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The Diagnostic Cytopathology service at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) is located on the 1st Floor of the Clinical Sciences Building 2 at the Oxford Road Campus (ORC).

We report approximately 4000 samples per annum and offer a comprehensive specialist service, reporting on a wide range of samples including serous fluids, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, bronchoscopically obtained respiratory samples and fine needle aspirates (FNAs). FNAs are taken from a wide variety of sites including thyroid, lymph nodes, salivary glands, deep tissues and organs, and may be performed freehand, under radiological guidance or by endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).

We are staffed by a team of consultant histo/cytopathologists, with BMS, MLA and clerical support and provide a diagnostic service to MFT, Trafford General Hospital, the Christie Hospital, other NHS Trust and general practices. We have a consultant led service and BMS assistance at a wide range of FNA clinics. These include adequacy assessment at head and neck clinics at the ENT and Ultrasound department at MFT, as well as all types of clinics at the Christie Hospital.

The department serves many specialised services at MFT including gynaecological, respiratory, head and neck, urological and hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) diagnostic services. This unique department is at the forefront of personalised medicine due to our close working relationship with the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine based at MFT (ORC) and preparation of a wide range of diagnostic cytopathology samples for molecular testing.

The diagnostic cytopathology department is fully ISO 15189:2012 accredited and is an IBMS approved training centre. We are closely associated with The North of England Pathology and Screening Educational Centre (NEPSEC) and provide training to medics and scientific staff. The department is fully committed to maintaining this accreditation by an established quality management system and standards determined by the Royal College of Pathologists together, with scheduled clinical and quality audits and national guidelines.

Reports generated by the Department of Cellular Pathology including Cytopathology are, in the main, qualitative rather than quantitative. Uncertainty of measurement is considered and controlled throughout the sample pathway by employment of a robust quality management system and continued accreditation to national standards. Where direct clinical impact measurements are made, assessments of uncertainty of measurement are made and are available on request. The laboratory adheres to MFT’s policies on data protection and disclosure.

(Last reviewed March 2024)