Our pathology department, or laboratory medicine as it is sometimes known, provides laboratory and testing services and specialises in detecting disease through a variety of investigative techniques. Our work is vital in finding an accurate and early diagnosis and improving the prospects for treatment.
Barnsley and Rotherham Integrated Laboratory Services
The Directorate of laboratory Medicine provides in-house routine diagnostic services for Blood Sciences, Blood Transfusion and Microbiology, with 24/7 unbroken support for emergency medicine. A routine Histopathology service is provided along with mortuary and post mortem facilities to serve the Trust and the district coroner.
Over recent years, the Pathology departments at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have been working together to strengthen our alliance with the aim of progressing to a fully merged Pathology service. This merger will result in significantly improved services to both our GP and hospital based users.
This document identifies which tests are performed on each site.
Details of referral laboratories used to perform tests can be provided upon request.
The Laboratory is situated on ‘A’ level (top floor). Following the signs for Pathology, at junction 2 go down the corridor opposite the lifts and the Pathology department is first on the left through the double wooden doors. Pathology Reception is straight ahead.
For departmental opening times please refer to the departmental webpage.
Below are a list of key contacts within the Laboratory Medicine directorate.
Additional contact information is provided within individual departmental web pages.
Tel : 01709 424362
Business and Services Manager
Tel : 01226 432787 (Barnsley) / 01709 424023 (Rotherham)
Tel : 01226 432289 (Barnsley) / 01709 424008 (Rotherham)
Departmental key contacts are available on their respective webpages.
The Laboratories within the Laboratory Medicine Service provided at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust are working towards achieving accreditation to the ISO 15189:2012 standard.
The ISO 15189 standard is an international standard which outlines the requirement for quality and competence for Medical Laboratories. The ISO standard has replaced the Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) standards, which the laboratory is currently accredited to.
The accreditation process involves annual visits by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ensure compliance against the standard.
Accreditation provides assurance to the users of the Pathology service that we are providing the best quality service.
Sample and request labelling
The responsibility for requesting a laboratory service or test lies with an authorised and trained practitioner (normally a Clinician). It is the responsibility of the requester to ensure that the identity of the patient is confirmed and that all samples are correctly labelled and request forms are completed to agreed standards in accordance with the Laboratory Medicine Sample Acceptance Procedure, failure to do so may result in the sample being rejected.
Procedures for requesting urgent tests are located within departmental handbooks located on their respective webpage.
Preparation for the patient and consent requirements
Certain tests require patient consent to be given due to the nature of the testing and the consequences of the results. Any genetics testing requested must have the patient’s informed consent prior to taking the sample. When the electronic order is generated, it is understood that the Doctor named on the form has discussed the consequences of the results with the patient and obtained consent. Any manual forms must be signed by the Doctor to indicate that consent has been obtained. Any special considerations for the preparation of a patient or requirements for the sample are provided in the departmental handbooks located on the department’s webpage. Please refer to the information in the handbooks prior to taking samples.
Before collecting Patient samples please refer to the department user handbook for information on the type and amount of the sample required and the sample container including any additives if required. The handbook will also outline any special timings for the sample and instructions for the inclusion of clinical information relevant to or affecting sample collection, test performance or result interpretation (e.g. History of administration of drugs, fasting sample).
Blood Samples must be collected in line with the local Venepuncture procedure. The person collecting the sample should be identified on the request form and sample.
Completing the request form
Samples for Blood Sciences and Microbiology can be requested using electronic ordercomms systems (Meditech and SunQuest ICE). The use of electronic ordercomms reduces the number of sample rejections as it prompts for mandatory information required by the laboratory to carry out testing and it also speeds up the sample receipt process.
Handwritten request forms must comply with the Laboratory Medicine Sample Acceptance Procedure.
Requesting the clinician and location
Please ensure that the clinician and requesting location are completed and legible on the handwritten request form. Failure to do so may lead to a delay in processing.
Please note that abbreviations may result in the incorrect clinician or location being selected and as a consequence, the results for the patient may be sent back to another clinician.
Whilst the laboratory staff make every effort to minimise errors, staff can only book samples into the system with the information they are provided with.
Clinical details should also be included on the request. These can be significant to the results obtained and, in some cases, insufficient clinical details may mean that the request is rejected.
'Danger of infection' stickers
Samples from patients with blood borne virus diseases constitute a particular hazard to laboratory staff. All infectious or potentially infectious specimens and their accompanying request forms should be clearly marked with “Danger of Infection” stickers. The range of investigations available on such specimens may be limited. Please contact the laboratory for further information.
Transport of specimens to the laboratory
Transport from wards and other areas within the Trust
Pathology specimens are potentially infectious and hazardous. Care must be taken to minimise the risks to staff when transporting specimens in the Air Tube chute system or in metal transport boxes. The collection and transportation of samples are also critical factors affecting the quality of results. It is essential, therefore, that users of the service adhere to the Sample Transport Procedure for Clinical Areas.
Samples from patients with blood borne virus diseases constitute a particular hazard to laboratory staff. All infectious or potentially infectious specimens and their accompanying request forms should be clearly marked with “Danger of Infection” stickers. Do not send samples labelled as danger of infection in the air tube system.
Transport from community premises (GPs) and other sources outside the Trust
Samples that are transported by road using hospital transport vans or taxi must comply with the Sample Transport for the Community Procedure in order to comply with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Act.
Laboratory Medicine is committed to ensuring the confidentiality of all patient sensitive information.
All data and information acquired while providing the services of the laboratory is handled in strict accordance with the Trust Confidentiality Policy. This ensures data is managed in compliance with all relevant legal obligations, standards and guidelines and professional codes of conduct.
The Pathology Confidentiality Policy builds on the Trust’s Confidentiality Policy in giving clear guidelines on the transmission of patients’ Pathology results and reports.
If you have any concerns about the services provided by the laboratory please let us know using any of the contact options provided above.
Formal complaints can be made through the Trust Patient Experience Team http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/yourexperience/
Periodically Laboratory Medicine will perform formal user satisfaction surveys. The information gained from these surveys will enable laboratory management to look at the service we provide and decide how to improve it to meet the needs and requirements of our users, as part of our commitment to continually improve quality.
A user satisfaction survey is currently underway and results will be available on this webpage once complete.
We also welcome adhoc user or patient feedback at any time – again, please use the contact options provided above.
Uncertainty of measurement
The laboratory has determined uncertainty of measurement for all assays where a numerical value is reported or used to determine the result, these values are obtainable by contacting the laboratory.
For other tests where a numerical value is not part of the determination of the result, the laboratory has undertaken a quality risk assessment in which all the factors that are known to affect the quality of the result have been taken into consideration and actions taken to minimise the risks.
Further information about Pathology Services within the NHS please refer to
The content of this page was last updated: Wednesday 31 October 2018 by Daniel Firth.