Acceptance Criteria

In order to ensure that the correct analysis is performed on the correct patient sample, and to avoid reporting results incorrectly, samples must conform to the criteria given below. Additionally, some analyses require special sample types and additional information, and these are detailed in the appropriate service profiles, which may be located using the Service Profiles page.

  • A fully completed referral form must accompany each sample.
  • At least two items of identifying information must be provided for the patient on both the referral form and sample tube, e.g. patient name and date of birth, or name and NHS number.
  • The information on the referral form and sample tube(s) must match.
  • Caution must be taken when information from two individuals appears on a single request form. Where this is necessary, it should be made clear why the second individual's details are required for the analysis.
  • The clinical diagnosis or test required must be provided on the referral form.
  • The identity and contact details of the referrer to whom the report should be sent must be provided.
  • Fixed tissue blocks must be accompanied by the originating laboratory's return address.
  • Samples must be submitted in the appropriate sample receptacle - see here for the specific requirements for each laboratory.
  • Specimens which present an identified infection hazard (e.g. HIV, Hepatitis B, vCJD) must be clearly identified and submitted in accordance with established protocols. Please read our High-Risk Sample Guidelines for details.
  • For Solid Tissue samples please read our Solid Tissue Sample Requirements and Referral Criteria policy.


If the first four criteria are not met, there may be a delay in issuing a test report.
High risk samples are accepted only in accordance with our
guidelines and with prior

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