Department of Cellular Pathology

Written by Craig Webster.

The department of Cellular Pathology comprises of the Departments of Histopathology and Cytopathology on the Birmingham Heartlands site and the mortuary's at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital (BHH), Good Hope Hospital (GHH), and Solihull Hospital (SH) sites. The departments are located in the pathology building of the BHH site. Solihull Mortuary is part of the main hospital building on the Solihull site and Good Hope mortuary is part of the main hospital building on the Good Hope site.

Due to consultant capacity there may be delays in reporting non-urgent requests. Please notify the department of any requirements regarding prioritisation.

Cellular Pathology 8.30 - 17.00 Mon - Fri



08:30 - 16:30 (BHH, GHH and SH)

Excluding statutory Bank Holidays

Saturdays - Histology Only

09:00 - 12:30 

Restricted service only

Outside of routine working hours a pathologist can be contacted in case of an emergancy via the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital switchboard.

The Department welcomes feedback both good or bad from the users of the service.  Feedback can either be addressed to the consultant concerned or the head of department.  Any complaints will be investigated.

ROCHE field safety notice: TD FSN SBN-RTD-2017-001. HoEFT Cellular Pathology response

Following the issue of a field safety notice by Roche we have reviewed our practice and feel that no additional action is required.

It is standard practice at HoEFT for ALL immunohistochemistry (IHC) run on the Ventana Bencmark XT and Ultra to include an on-slide control. This forms part of the quality control and confirms the appropriate level and distribution of staining for each antibody on a slide by slide basis. The on slide control is reviewed as part of the QC process prior to being checked out to the Pathologist for reporting. If the staining of the control is sub-optimal or fails the case is referred back for repeat IHC.

In view of the stringency of our internal QC processes and the use of on slide controls there should be no problems with the cases we have tested during the period covered by the field safety notice. The use of on slide controls meets the requirements set out by Roche in the field safety notice and is in compliance with our SOPs. We are however happy to review any of the cases reported during this time period if there are any concerns.


Written by Vipen Kaler.

Samples are sent directly to the Regional Cytogenetics Laboratory, Birmingham Womens Hospital.  Tel : 0121 627 2710. These requests are not processed by pathology at Good Hope Hospital. Please ensure that a cytogenetics request form is completed and sent with the samples. Please contact Biochemistry specimen reception for a Cytogenetic form.

Blood for Chromosome Analysis : 5-10ml in lithium heparin additive tubes. (Green Cap) 

Blood for DNA testing : 10-20ml. in EDTA additive tubes. (Purple Cap)

Amniotic Fluid : 10-20ml in a sterile universal container. Transport packs are available from the Laboratory (Cytogenetics Laboratory, Birmingham Womens' Hospital). Please pre-book samples with the Cytogenetics Laboratory

Skin and other Tissues : Place in sterile container with transport medium, sterile saline or PBS. Do NOT place in formalin.

Chronic Villus : Place in a sterile container with CVS transport media which is available from the laboratory. Please pre-book samples with the

Bone Marrow : Place in a sterile universal container with bone marrow transport media, containing heparin. Transport media is available from the laboratory. 


Written by Robert Storer.

The Cytopathology services for the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust are based at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital site and can be located within the Cellular Pathology department on the first floor of the Laboratory Medicine directorate building.

Cytopathology/cytology is the study of cells. Cells obtained from body organs and fluid secretions are stained and examined microscopically for pathological change. The services the Cytopathology department provide can be broadly separated into gynaecological cytology (cervical smears) and non-gynaecological systemic cytology.

The gynaecological cytology screening service provides the cervical cytology screening service to the GPs and hospital clinicians as part of the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) taken within Birmingham and uses the Hologic ThinPrep Liquid based cytology technology.  


The non-gynaecological (Systemic) diagnostic service involves theprocessing and analysis of non-gynaecological samples from GPs and hospital clinicians.  It serves as a valuable diagnostic tool to assist in the diagnosis or confirmation of a variety of pathologies, or determine the course of treatment required, and may facilitate the monitoring of disease progression.