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Microbiology and Virology Clinical Advice

Need Microbiology/Virology Clinical Advice?

The senior medical and scientific staff of the Microbiology and Virology laboratories provide expert advice on clinical, scientific and technical issues to users of the service.

The clinical service is consultant-led and available on a 24-hour basis to hospital clinicians and GPs.


Please tell us who the patient is: Patient’s name, PID, location. (Note all consultations and advice given is documented in our laboratory system).

Please have the patient’s notes and observation chart with you.

  • The clinical diagnosis and the possible focus of infection
  • The precise symptoms and signs suggestive of infection
  • Previous microbiology and other relevant results (temperature, WCC, CRP, renal and liver function)
  • Community or hospital onset infection
  • The patient’s observations
  • Relevant clinical history e.g. travel, immunocompromised
  • Recent imaging and procedures/surgery
  • Indwelling devices: urinary catheter, IV lines, stents/prosthesis
  • Current/previous antibiotics: dose and duration
  • Antibiotic allergies and allergy type (rash, lip swelling)

Please note our advice is based on the information provided.

  • For simple queries the Trust anti-microbial guidelines should be reviewed – you can find these on the Trust Intranet or by downloading them to your mobile phone via the MicroGuide App.
  • Always ensure the case has been discussed with the Consultant caring for the patient before contacting microbiology.
  • Always review Clinical Infection in Concerto before contacting microbiology. If the patient has not been discussed with Microbiology before there will not be any Clinical Infection entries in Concerto.

Please note:

All positive results from sterile sites (including blood cultures) are phoned out by the laboratory when positive.

Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals during normal working hours Mon – Fri ( 9 am to 5 pm)

For non-urgent queries please download and fill in the referral form (which can be found on the Trust Intranet under A for Antibiotic guidelines) and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note referrals made without completing the form will not be accepted.

  •  We aim to respond to all e-mail referrals on the same day. Referrals made after 3 pm may be dealt with on the next working week day.
  •  Please DO NOT use the e-mail referral system out of hours including weekends unless your query is not urgent and can wait to be dealt with on the next working week day.

For ALL URGENT queries during normal working hours Monday to Friday (9 am to 5 pm) please see below:

  •  For Heartlands and Solihull please contact the duty Microbiologist on extension 43240 or alternatively on their mobiles through switchboard.
  •  For Good Hope please dial # 6276 or 07917 648 323.
  •  Queries deemed non-urgent nor immediate will be re-directed to the above email referral system

Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals Out of Hours

OUT OF HOURS for ALL sites:

Please contact the duty Microbiologist through switchboard. Please be aware they may not have access to results so carefully review Concerto for alerts etc.

Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals – Infectious Diseases advice

To contact the on call Infectious Diseases clinician bleep 2728 -  ID SpR (9 am to 8 pm) weekdays and (8 am to 6 pm) weekends and Bank holidays. After these hours please contact the Infectious diseases consultant via switchboard.


Who to call: During working hours, please contact the Virology registrar on Bleep #2821. A consultant Virologist is available via switchboard on a 24 hour basis.

Please be aware that out-of-hours that the Virologist may not have access to results, so carefully review iCare for alerts etc.

When you call: Please tell us who you are: name, team and bleep number.

Please tell us who the patient is: name, PID, location. (Note all consultations and advice given is documented in our laboratory system).

Please have the patient’s notes and observation chart with you.

  • The precise symptoms and signs suggestive of infection
  • Relevant clinical history eg. travel, immunocompromise
  • Recent imaging

The virology department also offers the following services:

Specialist Advice: The consultant virologists provide specialist advice for patients throughout the West Midlands, including clinical interpretation of laboratory results and risk assessments for exposure to blood-borne viruses. The laboratory also serves as a national reference centre for HIV resistance testing, as well as providing resistance testing for Hepatitis B and CMV. The laboratory is one of two designated laboratories for the testing of Hepatitis B in healthcare workers undergoing exposure-prone procedures, as per DOH guidelines.

Outbreak support:Support to the UKHSA Health Protection Teams, CsCDC and Local Authority Environmental Health Departments is provided at two levels. Consultant staff provide expert clinical advice on specific infections and guidance on appropriate laboratory investigations. They also act as the local and regional microbiology co-ordinator. The laboratory provides support for testing of specimens collected in the course of outbreak investigations. Staff are co-opted onto Outbreak Control Teams and attend outbreak review meetings. Senior staff are also expected to give advice and support to the work of other Agencies.

Immunoglobulins and Vaccines: As part of the UKHSA, the Microbiology laboratory supplies and provides advice on the use of specific immune globulins for:

  • Varicella Zoster
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies

Normal immunoglobulin is also available for use within published guidelines.

In cases of possible exposure to rabies, both specific immune globulin and vaccine may be supplied for post-exposure prophylaxis. For these services, please contact the duty clinical virologist via Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust switchboard (0121 424 2000).


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