How do I use the website?
By using the links to other pages there is a vast array of information available on the pathology division and the departments of biochemistry, immunology, haematology, coagulation, blood transfusion, microbiology/virology and cellular pathology.
What information is available on the website?
The website includes general information on each department in the division of pathology, information about specimen containers for each test, available tests, expected turnaround times for tests, staff and location phone numbers and, policies and documents.
How can you help improve this site?
By emailing any queries to our pathology quality manager, it enables us to take on board views about the service we provide and how it can be improved on. We are always striving in pathology to improve all aspects of our service and appreciate any feedback we get and will respond to this in a positive way.
What is a biomedical scientist?
Information on this profession can be found on the Institute of Biomedical Science website. All Biomedical Scientists must have an IBMS accredited degree and be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
What are the requirements for patient consent?
All procedures carried out on a patient need the informed consent of the patient. For most routine laboratory procedures consent can be inferred when the patient presents himself/herself as a laboratory with a request form and willingly submits to the usual collecting procedure, for example, venepuncture. Patients in a hospital bed should normally be given the opportunity to refuse. Special procedures including more invasive procedures or with increased risk of complications to the procedure will need a more detailed explanation and in some cases written consent. In emergency situations consent might not be possible, under these circumstances it is acceptable to carry out necessary procedures provided they are in the patients’ best interests.
What is the pathology complaints procedure?
All complaints are dealt with according to the trust’s G01 Complaints Policy. The trust will always aim to provide a full and thorough response to a complaint within 25 working days. However, on occasions it is reasonable to use the 25 days as a starting point to the complexity of the case and/or the concerns raised.
How is personal information protected?
The pathology service follows the trust’s IG101 Data Protection, Confidentiality and Disclosure Policy. This states that all staff working for/or on behalf of the trust are subject to an obligation of confidentiality and must adhere to the Data Protection Act, Caldicott guidelines, records and management and NHS information security procedures, which form part of all employee contracts. All NHS employees have a duty of confidence to patients and staff under common law. Furthermore statute law imposes legal obligations regarding confidentiality of patient data, whether it is manually documented or collected and held in computer systems.
Chain of Custody (CoC) samples, including Sudden Infant Death (SID) specimens
The chain of custody arrangement is obligatory in the following instances:
- Sudden Infant Death
- Paediatric Toxicology
- All samples where the request form indicates that a criminal act may have taken place, that are accompanied by a “chain of custody” form, or that are brought to the laboratory by law enforcement agents e.g. police doctors, police officers, environmental health officers.
In all cases of sudden unexplained death in children aged less than 16 years, the deceased is always admitted to the A&E department for investigation under the jurisdiction of the Coroner. The Coroner may require further samples to be taken and these must also be handled to maintain specimen integrity and chain of custody assurance. A ‘Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood’ kit is available in all A&E departments, comprising of a plastic bag, which is sealable using a tamper-evident adhesive strip, containing specimen tubes, chain of evidence forms and instructions for completion. The chain of custody forms for Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood are available below, these are to be used by clinical area taking samples from a sudden infant death:
- Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) Chain of evidence form for microbiology and virology specimens
- Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) chain of evidence form for biochemistry and haematology specimens
Where a criminal act may have taken place, the chain of custody form should be used by the clinical area or law enforcement agents for all specimen types.