Transport of Specimens 

Pathology specimens should be sent via the sample delivery system to the laboratory or delivered by hand and left at the reception desk. 

All samples sent to the laboratory should be packed so as to comply with the Carriage Dangerous Goods (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 1996

General Guidance

  • Specific transport requirements are identified where applicable in the test database for individual tests. Please check here if you are unsure.
  • Use containers provided by the Trust. These are designed to be robust and not leak in normal use.
  • Ensure that the container is appropriate for the purpose, is closed and not contaminated on the outside.
  • After labelling, the samples should be placed in individual plastic transport bags and sealed, not secured with clips or staples
  • Please do not place the request form with the sample, instead separately in the side pocket.

Samples may be sent to the Laboratory in the following ways:

On site transport

  • Specifically designed for purpose, specimen transport bags/boxes are used to transport samples within the Trust, by an on site portering service to Pathology reception
  • If a spillage occurs and is not contained within the specimen transport carrier please ring the number provided on the side of the box and assistance will be provided.
  • Do not leave a spill unattended
  • A pneumatic air tube system can be used to transport samples. This system should not be used to send urgent Microbiology samples such as CSFs as it is possible these samples may go astray resulting in a delay in processing and therefore provision of results. Samples containing large volumes of liquid (>50ml) should not be sent by tube because disinfection following leakage is extremely difficult to achieve.

Off site arrangements

  • There is a daily courier pick up system, provided by the Trust for General Practitioners.
  • This service is subject to safety audit and inspection. Assistance for dealing with spillage can be obtained by phoning the numbers on the transport carriers.
  • There is a Hospital transport system linking the laboratory to other hospitals and clinics Trust wide.
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