In 2020, the University Hospital Southampton (UHS) NHS Foundation Trust established a programme using non-invasive saliva collection to deliver COVID-19 test results to participating schools, colleges and universities and other settings within 24-48 hours. The programme used Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) full form testing.
The programme required the testing of up to 100,000 saliva samples a day. With so many samples being processed, ensuring the scale, traceability and accuracy of results was a significant challenge. As a result, the UHS lab decided to implement lab automation in order to deliver the required results.