Local lab gets accreditation for testing

| 28/05/2013

HSA Forensic Lab2 (231x300).jpg(CNS): The local forensic laboratory has recently received international accreditation for its toxicology testing, making Cayman the first English-speaking island in the Caribbean to receive this high level of recognition. The forensic laboratory is required for many different types of analysis including forensic DNS and paternity testing at the HSA. It is a multi-functional entity servicing individual patients, law enforcement and also the corporate world, which can use the laboratory for their employee drug testing as part of their drug free workplace programmes. 

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority’s (HSA) forensic scientist Alan Glasgow said that rigorous examination of the lab by US based Forensic Quality Service (FQS) auditors led to this important accreditation. He said that

“Here at the forensic laboratory we have always upheld the highest level of standards,” said Glasgow. “We are pleased that the laboratory passed with excellent grading and had no major non-conformance marks.” The lab boss said that the community can be confident now in the local laboratory for confidential testing.

FQS is the longest established provider of accreditation to forensic testing agencies in the United States and the FQS ISO/IEC 17025 standard which the HSA’s laboratory’s toxicology testing received is the highest level of international accreditation that can be obtained. In order for the HSA’s laboratory to qualify, it was subjected to a random review and a full audit of case studies by a team of experienced FQS forensic scientists. In order for the HSA’s forensic laboratory to retain this coveted accreditation, FQS auditors will have access to the laboratory annually as routine maintenance. 

Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer at the HSA said that this important accolade for the laboratory meant the Authority was able to offer the best quality service.

“Customers can have complete confidence in the results that are produced from the HSA’s forensic lab because the lab is held to the very highest standards through the FQS accreditation,” she said, adding that this accreditation was not a new event for the HSA’s forensic laboratory.
“The forensic lab’s DNA services, including paternity testing, have been accredited at the HSA since 2009 and have to meet the United States FBI standards,” Yearwood. “The latest FQS accreditation will stand alongside the existing accreditation and together they serve to promote the HSA’s forensic lab as one that meets the highest international standards ahead of most other comparable labs in the region.”   

For more information about the Forensic Laboratory, contact forensic.dept@hsa.ky or call 345-244-2855.

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