Houdini HT Wu (PHD, PA-R)


I am a clinical scientist at the Public Health England (PHE), Birmingham Laboratory and a physician associate at the Coventry Road Medical Centre, Birmingham. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, I continue to work across both settings to help with coronavirus testing and to provide continuity of care to our patients.

PHE plays a vital role in national coronavirus testing, providing scientific evidence (e.g. infection numbers in real time and the speed at which the virus is spreading) to support government COVID-19 controlling strategy. Our microbiology laboratory is one of the first three within the UK to test for coronavirus. As a clinical scientist, I work round the clock with other clinical scientists and consultant virologists towards SARS-CoV-2 testing 24/7. My work includes establishing initial testing method under tight time constraints and exploring into new diagnostic methods/platforms for testing verification and validation. The ultimate goal is to enhance the diagnostic reliability and accuracy, as well as to increase the capacity for testing and overcome the national shortage of testing reagent and consumables supplies.

As a PA in general practice, I work closely within our team to assist with the telephone triage service during the pandemic. Assessing vulnerable patients with multiple comorbidities through the phone poses extra layer of complexity while implementing national guidelines to reduce patient footfall. Therefore, I have taken the initiative to organise and setup video consultation services at our surgery for this special cohort of patients. In response to the shortage of personal protective equipment and to further reduce unnecessary visit during this unprecedented time, I have devised a digital medical photography protocol using existing resources at our practice to effectively manage dermatology-related consultations.

I am proud to be a frontline keyworker for both the NHS and PHE team to help protecting the public and combating this COVID-19 pandemic.