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Laboratory Medicine

General Information / Microbiology Out of Hours Test Repertoire

Microbiology Out of Hours Test Repertoire:

A Microbiology on-call service is provided to cover URGENT SAMPLES ONLY

Microbiology on the York Site

Microbiology on the Scarborough Site

Monday to Friday

20:00 – 08:30

Monday to Friday

17:15 – 08:45


17:00 – 08:30


17:00 – 08:45


16:30 – 08:30


16:00 – 08:45

Bank Holidays

17:00 – 08:30

Bank Holidays

16:00 – 08:45

The microbiology Laboratory operates an on call service for the following samples:

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid       
  • Sterile site fluids: e.g. ascitic, peritoneal dialysis and joint fluids where the specimen would deteriorate, if not examined promptly.
  • Blood cultures: up to midnight any positive blood culture that flags while EWD staff member is present (York) or is found when attending a call (York and Scarborough) is worked up and, if a new positive, the ward is informed.
  • HIV screening for urgent diagnostic or needlestick requests, and where request authorised by a Sexual Health physician or approved by consultant Microbiologist

 At York the following additional specimens are examined/tests performed on call:

  • difficile: rapid test using Quik Chek for haematology patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Corneal scrapes and vitreous fluids
  • Hep B surface antigen:  where the patient may be dialysed.  

Any other request for urgent work will require approval from the consultant Microbiologist.

The Microbiology BMS on call MUST be contacted by the Switchboard Operator when ANY specimen requires urgent microbiological analysis outside of normal working hours.

Please DO NOT call the Microbiology BMS for Covid-19 results, they are not on site and do not have access to results out of hours. All completed Covid-19 test results will be available on CPD.

It is the responsibility of the doctor initiating the request to ensure that all urgent and important samples are expected by the relevant Laboratory.

Example: For urgent cerebrospinal fluid analysis: If a CSF sample requires analysis out of normal working hours, the Doctor initiating the request MUST contact the Microbiology BMS on call via the switchboard (Dial 0). Additionally the Doctor MUST also inform the Clinical Biochemistry BMS via Bleep 934.

**Please do not put CSF samples in the Pneumatic Tube System (PTS/POD)**

Web page 10 Last updated: 27/02/2023

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