The Cellular Pathology laboratory service at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital supports the Trust’s Cancer Centre status for most tumour sites. Most major aspects of pathology are undertaken with the exception of Neuropathology, Bone Tumour Pathology and Paediatric Pathology.
The annual workload of the department is approximately 30,000 histopathology requests, 4,000 diagnostic cytology requests and 700 autopsies. The department is well supported by the on-site Molecular Genetics service. The department plays a key role in patient care and supports a wide range of Multidiscipline Meetings (MDMs) which are held on a regular basis.
The Cellular Pathology Department is well staffed in all areas with experienced biomedical scientists involved in diagnostic work, immunohistochemistry and some molecular work. The department is accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO 15189: 2012 and participates in all relevant External Quality Assurance Schemes. All of our accredited tests can be obtained from our schedule on the UKAS website. Any tests not accredited or awaiting accreditation will have this stated on the report. The laboratory is accredited for the training of Medical and Scientific staff.
Although it is not generally helpful to specify minimum retesting intervals for the majority of cellular pathology specimens, which tend to be unique to a particular clinical episode, the areas where repeat sampling/re-biopsy or laboratory testing could be considered are set out in the document: National minimum retesting intervals in pathology: A final report detailing consensus recommendations for minimum retesting intervals for use in pathology.
It is the responsibility of clinical teams to ensure that informed patient consent has been sought prior to taking the specimen or sample. The laboratory will assume that the correct informed consent procedure has been followed for all specimens /samples received.
The laboratory would encourage users to engage in demand optimisation, designed both to reduce the number of unnecessary tests and to help ensure that appropriate tests are used.
Following the implementation of Epic in October 2020 the department now operates a paperless service, this includes how results are issued. For details please see our results page.