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All specimens should be transported in the relevant fixative or transport medium as indicated. All specimen pots should be tightly sealed and transported using specimen bags, where appropriate. The request card should be placed in the pocket of the specimen bag, and the pot inside the sealed bag to ensure the safety of all staff.

Specimens from clinics at MRI are delivered to our specimen reception throughout the day. Porters that collect specimens from theatres and deliver them to our specimen reception should do so using a bunded trolley. These specimens should be recorded and signed for when delivered to maintain the necessary records. We also have a transport system for the transfer of specimens between MRI and Trafford General Hospital and Wythenshawe Hospital. These specimens should be sent via a packing list on Hive so they can be accepted by histology reception staff for audit and tracking purposes.

All specimens sent via Royal Mail should adhere to the packaging guidance available on the Royal Mail website. It is the responsibility of the sender to ensure that specimens are appropriately labelled and packaged.

Specimen tracking

Many of our service users have systems in place to track specimens. If specimen acceptance criteria are applied at the time of tracked receipt, the specimen can be returned to the sender quickly should any discrepancy be identified.

Appropriate action in the event of a specimen acceptance failure involving fresh tissue (e.g. frozen section, gel sample) or an Urgent / HSC 205 sample is decided at the discretion of the reporting pathologist. The decision to accept and process pending confirmation may be taken.

If a GP specimen has been requested using ICE, the sender can use ICE to check whether the specimen has been received.

(Last reviewed March 2023)