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What is the location of the laboratory?

The Histology department is based on the 5th Floor of the Royal Derby Hospital.  Please report to Pathology reception when visiting the department. You may be asked to sign in prior to admittance to the department.

What services are offered by the laboratory?

  • The Histology department provides a consultant led diagnostic service for the reporting of tissue samples.

  • Consultant Histopathologists support MDT meetings either in person or via Video Conference.

  • Limited frozen section service- clinical liaison required prior to booking

  • Supportive analytical services include a wide repertoire of Immunohistochemical markers

  • Referrals to reference centres for molecular diagnostics are also provided (see below)

  • Access to diagnostic data for clinical audit purposes is also supported.

  • Access to diagnostic material for patients enrolled in approved research trials is also supported both locally and nationally.

 What are the opening times of the laboratory?

The laboratory is manned between the hours of 7:30 hrs to 17:15 hrs Monday to Friday.

A service is available after hours for receipt of fresh theatre specimens only. This requires prior agreement with nominated laboratory staff.

What are the Turnaround times (TAT) for Histology?

Turn around times for Histological diagnosis is based on the sample taken date to the end result being available electronically.

Our targets are currently set at 80 % of cases reported with in 7 days from sample taken.

The department currently generates paper copies of all Histology reports.  This is known to take a further 3-4 days for reports to arrive with the requesting clinician/GP.

Samples that are required urgently must be clearly marked on the request form including date result needed by. 

What is the availability of clinical advice and interpretation and how do I obtain it?

Clinical advice and information can be obtained by telephone from our Histopathologists via the Histopathology secretaries. Please see contacts tab above.

How do I complete a request form?

What I need to include
What happens if I don’t?

A minimum of 3 patient identifiers

Rejected sample  

You will need to attend the lab to identify samples Sample will be returned to you

Clinician and location for report

Report Not Available

Without the correct originating source we can't allocate a destination for the report

Complete forms fully and accurately

Rejected Sample Or Compromised Diagnosis

Include as much patient information as possible
Failure to provide information may lead to unhelpful or inaccurate diagnosis

Complete forms legibly

Sample Incorrectly Registered

Illegible handwriting will not be interpreted
May result in errors or delays to results

Indicate the appropriate tests if applicable.

Use the correct carriers or sample bags.

Samples May Not Receive Correct Examination

Sample may not reach the correct destination
May result in errors or delays to results


How to complete a histology request form

Clear and concise information is required in order to process a sample through the department. Failure to complete a request form fully may lead to delays in diagnosis.

The use of electronic requesting for Histology is yet to be developed- Watch this space!

Is there an out of hours service or shift system?

There is no weekend or out of hour’s service available for Histology.

Are there any instructions for transportation of samples, including any special handling needs?

The vast majority of samples requiring Histological diagnosis will require immediate preservation in Formalin. Exceptions to this rule include Mastectomies and Wide Local Excisions (WLE) of the breast, from Derby Hospitals only. These samples should be taken directly to the Histology reception for immediate handling.

Samples requiring Formalin preservation must be placed in an appropriately sized spill proof container which is hazard labelled. The volume of fixative should be at least three times the volume of the specimen.

All sample containers must be clearly marked with at least three patient identifiers.

Small "pre-filled" containers (yellow lids) and larger "specimen buckets" are available to order from our pathology stores Tel: 01332 785581.

Tissue samples that require analysis for Gout should NOT be placed in Formalin fixative they MUST be sent in alcohol to preserve crystal integrity- please contact 01332 788243 for further advice

Is there any information on those key factors which are known to affect the performance of the test or the interpretation of the results?

Samples that have inadequate volumes of preservative or are left without any preservative (formalin) deteriorate quickly and are more prone to autolysis and putrefaction which can affect diagnosis.

Samples that have been placed in formalin should be stored at room temperature prior to transport. Refrigeration of samples can detrimentally affect the speed of preservation. Exposure of samples to excessive heat is also known to effect diagnosis.

Relevant clinical information is vital for diagnosis and MUST be included on the relevant section o f the request form. Failure to provide clinical information will result in a delay.

What are the time limits for requesting additional examinations?

The majority of additional test examinations are carried out by the Consultant Histopathologists as part of the diagnostic process

Request for additional molecular tests can be made via the appropriate MDT or directly to the relevant Histopathologists or the Cellular Pathology manager.

Referral of Specimens to other laboratories


MMR-Sequencing Testing

Department of Cellular Pathology- QEHB

Mindelsohn Way

Edgbaston Birmingham

West Midlands

B15 2WB

If clinically indicated


KRAS/NRAS analysis,

EGFR analysis



Source BioScience

Reference Laboratory

1 Orchard Place

Nottingham business Park



If clinically indicated


Oncotype DX analysis

Genomic Health Inc.

301 Penobscot Drive

Redwood City

CA 94063


Specialist Clinical Requesting


Bone Marrow trephines

Histopathology Dept

Nottingham University Hospitals

Clifton Campus

Hucknall Road



Specialist Clinical Requesting

Further Information

Link to the test database

Important: If you choose to print this document, the copy is only valid on the day it is printed as the original may be updated to reflect changes in service provision.

Last modified: 01/11/2018