Lymphocyte proliferation studies at Birmingham heartlands

on Thursday, 17 March 2022. Posted in Homepage, Immunology

Due to equipment failure we are temporarily unable to offer Lymphocyte proliferation studies and T-Spot Tb assays.

If IGRA assay for TB is required please refer to 

Quantiferon Plus Interferon gamma release assay for TB (heftpathology.com)

Update to Malaria Antigen Testing Kit

on Monday, 12 September 2022. Posted in Homepage, Haematology, General

Due to supply issues there has been a change to the manufacturer of our malaria antigen kits effective from 26/08/2022 . The new test kit has been verified and awaiting ISO accreditation at our next UKAS visit between November - December 2022.

Please note  this test currently is not UKAS accredited

Microbiology at Heartlands: PHE is changing to UKHSA

on Friday, 24 September 2021. Posted in Homepage, Microbiology

From the 1st October 2021 the Public Health England (PHE) Public Health Laboratory, Birmingham based at Heartlands Hospital will be incorporated into the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA). There will be no change to our clinical diagnostic or public health microbiology services.

Over the next few months we will update our user facing information and request forms etc. to reflect the change so please do not be concerned about a mixture of PHE and UKHSA branding during this time.

Corona Virus Update

on Monday, 16 March 2020. Posted in Homepage, General

Corona Virus Update

Due to the current demand on all Pathology services in relation to the Corona virus and the impact on processing samples some non-urgent tests may see a delayed turnaround time. Please be assured that this wil not impact on urgent requests.

BD Vacutainer Tube Guide

on Tuesday, 18 September 2018. Posted in Homepage, Blood Sciences

BD Vacutainer Tube Guide

The BD Vacutainer tube guide detailing order of draw and special instruction can be downloaded from the Downloads tab or by clicking here

Changes to GAD (Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase) assay

on Tuesday, 02 October 2018. Posted in Homepage, General

Due to a change in Manufacturer the reference range and storage conditions for the GAD (Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase) antibody assay have changed. Reference range 0-5 IU/mL Samples storage within laboratory -20C

Notification of change: New enzymatic creatinine method

on Tuesday, 04 September 2018. Posted in Homepage, Biochemistry

Implemenatation date: Monday 10th September 2018

From the Monday 10th September 2018 laboratories across Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull will be implementing a new and improved creatinine test.

Please see attached document for a summary of changes we expect to see with the new test.

Note: there is no change to specimen handling instructions. Serum separator tube (SST) is the recommended sample type. Further information will be available on the website (http://www.heftpathology.com/) in due course.

If you have queries relating to this notification please do not hesitate to contact us:

Dr Mark Thomas (Telephone: 0121 424 3156 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Duty Biochemist (Telephone: 0121 424 2198 or bleep 2506)

Update on Special Coagulation Assays - ADAMTS-13 / Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia Screen

on Friday, 18 February 2022. Posted in Homepage, Haematology, General

Please note request forms have been updated for ADAMTS-13 and Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) Screen. They can be found in the Downloads page or in a link from the Test Database section. These tests are performed at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Haematology Laboratory.

Update to Diphtheria antibody testing service

on Wednesday, 10 November 2021. Posted in Homepage, Immunology, General

Update to Diphtheria antibody testing service

As of 10th November 2021 we are no longer offering a Diphtheria antibody testing service.

Currently all outstanding samples received but not reported have been stored. These samples can be returned to the requesting laboratory if required. Please contact the laboratory by telephone (0121 4241705) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) providing sample details and a return address/contact.

Any future samples received may only be stored for a limited time period, so we would advise arranging direct transport to alternative referral laboratories if required to avoid delay.


on Tuesday, 07 April 2020. Posted in Homepage

Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs) are a relatively new class of anticoagulants that have several advantages over traditional anticoagulation agents such as Warfarin. This includes rapid onset of action, few drug interactions and predictable pharmacokinetics which result in no requirement for routine laboratory monitoring. As a result, the use of DOAC’s in clinical practice has grown. The DOAC’s are problematic for the laboratory as they have been reported to interfere with most coagulation tests to varying degrees.

Currently when testing a patient for a thrombophilia a patient is required to be free from anticoagulation to obtain a valid result, however due to the risk of thrombosis these patients are also required to be anticoagulated. This paradox is problematic for both the laboratory and the clinician.

DOAC-Stop tablets can be used to efficiently remove all types of DOACs including dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban and edoxaban, from test plasmas with minimal effect on plasma proteins involved in the clotting mechanism. This will allow clinicians to get an accurate result while the patient is anticoagulated with a DOAC, preventing the need for cessation for an accurate result and therefore reducing the risk of thrombosis.

If you are requesting a thrombophilia or lupus anticoagulant screen and your patient is on a DOAC, please state clearly on the request form, together with which anticoagulant, so DOAC Stop can be applied.


CLL - Residual Disease Update

on Friday, 11 January 2019. Posted in Homepage, Haematology

CLL - Residual Disease Update

Website update for CLL MRD

Minimal residual disease for CLL is performed by flow cytometry within the Cell Markers Lab in Haematology. The procedure for measurement has been reviewed and updated in line with current recommendations1. The new panel provides clearer delineation of CLL populations and is able to exclude other minor B cell populations such as haematogones and plasma cells.

Sample requirements remain the same: either 1-2mls of Bone marrow or 4-5 mls PB in EDTA (although additional sample may be advisable in patients who are leucopenic).

Samples should be received and tested within 48 hours to ensure meaningful results (note that the laboratory is not open at weekends).

Reporting of CLL MRD has also been updated to provide additional information and will include:

A summary statement

A quantitation (%)                       ONLY if the level is at or above the limit of quantitation

Limit of detection (LOD)         The percentage above which CLL cells can be recognised but there are                                                                        too few to be reliably quantified.

Limit of quantitation (LOQ)    The minimum percentage at which CLL cells may be quantified.

LOD and LOQ are calculated for each patient sample.

The procedure has been optimised to achieve an LOD of 0.004% and an LOQ of 0.01%, but this is dependent upon the cellularity of the sample and may therefore be higher (and thus less sensitive).

1A complementary role of multiparameter flow cytometry and high-throughput sequencing for minimal residual disease detection in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: a European Research Initiative on CLL study.

Rawstron et al

Leukaemia2016 Apr;30(4):929-36. doi: 10.1038/leu.2015.313. Epub 2015 Dec 7

Notification of Change: upgrade of instrumentation For Virology Real-Time PCR testing

on Thursday, 24 May 2018. Posted in Homepage

In order to improve the service to our users we have upgraded the instrumentation used to perform the testing and detection of Viral and Bacterial nucleic acids by real time PCR. A full validation of the change has been performed and users will be informed of any change in performance characteristics.
However, these assays now lie outside our scope of accreditation as assessed by UKAS. UKAS have been informed and will assess the assays on the new instrumentation as an extension to scope of our accreditation at our next inspection. This is normal procedure when changing platforms.

Update on Blood Transfusion Service - HGS Pathology

on Tuesday, 02 October 2018. Posted in Homepage, Haematology, General

Update on Blood Transfusion Service - HGS Pathology

On the 1st October 2018, the current UKAS accredited Blood Group and Antibody screen offered by HGS laboratories will no longer be performed on the Biorad blood grouping analysers. We are currently in the process of validating the replacement Grifols blood grouping analysers. An extension to scope has been submitted for this test to be accredited at our UKAS assessment in October 2018.

The laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital form part of the services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham and are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link: https://www.ukas.com/find-an-organisation/

  • Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8213

Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further test information, please visit the test database: http://www.heftpathology.com/frontpage/test-database.html.

Protection of personal information - Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and its employees to comply with the Data Protection act  1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235