General information

Opening times

Histology: Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm
Histopathology: Semen Andrology Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm (By appointment, only four per day).
Mortuary: Monday to Friday 7.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4.15pm

Out of hours service

Histology: In case of emergency, the on-call consultant pathologist can be contacted through the hospital switchboard. There is no provision for out of hours service for routine reports, and there is no provision for a stand-by on-call histology BMS.

Mortuary: This service is available for out of the ordinary cases and in the majority of cases initiated by the Police e.g., homicides, multiple fatal accidents etc.

The out of hours on-call service is provided seven days a week, including bank holidays.

The on-call Anatomical Pathology Technician (APT) may only be called in by the following designated officers of the Trust and Local Authority:

  • Senior police officer
  • HM Coroner
  • HM Coroner’s Officer
  • On-call consultant pathologists
  • On-site managers of the Trust

Completion of request forms

It is the responsibility of the requesting clinician or source to complete the request form fully according to our acceptance criteria as laid out in the Trust “The Preparation and Safe Handling of Histology Specimens within Theatres, Endoscopy and Procedure Rooms” and Pathology “Sample Acceptance and Rejection” policies. Please ensure all request forms are completed with enough information to allow unequivocal identification of the patient. Please include:

  • Full name, address and date of birth of the patient (essential)
  • Identification and location of the requestor (essential)
  • Hospital number (essential)
  • NHS number (essential)
  • Date and time specimen was collected
  • The type of specimen and, where appropriate, the anatomical site of origin (essential)
  • Relevant clinical information

Copies of the request form can be found here: Click Here

Specimen labelling

Specimens must be correctly labelled and accompanied by a fully completed form, in accordance with the Trust and Pathology Specimen Labelling Policies noted above. Please include:

  • Full name, address and date of birth of the patient (essential)
  • Hospital number (essential)
  • NHS number (essential)
  • Date and time specimen was collected
  • The type of specimen and, where appropriate, the anatomical site of origin (essential)

Multiple samples should be clearly labelled (A), (B), (C) etc not (1), (2), (3), and match the request form
Due to medico-legal considerations, all unlabelled or mislabelled specimens will require identification and verification prior to processing. The same applies to specimens arriving with no form, a mislabelled form or insufficient data. This may include returning specimens to the originating source for unequivocal identification before they can be accepted by the department.

Transport of specimens to the laboratory

All histology specimens should be received in formalin unless for frozen section or Immunofluorescence, when the case should be discussed with the laboratory before leaving theatres.

Surgical and cytological specimens will be collected and delivered to the Histopathology Department by the laboratory porter.

These collections and deliveries are made at the following sites and times:

7.30 am and 1.15pm
A&E, Breast Clinic, Delivery Suite, FHD, Gynae OPD, ITU, NNU, Pathology, West Wing Blood Bank, West Wing Theatres

10.30am and 2.30pm
A&E, Delivery Suite, Eastbrook, Endoscopy, FHD, ITU, NNU, Outpatient Theatres, Pathology, Skin Clinic, West Wing Blood Bank, West Wing Theatres

Availability of clinical advice and interpretation

The provision of interpretive comments on reports is an essential role of the Histopathology service. As such, we encourage the medical staff to have discussions with the consultant histopathologists and this advisory service provided by them, is available, at any time. (For contact information please view contacts page).

Referred work

There may be cases which will require a second opinion from a specialist from another hospital. Details including names and addresses of laboratories where work is referred is available, upon request, from the head BMS (ext 7126).

Under UKAS accreditation through ISO 15189 there is a requirement for histopathology to assess the uncertainty of measured quantity values (clause Details of the uncertainty of measurement within Histopathology can be made from our service users via written request to the laboratory director.

Provision of request forms, specimen containers and their envelopes and Formalin

  1. Request forms and envelopes for specimen containers
    Histology and Non Gynae request forms for all wards, theatres and clinics should be ordered from stores. These should be used for all histology and non-gynae investigations.
  2. Semen Andrology request forms can be filled in via GP Order Comms. Specimen containers will be provided by the department to patients once an appointment has been scheduled (Main office extentions on contact page).
  3. Obtaining specimen containers for wards, theatres and clinics
    For theatres, the empty, labelled containers are available on request to the pathology portering service ext. 6480.
    For clinics and wards small labelled specimen pots containing formalin are available on request from the portering service.
  4. Selecting specimen containers for specific tests
    Any cases requiring special handling or collection procedures peculiar to that case, for example, renal or muscle biopsy should be discussed with a Histopathologist prior to that procedure taking place.
  5. Ordering Formalin
  6. Please contact Histology (ext 6477) for five litre formalin bottles and for formalin pots, contact Porters on extension 6480. Standing orders are not appropriate due to fluctuating demands so therefore each individual department should review the stocks they need and order formalin in preparation for clinics/lists.