Sample Requirements


Please refer to User Handbooks on the services page or within the Document finder.


Completion of test requests

In hospital, tests are requested electronically: using CRS, EPR or iCare. In primary care, T-Quest should be used for electronic requesting if available. 

Paper request forms may be used where electronic requesting is unavailable.

Sample identification

Three points of identification are required to enable the sample to be processed. The patient’s full name, date of birth and identification number are suitable but please be aware that many of our patients have similar names and if an identification number is not available please give a further identifier such as address. Due to the risks associated with inaccurate identification of a patient’s sample, laboratory staff are instructed not to take responsibility for processing samples that do not have this information and it is likely that the referrer will need to provide a further, appropriately labelled sample.

Required information

Clinical details and accurate time of speciment collection must be provided either on the specimens or on test request forms to allow interpretation of results, the addition of any further tests required and to enable the laboratory to decide on the most appropriate action to be taken with the results. Clinicians making referrals are responsible for providing clinical details.

Storage of samples

If samples cannot be transported to the laboratory immediately, they need to be stored appropriately to prevent the degradation of the sample which may affect the results. 

Please visit the service handbooks or contact the relevant laboratory for advice on best storage.

Correct blood tube labelling 

Incorrect labelling is the most common cause of delays to patient care. 

So get it right first time and access our Correct labelling poster [pptx] 447KB to see how to correctly label a blood tube.


Remember to return all completed compatibility tags or emergency blood paperwork to the lab within 24 hours of transfusion - please don’t discard them!

This also applies to Covid-19 patients.

If you have any questions, please contact the team [pptx] 2MB

24 hour urine collection

Please see the instruction leaflet here for information on how to provide a 24 hour urine sample.