See the main Tests section for general information on request procedures.
Handwritten request forms are no longer in use. UCLH requests can only be made on the electronic health record system (EHRS), EPIC. It is essential that you ensure a printed EPIC form with an electronic request number is sent with the specimen to Cellular Pathology.
The following details must be provided as a minimum acceptance criteria:
- Patient first and surname (clearly printed labels must be present on all copies)
- Date of birth
- Patient Gender
- Hospital number/ NHS number
- Site of specimen
- Clinical Details
- Date and time of sample collection (this information is paramount to ensure timely processing of your request)
The destination of the report, the name of the requesting clinician and a contact or bleep number for the responsible clinician must be provided.
This enables the laboratory to contact the clinician regarding unsuitable samples and for communication urgent results.
Please provide information on what you are looking for from the sample.
HILIS forms can be downloaded from www.hmds.info or HILIS and must be completed in full.
All forms should be marked ‘HIGH RISK’ if known.
Any case that is required urgently (in working hours) must be discussed with the duty consultant prior to its receipt.
To ensure the case is dealt with at the earliest opportunity, the sample should be brought to the department by a member of the ward staff or specially- arranged porter. In this situation, the sample should be transported in a suitable receptacle, which prevents members of the public seeing patient identifiable details and within UN3373 regulations. Such containers should be available on each ward.
The time taken to process and report a specimen depends on its size, and the complexity of the case. An urgent, same-day diagnosis can be arranged by telephoning the specialty lead consultant histopathologist.
Depending on the complexity of the case and additional specialist techniques required for diagnosis, the average turnaround time to diagnostic report after receipt in the laboratory is:
- Aim to report 80% in 7 days
- Aim to report 90% in 10 days
A typed report will not be available before this time, but an interim report may be issued by the Consultant Histopathologist. Consultants are always available to discuss cases upon request.
Diagnostic cytology samples are processed on the same day they are received in the laboratory.
The turnaround time may be affected by the complexity of the case and the requirement for additional tests.
We aim to report on diagnostic cytology specimens within 48 hours of receipt into the laboratory.
Urgent Diagnostic Cytology samples
In some circumstances a report may be required urgently. In these cases the request form must be marked “URGENT” and with a contact name and telephone/bleep number. In exceptional circumstances, for some cases, it is possible to obtain results on the same day as sampling. Such requests must be discussed beforehand with one of the Consultant Histopathologists.
Urgent CSF cytology specimens are processed on the day they are received in the laboratory (before 17:00) and reported on within 24 hours.
Summary reports of histology and diagnostic cytology requests are available electronically via EPIC. Results are available as soon as the report has been authorised electronically by the duty pathologist, and therefore provides prompt information. It is helpful if you can check results on EPIC before contacting the secretaries.
Molecular results are uploaded and available on EPIC.
Clinicians are welcome at all times to visit the laboratories to discuss their cases and view the slides.
Summary reports of histology and diagnostic cytology requests are available electronically via EPR. Results are available as soon as the report has been authorised electronically by the duty pathologist, and therefore provides prompt information. It is helpful if you can check results on EPR before contacting the Reporting Secretariat. Molecular results are uploaded and available on EPR. Regular users of the molecular service may be able to get direct access to results via the Marsden Order and View system.