Clinical Laboratory Services provides a high quality, cost-effective service to the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, GPs and community hospitals mainly within the South Birmingham PCT and is a referral centre for specialist services for other local; national Trusts and international users. It is continually upgrading the test repertoire offered to reflect medical development. The laboratory services currently provided include:
Department of Clinical Biochemistry
Department of Laboratory Haematology (Including Transfusion) Department of Clinical Microbiology (Including Virology) Department of Cellular Pathology
Department of Molecular Pathology
All laboratories are staffed by qualified and experienced medical, scientific and technical personnel.
Clinical Biochemistry; Laboratory Haematology; Blood Bank and Clinical Microbiology laboratories are subject to external accreditation by UKAS against ISO15189.
Each of the laboratory departments runs a comprehensive quality management system, participating in all relevant National Quality Assessment Schemes, and operates a schedule of internal quality audit, corrective action and quality improvement.
The laboratories are recognised for training by the Health and Care Professions Council, the Royal College of Pathologists, the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.
All work is performed with due care for the health and safety of staff and patients and with proper regard for the environment. The laboratories comply with comprehensive safety procedures and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.
As part of our quality management system and to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our users, we are always keen to receive any comments you may have regarding the quality of the service we provide and would welcome any suggestions on ways in which we might be able to improve the service. We also take complaints about our work, staff and levels of service very seriously. If you are not satisfied, please contact the Quality Manager to register a complaint. Details of the complaints procedure will be given to you at this time.
A full laboratory service is available from each department between 8.00 and 20.00 weekdays but each individual laboratory may have extended core service times; please consult each section for details. Specimens for routine analysis should be submitted as soon as possible to the individual laboratories.
A more limited laboratory service is available in the following laboratories.
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Laboratory Haematology
- Clinical Microbiology
Samples requiring analysis for daily monitoring purposes should reach the laboratory by 11.00 so that they can process by the staff available. Samples sent after this time for routine analysis will be processed in strict order and after dealing with true emergency samples. Some specialist biochemistry investigations can be performed by prior arrangement with the laboratory, and should reach the laboratory earlier in the day. A limited number of staff work in the laboratories on Saturday morning. Investigations should be restricted to those patients who require monitoring to alter or prescribe therapy for that day. The Specimen Delivery System is available for sending most specimens. There are limited collections by the portering staff. Ad hoc porters can be called to take urgent specimens to the laboratory specimen reception. Transport should be contacted directly if the specimen cannot wait. Tests requiring urgent analysis should be brought to the attention of the laboratory staff by a prior telephone call.
Limited services are provided to UHB Trust on a Sunday and vary dependent on the laboratory. Investigations should be restricted to those patients who require monitoring to alter or prescribe therapy for that day. Specimens for this type of analysis must be in the departments by 11.00. The Specimen Delivery System is available for sending most specimens. There are limited collections by portering staff. Ad hoc porters can be called to take urgent specimens to the laboratory specimen reception. Transport should be contacted directly if the specimen cannot wait. Tests requiring urgent analysis should be brought to the attention of the laboratory staff by a prior telephone call.
A limited service is available in the laboratories, and vary dependent on the laboratory.
An out-of-hours service is provided by the following departments:
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Laboratory Haematology
- Clinical Microbiology
These services operate at all times when the laboratories are not open for 'routine' service. Out-of-hours you must make contact with the Duty Biomedical Scientist in each laboratory prior to dispatching any specimen. Investigations should only be requested out-of-hours when the results are required for immediate patient management. The out-of-hours Mortuary viewing service is provided by the Trust on-call manager.
All arrangements for specimen delivery to the departments must be made by the requesting doctor. Each department has a published repertoire of tests available out-of-hours and guidelines for requesting are available (see below). A senior member of the scientific or medical staff is available in each department for consultation at all times. If asked by the Duty Biomedical Scientist for your reasons for requesting a test, you should give the clinical indications; no reasonable request will be refused but the Biomedical Scientist will be at liberty to ask you to consult a senior member of the laboratory staff to discuss the necessity for the investigation.
Before any urgent specimens are sent to Biochemistry or Microbiology out-of-hours, you must make prior contact with the department concerned and discuss your requirements. You must complete the request form and include your contact point (telephone or bleep number).
All results are electronically transferred to the PICS and Browser systems. The results of urgent requests may be notified to the requesting source if there are abnormal results that exceed critical limits. You must be prepared to accept results and must not delegate this responsibility to anyone else unless you have made arrangements that are made clear to the department concerned.
NB Without prior notification requests for priority written on request forms (e.g. "urgent" or "please telephone") may be ignored by the laboratory
Cellular Pathology Service Hours
In general terms the opening hours are as follows :
Cellular Pathology: 08:00 to 17:00 weekdays and 07:00-15:00 on Sundays
Mortuary : 08:00 to 16:00 weekdays.
On Call Service
There is currently no formal on call routine diagnostic Cellular Pathology service or on call consultant in Cellular Pathology. On occasions a specialist pathologist may be approached out of hours by clinicians or transplant teams requesting out of hours urgent histology biopsy processing or frozen section reporting for clinically urgent cases. In these cases where a consultant pathologist is available then the Department can support with technical biomedical scientist support and also for back up support for critical equipment downtime. The on call biomedical scientist is available via switchboard. There is also a Cell Path manager on call via switchboard for example to support with for example major incidents or mortuary capacity issues, or critical refrigerated equipment failures for Cellular Pathology and Mortuary.
Urgent Histopathology Biopsy Requests
Urgent histopathology biopsy requests e.g. renal transplant / renal biopsy / cardiac biopsy
For same day processing these must reach the Cellular Pathology Reception by 13:30 Mon-Fri. Such urgent requests received after this time will be processed for reporting on the next working day. on the same day.
09:00 to 17:00 weekdays.
There is no out of hours service