Microbiology Department, Wythenshawe Hospital, south MFT

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The Microbiology department at Wythenshawe Hospital (south MFT) provides diagnostic services to Wythenshawe and Withington Hospitals as well as General Practitioner surgeries in the South Manchester area and beyond.

South MFT map

Laboratory opening hours

The laboratory is open:

Monday to Friday: 9.00am -7.00pm*

*Outside of working hours contact the on call Biomedical Scientist through Switchboard (0161 998 7070) for urgent requests.

Saturday: 8.30am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 9.00am – 5:00pm

The total workload is approximately 315,000 specimens per annum.

Use of pneumatic tube

CSF and respiratory samples including sputum, BALs etc MUST NOT be sent via the pneumatic tube.  All other specimens, e.g. swabs, tips, clotted bloods, blood cultures, faeces and urines can be sent via the pneumatic tube. If you have any doubt about the suitability of sending a sample via the pneumatic tube system, contact the department on ext: 4819

Obtaining results or clinical advice

For Medical Microbiology advice for the more complicated cases, contact the duty microbiologist on extension 2885 or via switchboard.

Providing clinical information and an accurate description of the nature of the specimen are important for correct processing and reporting by the laboratory. Please indicate clearly on the request form if there is a history of foreign travel.

Preliminary culture results are available 24 hours after specimen receipt (at the earliest), and sensitivities usually after a further 24 hours. For ‘special’ samples such as blood cultures and CSF, the microbiologist will inform the clinicians of initial significant results as soon as they are known.

Culture plates are read by the biomedical scientist in the morning, but please give the staff some time to do this. Most results should be available by 11.30am.  For microbiology results, please check ICE in the first instance. In cases of difficulty or for further clarification, the laboratory enquiry number is 0161 291 4819.

Please refer to the antibiotic guidelines in the first instance for the commoner microbiology enquiries regarding treatment. New or junior doctors should discuss queries with their own clinical team before calling the Medical Microbiologist

For infection control advice alone, the infection control nurses can be contacted on extension 2630 or bleep via switch during routine working hours.

Sensitivity results are reported as follows:

S= Sensitive (fully)
I= Intermediate (reduced sensitivity)
R= Resistant

Additional tests

Additional tests can be requested on all samples by contacting the laboratory, and providing an additional request.  Most samples are stored for a maximum of 7 days, although it must be recognised that used samples will have a limited volume and for some tests old samples may influence the culture results.


All urgent results will be telephoned when requested or if there is a clinically     significant result a Microbiologist or BMS will contact the requesting ward.  Results     are not routinely faxed but this can be arranged on a restricted basis.

For other results/enquiries during normal working hours: Tel: 0161-291 4819

Out of hours service

For urgent out of hours processing of samples adopt the following protocol:

1. Call the Biomedical Scientist (BMS) on-call, via the switchboard at Wythenshawe, after you have collected the sample. The BMS will not come to the laboratory to wait for specimens.

2. Transport of the sample to the correct laboratory in a timely fashion is the responsibility of the ward, not of the BMS on-call and should be via the portering system or pneumatic tube.

Specimen transport

All samples must be accompanied by a request form. We require four identifiers on all samples and request forms. These identifiers are:
1. First name
2. Surname
3. Date of birth
4. NHS or hospital number

Ensure that the request form includes the correct Consultant Code (Consultant’s initials).

Contact details

Name External number
Dr Mairi Cullen
Head of Department
Consultant Microbiologist


(0161) 291 2884
Dr Ibrahim Hassan,
Consultant Microbiologist


(0161) 291 4756
Dr Stephanie Thomas
Consultant Microbiologist


(0161) 291 4792
Dr S Mirza
Consultant Microbiologist


(0161) 291 5812
Dr Moira Taylor
Consultant Microbiologist


(0161) 291 2892
Specialist Registrar (0161) 291 4784/4863
Mr David Weston
Laboratory Manager


(0161) 291 4759
Angela Downes
Deputy Laboratory Manager


(0161) 291 4758
Secretary/Office (0161) 291 4862/4754
Fax (0161) 291 4755
Clinical advice line (0161) 291 2885
Laboratory Enquiries (0161) 291 4819
Hospital Switchboard (0161) 998 7070

(Last reviewed March 21st 2018)