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Pathology

The Pathology laboratory occupies the second floor of the new building at UHNM, with a new mortuary facility on the ground floor of the same building.

We provide a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment monitoring service for North Staffordshire and beyond for some specialist services. 

Pathology comprises the following departments:

  • Cytology
  • Haematology and Blood Transfusion
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Histopathology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Mortuary


We analyse in the region of one million samples per year, making us one of the largest Pathology complexes in the country.

We have a dedicated workforce of around 350 experienced and dedicated staff. The department uses cutting-edge technology to support and deliver services to its users via modern equipment in the laboratories or electronic interfaces for the requesting and reporting of laboratory requests and results.

We are fully compliant with all of the required regulatory authorities, including:

  • Clinical Pathology Accreditation UK Ltd (CPA). This accreditation service is being merged into a new regulatory authority: the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) with a new set of accreditation standards (ISO 15189). We are working towards the full implementation of the new accreditation standards. This accreditation is across the whole of the department.
  • Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This applies especially to Blood Transfusion and Haematology.
  • Human Tissue Authority, which applies to the Histology and Mortuary departments
  • We are accredited with the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and are recognised as a training centre for Biomedical Scientists with their Portfolio for Registration to become a Biomedical Scientist and their Specialist Diploma Portfolio training to further enhance their knowledge and experience as a Biomedical Scientist.
  • We have an excellent record liaising with the local universities and taking students through their Registration Portfolio while they are completing their Honours degree in Biomedical Science, thus securing new recruits into the profession for the future.

Requests to Pathology are registered via the Trust electronic Order Comms system or via the ICE electronic system. These systems are linked, which enables you to see all of the results on one system. All patient samples are received into the centralised specimen reception. Samples for Haematology and Clinical Biochemistry (Blood Sciences) are entered onto the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) whilst specimens for other Pathology disciplines are sorted and distributed to other departments.

Specimen reception is a 24/7 service which supports the 24/7 working in Blood Sciences and also manages a fleet of courier vans serving our GP practices and other community services.

Haematology and Clinical Biochemistry operate as a combined Blood Sciences laboratory because the department utilises the latest Siemens Sample Track technology which delivers samples to a range of Haematology, Biochemistry and Coagulation analysers. This integration increases the analytical capacity of the laboratory and improves turnaround times for patients' results.

The department provides a comprehensive CPA and MHRA accredited service to University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, surrounding GPs and peripheral hospitals. Specialist services include coagulation and flow cytometry for immune monitoring and immunodeficiency.

The department has in excess of 80 technical, clerical and medical staff working together to process in excess of 900,000 blood tests per year.

A dedicated phlebotomy team bleed in excess of 200,000 patients per year mainly at a variety of community settings either in pre-booked appointments or in walk-in centres as well as out-patients within the Trust.

There is a dedicated anticoagulation management service which doses in excess of 6,000 warfarin patients.

The department is CPA accredited, delivering a wide range of routine and specialist diagnostic services including vitamin D, molecular genetics and immunosuppressant assays.

The department has in excess of 33 technical, clerical and clinical scientist staff working together to process in excess of 900,000 samples per year.

The department has a small dedicated team of 7 staff  processing in the region of 80,000 tests, providing a CPA accredited service in autoimmunity, allergy and immunodeficiency.​

The department is CPA and HTA accredited with a team in excess of 50 technical clerical and medical staff. The department has strong links to the Medical School and supports the training of trainee medical staff.  UHNM is one of the major cancer centre providers in the West Midlands and is part of the Greater Midlands Cancer Network.  UHNM is also a bowel cancer and breast screening centre.

The Histology department supports a diagnostic and treatment service over a wide range of surgical material for the detection and treatment of a wide variety of cancers. As well as general surgical, medical and gynaecology samples there are significant numbers of specialist samples including lymphoreticular, dermatological, renal, cardiothoracic, gastroenterological, urological, hepatic, breast screening, plastic surgical, major head and neck and facio-maxillary cases.

The department also provides a immunohistochemical marker service, delivers a HER 2 service supported by a FISH service and a one-stop service which analyses breast sentinel lymph nodes during breast surgery while the patient is still in theatre.

The department is CPA accredited with a team in excess of 30 cytology screeners, technical and medical staff delivering a service to 90,000 patients in the cervical screening programme. The department provides both a cytology screening programme, part of the national cytology screening programme which now incorporates HPV testing and a non-gynaecological service. These include final needle aspirates from a wide variety of sites including breast, salivary gland, thyroid, pancreas, lung and deep intra-abdominal and thoracic tissues. Many aspirations produced are image guided. A one stop head and neck clinic service is also provided.

The cervical cytology service is part of the national cervical cancer screening programme utilising state-of-the-art technology in the form of liquid based cytology equipment and now incorporates HPV triage as recommended by the national screening programme.

The service operates across a wide network delivering a service to the whole of the North Staffordshire district and parts of South Staffordshire and Cheshire.

The department is CPA accredited with a team in excess of 50 technical and medical staff.  The team processes in the region of 600,000 specimens per annum. The department provides a comprehensive clinical service supporting bacterial, enteric parasites, mycology, viral and molecular investigations to UHNM, GPs and other local health economies including the Combined Health Care Trust and other microbiology laboratories including Burton and Leighton and Macclesfield.

The department has a modern containment level 3 facility which enables the delivery of a local TB service.

The department liaises with Infection Control over the prevention of infection across the Trust and the Local Health Economy.​​​​