The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the subsequent healthcare response has affected many aspects of society and required adaptation and novel solutions to be explored. One area that has responded to the changing faces of the pandemic is hospital pathology. A significant burden has fallen on microbiology departments across the UK, an often unseen section of the hospital suddenly thrust into the forefront.
The instigation, implementation and upscaling of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing may, in retrospect, be recognised as an underrated achievement of the UK’s response to the pandemic. National testing capacity seemed to be reported with a negative bias in the early phases, labelled as inadequate, insufficient and impossible to access. Some of this criticism was undoubtedly valid, although it also demonstrated the lack of general understanding as to the complexity of rapidly introducing large-scale testing. A succession of seemingly arbitrary targets were in