Referral forms

All samples must be accompanied by a FULLY completed referral form. Please include patient details including patient surname, forename, date of birth and hospital number. It is essential that adequate details are provided for return of results including referring clinician and full address. Please ensure all details are legible. Any known or potential risk should be clearly stated on the form. Record specimen type, time and date specimen was taken, to ensure optimal preparation of specimen. Include as much clinical data as possible including previous diagnosis. Details of recent full blood count results are helpful when reporting bone marrow biopsies.

Inadequately labelled samples may be rejected or returned to sender for re-labelling (see sample acceptance criteria). 

Referral forms

Sample pot(s) must be labelled with the patient name, date of birth, and hospital number/NHS number (if known), so an addressograph label is ideal. Different samples must be distinguished by labelling the pots e.g. left or right. Any lack of information or mislabelling on the specimen pot(s) or form may result in the sample being returned to the sender causing a delay in processing the sample and therefore delay the result for the patient.

Specimen requiring urgent reports

Contact the laboratory specimen reception (ext.58212) before sending an urgent specimen. If an urgent report is required this must be discussed with, and agreed by, a Consultant Pathologist. The request form should be clearly marked ‘Urgent’ together with a bleep number and name for contact. Specimen must be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible, not later than 5pm if a result is required for the next day. Specimens requiring an urgent result for the same day must be delivered to the lab before 1pm.

Additional requests

Excess peripheral blood or bone marrow are stored within the lab for up to 4 weeks, during which time, requests for additional tests may be made. However, for assays for which RNA is required requests must be made within 48-72 hours of the sample being taken to ensure RNA viability.

DNA and/or RNA from referred material are stored indefinitely. Subsequently additional tests may be requested at a later stage if appropriate material has been stored in the first instance. If the appropriate nucleic acid has not been stored further sample may be requested. Please contact the laboratory for advice.