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Pathology Test Requesting

Please note - this is general advice, for specific departmental requirements please refer to the appropriate department page.

We encourage the use of electronic requesting whenever possible. Within Derby Hospitals we employ a system called Order Communications and Results Reporting (OCRR), whilst many GP practices use the Anglia system.

When using the traditional means of requesting please use our standard three part request forms. However, certain tests require specific clinical information and accordingly specific request forms are available for:

Downs Screening
Antenatal screening
Cervical Cytology
Blood Grouping / Cross matching
Kleihauer investigations
Histology Investigations (for requests from within Derby Hospitals)

Please help us to process samples promptly and correctly by writing legibly and ensuring the request form has the following information:

  • Hospital Registration Number (for hospital patients)
  • The NHS number if available
  • Patient's surname, forename(s), address (including post code), date of birth, telephone number (if available)
  • Relevant clinical data (such information can be vital in order to enable the correct tests to be undertaken)
  • Time and date the sample was taken (essential for correct result interpretation)
  • Investigations required (please do not use non-standard abbreviations)
  • Type of specimen
  • Identification(s) and location(s) of requesting individual(s) and the location(s) to which results are to be sent.
  • Details of medication/drugs
  • Signature of doctor (an electronic signature is provided by the OCRR system) and bleep / contact number
  • "Risk of Infection" labels where appropriate
  • Identification of priority status (NB All urgent samples should be sent to the laboratory in a "Red Bag", so they can be clearly identified). Please see individual department sections for advice on requesting urgent samples


There are specific medico-legal requirements for the completion of blood transfusion request forms and the labelling of specimens please see the Blood Bank departmental page for more details

Requesting additional tests on a sample that have been received by the laboratory

Due to the stability of some analytes there are time limits within which the laboratory can accept requests for additional tests.

The attachment at the bottom of this page outlines the maximum sample age which additional test requests may be accepted on a blood or urine sample received by the combined department of chemical pathology, haematology and immunology. For further information please contact the laboratory on 01332 789400.

For information on requesting further tests on cytology, histology and microbiology specimens please contact the laboratories directly.

Storage and Labeling of Samples

Test Stability Guidelines