This month, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service welcomed inspectors from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for a landmark inspection at its new facility.
The facility, named the Jack Copland Centre, is home to the Service’s headquarters and will be the largest blood processing, testing and research facility in Scotland. Staff and equipment began moving in following completion of construction a few weeks ago. However the Service would not be permitted to process or store blood or blood components on site for patient use until authorised to do so by MHRA.
Inspecting the site for the first time since completion, inspectors from MHRA measured the Centre’s operational compliance with relevant regulations, good manufacturing practices and licences previously granted, all of which were largely met. Most significantly, inspectors formally approved the Jack Copland Centre’s Blood Establishment Authorisation (BEA) and Wholesale Dealing Authorisation (WDA) which means that blood and blood components can now be processed and manufactured on site, as well as the storage and distribution of plasma products.
During the inspection the MHRA team were extremely positive. The lead inspector telling SNBTS staff that he had assessed several pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities around the world and that the Jack Copland Centre is one of the best he’d seen.
Others commented on the enormity and complexity of the project undertaken by SNBTS, and commended the blood transfusion service on the design of the ‘fantastic facility’.
Mary Morgan, Director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service was thrilled with the results of the visit. She said: “I’d like to thank the team from MHRA for their positive comments on the Jack Copland Centre. The outcome of the inspection allowed us to release the first blood components processed at the Centre to hospitals. We're now eagerly anticipating the movement of our remaining processing functions to the centre, so to receive this evaluation is most welcome.
“Our project management and operational teams have put an exceptional amount of time and effort into this facility; it marks a significant milestone for our Service. The Centre will modernise how we work, providing flexible and adaptable spaces, and giving staff a lovely environment to work in.”