Cellular Pathology User Survey Feedback

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 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The turnaround does appear to be quite outdated – not with the processes of the diagnostics but the admin processes to get the reports ready but the Laboratory staff use the tools they are provided with to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

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

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.

New disease gene, same variant associated with two distinct phenotypes

January 17th, 2018

Research from Exeter in collaboration with Queen Mary University (London) and Vanderbilt University (Tennessee, USA) has identified a novel missense variant in multiple members of two unrelated families associated with two distinct phenotypes. The missense variant, in the gene MAFA (which has previously not been associated a disease), has been found in individuals that have diabetes or insulinomatosis (hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia). Exome or targeted sequencing of 55 individuals (from two unrelated families plus 9 cases of sporadic insulinomatosis) was carried out for this study. Further work is ongoing to understand the mechanisms behind this gene and the observed phenotypes. An article published on GenomeWeb has highlighted this work, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). A publication pre-print is available here.


Microbiology News January 2018

January 15th, 2018

See latest microbiology updates Microbiology Newsletter Jan 2018 (3)

PVSA Request Form

January 10th, 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.

Online article highlights work of Exeter exome sequencing team

January 3rd, 2018

An article published on the molecular biology and diagnostics news website GenomeWeb has highlighted the clinical exome sequencing strategies used by the Exeter laboratory to diagnose lethal fetal disorders. The article includes an interview with Professor Sian Ellard, head of the Molecular Genetics department at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. It follows publication in November (Stals et al. 2017 Prenatal Diagnosis) of a study evaluating exome sequencing in 50 cases of parents that had one or more pregnancies affected by a prenatal onset or lethal fetal disorder. In these particular cases, there was insufficient DNA to allow testing of the affected fetus.

A diagnostic yield of 52% was achieved across the 50 consecutive cases reviewed in the study, demonstrating that exome sequencing of parents is an effective method for diagnosing lethal or prenatal-onset disorders. Prenatal testing can then be used to guide the management of ongoing pregnancies and/or inform testing (either prenatal or pre-implantation) for subsequent pregnancies.

Academic Department status awarded to Blood Sciences & Molecular Genetics

December 14th, 2017

The Royal Devon & Exeter Blood Sciences Laboratory and Molecular Genetics Department are proud to announce that they have both been granted Academic Department status.

This is in recognition of the extensive research and development contribution by the departments into improving patient care, care pathways and patient outcomes.

They have demonstrated excellence and leadership in translational and innovative research, supporting and encouraging research and development activity across the Trust and facilitating patient participation in high-quality clinical trials.

This prestigious achievement will allow us to broaden our research portfolio and further our collaborative working with the University of Exeter as well as national and international research partners.