top answers to the two questions asked in the survey.
For laboratories looking to participate in point-of-care testing there are other factors of ISO 22870 that they must be aware of, one of the major factors is as follows;
“ISO 22870:2006 advises that where available, Internal Quality Control and participation in an External Quality Assessment (EQA) scheme is required in the point-of-care setting.”
How can Randox help?
Fortunately for laboratories, Randox are able to help out here. With a vast range of true third party controls and 32 comprehensive RIQAS (EQA) programmes, Randox can aid laboratories as they aim for ISO accreditation.
We have multiple products particularly suited to the POCT market including, Liquid Cardiac, Blood Gas and Urinalysis. These products are available both as internal quality controls and as EQA programmes.
Our Acusera range of true third party controls are conveniently supplied liquid ready-to-use, therefore requiring no preparation. This is a particular advantage in the POC environment were test results are required quickly and also were testing is not always performed by laboratory personnel. Supplied with assayed target values and manufactured from 100% human material, ensuring they act in the same manner as a patient sample, our Acusera controls are ideal for use at the point of care and will therefore aid a laboratory in gaining ISO accreditation.
Similarly, participation in our RIQAS EQA programme will also assist laboratories to meet regulatory requirements and achieve ISO accreditation. With over 40,000 laboratory participants in 123 countries, RIQAS is the largest international EQA scheme worldwide! Our Liquid Cardiac, Blood Gas and Urinalysis programmes are all supplied liquid ready-to-use, complementing their Acusera counterparts perfectly!