[Skip to content]

Print this page

Departmental scope


Pathology at the Royal Derby Hospital consists of three departments which perform over 1000 different tests, many of which are completed using state of the art automated equipment.

Services extend beyond analysis to the provision of advice on report interpretation and patient management by the laboratory's consultant pathologists and clinical scientists. Many of the senior staff are involved in research, development and teaching projects.

The combined department of chemical pathology, haematology and immunology

The department runs phlebotomy (blood test) clinics at the Royal Derby Hospitals, the London Road Comunity Hospital and also at the larger community hospitals within the southern Derbyshire area.

Chemical pathology provides a full range of laboratory and clinical services incorporating routine biochemistry, lipids, drug of abuse screening and metabolism, endocrinology, trace metals, specific proteins, allergy and the co-ordination of clinical trial work and point-of-care testing. This is performed using automated biochemistry, HPLC and other forms of chromatography, mass spectrometry, immunoassay, electrophoresis for immunochemistry and ELISA techniques. Point-of-care testing provides help and advice on the implementation of point-of-care testing systems such as hand held meters for blood glucose, coagulation and haemoglobin as well as for automated blood gas analysers. The department also runs a quality assurance scheme for the blood glucose meters and blood gas analysers used within the Trust

Haematology and blood transfusion provide routine haematology, blood transfusion and specialised haemostasis and haemoglobinopathy testing in support of regional and national programmes. Also provided are HbA1c monitoring, CD4 counts and immunophenotyping. The assay techniques used are automated and manual clotting, chromogenic and immunologic assays, flow cytometry and HPLC.

Immunology provides routine immunological analysis and clinical advice into allergy, autoimmunity and protein chemistry using indirect and direct immunofluorescence, counterimmunoelectrophoresis, immunoblotting and ELISA techniques.

The cellular pathology department

The department incorporates histology, cytology, the mortuary & the andrology laboratory within the fertility unit. 

The histopathology laboratory offers a histological and immunohistochemical diagnostic service for the southern Derbyshire and east Staffordshire regions. Discussion and advice on clinico-pathological correlation and therapeutic implications is readily available to all medical staff, both in hospitals in the region and in general practice.

The cytology laboratory carries out cervical liquid based cytology screening for the southern Derbyshire and east Staffordshire regions. The laboratory has a computerised fail-safe mechanism to ensure follow-up of women with abnormal smears and facilitate 3 and 5 year recall.  A direct referral scheme operates with the colposcopy departments at the hospitals within these areas for patients requiring investigation. Non-cervical cytology includes CSF specimens, a wide range of fine needle aspirations, endoscopic brushings and other exfoliative cytology specimens received from clinical directorates and GPs. The andrology laboratory is based within the fertility unit and provides  full semen analysis service when investigating infertility, such as counts, motility, morphology, sperm antibody testing, HOS testing, IUI and also post vasectomy testing.

The mortuary acts as the public mortuary providing a service to HM Coroner for Derbyshire. It has special containment facilities for dealing with high risk / infectious cases.


The microbiology laboratory provides a routine clinical diagnostic microbiological service to Derby Hospitals, GPs, primary care trusts and other external NHS organisations. This is performed by both manual culture methods and automated reflectance, agglutination and manual immunoassay techniques.

Specialist sections include:

  • Antimicrobial chemotherapy, carrying out sensitivity tests on clinical isolates and the provision of clinical advice on antibiotic immunoassays carried out by the chemical pathology department

  • Mycology, providing diagnostic mycology, medical parasitology and fungal serology services

  • Virology laboratories offering a wide range of tests including HIV and hepatitis B, using the automated and manual immunoassay, automated PCR, ELISA and agglutination techniques

  •  Microbiological support for the control of infection function of the Trust