Specimen acceptance policy

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All samples sent to Paediatric Histopathology must comply with our specimen acceptance requirements. All fields on the histology request card/ICE request should be completed to ensure efficient and effective investigation of the specimen.

The following mandatory information must be provided for us to accept the specimen:

Essential Patient Identifiers:

  • Surname
  • Forename (not required in neonates if unknown)
  • Unique identification number – district number for Central site, NHS or external hospital number for external cases
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Gender

Essential Clinical Details:

  • High risk status – to ensure health and safety of all staff
  • Specimen site – must match on specimen pot and request card
  • Relevant clinical information – to ensure all necessary investigations are performed
  • Date/time taken – essential to ensure proper fixation of high risk specimens

Essential Sender Details:

  • Ward/department – required for return of reports
  • Consultant or GP – required for return of reports and contact in case of any errors/discrepancies
  • Contact number/bleep – for frozen sections

Specimens that do not contain the required information or have discrepancies between the request card and specimen pot will not be processed in the laboratory until the necessary information has been obtained. The sender will be contacted to attend the laboratory to complete any missing information or correct any mistakes. The person correcting the patient or specimen details should be of appropriate seniority and able to take responsibility for the labelling of the specimen. This will result in a delay to specimen processing and reporting.

Consent for histological examination is not documented on the request forms but forms an integral part of the clinical process, for consent for the procedure.


(Last reviewed August 2021)