Written by Robert Storer on .

The Cytopathology services for the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust are based at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital site and can be located within the Cellular Pathology department on the first floor of the Laboratory Medicine directorate building.

Cytopathology/cytology is the study of cells. Cells obtained from body organs and fluid secretions are stained and examined microscopically for pathological change. The services the Cytopathology department provide can be broadly separated into gynaecological cytology (cervical smears) and non-gynaecological systemic cytology.

The gynaecological cytology screening service provides the cervical cytology screening service to the GPs and hospital clinicians as part of the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) taken within Birmingham and uses the Hologic ThinPrep Liquid based cytology technology.  


The non-gynaecological (Systemic) diagnostic service involves theprocessing and analysis of non-gynaecological samples from GPs and hospital clinicians.  It serves as a valuable diagnostic tool to assist in the diagnosis or confirmation of a variety of pathologies, or determine the course of treatment required, and may facilitate the monitoring of disease progression.

Cytopathology Services

Written by Emilie Terry on .


All request forms and consumables for the Cytology service are available from the Cytology Department. In addition, request forms may also be acquired electronically via ICE requesting. All sections of the paper copy request form should be completed  fully and legibly in ball point pen. To order or for any enquiries contact  Cytology Reception on: 0121 424 3192


Specimens should be collected in an appropriate transport vessel which is intact undamaged and with the lid firmly fitted to prevent spillage or leakage and must be clearly labelled with:

  • Full Name of Patient
  • PID, NHS Number or Date of Birth (whichever is given on form)
  • Date and time collected which is essential for CSF and BAL specimens as time factors affect the test result.

Any unlabelled samples received, which can easily be repeated, will be rejected. In cases of unlabelled or mislabelled samples from an invasive procedure, the responsible clinician will be requested to identify and label the sample in the laboratory before it can be processed.

Request Forms

Each sample must be accompanied by the appropriate request form fully completed; the following details are essential

  • Full Name
  • PID or NHS Number or Date of Birth
  • Location or destination for report
  • Consultant or GP
  • Specimen type
  • Test required
  • Date and time collected which is essential for CSF and BAL specimens as time factors affect the test result.

In the event of multiple specimens from one site, each sample pot must be labelled so they are readily distinguished from one another. In the case of samples from different sites, a separate request form for each specimen site is required.

For urgent specimens, including Cerebrospinal Fluid and Bronchoalveolar Lavage, please notify the laboratory prior to despatch to ensure staff availability for timely preparation and reporting.

  • 0121 424 3192
  • 0121 424 1191

Laboratory opening times:

  • Monday - Friday : 8.30-5.00

Note: An urgent on-call service is available via on-call Pathologist via HOEFT switchboard.