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Cytopathology Services


All request forms and consumables for the Non-Gynaecological Cytology service are available from the Cytology Department. In addition, request forms may also be acquired electronically via ICE requesting. All sections of the paper copy request form should be completed  fully and legibly in ball point pen. To order or for any enquiries contact  Cytology Reception on: 0121 424 3192


Specimens should be collected in an appropriate transport vessel which is intact undamaged and with the lid firmly fitted to prevent spillage or leakage and must be clearly labelled with:

  • Full Name of Patient
  • PID, NHS Number or Date of Birth (whichever is given on form)
  • Date and time collected which is essential for CSF and BAL specimens as time factors affect the test result.

Any unlabelled samples received, which can easily be repeated, will be rejected. In cases of unlabelled or mislabelled samples from an invasive procedure, the responsible clinician will be requested to identify and label the sample in the laboratory before it can be processed.

Request Forms

Each sample must be accompanied by the appropriate request form fully completed; the following details are essential

  • Full Name
  • PID or NHS Number or Date of Birth
  • Location or destination for report
  • Consultant or GP
  • Specimen type
  • Test required
  • Date and time collected which is essential for CSF and BAL specimens as time factors affect the test result.

In the event of multiple specimens from one site, each sample pot must be labelled so they are readily distinguished from one another. In the case of samples from different sites, a separate request form for each specimen site is required.

For urgent specimens, including Cerebrospinal Fluid and Bronchoalveolar Lavage, please notify the laboratory prior to despatch to ensure staff availability for timely preparation and reporting.

  • 0121 424 3192
  • 0121 424 1191

Laboratory opening times:

  • Monday - Friday : 8.30-5.00

Note: An urgent on-call service is available via on-call Pathologist via switchboard.


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Completion of request forms (Histopathology)

Please ensure that request forms are fully, correctly and legibly labelled.  We require  full patient demographics, hospital registration number/NHS number, nature of specimen, clinical details, contact details of person in charge of the case, consultant/GP, Ward/location/GP surgery, date and time the specimen was taken. Hazardous specimens must be indicated on the request form and on the specimen pot.

The specimen pot labels require the completion of the full demographic details. 

URGENT specimens.  If a report is required urgently the request form must be labelled URGENT and ensure the specimen is sent to the laboratory as soon as possible.  If a report is required for an MDT it is helpful if the date of the MDT is stated on the form.

It is important to indicate on the request form the level of consent obtained from the patient. 

Where a request lacks essential information, efforts will be made to clarify such problems with the referring clinician. 

Where there are inadequate patient or specimen identification details the clinician will be informed and requested to attend the department, identify the case and provide the necessary details.  If the clinician cannot be contacted the request form and specimen will be returned to the sender with a "discrepancy" proforma to be completed by the clinician. The completed and signed proforma must then be returned with the corrected form/specimen pot to the department. 

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