The ‘labs’, as they are sometimes known, examine fluids, such as urine or blood and tissue to help us to diagnose disease. We offer an important diagnostic service and support clinicians both within and outside the hospital.
Thanks to our extensive pathology automation, which was installed in March 2007, we are now able to get some of our blood test results back in as little as 30 minutes to your clinician. Your doctor, nurse or consultant will be able to advise you how long it will take for a specific investigation to be reported.
Our pathology department is fully computerised and GP practices now receive all of their routine pathology results electronically. Most routine test results are returned to your doctor (GP) within 24 hours of receipt of the sample in the laboratory.
Specialist branches of pathology
There are also other specialist branches of pathology within our hospital e.g. Microbiology, which is the study of microorganisms. Our microbiologists examine specimens from patients for the presence of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, which may cause a wide range of infections.
Our Histopathologists examine human tissues in order to understand even more about diseases and study patient biopsies to diagnose conditions such as cancer.
Haematology specialise in the study of blood cells and supply our blood transfusion needs whilst Clinical Chemistry focus on the chemistry of the blood and plasma.
Testing samples is only part of what we do in the pathology department. We also provide staff to take blood samples, supply blood for operations, provide a comprehensive infection control service to the hospital and community and offer a cervical screening service.
One of our other roles is to provide post mortem services and our mortuary serves both the hospital and the town.
Laboratory opening times
Our ‘core’ laboratory opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:15pm but where appropriate, out of hours emergency requests are dealt with by our biomedical scientists who are available on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Out of hours consultant advice is always available via switchboard.
If you require a blood test, please note this service is available in the outpatient department between the hours of 9:00am & 4:30pm.
Our state-of-the-art pathology department is nationally recognised as an excellent training environment for Biomedical Scientists. All departments take part in regular external reviews by CPA (Clinical Pathology Accreditation) and are fully accredited.