Urines for M,C&S – Change of Sample Tubes

Written by Craig Webster on Friday, 20 September 2013. Posted in Microbiology, General

The PHE Public Health Laboratory Birmingham (at Heartlands Hospital) are changing the type of sample tubes required for urines sent for microscopy, culture and sensitivity testing (M,C&S)

Urines for M,C&S – Change of Sample Tubes

What are the new urine sample tubes like?

  • The new tubes are smaller and have a 10ml capacity.
  • They will still be available in both a “red top” boric acid containing version and plain “white top” version.

When will the change happen?

  • The new style of tubes will be available to order from 23rd September 2013.
  • We will stop accepting urine samples for M,C&S in the old style of tubes from December 2013.

Why is the change happening?

  • The new tubes will fit directly onto the laboratory’s cell counters. This will speed up the processing of urines and improve quality.
  • The smaller volume required to fill the new style boric acid containers should also reduce the number of samples we cannot process due to them being under-filled.

When should red and white top tubes be used?

  • Please use boric acid sample containers (red tops) for urines for M,C&S if samples will not sent to the lab immediately. The boric acid preserves urine sample quality if there is any delay in reaching the lab, thus reducing false positive cultures. 
  • If 10ml of urine to fill the bottle cannot be obtained, please use a plain white top sample tube and refrigerate the sample while it is waiting for transport. The minimum sample volume for white tops is 5ml.
  • For urines for tests other than M,C&S (e.g. legionella antigen, virology, mycobacteria culture, chlamydia) please continue to use the sample containers currently required for those tests.
New pathology supplies requisition forms will can be downloaded from: GPs and Wards

About the Author

Craig Webster

Craig Webster

Craig Webster

Consultant Clinical Scientist

Birmingham Heartlands Hospital


I'm clinical lead for Biochemistry and Blood Sciences and I am responsible for R&D in the department of Biochemistry and Immunology and I have developed a number of projects utilising LC/MSMS, including, “LCMSMS methods for catecholamine metabolites”, “measurement of drugs of abuse”, “25-OH Vitamin D”, “8-Isoprostane”, “Vitamins A and E” and “Prednisolone and other steroids”

I have a wide-ranging technical background with major interests in HPLC, mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis and information technology. I can get by in objective-c, ruby and html/css. You can see some of my work on github at https://github.com/cwebster/ and I have an app on the app store for calculating sigma values for clinical assays https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/assay-specification-six-sigma/id672408581?mt=8 

I have supervised 6 students for the research component of their MSc and have gained grants for the study of glycated proteins in diabetes, hepcidin measurements in haemochromatosis, lab to lab communication and e-learning.

  • Waldron J, Webster C. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the measurement of serum mevalonic acid: a novel marker of hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibition by statins. Ann Clin Biochem. 2011 May;48(Pt 3):223–232.
  • Marrington R, Johnston J, Knowles S, Webster C. Measurement of urinary metadrenaline and normetadrenaline by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for the diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma. Ann Clin Biochem. 2010 Sep.;47(Pt 5):467–475.
  • Sulaiman et al. Ethnic differences in umbilical cord blood vitamin D and parathyroid hormone – South Asians compared to Whites born in the UK. Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (0) vol. 0 (0) pp. 1-3
  • Development of an ID-MS method for measurement of pentosidine, an advanced glycosylation end-product, ACB Focus 2008
  • Development of an acid hydrolysis method for the quantification of total urinary opiates by LC-MS/MS., ACB Focus 2008
  • Development of a Liquid Chromatography- Tandem Mass Spectrometry method for measuring Urinary Free Cortisol and comparison with two different cortisol immunoassays, ACB Focus 2008

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Copyright heftpathology 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

HTA licence number is 12366

Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database http://www.heftpathology.com/frontpage/test-database.html.
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235

UKAS Logos