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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

Sample handling and specimen acceptance

For advice and information on sample handling and specimen acceptance, including labelling of request forms: 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 four weeks post-authorisation.


Web page 51 last updated: 21/11/22

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