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Cytology (Last updated: 21 May 2015)

Cytology is the study of cells for the detection of abnormalities. The department provides diagnostic and screening cytology services throughout the Trust and to General Practitioners in Kent, as well as some East Sussex and Surrey Primary Care Trusts.

Cervical cytology is a screening service; other samples are sent for diagnostic examination.

The Consultants offer clinical advice and access to broader clinical consideration through Departmental Meetings and Multidisciplinary meetings.

Cytology Repertoire Quality Statements and Standards
Cervical Screening Recall Management Opening Hours

Specimen Collection

Location of Laboratories
Transport Contact Cytology personnel

Cytology Repertoire

Detailed sample collection instructions are available with certain specimen types
Do not attach pre-printed label over the clear section of the container.

Tests and turnaround times urine for cytology
Urgent requests

cervical sample (cytology)

Non-urgent requests  

Urgent requests

Urgent requests are defined as those essential for the immediate management of the patient. These should be highlighted by the requesting clinician by writing 'Urgent' on the request form together with a contact telephone or pager number. Cases with a strong possibility of malignancy may be marked urgent by the requesting clinician or the reporting pathologist and inform the Cytology Laboratory to expect receipt. In all but exceptional circumstances, the order in which specimens are reported follows Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust waiting list guidelines. Priority is given on clinical grounds and in strict chronological order thereafter.

Non-urgent requests

Cervical samples are reported according to NHS Cervical Screening Program turnaround guidelines. The turnaround target is 14 days from sample taking to the patient in receipt of the result.

Quality Statement and Standards

Every effort is taken to ensure an accurate result is issued promptly and to the correct destination.

To ensure the highest quality of service, the Cytology Laboratory and the individual Cellular Pathologists participate in relevant External Quality Assurance Schemes. Rigorous internal quality control checks are regularly made. The department monitors turnaround times for all diagnostic material as part of its Clinical Governance strategy.

If there are any problems regarding the quality of the service you receive, please contact the Head of Cellular Pathology, the Clinical Cytologist or the Pathology Quality Manager.