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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.

Meet the team

Read about the various roles and work that our teams are involved in to ensure a first-class service for people across Rotherham and Barnsley.

Blood Science automation replacement project update

The Blood Sciences services at Barnsley and Rotherham Hospitals are in the process of replacing their main analysers and robotics. This £3m investment in NHS services started last year, but was paused due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With pandemic pressure on the NHS easing, along with easing of government imposed COVID-19 restrictions, the project is now underway again. 


Progress made in July

We are very pleased to report that good progress was made during July, with Rotherham seeing their new Coagulation analysers go live on 14 July and Barnsley went live on their new set of Haematology analysers on 30 July. The teams worked tirelessly to ensure that this process was seemless for our users and patients.

Staff at Rotherham with the new Coagulation analysers:

BRILS Rotherham analysers

Some of the Barnsley Haematology team with the new analyers:

BRILS Barnsley analysers

Plans for September

During the next major stage of the project in September, we will be going live onto the new Chemistry analysers, which includes new middleware. Now the go live process has been mapped in detail, we know that there will be a short period of electronic downtime to enable the transition to the new analyser systems and middleware. This is planned to happen in the early morning of Monday 21 September for Rotherham and early morning of Wednesday 23 September for Barnsley. The downtime will be a maximum of 4 hours, which will not prevent urgent samples being processed, but will mean that electronic results are delayed until the new middleware is repointed and tested to ensure it is transmitting correctly. During this brief period, urgent results will be telephoned through to the clinical areas. Routine work, such as GP samples and outpatients are unlikely to be affected as the new systems will be up and running before the daily routine work arrives in the Lab.

The new Coagulation analysers on the Barnsley site are planned to go live in September. Similar to the go live of the Rotherham Coagulation analysers in July, mentioned above, this will be a seemless transition without any impact to our service provision.

Last phase of the project

In September to November, we will be replacing the robotics at the Barnsley Blood Sciences Laboratory. This means that the thousands of samples from across Barnsley and Rotherham that are normally delivered to the bank of analysers by the automation each day, will need to be loaded by hand.  BRILS is taking all possible steps to prevent any impact on the services to our users during this period by deploying additional staff. However, this may result in slightly lengthened turnaround times for routine test requests.  Urgent work will be prioritised and we do not anticipate any change to turnaround times for these samples. We aim to maintain a full service for the hospital, GPs and other healthcare professionals throughout the replacement project. 

Our stated turnaround time for routine GP work is 24 hours, but most tests have results within a couple of hours of receipt in the Lab. The likelihood of any impact on user experience from the analyser replacement programme is very low, but slightly lengthened turnaround times are possible. For routine GP samples, we expect this to be in the order of taking 20 minutes longer to process than normal because of the requirement to manually load these onto the analysers. So if a test normally has a result in say 1 hour 30 mins, it may be 1 hour 50 mins whilst we have no track. We have an additional 8 staff members that have been employed to manually transfer samples, so we are confident that the impact will be minimal, even at peak times. GP samples marked urgent will be prioritised, as they are now. The service level has been planned on routine activity levels from GPs and internally, not on the recently reduced activity due to covid, therefore we are confident that we will still be able to deliver timely test results to GPs, even when activity returns to pre-covid levels.

At the end of this project, anticipated to be completed by November 2020, Barnsley and Rotherham Hospitals will have enhanced the service they provide, due to the installation of state of the art analysers and automation, with additional functionality. 

If you require any further information or assistance please contact Annette Davis-Green on annettedavis-green@nhs.net or 07825 194 957

General information


Location

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.

Opening times

For departmental opening times please refer to the departmental webpage.

Key contacts

Below are a list of key contacts within the Laboratory Medicine directorate.
Additional contact information is provided within individual departmental web pages.

Laboratory Directors 
Dr Magdalena Turzyniecka and Dr Rokiah Ali 
Tel : 01709 424051 / 01709 425338

Head of Pathology (BRILS Operations)

Elizabeth Elfleet

Tel: 01226 432787 (Barnsley) / 01709 424023 (Rotherham)

BRILS Manager (Strategy)
Annette Davis-Green
Tel : 01226 432787 (Barnsley) / 01709 424023 (Rotherham)

Quality Manager
Heather Da-Costa
Tel : 01226 432289 (Barnsley) / 01709 424008 (Rotherham)

Departmental key contacts are available on their respective webpages.

Laboratory accreditation

The Laboratories within the Laboratory Medicine Service provided at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 9623.

The laboratories work in line with 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 has been accredited to since their introduction in 1996.

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.

A full list of all accredited tests provided by the laboratory is detailed in our Schedule of Accreditation at the link below:

https://www.ukas.com/wp-content/uploads/schedule_uploads/00007/9623%20Medical%20Single.pdf

Some tests provided by the laboratory are not included within the Schedule of Accreditation. These tests are managed within the Laboratory Quality Management System. If further information is required please contact the laboratory via the contact details on their web page.

Laboratory Medicine complies with the BEIS Policy ‘The National Accreditation Logo & Symbols: Conditions for use by UKAS and UKAS accredited organisations (June 2018)’ and we therefore kindly request that where our users make reference to the accreditation status of our service, that they use the phrase “a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 9623”.

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.

Urgent requests

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.

Specimen collection

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 information

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 Wards.

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.

Confidentiality

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.

Complaints/user feedback

Complaints

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/  

User feedback

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.

The results from our user surveys can be found in the links below:

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

http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/aboutnhsservices/pathology/Pages/pathology-services-explained.aspx  

 

The content of this page was last updated: Tuesday 15 September 2020 by Dan Firth. 

Contact us

Laboratory Medicine 

Specimen Reception – 01709 427553
Clinical Biochemistry – 01709 424241
Haematology – 01709 424236
Immunology – 01709 424250
Blood Transfusion – 01709 427107
Microbiology – 01709 424242
Histopathology – 01709 424020
 

Level A
Rotherham Hospital
Moorgate Road
Rotherham
S60 2UD