Request forms and sample labelling
For all specimens submitted to the laboratory, a fully completed
request form MUST accompany each case.
You may use request forms provided by this department or by your
own local histopathology department, as long as it is suitable for
histopathology or cytology specimens.
Request forms are designed to provide:
- unique identification of the patient.
- a destination for the report and any charging information.
- the laboratory with the clinician contact details if discussion
of the case is required.
- date and time of specimen collection/removal and investigations
required (eg histology/cytology).
- type of specimen and anatomical site of origin
- clinical information so that the pathologist may handle the
specimen appropriately and interpret microscopic findings in the
- an awareness of any health and safety issues with a given
- an indication if consent has been provided for research
With this in mind, please provide complete information
on the request form. Failure to adequately complete any
portion of a request form may lead to dangerous errors, the
responsibility for which will lie with the referring
NB: The patient's NHS number should be stated
(when applicable), as this provides a unique identifier, together
with patient's first and last names, date of birth, gender,
hospital number (if appropriate). Patient address is also required
for cases originating outside of CMFT.
Each specimen container, no matter how small, must also be
labelled with the appropriate patient identification data (minimum
of 3 identifiers eg first and last name, date of birth/age, gender
and preferably patient's NHS/Hospital No). The information must be
consistent with the request form, to prevent errors in specimen and
patient identification. Multiple specimens from the same patient
should also identify the specimen type/site.
If there are discrepancies between the request form and specimen
labelling, specimens in inadequately labelled containers or
accompanied by inadequately completed request forms; the requesting
clinician will be required to complete the documentation by
visiting the laboratory or the specimen may be returned to the
referring clinician for proper completion, resulting in a delay in
(Last updated May 10th 2016)