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.

Laboratory staff using microscope in cytogenetics

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.

Cellular Therapy Laboratory

The Cellular Therapy Laboratory supports the stem cell transplant and cellular therapy programmes in the Trust. Donor cells from patients, relatives or volunteers are tested and either used as fresh cells or may be processed - often to prepare them for freezing and storage at ultra-low temperatures until needed for transplant. Specialist storage in monitored facilities ensures that cells can be kept for many years if required. The lab, which is HTA licensed, and JACIE accredited, receives, tests, processes, stores and issues cells, making sure that they can be easily be traced from donor to recipient.


For more information about these services, please visit our Pathology Services page.