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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.
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.
Details of referral laboratories used to perform tests can be provided upon request.
A level, junction 2
Specimen reception: 01709 427553
Biochemistry: 01709 424241
Haematology: 01709 424236
Immunology: 01709 424250
Blood transfusion: 01709 727107
Microbiology: 01709 424242
Histopathology: 01709 424020
Please contact Annette Davis-Green
BRILS Business and Service Manager
01226 432787 (Barnsley) or 01709 424023 (Rotherham)
01226 432289 (Barnsley) or 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 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: UKAS Schedule of Accreditation - ISO 15189.
Please note that as of 11 April 2023, the Histopathology Service at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has transferred to the Rotherham site as part of the Barnsley and Rotherham Integrated Laboratory Services (BRILS) Partnership. All tests and services detailed within the Histopathology section of the Barnsley Schedule of Accreditation 8448 Barnsley Pathology Schedule of Accreditation will be removed following assessment by UKAS and the Rotherham Schedule of Accreditation will be updated to reflect any tests and services transferred to Rotherham, following an assessment by UKAS. Please note the department are in the process of submitting extension to scope applications to UKAS for the required changes. During this period, tests and services continue to be managed within the Laboratory Quality Management System. If further information is required please contact the laboratory via the contact details on their web page.
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”.
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.
Procedure for requesting urgent tests are located within departmental handbooks, located on their respective webpage.
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.
The table below outlines the different types of anticoagulant and sample volume requirements for the tests listed in the test repertoire table. The information in the test repertoire table refers to 1 x adult or 1 x paediatric sample unless stated otherwise.
|Colour reference in test repertoire table||Anticoagulant used||Standard bottle volume (Adult)||Paediatric bottle volume|
|Red||K-EDTA (Potassium-Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid||4.0ml||1.2ml|
|Brown||None. Gel used to separate red cells from serum.||4.9ml||1.1ml|
|Yellow||Fluoride||4.9ml or 2.7ml||1.1ml|
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.
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.
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.
Users of BRILS should note that timely transport of samples to the laboratory is important in ensuring the quality of the test results. GP and community users must ensure that samples are collected and transported on the next available collection. Blood samples must not be refrigerated prior to transport.
All specimens must be transported to the laboratory on the day they are taken. Any delays in specimen transportation, for example, delays due to adverse weather conditions, may affect the integrity of the sample which can lead to unreliable test results.
All Chemistry gel tube sample tests will be affected. Samples delayed over 12 hours cannot be processed.
Blood Glucose specimens in fluoride tubes and HbA1C specimens in EDTA tubes may be stored in a refrigerator overnight.
Full blood count specimens in EDTA tubes may be stored in a refrigerator overnight.
All urine, swabs etc may be stored in a refrigerator overnight.
Specimens may be stored overnight at room temperature.
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 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.
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.
Please note: The Pathology service does not offer results directly to patients. Patients are advised to contact the Clinician responsible for their care to obtain their results.
If you have any concerns about the services provided by the laboratory please let us know using any of the contact options provided.
Formal complaints can be made through the Patient Experience Team.
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 2021 user survey:
We also welcome adhoc user or patient feedback at any time – please use the contact options provided above.
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.
The content of this page was last updated: Wednesday 12 July 2023 by Dan Firth.