Please see below for information regarding access to the pathology service.
Results are available to clinical staff through our IT systems.
Please note that patients are unable to obtain results directly from the laboratory. See Policy for issuing results to patients.
- GPs please use Sunquest ICE within your practice system
- MTW NHS Trust users please use hospital ordercoms PAS
- All others: please use Telepath results viewer
Results are not generally telephoned by the laboratory. Please see below for when results are telephoned.
- Clinical Biochemistry – see communication of critical and unexpected results
- Microbiology: positive blood cultures
Paper reports are issued to all destinations that have not requested paper reports to be turned off. If you do not require printed reports please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Labtestsonline – a public site that explains Pathology tests for patients
Urgent samples (in hours and out of hours)
With the exception of frozen sections, Histology, Cytology and Immunology samples are not considered urgent and should be sent routinely.
Urgent samples are those that need to be processed within 1-3 hours of sample collection
- Telephone the appropriate laboratory to warn that a sample is coming, discuss the reasons for its urgency and check the destination to send the sample to.
- Highlight “urgent” with a marker pen on the request form or (for GP samples requested by ICE) on the sample
- Seal the sample in an appropriate pathology specimen bag and place the completed request form in the pocket of the specimen bag
- Samples travelling by road must be transported in a specimen transport box that has a diamond with UN3373 printed on it. Contact the relevant department for advice on packing arrangements.
- Arrange delivery to the correct department. (Microbiology out of hours: discuss sample delivery arrangements with scientist via switchboard).
Maidstone haematology/Biochemistry/Transfusion – deliver to correct floor (see locations). If the reception hatch is shut (closed outside routine hours) ring the bell and put specimens through letter box. We will attend to them as soon as possible.
Laboratory opening hours
9.00am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday: routine service
5.30pm – 8.00pm Monday – Friday: limited service (Haematology/Transfusion/Biochemistry only)
9.00am – noon Saturday: limited service (Haematology/Transfusion/Biochemistry & Microbiology)
All other times: out of hours service – contact switchboard
Sample packing and storage
Please ensure all lids on sample containers are properly secured before sending
- Pack haematology, chemistry and immunology samples together
- Use a separate specimen bag for Microbiology, Histology, Diagnostic Cytology and Transfusion requests
- Tissue samples for Microbiology should be put in sealed sterile containers. Do not add formalin to these samples.
All specimens should be placed in special transport boxes (Red Boxes) or bagged and sealed, ready for placement in the Specimen Transport Bags. Each bag is clearly labelled with contact details in the advent of an accident/incident.
See pathology sample packing and storage instructions for details of which samples to pack in boxes or bags and where to store samples until they are collected.
The Specimen Transport courier will transfer the samples to a specimen transport container for forward delivery to the laboratories.
The transport service is run by MTW transport department.
For all transport-related issues, please contact the transport manager: 01622 224367 or switchboard
The MTW specimen collection service for GP surgeries is commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Any requests for changes or alterations to this contract should be raised with the CCG.
- Samples may contain biological and/or chemical hazards. All personnel transporting samples must follow the safety rules for drivers
Moving samples between hospital sites
The laboratories are distributed among the Trust’s two hospital sites. Although not all services are on every site, specimen transport arrangements within the Trust ensure all samples from any originating Trust site can be sent to the appropriate laboratory for analysis.
Patient personal deliveries of specimens
Patients are able to deliver specimens directly.
- Microbiology: The reception at Maidstone is open from 8.30am – 5.00pm. Outside these times specimens may be handed into the A&E departments at either Maidstone Hospital or Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Samples may also be handed in to Pathology reception at Tunbridge Wells Hospital during daytime hours.
- Other departments: Samples may be handed to any department on any site during daytime hours for forward transmission to the correct department. Out of hours, please contact the laboratory.
Laboratory locations: Haematology, Transfusion, Biochemistry
Haematology, Tranfusion and Biochemistry laboratories are located at both Maidstone Hospital (ground floor near the front entrance) and Tunbridge Wells Hospital (level -2 near Occupational Health).
- Transfusion – proceed to first floor orange zone (sign posted Blood transfusion) opposite staff restaurant. Please ring the bell.
- Haematology/Chemistry – from hospital main entrance turn right along corridor into ground floor orange zone. Laboratory reception is on the right hand side. If the reception hatch is shut (closed outside routine hours) ring the bell.
Tunbridge Wells Hospital
From hospital main entrance follow signs to area C (purple zone). Take lift or stairs to level -2. At main hospital corridor turn right. Pathology is on the left. Follow corridor to the closed doors. Ring the bell.
- (Department), Maidstone Hospital, Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, Barming, Kent ME16 9QQ
- Pathology, Level -2, Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, Tonbridge Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4QJ
For map see bottom of page
Laboratory locations: Microbiology and Cellular Pathology (diagnostic cytology, histology, molecular pathology)
Microbiology and Cellular Pathology (Histology, Diagnostic Cytology and Molecular Pathology) are on the Maidstone site only, near Pharmacy. Head down the main EEMU corridor from the front entrance, through pharmacy to Microbiology reception.
For Cellular Pathology there is a Video Entry phone opposite Microbiology reception.
Delivery access is available via the Microbiology/Cellular Pathology loading bay. Follow the signposts to the rear car park.
- (Department) Maidstone Hospital, Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, Barming, Kent ME16 9Q
For map see bottom of page
Do you have any feedback regarding our service including compliments, concerns or complaints? Please contact the relevant laboratory manager by telephone, or discuss with the Pathology Head of Service or the Pathology Quality Manager.
If your concern or complaint remains unresolved, please contact the MTW Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team for further information.