Cellular Pathology News


January 10th, 2020

Many thanks to those of you who took the time to complete the Cellular Pathology user survey in 2019

Overall Cellular Pathology service:

87.5% of responders would rate The Cellular Pathology Service either Good or Excellent

You said
Always approachable and helpful.
• Feel that the department is under a lot of pressure, but works hard to get our results out quickly and accurately. In house HER2 would be awesome!
• Out of hours pathology for oncologic emergencies not available. No ability to incorporate genomic data in the pathology.
• Fabulous one stop clinic help from Cytology.
We said
• HER2 is centrally funded and therefore currently cannot be carried out on this site.
• Unfortunately the Cell Path team are not responsible for reporting genomic results and so we have no control over the way genomic data is reported.
• Many thanks – We always aim to provide an excellent ROSE service for all of our users.

Turnaround Times:
You said
• Sometimes turnaround times for Histology are reasonable for H&E 3-5 days, but often not.
We said
• We are working on recruiting more Pathologists to improve our turnaround times

Quality and clinical relevance of reports:
You said
• When slides go off to backlogs the reports are of varying quality and there is often an unacceptable delay in getting slides back.
We said
• We are working on recruiting more Pathologists to avoid sending slides away.



Many thanks to those of you who took the time to complete the Cervical Cytology user survey in 2019.

94% of responders would rate The Cervical Cytology Service either Good or Excellent.

You Said
Have just had a look and added to my favourites – it looks good.
• Very clear always found all the info I needed.
• Just found it and accessed it without difficulty, very informative.

Availability and quality of technical and clinical advice
The advice and assistance I have received has been very helpful.
• Not accessed it yet.
• Rang the lab a few times and have always found them to be very helpful and efficient.
• Always willing to answer queries in a timely fashion, really helpful.

Quality of sample taker training
I visited as part of my training. Extremely helpful staff and made to feel very welcome.

We said:
• Many thanks for your comments – they are appreciated.

Transport of samples:
You said:
As a Practice of 15,500 pts we only get a 1x daily courier collection. A further pm collection would be desirable.
We said:
• As the laboratory turnaround times are within the 14 days, it is not considered essential to increase the number of collections at this time.
You said:
Slight confusion since the addition of the orange bags – it’s a lot of plastic – can more than one sample go into an orange bag at a time, and is anyone looking at more eco-friendly options?
We said:
• We will investigate the use of biodegradable bags as an alternative to plastic.




May 20th, 2019

** HPV Primary Screening Roll Out Update for North, East and Mid Devon Regions **

Early implementation of HPV Primary Screening for North, East and Mid Devon Regions will be commencing in the laboratory from 13th May 2019 (this will involve all tests dated 10th May 2019).  This primary HPV testing will be carried out at the Exeter Cytology Laboratory.

For more information please see ‘HPV Primary Screening Roll Out for North, East and Mid Devon Regions‘


February 27th, 2019

Many thanks to those of you who took the time to complete the Cellular Pathology user survey in 2018

You said
• More pathologists so more prompt results

• They appear to be under the greatest pressure in terms of staffing

• Consider using non paper forms to help reduce errors

• I would like to be able to access results via SystmOne for the RD&E

• Takes up to 3 weeks to give us a prostate biopsy result. This creates huge problems with our cancer pathway

• The number of patients for MDT discussion are capped. 30 patients only. This causes a delay in patient pathway.

We said
• We are in the process of implementing a new IT system which will improve the reporting process and build efficiencies into our laboratory systems. Results will be produced electronically. We are also installing a ordering communication system for GPs so that tests can be requested and reports received electronically.

• We are working on expanding our team in order to continue to meet the requirements of our service users.

You said
• Already very good (response to how might services be improved)

• Excellent service, but under-resourced, hence a long turnaround time for biopsies, which impacts on patient care

• Histopathology are working extremely effectively for the lung MDT a really outstanding service. Not only speed but excellent considered opinions.

• Speedy turnaround time. An excellent service

• The RDE Labs provide an excellent service on the whole & are always very polite & helpful when Clinicians ring for advice or email

We said
• We are delighted that our users are positive about our service. We will continue to act on your feedback to ensure our service is continuously improved.

Update to Cervical Cytology Services – HPV Primary Screening Roll Out for Cornwall and Torbay Areas

October 1st, 2018

** HPV Primary Screening Roll Out Update for Cornwall and Torbay Areas **

A recent communication from NHS England on 19th September 2018 announced the early implementation of HPV Primary Screening for Cornwall and Torbay areas from mid-November 2018. This primary HPV testing will be carried out at the Exeter Cytology Laboratory.

For more information please see ‘HPV Primary Screening Roll Out for Cornwall and Torbay Areas

PVSA Request Form *UPDATE*

April 24th, 2018

Please use updated PVSA request form for all future PVSA requests.

Cellular Pathology User Survey Feedback 2017

February 2nd, 2018

Many thanks to those of you who took the time to complete the Cellular Pathology user survey in 2017

You said
The secretaries are always very helpful and reports easily accessible.
• The Team are always extremely helpful with any queries I have and do their best every time.
• Can we track where you are with reporting results via this system? It would save us having to keep calling to chase results etc.
We said
• We are pleased that our team are always helpful. Results are available electronically within the hospital. For any queries regarding reports, please e-mail
rde-tr.Exeterhistology@nhs.net or contact the Secretaries directly on 01392 402942.


You said
The turnaround does appear to be quite outdated – not with the processes of the diagnostics but the admin processes to get the reports ready but the Laboratory staff use the tools they are provided with to the best of their ability.
• Often waiting for results
• With regards to the overall service of reporting histology / cytology I feel better technology could be used to speed up the process and help alleviate the workload on the Admin Team.
We said
• We are currently in the process of investigating alternative IT systems to improve the reporting process.


You said
New appointments over the last 8 years have really helped.
We said
• We are expanding our team in order to continue to meet the requirements of our service users.

Cytology User Survey Feedback 2017

January 31st, 2018

Many thanks for those of you who took the time to complete our user Cytology survey in 2017

You said
If a colposcopy clinic referral is indicated from result it would be better if there is a choice for the woman – our surgery comes under the NDDH ‘umbrella’ but for a lot of our patients Exeter is far more convenient and given a choice that would be their preference.
We said
• Women are referred to a colposcopy unit according to their GP surgery location. However the GP surgery can change their preferred referral pathway to any colposcopy unit they wish. Women also have an independent choice and can choose where they attend. Please contact the laboratory for further information.


You said
Teach smear takers to take smears in left lateral position – so much more comfortable for the patient and easier to get good visualisation of cervix. Many of my patients have asked me to put this idea forward so that it is offered in other practices.
We said
• This idea has been forwarded to Mary White for discussion at the Sample Taker Training Updates. We are sorry but the laboratory cannot deal with this directly.


You said
Open Exeter could be easier to use and e-mails more helpful when queries are sent in.
• The Open Exeter website is clunky and difficult to use and required very frequent changes of password, as an occasional (GP) user this is frustrating. I would prefer a link to the clinical system which can then print the form.
We said
• Unfortunately the laboratory is not in control of the Open Exeter IT system. Please can you send your feedback regarding the Open Exeter System to:

NHS Digital
Helpdesk: 0300 303 4034
Email: exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net
Website: http://digital.nhs.uk/

PVSA Request Form

January 31st, 2018

Please note – the PVSA request form has been updated in accordance with the current guidelines (Laboratory Guidelines for Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis: Association of Biomedical Andrologists, the British Andrology Society and the British association of Urological Surgeons 2016).

The updated request form can be found on the Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis Service page.

GP Cervical Sample Taker Codes

January 31st, 2018

All registered GPs (except some salaried GPs) have a cervical sample taker code which is automatically generated by our laboratory IT system which uses their name to raise a code. In other words the GPs name and sample taker code are linked. We haven’t issued the actual code for this reason but GPs can of course contact the laboratory for their code if they wish. Salaried GPs will need to contact the laboratory to see if they have an automatic code, or need to request one.

Please note: NHS England are sending out a survey regarding sample taker codes, so please do not include GP’s (except salaried GPs) in your response.

Our new Cellular Pathology news page is now live!

January 23rd, 2018

Our new Cellular Pathology news page is now live. Please check back soon for more news specific to Cellular Pathology.