ALL INTERNAL TRUST SAMPLES MUST BE REQUESTED VIA EPIC. THESE SAMPLES MUST BE LABELLED WITH AN EPIC LABEL.
GP-OCS REQUESTS MUST BE LABELLED WITH AN GP-OCS LABEL.
ALL OTHER SAMPLES MUST HAVE A REQUEST FORM.
For contractual purposes each request accepted by the laboratory for examination(s) shall be considered an agreement.
Responsibility for obtaining informed consent for testing lies with the requestor; it should cover the test(s) requested, implications of any results obtained and the disclosure of relevant personal details and clinical information to healthcare personnel involved in providing the testing (see https://www.exeterlaboratory.com/about/ for our confidentiality policy.)
In instances where we are unable to perform testing in house or for specialist and epidemiological testing we will send samples to accredited outside laboratories for analysis, in these instances we will provide relevant personal and clinical information to enable the referral laboratory to process the samples and interpret results.
The following patient identifiers are mandatory for all request forms. Failure to provide any of the following information will normally result in the specimen being rejected.
If you are unable to provide the NHS number, the reason for this must be clearly stated on the request form. A hospital number may be provided as an alternative to the NHS number.
Request forms should also state RELEVANT CLINICAL AND TREATMENT DETAILS including whether the specimen is from a patient known to be high risk for Microbiological pathogens in Hazard Group 3 or 4 (see below for more details under Microbiology).
The specimen DATE and TIME must be added at time of collection.
The following patient identifiers are required on the SPECIMEN CONTAINER. Additional discipline specific requirements are specified below:
NHS or HOSPITAL NUMBER, SURNAME and FORENAME/S
INITIAL OF PERSON TAKING THE SPECIMEN
Patient ID labels must only be used on request forms. The requesting Doctor must sign the form.
The specimen tube must be hand-written, signed and dated by the individual taking the specimen. Please refer to local Trust Transfusion policy document here
ID labels are not acceptable on specimen tubes.
All request forms must contain a clear description of each specimen.
All specimens must carry the specimen type and site on the container.
All specimens other than blood must identify the specimen type and site on the request form and container.
For SEROLOGY requests please include date of onset of illness and/or date of contact.
Samples for Pathology may carry a risk of infection. The Trust policy is to apply universal precautions to all samples (i.e. treat all samples as though high risk).
If you suspect samples carry a risk of Viral Haemorrhagic fever ( VHF), you must follow the National and local guidance –
Local Guidance: RD&E Policy
Hazard group 4 organisms (e.g. Viral haemorrhagic fevers) are rarely encountered. However, if you suspect this diagnosis you must contact the Microbiology laboratory before taking/sending any specimens to the laboratories.
The Mother’s name and date of birth must be provided on all prenatal and neonatal requests. Details of family history should be provided. All request forms must carry the full name and address of the requesting clinician (not initials).
All request forms must indicate a specific disorder or gene to be investigated or a request to extract and store DNA. Details of family history should be provided. Specimens other than blood must identify the specimen type.
Good quality, well printed (BLACK print not grey) patient ID labels are accepted on request forms and specimens.
Unlabelled or inadequately labelled specimens or forms will not be accepted under any circumstances. A repeat sample will always be requested.
Clinical Chemistry, Haematology, Immunology and Microbiology
A repeat sample will always be requested. In exceptional circumstances specimens may be considered unrepeatable. These will be discussed with the requestor on an individual basis, who will be responsible for verifying the identity of the sample.
Histopathology, Cytopathology, Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics
These will be discussed with the requestor on an individual basis, who will be responsible for verifying the identity of the sample.