Preston Clinical Biochemist gains international recognition

A Consultant Clinical Biochemist at Royal Preston Hospital has been included in The Pathologist’s Power List for 2021, placing him in the top 75 pathologists out of those nominated internationally.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 3:52 pm

Dr Martin Myers runs the Clinical Biochemistry Department in Preston and has been based in the city for 25 years after previously living in the south.

Before the magazine’s recognition, Dr Myers was made an MBE in 2014 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Healthcare Science from the NHS earlier this year.

While he admits that being rewarded for his endeavours makes him happy, he is quick to emphasise the role of the team and what the job really means to him.

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Martin Myers

“I was only able to do this because I’ve been supported by a fantastic Trust and my wonderful Clinical Biochemistry team. They respond to everything so quickly and work hard.

"“Of course, it’s nice to be recognised, especially when you get tired and give most of your weekends to work. However, for me, it’s all about the patient. It’s not about me and my fancy equipment. If I can improve a patient’s journey and diagnostics, I will do it, whatever it takes.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Myers oversaw the introduction of a rapid coronavirus testing system for patients in the hospital.

As well as working locally, Dr Myers has been involved in national projects. At the beginning of the pandemic, he worked with NHS Supplies to organize the deployment of blood gas analysers to COVID-19 Nightingale hospitals around the country.

Martin Myers

He has also been an Expert Advisor to the Department of Health on Covid-19 tests and the Chair of the NHRA Expert Advisory Group to set standards for new Covid testing.

Beyond Covid-19, Dr Myers has been a driving force in the NHS’ Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme, which is an ambitious effort to improve services nationwide by assessing care provision across a broad range of diseases and practices.

As a Senior Clinical Advisor for the Pathology section of the GIRFT programme, he communicated with every pathology laboratory in England, evaluating their work and producing a report which sets out a strategic direction for the future of pathology in England. Having worked with so many labs, he jokes: “I now know everybody in the country!”

No two days look the same for Dr Myers and he works to diagnose a multitude of medical problems.

Overall, his hospital department carries out a jaw-dropping 30,000 tests each day, but the special feeling of having helped somebody never fades for him.

He said: “I get stimulated every day when I look at a set of results and I can diagnose a disease that the doctor and patient didn’t know about. Every time I do that, that gives me a buzz. It makes me get out of bed in the morning, knowing that I help contribute to the process of making patients better. It happens multiple times every day, and every time, I feel good.”

Being a Clinical Biochemist is a dream Dr Myers held from his teenage years, ever since his older brother brought home a biochemistry book from university. Since earning his qualifications, he worked in a variety of places, before coming to Preston in 1996.

However, despite his accomplishments, one thing never gets easier: supporting Preston North End.

“I’ve been supporting the club for 25 years and still haven’t got used to the pain!” he tells me. “Don’t even get me started on it!", he said.

“I love this city and I do consider myself a proud Prestonian, even if some Prestonians don’t because of my southern accent! But I’m glad that I’ve managed to be a small part of this region’s history in some way.”