Microbiology repertoire

Microbiology repertoire (last updated 2 Mar 2015)

  • The Department of Microbiology aims to provide clinically relevant information to its users through the provision of a timely, accurate and reliable scientific service with clinically appropriate advice.  The laboratory is based at Maidstone hospital and there is consultant presence at both acute sites.                      

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

    Consultants offer 24 hour advice for urgent cases. The Consultants normally visit the wards regularly.    Scientific Staff offer a 24 hour diagnostic service for urgent cases.

    Detailed Specimen collection instructions are available with certain specimen types

    • Do not attach pre-printed label over the clear section of the container.

      VIRAL/BACTERIAL SEROLOGY: 5-10ml clotted blood normally required for each PATIENT (9ml red cap (with black cap ring) tube - send same day or fridge overnight). Tests are processed in batches for economy. For details of individual tests please see master repertoire

    MTW Tests and turnaround times

    Specimen collection techniques

    Referral laboratories

    For urgent tests please contact Microbiology.

    Out of hours Emergency Service

    Antimicrobial Levels

    West Kent antibiotic guidance

    Antimicrobial Drug Level Monitoring


    Gentamicin and Vancomycin levels are now performed by Clinical biochemistry department.

    Results are available on PAS (if requested via PAS) as soon as authorised.

    For other antibiotic levels, discuss with Microbiology consultant


    • Pre dose taken just before dose is given.
    • Post dose taken 1 hour after dose administered.
    • Normal range: Pre <2.0 mg/l, Post 5-10 mg/l

    NB. Gentamicin may be given once a day (OD). Here only one level is required - taken 12-18 hours after the dose is given. The level - called a random level (as the time is collected anytime after 12 hours of the dose given) is reported accurately to one decimal place.

    • Normal range for random levels:
    • <2.0 mg/l if 14 hours post dose
    • <1.0 mg/l if 24 hours post dose


    • Pre dose taken just before dose is given.
    • Post dose is not normally required.
    • Normal range: Pre 5-10 mg/l, Post (if performed) 20-30 mg/l

    For clinical advice, please contact Microbiology consultant

    Microbiology Out of Hours Emergency Service


    The on-call BioMedical Scientist (BMS) works from outside the hospital and may be contacted via the Hospital switchboard.

    Urgent clinical advice is available from the Consultant Microbiologist via the hospital switchboard.

    Results, other than from On-Call samples, are not available outside normal hours.

    Will process Tests not offered
      Urgent urines from children
      CSF's and other specimens from suspected meningitis patients.
      Urgent fluids from sterile sites eg. joint fluids (from A&E, MAU and AAU)
      Blood cultures can be taken at any time during the on-call period.  Porters, on request, will take the blood cultures to the correct incubator.  These will be dealt with the following morning after incubation.
       Other requests will be processed at the discretion of the on-call BMS or Consultant Microbiologist.