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General Request Information

test tubes 3

This page contains information relating to the request, sample collection and sample transport. for full details please refer to policy to the right.

Users should be aware that each request accepted by the laboratory for examinations is considered an agreement between the laboratory and the requestor.

The Pathology department relies on the requesting clinician to meet the requirements for patient consent for any pathology investigations. Therefore, we will presume consent to have been given if the patient attends for a blood test (presents arm) or delivers a sample to the laboratory with a suitably completed request form.

To ensure samples and form can be uniquely linked to a patient and historical data Pathology Operates a ZERO TOLERANCE protocal for all samples, the minimum labelling for the form and sample is as below, any sample not meeting this criteria WILL be REJECTED. (with the exception of precious samples as named in the protocol to the right)


Routine samples

  • Full name (Forename and Surname)
  • Date of birth
  • Hospital Number or NHS Number (this must match the sample)
  • Source/ Location of request
  • Requesting Clinican
  • Date of Collection
  • Time of collection

For confidential samples

  • Unique coded identifier may be used in place of patients name

Addressograph labels may be used on request forms, hospital number, gender and signature of collector mandatory for transfusion related requests


Identification required which matches those on the request form is

  • Full name or other unique coded identifier
  • Hospital number or NHS number
  • Date of birth

For confidential samples:

  • unique coded identifier
  • DOB

ALL Transfusion and HLA/Tissue typing specimens MUST be hand written and MUST include:

full name, date of birth, hospital number, date/ time of sample collection, signature of collector

Samples are transported to laboratory internally via personal delivery or pneumatic tube delivery, externally via Trust transport (samples required to be proceesed on another site will be delivered by internal transport at regular intervals during core hours).

Samples referred to external laboratories are transported either via Trust transport or Royal Mail or TNT. Pathology transport is audited on an annual basis.

The department welcomes all users comments and these can be emailed to the Quality Manager

We Welcome Your Feedback, if you would like to complete our survey please click here


'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital