Specimen acceptance policy

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The Molecular Diagnostics Centre operates a Specimen Acceptance Policy in accordance with the requirements of the Sample Acceptance Policy of the Directorate of Laboratory Medicine at central site MFT.

This policy follows national directives from laboratory associated professional bodies.

It is the responsibility of the requestor to ensure that samples are correctly labelled and request forms completed to the required standard.

  • All samples and request cards must include sufficient information to allow us to identify unequivocally the patient that the sample has come from, to ensure that the sample and request card relate to the same person and to identify which investigations are required.
  • If appropriate and accurate information is not provided we will be unable to analyse a sample or to interpret test results. Appropriate contact information is required to ensure that reports are provided to the requester at the correct location.
  • Appropriate contact information is required to ensure that reports are provided to the requester at the correct location. Non-compliance with the sample acceptance policy will result in requests for investigations being delayed or rejected. Users will be notified if, for any reason, a sample is to be rejected.

If using your local request form, please include the information as specified below. You may alternatively wish to use our own test request form which can either be printed, or a supply requested by contacting the laboratory.

Patient sample identification

Inadequately labelled or unlabelled samples will not be analysed – users will be notified as soon as it is practicable if a sample is to be rejected.

Samples and request forms MUST be labelled with:

  • Surname
  • Forename
  • Date of birth
  • Hospital record number, NHS number or other unique identifier

The use of a common hospital number for individuals within the same family is not acceptable. If no unique number is available please use the patient’s date of birth only.

Please state the sample type (peripheral blood, bone marrow aspirate or tissue source for biopsy samples).

Other required information

  • Investigation required
  • Relevant clinical information – this is required for appropriate interpretation of results
  • Signature of referring clinician
  • Indication of any restrictions on consent
  • Date of sample collection
  • Sex of patient
  • Address for report
  • Consultant or GP
  • Name of requestor and contact telephone number
  • Pedigree information/family tree for heritable disorders

NB. In order to comply with the requirements of the Human Tissue Act, the referring clinician must ensure that appropriate informed consent has been obtained before any genetic testing is undertaken.  The laboratory must be informed of any restrictions to this consent (eg. consent to store sample, use of an individual’s genetic information in family studies). This is the referring clinican’s responsibility.

(Last reviewed October 2018)