Adult Histopathology – turnaround times

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The department works to RCPath Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The target is to report 80% of diagnostic biopsy cases within 7 days, and 80% of all specimens within 10 days (except those requiring decalcification).

Reporting times for all specimens, including urgent and HSC205, may be extended if they are high risk specimens, large resection specimens or calcified or bony samples. Any case requiring specialist techniques such as immunohistochemistry or electron microscopy will also likely have extended reporting times. Some cases may require referral to a specialist referral centre, which can prolong reporting times. This would include samples such as lymphomas, which are routinely referred to the Christie via the Haematological Cancer Diagnostics Service. However, a preliminary report would be issued beforehand.  An appropriate frozen section request will aim to be reported by telephone within 60 minutes. Frozen sections should normally be booked with the laboratory beforehand.

To ensure we meet our turnaround time targets, all urgent and HSC205 specimens must be clearly labelled as such. There are a number of factors that may affect the turnaround time of a specimen, such as those mentioned in Factors Affecting Performance.


(Last reviewed February 2019)