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Approved containers for specimen collection can be obtained from Pathology.

These include blood tubes, swabs and specimen containers. Please see below.


National Blood Tube shortages

August 2021

There is a national shortage of blood tubes. Please see Ordering Tests – Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust ( for details on reducing tests requested and therefore reducing the need for supplies of blood tubes

GPs (all sites)

To conserve precious NHS resources, stock is issued based on average workload over the past year. This is to reduce overstocking in the surgery, saving space and helping to prevent supplies from becoming out of date and wasted.  Containers supplied by pathology should only be used for sending samples to MTW pathology.

For specimen collection instructions see




Cellular pathology

Maidstone Hospital

Blood tubes and other blood collection supplies

Histology and Cytology supplies

Microbiology supplies and all other supplies

Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury


Blood Tubes, blood collection suppplies, Urine containers and swabs

Histology and Diagnostic cytology (non-gynae cytology) supplies

Specialised Microbiology supplies