On Wednesday May 11th 2021, Martin Myers was awarded the 2020 NHS Healthcare Science Lifetime Achievement Award. This is a prestigious award, with one recipient a year, honouring a lifetime of dedication and service to Healthcare Science in the NHS.
Martin is Consultant Clinical Biochemist here at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. He has devoted his life to developing the use biochemistry in the healthcare setting to aid the diagnosing and monitoring of disease.
“I am proud of what I have done and to have my achievements recognised at a national level is quite humbling, it made me choke up to be honest”
Martin came to Preston over 25 years ago as a Consultant with a vision to develop the delivery of diagnostic testing. Making it better, more effective and better value for money.
His one goal. To deliver diagnostic tests, to make them better and to make them better value for money.
“I punched above my weight when I got this job you know” admits Martin rather sheepishly.
This Trust deserves the aware as much as I. Without their belief in me, without their strategic leadership I could not have done it. It is as simple as that.”
Martin brought in automation some 14 years ago, making the Preston site a model for others across the World to envy and to eventually copy
A higher number.of test became possible with a faster turn-around time. With the automation also came significant improvements in quality.
He developed what he refers to as “the lab in a box”. This is where his team go out together with other healthcare professionals to target hard to reach communities.
“We call it Diagnostic Oversight, where prevailing health conditions make it easier for those sufferers to overlook other illnesses that we can treat quite effectively”
“They don’t want me in a scary white coat, they want someone they trust to do a finger prick for example” says Martin.
He along with his team developed specialist testing to support resident specialist clinicians.
Here at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, whereas other hospitals have one specialism such as Renal, we have specialists in most fields, all requiring different highly complex testing facilities.
“We really are a centre of excellence across many many fields” admits Martin “and with those specialisms come responsibility for my team to deliver results, efficiently and accurately to aid the patient”
Most recently he developed a covid net round the hospital ensuring that all patients have access to rapid Covid-19 testing to ensure the safe and smooth running of the hospital
“It has been quite a journey” says Martin with a smile. That is an understatement in the eyes of many who know the impact his devotion has had.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said
"What a superb achievement and such a well-earned accolade. It has been my pleasure and privilege during the past 13 years to have worked alongside you and I cannot think of a more deserving colleague.
"It has been to the great benefit of our Trust to have you as a leader and that has been particularly evident during the Covid period. Some vital ‘stuff’ just would not have happened without your insight, drive and determination!
“The patient was, is and will always be the reason I do this job” says Martin as he gets ready to go back to the department."
What now though for It has been quite a journey for a man who exudes confidence and loyalty as he goes around the department, continually checking, acknowledging colleagues and ensuring his team have everything they need.
“I have a few ideas” admits Martin. “I am surrounded by absolutely astonishing staff here at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. My desire is still as strong today as it was 25 years ago, to deliver high quality testing where it is best for the patient”
As he becomes engrossed in the latest batch of test results coming onto the many computer screens, he adds
“Whilst I know that my work will continue when I am gone, there is still plenty to do”
I am sure there is.