The department of Microbiology is a modern laboratory that processes approximately 400,000 specimens per year. 

The Microbiology department is situated on level 5 of the Royal Derby Hospital (RDH). It is part of the Pathology business unit which in turn is part of the Cancer, Diagnostics and Clinical Support division of the hospital.

The laboratory provides a comprehensive, UKAS accredited, clinical service covering bacterial, viral and molecular investigations for the Royal Derby Hospital, Florence Nightingale Community Hospital, Kingsway Hospital as well as 13 other hospitals in the Derbyshire Community Health Service and the surrounding general practitioners of Derby and Derbyshire.

Contact and find us


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

Contact us

Telephone: 01332 789 400

Out of hours

Switchboard: 01332 340 131

Opening times


Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 8.30am - 12.30pm
Sunday & Bank Holidays 8.30am - 12.30pm


Monday                              9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm

9am - 5pm

Friday 9am - 5pm


Availability of clinical advice and interpretation


Microbiology 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.


Please note antibiotic susceptibility testing is not currently UKAS accredited.

For all microbiology test results please check ICM or Anglia.

In case a result cannot be accessed please contact Pathology enquiries for authorised results on 01332 789 400

Alternatively, contact via the Microbiology call tree on 01332 788 218

The laboratory can answer general queries that cannot be resolved using the website, this telephone service is only available between the opening hours of:

Monday to Friday 8:45am - 5:15pm (excluding Bank Holidays) 

Saturday to Sunday (including Bank Holidays) - 8:30am - 12:30pm  

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

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

Request forms

Please use electronic requesting where ever possible.

Information on the ICE/ Anglia system is available through the Pathology IT team:

Telephone: 01332 787021

Every sample sent to the laboratory must be accompanied with a relevant form, one form per sample taken.

Microbiology request forms
What to include If not included
A minimum of 3 patient identifiers

Rejected sample 

You will need to attend the lab to identify samples.

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.
That the sample type on the request form match the sample type received.

Delay in results or possible sample rejection. 

You will need to contact the lab to clarify the situation. 
Failure to provide information may lead to insufficient sample testing.

Check integrity of sampling device.

Sample Rejection

Swabs etc which are out of date will not be processed.

Samples which leak in transit to the laboratory poses a health and safety risk to staff and patients.  If deemed high risk a IR1 will be performed.


Instructions for samples

Instructions for transportation of samples

The person who collects the specimen has the responsibility of ensuring the samples reach the laboratory promptly.

GP surgeries are provided with a courier service via the hospital transport system  or Derwent Shared Services on 01332 622416.

Please note: If specimens are not transported by  the pathology courier service or the hospital transport service then it is the sender's responsibility to ensure that samples are packaged in accordance with the Department of Transport regulations for the transport of infectious substances.

Delay in transport

If samples cannot be transported to the lab on the same day please fridge them with the exception of blood cultures and cervical swabs for Gonorrhoea (GC).

Please ensure that when sending samples to ensure lids are correctly and fully closed.  Failure to do so may lead to the sample being rejected.

How to submit samples

Clinical Details

Clinical Details are essential.  Failure to provide this information may mean the most appropriate investigations are not performed.  Details needed are:

  • site where the sample was collected from
  • type of sample collected
  • history of foreign travel
  • animal contact and occupation (if relevant)
  • current or recent treatment with antibiotics/antivirals should be provided

Delay in transport

Please ensure that all samples are delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible to ensure the viability of any organisms. 


All microbiology samples should be refrigerated once collected whilst awaiting collection except, any samples with suspected N.gonorrhoea infection, swabs for chlamydia investigations, blood cultures and skin/nail samples for fungal investigations.  Rapid transport of all samples is recommended. 

Inappropriate specimen site or transport medium 

Optimal recovery of the target organisms will not be possible. 

Additional testing

Bacteriology samples are not always suitable for additional tests. Additional tests on serology blood samples can be added to at later date if appropriate.

Please contact microbiology to discuss additional test requests:

Telephone: 01332 788218