The Andrology Laboratory at the Heart of England Foundation Trust (HEFT) is a UKAS Accredited Service (ISO15189:2012), currently operating from a single site located on the 2nd Floor of the Fothergill Block at Good Hope Hospital.
The laboratory's priority is to provide a comprehensive semen analysis service for Consultants, Urologists and General Practitioners from the Birmingham and Solihull area. This includes semen analysis for fertility investigations (Diagnostic Semen Analysis) and post-operative analysis of semen following a vasectomy operation (Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis). Retrograde analysis will not be undertaken in Andrology (at the moment), but referrals for this investigation will be actioned by the laboratory staff who will forward the details to Midland Fertility where these tests will be undertaken (CPA Accredited Laboratory)..
The laboratory operates on a clinic based service and will have 2300 available appointments per annum to cover the annual workload of routine diagnostic semen analysis and post-vasectomy samples. At present the ratio of diagnostic semen analysis to post vasectomy patients is undetermined but this will be monitored and feedback given in future versions of this handbook. Routinely patients will be given an appointment to attend the Andrology Department for on-site sample production in a designated private clinic room, however in exceptional circumstances samples may be produced off site if then able to be delivered to the laboratory within an appropriate time interval.
The HEFT Andrology Laboratory has fully trained scientists who are highly proficient in performing quality diagnostic semen analysis in line with World Health Organisation (2010), The Association of Biomedical Andrologist (ABA) guidelines and the 2016 Laboratory Guidelines for post vasectomy semen analysis. The laboratory regularly performs internal quality control, participates in the UK National External Quality Assurance scheme for Andrology (UKNEQAS) and liaises with other accredited laboratories for comparison of tests not covered within the UKNEQAS scope..
The laboratory referrals can be made via:
- Paper copy referral forms sent to Lyndon Place via post/e-mail.
- Electronic Referral Service (ERS)
A copy of the referral form can be obtained contacting the laboratory directly on 0121 424 9717 or by GP’s accessing the word version at: http://www.heartofengland.nhs.uk/gps/
Operates Monday to Friday 08:00am to 16:00pm
Undertakes diagnostic semen analysis and post vasectomy analysis.
Appointment based with on-site room for sample production for both diagnostic semen analysis and post vasectomy semen analysis.
Turnaround Time: 7-10 days (electronic reporting may be more rapid). Paper copies currently sent. This is due to validation of reports by a second scientist.
Target set at 95%
Anti-sperm antibodies (ASAB) not tested at this laboratory. Agglutination is described if noted.
Please see user handbook for additional information including contact details.
Accreditation information can be found at:
Key details of the service:
Operates Monday to Friday 08:00am to 16:00pm
- Operates Monday to Friday 08:00am to 16:00pm
- Undertakes diagnostic semen analysis and post vasectomy analysis
- Appointment based with on-site room for sample production
- 7-10 day turnaround time (electronic and paper copy reporting)
- Target set at 95% <6 week wait for diagnostic semen analysis
Changes to the Reporting of Oligozoospermia
Andrology will change the way in which oligozoospermia is reported from 1st April 2019. Oligozoospermia was previously only reported when the total number of spermatozoa per ejaculate was <39 million. The new reporting procedures will include oligozoospermia for any results where there is <15 million per ml (the concentration) and/or total numbers of spermatozoa in the ejaculate <39 million. This will help referrers understand what may be used for subsequent management whilst also giving them important information regarding the functioning of the male reproductive tract.
The use of alpha-chymotrypsin, a broad-spectrum proteolytic enzyme for diagnostic semen analysis samples has been ceased for motility assessments unless under rare circumstances.
Retrograde analysis has not been undertaken at GHH following the relaunch of the Andrology Service in 2015. This analysis type will be undertaken at GHH Andrology with a planned launch date of 1st August 2018, but will not form part of the accreditation schedule at present.
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