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Making pathology requests

Pathology requests can be made in one of several ways.

Most requests for pathology investigations are received electronically, using an order communications system (OCS), however this is determined by the Trust and the dept to which investigations are being sent.

Some depts/clinical areas may require a request form, even though the request may have been made using OCS.

When the OCS system is not available, request forms (Downtime forms) must be used. It is advisable for clinical areas to have a stock of these forms already printed, as often in situations when the OCS is not available, the Trust network is also not available either and therefore it will not be possible to print any forms.

Using multi-layered request forms

If multi-layered request forms are received and are to be shared across pathology departments, please ensure all patient details are visible on each layer of the multiform.

If this information is not clear, it may be necessary to photocopy the original form before separating the multi-layered form sections and enclosing the photocopied request rather than the carbon copy with the specimen.

Blood Transfusion requests

The Blood Transfusion department has its own specific procedure for making requests and labelling samples.

Requesting tests and taking samples

Requestors

All requests will be made by either a clinician or suitably trained practitioner and it is their responsibility to ensure all requests:

  • Are made on the correct patient and selecting the correct encounter for that patient
  • Include whatever information is required by the laboratory to perform the test and interpret the result
  • Which analytical tests are required and the clinical need for those tests.

Where an electronic order using an Order Communications System has been used to make the request and print the labels, ensure ALL of the information printed on the label is legible.

It is the responsibility of the clinical area to ensure the label printers are working correctly and producing legible labels.

Phlebotomist/person collecting the specimen

Must ensure the sample(s) are collected from the correct patient, into the appropriate sample collection container, at the correct time and that the samples are labelled fully with the correct patient’s details.

Latest news

April 6, 2023

Immucor live at Croydon Hospital for blood transfusion

On Wednesday (4 April), the Croydon blood transfusion service went live with the Immucor system. Immucor is the leading provider of transfusion and transplantation diagnostic products in the UK. The new system is fully automated and has high accuracy.

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April 4, 2023

Hepatitis B and C screening in ED

In line with national guidance, Hepatitis B and C screening has now been introduced at Croydon Hospital. The purpose of the initiative is to identify cases of these diseases in patients who may not know they have them, so treatment can be offered early.

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November 4, 2022

Immunology services at St George’s and Epsom and St Helier Hospitals merging

Immunology services at St George’s and Epsom and St Helier Hospitals are merging into one service, which will be located at St George’s Hospital. This is taking place during October and November. 

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October 17, 2022

Microbiology services at SWLP live with a new Laboratory Information Management System

Microbiology at SWLP successfully went live with the new system on Monday 10 October. This marks a significant achievement for teams within SWLP and across the four trusts who have worked extremely hard to make this happen.

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