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Pathology services

More information about the services the department offers can be found below.

Central services

The administration department covers four main areas:

Specimen reception: This area has responsibility for the overall receipt and distribution of specimens and samples received into the department. Also supplying wards and GP surgeries with request forms and sample collection media.

Phlebotomy services: A ‘walk-in’ phlebotomy (blood test) clinic service with fast tracking for patients attending Clinical Haematology out-patient clinics or the Anticoagulant Clinic.

General administration: supporting the disciplines within pathology with a distribution service of patient results and information.

IT: Responsible for developing, supporting and maintaining laboratory systems within pathology, and supporting electronic reporting mechanisms to the Trust and GPs.

Cellular pathology


The department provides diagnostic and screening services for a wide range of non-gynae specimens to both hospital and GP users, and community clinics throughout West Berkshire. The consultants support a weekly rapid diagnosis breast clinic.

Surgical histopathology

The department provides a comprehensive routine diagnostic service to hospitals, GPs, community and outreach clinics in the west berkshire area. This includes rapid frozen section diagnosis and Immunocytochemistry service.


The mortuary suite is located on the first level in the south wing of the Royal Berkshire Hospital and includes coroner’s office and coroner’s officers. The department provides a comprehensive service for the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust and local authorities to meet the requirements of hospital staff, HM coroners and the local community. There are facilities and appropriately qualified staff to carry out post-mortem examinations for both the Trust and local authorities and facilities for bodies to be viewed or identified by relatives or friends.

Clinical biochemistry

The department provides a comprehensive service that includes:

  • routine clinical biochemistry: including electrolytes and renal, liver, bone, lipid and thyroid profiles.
  • specialised clinical biochemistry: including toxicology, endocrinology, paediatric clinical biochemistry and paraprotein investigations.
  • emergency investigations: a limited range of investigations are normally rapidly available by prior arrangement on a 24-hour basis.
  • therapeutic drug monitoring: the therapeutic drug monitoring service is run together with the department of microbiology and the pharmacy department of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
  • governance of point of care testing / devices (POCT) within the Trust as applicable.

Haematology and blood transfusion

The department provide a comprehensive service that includes:

  • routine haematology: including FBC, ESR, blood films, urgent sickle tests, malaria and infectious mononucleosis screens.
  • coagulation: including clotting screens (APTR, INR), thrombophilia screens and factors assays.
  • specialised haematology: including cytochemistry, immunophenotyping by flow cytometry, and haemoglobinopathy investigations
  • blood transfusion: including grouping and antibody screening, cross-matching and Kleihauer test.
  • autoimmune immunology: including autoimmune profile, antibodies to DNA, thyroid and cardiolipin.

Microbiology, including virology and infection control

The microbiology department provides a comprehensive clinical service dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of infectious diseases.  A consultant microbiologist heads the department and a consultant microbiologist has nominated infection control responsibilities.

The microbiology laboratory examines a range of specimens mainly for the purpose of infectious disease diagnosis and treatment.  Various techniques are employed looking for the presence of potentially pathogenic micro organisms including bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses.

Useful Contacts

South Block
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
London Road

0118 322 7751


    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
    Email us
    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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