Sample transport

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Specimens for histology or cytology are not allowed to be transported via the pneumatic tube system.

The transport of the specimens to the department is undertaken by the respective hospital transport portering teams from both the Wythenshawe and the Tameside site. Dedicated barrels are provided, by the histology department, as the secondary packaging for use to transport the samples. The primary packaging being the container the specimen is in. Urgent samples, e.g. transplant biopsies, frozen sections, may be delivered to the department ad hoc; these should be transported in an appropriate container, with a tightly fitting lid. The transport containers should be labelled as Diagnostic Specimens – UN3373 and have the department name and telephone number to ensure the containers comply with transport regulations. Specimens should not be transferred to the department without appropriate packaging. All specimens should be received with a documented tracking sheet detailing the patient identifiers, specimen type and where the specimen has been taken. These tracking sheets are checked on arrival in the histology department and returned to the department or area the specimen was taken from for staff to record that the specimen has been received safely in Histology.

Transport of samples on the Wythenshawe site occurs twice daily with specimens delivered at 9am and 3.30pm, Monday – Friday.

Transport of the Tameside samples occurs twice daily. The transport collects specimens from theatres, endoscopy and then pathology before leaving pathology at 9.30 am and 3.30 pm. This transport also delivers samples from GP surgeries within the Tameside borough. This transport also delivers supplies from Wythenshawe Site back to Tameside for the relevant theatres and clinics.

For specimens received from hospitals where there is not a routine transport service arranged, a courier service is used. This includes specimens transported from Stepping Hill Hospital and independent providers. Transport between Wythenshawe Histopathology, Withington Community Hospital, and Oxford Road Campus is in place at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure timely transport of specimens to be processed at each site.

Samples from all sites should be delivered to Histopathology specimen reception in the clinical sciences building so Histopathology staff can accept these and ensure all specimens are accounted for. Delivery of specimens should be Monday – Friday between 8.00am and 5.30 pm unless by prior arrangement as there are no staff on site over the weekend to accept specimens into the department.

Any fresh specimens (not delivered in formalin or preservative for non-gynae cytology specimens) should be delivered directly to a member of histopathology staff to ensure processing is undertaken quickly with no degradation to specimen.

If you have any queries or should extra transport be required for any reason please contact the Trust transport department via switchboard.

Samples received from both Trusts are recorded using a paper based system and in some cases electronically. Please ensure such records are completed before dispatch of samples. For paper based requesting, only specimen request forms provided by histopathology should be used to request specimen testing. These forms should not be photocopied, for a supply of forms, please contact the laboratory.

Samples from the GP surgeries within the South Manchester District are delivered to the main pathology reception area and then collected by histology staff on an ad hoc basis. Some of these samples are requested electronically others are accompanied by handwritten request forms. For paper based requesting, only specimen request forms provided by histopathology should be used to request specimen testing. These forms should not be photocopied, for a supply of forms, please contact the laboratory.

If samples from Wythenshawe Site cannot be accepted due to failing the specimen acceptance criteria, the requesting Clinician will be contacted and asked to attend the laboratory as soon as possible to make the necessary amendments and complete a Specimen Labelling Amendment form. This will form part of the record of this sample.

If samples are from GP’s within the Wythenshawe borough, these are returned to the GP practice for amendments and completion of a Specimen Labelling Amendment Form. The specimen can then be returned to the Wythenshawe Histology department for processing. Records are maintained at Wythenshawe hospital of all specimens returned to GP surgeries.

If samples from Tameside Hospital cannot be accepted due to failing the specimen acceptance criteria, the requesting Clinician will be contacted and informed the sample will be returned to Tameside Pathology Specimen Reception. The Clinician should then attend the department to make any necessary amendments and complete a Specimen Labelling Amendment form. This will form part of the record of this sample. The sample is then returned to Histology at Wythenshawe Site for processing. Records are maintained at Wythenshawe hospital of all specimens returned to Tameside.

If samples are from GPs within the Tameside borough, these are returned to Tameside Specimen Reception to then be sent to the GP practice for necessary amendments to be made and Specimen Amendment Form. This is then returned to Wythenshawe Histology via Specimen Reception at Tameside. Records are maintained at Wythenshawe hospital of all specimens returned to Tameside.
If specimens received from Stepping Hill Hospital or independent providers cannot be accepted due to failing specimen acceptance criteria, the requesting Clinician will be contacted and asked to attend the laboratory at Wythenshawe hospital as soon as possible to make the necessary amendments and complete a specimen amendment form. This will form part of the record for this sample. This is because the clinicians working from SHH or independent providers also work on site at Wythenshawe hospital.

Please be aware that a final report will not be made available until the necessary amendments have been made (although specimens may be processed should there be a clinical urgency or risk in specimen degradation should processing be delayed). Failure to amend the specimen request form of specimen pot in a timely fashion will lead to a delay in the final report and if the specimen is not amended in 7 days, a Ulysses record will be raised.

 

(Last reviewed June 2021)