Chemical Pathology, Haematology and Immunology

The combined department offers a comprehensive analytical and interpretive service to the hospital and general practitioners. 

Contact and find us


Pathology, Level 5
Royal Derby Hospital
Uttoxeter Road
DE22 3NE

Contact us

Telephone: 01332 789 400

Opening times

Core laboratory times

Monday 7am to 9pm
Tuesday 7am to 9pm
Wednesday 7am to 9pm
Thursday 7am to 9pm
Friday 7am to 9pm

Outside of core hours, there is a limited service for analysis.
The combined laboratory at the Royal Derby Hospital is open 24 hours per day for the receipt of samples. 

Availability of clinical advice and interpretation


The blood sciences department does not offer diagnostic services to members of the public except via a registered medical practitioner. Results can only be issued to the requesting physician or medical unit and will not be given to patients directly under any circumstances. 

The authenticity of callers is checked in order to protect the confidentiality of patients personnel details, as per the Information Governance Policy. For results and advice, please contact your GP.


For all blood science test results please check ICM or Anglia.

If a result cannot be accessed, please contact Pathology enquiries:
Telephone: 01332 789 400

The laboratory can answer general queries that cannot be resolved using the website.

This telephone service is only availableMonday to Friday 8am - 7pm (excluding Bank Holidays). 

For urgent out of hours advice and information contact Royal Derby Hospital Switchboard: 01332 340 131

Results cannot be emailed or faxed out to the requester.

Result reports will be delivered electronically (via ICM or ICE), or will be printed and delivered by post.

Clinical advice

Biochemistry Clinical Advice

Monday to Friday 8am -7pm (excluding Bank Holidays)
Telephone: 01332 789 383

Out of hours via switchboard
Telephone: 01332 340 131

Haematology Clinical Advice

Can be obtained 24/7 via the switchboard contact to the duty consultant haematologist.
Telephone:  01332 340 131

Immunology Clinical Advice
Can be obtained by contacting the immunology laboratory within the normal working hours but there is no out-of-hours service for this service.

Request forms

Please use electronic requesting wherever possible. 

Each specimen sent to the laboratory must be accompanied by the relevant request form. It is vital that the form is completed legibly and as accurately and fully as possible. Failure to do so may lead to specimens being inappropriately dealt with or not being analysed at all. It is the responsibility of the requesting medical officer to ensure that the forms are completed correctly. 

Routine chemical pathology, haematology and immunology tests can be requested on the combined multi-part request form if electronic requesting is not used. Separate single part forms must be use for blood transfusion, Kleihauer testing and antenatal screening requests. 

Request forms and samples from patients that present a risk of infection from blood bourne viruses should be clearly labelled with yellow 'Risk of Infection' stickers. 

Request forms for blood transfusions must contain all the relevant information available and be signed by the requesting medical officer or authorised nurse. This is a medico-legal requirement.

Instructions for samples

Instructions for transportation of samples

Samples should be sent to the laboratory with minimum delay. Delays in sample delivery to the laboratory can compromise the accuracy of many analyses. Where blood serum is required for routine analysis, centrifugation should occur within 6 hours. Samples more than 6 hours old can look normal but may already begin to show increasing potassium and falling glucose concentrations.

If the container is undated, the reported results may be grossly misleading. ALWAYS put the time and date the sample was taken on the request form.


How to submit samples

Addressograph labels

If used on request forms, addressograph labels must be affixed to all three copies of the multi -part form. Alternatively, a ball point pen, pressed firmly, should be used to fill out forms. Addressograph labels should not be used on any sample containers; please note that samples with addressograph labels for crossmatching will not be accepted under any circumstances and will require a repeat sample to be taken. Users are referred to the Trust's written policy on taking blood samples.

Specimen labelling

The sample container must be clearly labelled with a minimum of the patient's surname, forename, and one of the following three items, the hospital number, NHS number or date of birth.

These details should exactly match the information supplied on the request form.

This is to allow the unequivocal identification of the patient. If this minimum requirement is not met this may lead to sample rejection. 

The sample should also be labelled with the ward or department, and the date and preferably time the sample was taken. 

For medico-legal and safety reasons unlabelled or mislabelled specimens must always be repeated where possible.

Important: Blood transfusion samples must be fully labelled by hand and signed by the person obtaining the sample. There must be four patient identifiers that match on both the sample and the request form these are surname, forename, DOB plus one of the following: hospital number / address / NHS number.

Storage of samples

For information regarding the storage and labelling of samples in primary care, please download the following document:

Out of hours service

During the out-of-hours period, two biomedical scientists (BMS) are on duty at the Royal Derby Hospital site to respond to all haematology, blood transfusion and chemical pathology emergency requests for the hospitals in the district. A limited number of investigations are available during these periods. Requests for non-urgent investigations during the out-of-hours service period will be initially processed and usually analysed during the next working day. 

These urgent, out-of-hours samples should be sent to the laboratory in Red Bags and will be processed in the same manner as an urgent samples in normal working hours, i.e., within one hour of receipt. If investigations are required more urgently, the BMS should be contacted by bleep. For cross matching the BMS should be contacted every time. Other tests not generally available on demand will require prior discussion and agreement with consultant staff who can be contacted via the BMS or switchboard. 

Tests available out of hours / on an urgent basis

Albumin ALP Glucose
Amylase Iron (overdose only)
Bicarbonate KCCT
Bilirubin Magnesium
Calcium Malaria screen
Carboxyhaemoglobin Osmolality
CK/Troponin T Paracetamol
Crossmatch/Group & Save Phosphate
CSF Glucose/Protein Salicylate
D-dimer bHCG
FBC Urate
Glandular fever Sickle screen
Gentamicin  Ammonia (please contact lab
before collecting sample)


Lactate (please contact lab
before collecting sample) 


The below are also available out of hours but may require prior discussion:

  • Digoxin
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Phenytoin
  • Theophylline
  • Xanthochromia

Urgent requests

The laboratories can process a limited number of tests urgently. The urgent repertoire is the same as the out of hours service. 

Urgent samples must be placed in a red "urgent sample" bag, supplies of which can be obtained from pathology stores. This service must not be abused. For the range of tests available urgently please see the table at the bottom of this page. 

No phone call is required for these requests if samples are placed in red bags, unless there is a particular problem with the sample or specific conditions relating to the request. The laboratory will process these tests within 1 hour of receipt. 

Appending "urgent" or "please phone" on the request form will not give the request priority. 

Other tests are available urgently during normal working hours but only by prior discussion with the laboratory. 

Please note:- This range of tests, when handled non-urgently (with the exception of the tests listed under the "after discussion with a consultant" column) are normally processed within four hours of receipt for inpatients and within one working day of receipt for GP and outpatient requests.

Immunology urgent requests

All urgent immunology tests that are required urgently must first be discussed with the Immunology Department. 

Telephone: 01332 788 502 or  01332 788 501

These samples need to be received by the laboratory by 2pm and again should be placed in a red bag to aid identification. Results can usually be obtained within one working day of receipt of the sample.

What's new

Changes to the creatinine method and reference ranges

The Serum creatinine method at Queen's Hospital Burton Laboratory is changing to 'enzymatic' from Sunday 2 April 2023. The current assay (Jaffe) was first described a century ago and is no longer able to perform to modern performance standards. These performance standards have recently been tightened and are enforced nationally. Enzymatic creatinine is the method which has been recommended nationally, because of better precision (reproducibility) and less interference from glucose and bilirubin leading to more accurate results.

Users should be aware that there may be a one-off change in creatinine and therefore eGFR results for some patients due to the change in the reagent. The exact effect will depend on the creatinine level and other individual biochemistry but it could be up to 10%. It will be important that serial results on the same patient pre and post method change are interpreted in light of this and if such a change is noted after the reagent change it is advised to repeat the test to confirm trend.

Please note: The method change alone is not significant enough to trigger AKI alerts so these results should continue to be managed according to current clinical protocol.

A summary comment will be added to all relevant results from the laboratory computer system.

If you have any questions about the method change, which has been agreed by the renal consultants at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, please contact Dr Nitin Kohle (via renal secretaries) or Julia Forsyth or Sarah Knowles on 01332 789383.