COVID-19 testing at UK Biocentre

UK Biocentre

The UK Biocentre provides a centre of excellence for biomedical research to the academic, pharmaceutical and biotech research community.

At UK Biocentre, they have scaled up to analyse COVID-19 swabs. Robotic equipment will enable us to analyse tens of thousands of swabs every day. Testing at scale with high levels of accuracy is vital. None of this would be possible without their dedicated staff, 150 volunteer scientists and the support of the NHS, Public Health England, the British Army, Royal Navy and their industrial partners – who have all played a vital role to help them scale up operations and ensure accuracy. 

Hear more from the people who helped make this possible:


They are one of three new Lighthouse Labs – the biggest diagnostic testing network the country has ever seen – supporting the national COVID-19 testing effort. 

UK Biocentre was established in 2011 as the service arm of UK Biobank, a national research initiative that collected biological samples and data from 500,000 UK volunteers. UK Biobank is regarded as the world’s premier biobank and implemented an industrialised approach to biological sample processing and management that is now available, through UK Biocentre, to the international scientific research community.

At UK Biocentre they have transformed their facility to test swab samples for COVID-19 on an industrial scale.This would not have been possible

Members attending an EACTS course


EACTS members attending a course

We supported the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) providing issue management support and communications advice to the EACTS Council and Secretary General. Our work included advice on reputational matters and policy issues, including treatment options for patients. We worked closely with the Secretariat to promote the Association, its Annual Meeting and other education and fellowship opportunities. Our transformative approach to content led to significant reach and engagement levels on social media, helping to secure over 6,000 delegates at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Lisbon.

Simon Weston

Scar Free Foundation

Barley Communications was asked by the Scar Free Foundation to provide communications support for the opening of their new facility – the Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

We worked with partners, including the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and case studies to build a compelling package for media. With tight turnaround times, we successfully secured media visits from seven film crews including (BBC Breakfast, ITV News and 5News) and secured 25 pieces of coverage including BBC Radio 4 Today, BBC News, ITV News, The Daily Telegraph and Mail Online. Coverage highlights are available here:

Commenting on Barley’s support, Brendan Eley, Chief Executive, Scar Free Foundation, said:

 “At every turn, I have been deeply impressed with the way Barley operate. The team worked hard and smart to generate well targeted national media coverage for the opening of The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, resulting in the best UK-wide profile we have ever achieved. The quality of their work and the support we receive is excellent. I have now commissioned Barley to prepare a communications strategy for the Foundation and anticipate they will continue to be a key partner, supporting our work for years to come.”