The Pathology services are integral to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers, via blood tests, biopsies and other investigations during your visits to outpatients or as an inpatient.

We have a team of very highly skilled and qualified laboratory scientists and consultants who work together to provide an accurate and efficient service supporting the clinical staff. All these teams combine to provide the highest quality of care to you. Below is an overview of the different departments and what they do.

Histopathology and Cytopathology

Histopathology and Cytopathology receives tissue samples such as biopsies, aspirates and scrapings. These are processed for the consultants to look at microscopically in order to make a diagnosis and follow treatment progress.


Haematology investigates blood itself, including numbers and types of cells within the blood and haemoglobin levels. Blood films are made on slides to be viewed microscopically. This is also where blood clotting studies are carried out.

Blood Transfusion

Blood Transfusion performs blood grouping, antibody screening and cross-matching of blood issued. The department manages the Trust’s supply of blood, platelets and other blood products.


Biochemistry carries out investigations on chemicals carried in the body which indicate how well the body is functioning. These include hormone testing and testing for tumour markers (such as PSA in prostate cancer) to allow consultants to monitor conditions over time.

Point-of-care testing

Some blood tests are carried out in theatres and other clinical areas rather than in the laboratory. The Biochemistry department ensures that all clinical staff carrying out these tests are properly trained and that there is quality control of all the testing.


Microbiology is where samples are tested for infectious organisms such as bacteria and viruses. The department works very closely with the Infection Prevention and Control team and undertakes screening for MRSA and C. difficile.

Specialist haemato-oncology laboratories

This is a group of three laboratories which work together on the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. They investigate genes, chromosomes and markers on white blood cells which give information on the type of disease and how treatment is progressing.

Stem Cell Processing Laboratory

The Stem Cell Processing Laboratory is where samples of blood and bone marrow are processed to extract stem cells to use for transplantation in the treatment of some leukaemias.

These cells are frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen tanks in our tissue bank until they are needed. The stem cell team manages the tanks and cells in them.