Cytology laboratory services

The Cytology department at Derbyshire Pathology carries out cervical and non-gynaecological services.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 8:30am - 5pm

Please note, there is no out of hours service.

Services include:

Cervical Cytology

The Cytology department provides the cervical screening service for all the East Midlands region which includes Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, South East Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

The laboratory has full UKAS accreditation.

The department operates a direct referral system for women who require further investigation as a result of their cervical screening test, and refers women to 18 colposcopy units across the region. MDT provision is provided to these colposcopy units by the team of consultant biomedical scientists and pathologists.

The department operates a computerised fail-safe system to ensure follow-up of all women who are referred to colposcopy.

Non-Gynae Cytology

The laboratory has full UKAS accreditation to provide Non-Gynae diagnostic Cytology.

This includes CSF specimens, a wide range of fine needle aspirations (FNA), endoscopic brushings and other exfoliative cytology specimens received from clinical directorates and general practitioners.

If samples over 48 hours old have not been refrigerated, this may affect the interpretation of results.

Inappropriate contents, leaking samples or damaged pots may also affect results.  

Contact and find us


Pathology, Floor 5
Royal Derby Hospital
Uttoxeter Road
DE22 8NE

Contact us

Telephone: 01332 788 233

(If you are a patient, please contact your sample taker for advice / information)

Opening times

Cytology opening times
Monday 8am - 5pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm


Availability of clinical advice and interpretation

All enquiries should be made on 01332 788 233

This is an automated enquiry system and will direct you to the relevant individuals who can assist with clinical advice.

Request forms

Cervical Cytology

Please use only the pre populated and printed HMR 101 form from the Open Exeter system. It is the responsibility of the sender to complete all sections of the form accurately and clearly.

If Open Exeter is unavailable, please  download and submit a cervical cytology request form [pdf] 11KB (opens in new window) >

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

Non-Gynae Cytology

Please use electronic requesting where possible or use a Histology (white) request form. 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 processed at all. Request forms and samples from patients that present a risk of infection from blood borne viruses should be clearly labelled with yellow ‘risk of Infection’ stickers.

What do you need to include

What needs to be included What happens if not

A minimum of 3 patient identifiers.                                            
Cervical Cytology samples.

Non-gynae samples     .                 

Rejected sample

A reject report will be sent and the sample must be repeated after 3 months.

You will need to attend the lab to identify samples.

Clinician and location for report

Cervical Cytology - Sample taker code

Report not available

Without the correct orginating source we can't allocate a destination for the report.

In line with NHSCSP guidelines; any samples taken from 1 April 2019 onwards without a valid unique pin code on the request form, will be reported as inadequate if no abnormality is detected. The sample will then need to be repeated in no less than 3 months.

Complete forms fully and accurately                                               

Rejected sample or compromised diagnosis

Include as much patient information as possible. Failure to provide information may lead to unhelpful or inaccurate diagnosis.

Complete forms legibly

Sample incorrectly registered

Illegible handwriting will not be interpreted.

May result in errors or delays to results.

Indicate the appropriate tests if applicable.

Use the correct carriers or sample bags.

Samples may not receive correct examination

Sample may not reach the correct destination.

May result in errors or delays to results.

Instructions for samples

Instructions for transportation of samples

Cervical Cytology

Transportation is via the pathology courier van system. 

Non-Gynae Cytology

All specimens must be sent to the laboratory immediately. If there is any delay please store the specimen in a fridge until it can be sent to the laboratory.

Haematological CSF samples must be received in the Cytology department before 4.00pm.


How to submit samples

Cervical Cytology

Samples that are taken outside of the screening programme, e.g. under 25 year olds or early attenders, will be rejected. The interpretation of results may be affected by the following:

  • brush left in sample pot
  • incorrect sampling device
  • insufficient fluid in sample container
  • leaking or damaged sample pots on receipt in the laboratory

Non-Gynae Cytology

If samples over 48 hours old have not been refrigerated, this may affect the interpretation of results. Inappropriate containers, leaking samples or damaged pots may also affect results.  

Turnaround times (TAT)

Turnaround times
Sample type Typical sample procedure to result distribution TAT
Cervical Cytology 98% within 14 days
Non-gynae Cytology 90% within 10 working days**
CSF Cytology 90% within 5 working days**

*Please note: cases may take longer due to diagnostic complexity.
**Locally agreed TAT.

Referral to other laboratories

Occasionally non-gynae samples require tests not available within the Pathology department and will need to be sent to other specialist centres.

referral to other labs
Sample/Test Referral Centre Frequency of referral
Pancreatobiliary cytology samples

Histopathology department
Nottingham University Hospitals
City Campus
Hucknall Road

When consultant availability at Derby is limited
Eye pathology samples
Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Opthalmic pathology
E-Floor Royal
Hallamshire Hospital
Glossop Road
S10 2JF