Laboratory Genetics | Celebrating BWC Spirit

Celebrating BWC Spirit

BWC Spirit Logo We are highlighting the amazing things our colleagues have done and achieved during the pandemic.

Our teams have bravely stood by the side of our patients, changed how they have worked to keep key and emergency services running and gone beyond the Trust to help colleagues in other parts of the NHS.

They have done so with an approach and spirit that is uniquely BWC and we want to celebrate that and what has been achieved.

From frontline clinical colleagues to our unseen and often unsung heroes in labs, offices and in our corridors - everyone has had a part to play and we’re sharing some of their stories over the next two weeks.

If you would like to thank individuals or teams either by sharing some kind words, pictures or a short video we would love to see them. You can submit your messages, pictures or videos by emailing

Laboratory Genetics

Lab Genetics  By Paul Caldwell, General Manager, Laboratory Genetics

What was the hardest part of the pandemic?

We are a relatively large team of over 300 team members working in very different environments.

Adapting all of the changing advice and guidance in estate and quite specific IT needs, neither designed for a pandemic needs was really challenging.

There are two main parts to the whole Laboratory Team – Technical and Scientific.

The Technical team (on the whole) cannot work remotely. They had to work on site, quite close to each other, in times we were being told space is needed. They adapted very quickly by introducing new shift patterns, new working practices. They absolutely smashed it. The team have been able to maintain near pre-pandemic levels of activity throughout all of this time.

The scientific team are very IT dependant. Creating space and working remotely with limited software licences, single screens when we are still so dependent on paper referrals was hugely challenging. Able to complete part of their job remotely and then waiting until they were on site to check the paper elements must have been incredibly frustrating.

In a service that is rapidly expanding, requiring significant staffing growth, supporting new starters to be embedding into the team and to train existing staff on new technologies and processes has been unfathomably challenging. 

The patients and families that have benefitted from the teams commitment and flexibility are practically unquantifiable.

Lab Genetics team members How did you cope?

Frequent check -ins with teams, great leadership from each of the different hubs and programs

Lots of communication, a lot of focus on reassurance and it’s ok not to be ok. We had excellent sharing of ideas across the division, concerns and feeding back to staff groups at every opportunity. 

What did you learn?

For a department that are required to be governed by SOPs, documents, guidance etc those early days where the team were adapting and changing so quickly and safely shows that we may have become a little too “bureaucratic” – we are trying very hard to keep some of that flexibility and adaptability alive…(whilst keeping UKAS happy).

How do you think it changed the team?

We are even more committed than before to get rid of the paper that we are so reliant on!!!!!

Beyond your team, who has inspired you during the pandemic?

Dr Jim Gray….and his wider team.

The clarity of advice and guidance, the speed that he provided tailored advice and the relaxed approach whilst in the eye of the storm – the guy deserves a medal! 

Laboratory genetics team members


Lab genetics team members car park

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