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Pathology – information for clinicians

For urgent and non-urgent advice, please use the relevant contact details for each service area.


In hospital and primary care, tests are requested electronically: using ICE. Paper request forms should only be used where electronic requesting is unavailable.

Use of ICE requesting allows Pathology to provide a more efficient service, ensuring the correct clinical tests are requested and that reports are delivered to the requesting consultant and dept.

Clinical details must be provided on test request forms to allow interpretation of results, the addition of any further tests required and to enable the laboratory to decide on the most appropriate action to be taken with the results. Clinicians making referrals are responsible for providing these details. The person performing the test blood test is not made responsible for this.


Three points of identification are required to enable the sample to be processed. The patient’s full name, date of birth, NHS number and hospital identification number are suitable but please be aware that many of our patients have similar names and if an identification number is not available please give a further identifier such as address. Due to the risks associated with inaccurate identification of a patient’s sample, laboratory staff are instructed not to take responsibility for processing samples that do not have this information and it is likely that the referrer will need to provide a further, appropriately labelled sample.


All samples must be presented to the person undertaking transport in a safe and suitable manner that complies with necessary regulations. It is the responsibility of the sender that samples are collected and packaged safely and appropriately. The laboratory will take responsibility for samples only at receipt in pathology specimen reception.


Electronic access to results is available to most of our regional GP practices and can be arranged if not. For specific results, please contact the relevant Pathology discipline/lab via the contacts provided in the user guides/handbooks.

Guidance covering the range of testing available and specific test requirements necessary for any given assay may be found by means of clicking on the Discipline specific pathology handbook.