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Laboratory Medicine


For Histology Key Contacts

For general result and specimen enquiries, clinical advice and key contact details for the Histology service: Click Here

Opening hours and out of hours service provision

The Histology Department is open Mon-Fri (excluding bank holidays) 08:30 - 17:00.  Click Here

Urgent specimens

Please indicate the urgency of the specimen on the request form and the date by which a report is required. Please confirm these arrangements by telephone.

Out of Hours Requests

Frozen sections are only carried out on the York site and in extreme emergencies. A Consultant Histopathologist can be contacted via the switchboard.

Histology Specimen Collection and Transportation

For specific information regarding the collection and transportation of Histology specimens: Click Here

Turnaround Times for reporting Histology samples:

As per the Royal College of Pathologists Publication – Key Performance Indicators in Pathology:

All Histology specimens:

90% expected within 10 calendar days from collection date. We are currently achieving approximately 55% within 10 calendar days.

Results are electronically available after authorisation by Pathologist.

Factors Affecting Turnaround Times

For formalin fixed specimens, the nature of Histology means it is difficult to accurately specify turnaround times for individual cases as these depend upon several variables. These include specimen type and size; the complexity of the case; and additional investigations/ further specialist tests that may be required. 

Exceptions to Normal Turnaround Times

  • Bone samples or other specimens requiring decalcification before examination will result in longer turnaround times. This will vary according to the size and nature of the specimen.
  • Cases that require a second opinion outside of the department.
  • Complex cases that require further tests to be performed outside of the department/ more clinical information.

Disposal of Specimens

Unless the department is advised otherwise, all specimens are disposed of five weeks post-receipt.


Web page 51 last updated: 06th January 2020




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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.

Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.