Alder Hey in the Park | Alder Hey Children's Hospital

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Laboratory Medicine (Pathology)

Our laboratories aim to provide a high quality, up to date, reliable and comprehensive paediatric service, including a consultant advisory service for both children in the hospital and those cared for by General Practitioners. We also provide advice and support regarding paediatric pathology to other hospital laboratories in the region.

The laboratory will support clinicians in requesting appropriate investigations and providing appropriate interpretation of results to ensure the highest quality of care and best use of resources.

All laboratory departments are accredited with Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd and approved for training by the Health Care Professions Council. We are continually developing and improving the service for the investigation and diagnosis of disease, and are committed to the improvement in quality of service through audit. The laboratories are fully computerised using the Trust wide Meditech System.

How to contact us

  • General enquiries including results 0151 293 3591
  • GP electronic reports enquiries 0151 282 4908

Clinical advice is available at all times. Contact details can be found via the links below:

Key contacts

  • Clinical Director: Mr Paul Newland, 0151 293 3542
  • Service Group Lead: Dr Jo McPartland, 0151 252 5704
  • Pathology Manager: Dr Jeff Jones, 0151 282 4739
  • Quality Manager: Dr Catherine Collingwood, 0151 252 5598
  • IT Support Manager: Mrs Pamela Day, 0151 282 4908

All members of staff can be also be contacted by email using

How to find us

All laboratory departments are situated on the first floor of the main hospital building and can be accessed via the entrance at the side of the lecture theatre, at the end of the mezzanine (above WH Smith). All visitors should report to the reception desk. Please note that phlebotomy is carried out in the Outpatients department, not at the laboratory.

Opening Hours

The laboratory provides a full service between 9am and 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday. An emergency service for a limited range of tests is available at all times.

Specimen requirements

Please refer to the relevant departmental links for specimen requirements for each test.

Health and Safety

Model Health and Safety rules are available for laboratory staff, visitors, cleaning staff, office staff, phlebotomists, service engineers and laboratory porters and messengers to ensure the Health and Safety of all personnel working within the laboratory or dealing with laboratory samples.

In the event of a sample-related Health and Safety issue occurring outside the hospital e.g. spillage of sample, please contact the relevant department immediately for further information. Non NHS staff must not attempt to remove or clear up sample spillages.

Transport of samples

Category A infectious substances

Please note that Category A infectious substances are assigned to UN 2814 regulations and must be packaged in accordance with UN Packaging Instructions PI620 (road/ rail) or PI602 (air). Further information is available via the Health and Safety Executive website.

Routine diagnostic specimens (Category B)

UN3373For all other routine diagnostic samples, specimen containers should be sealed, covered with absorbent material in sufficient quantity to absorb the contents of the container(s), and placed inside a plastic specimen bag which in turn is placed inside rigid, opaque packaging in line with UN3373 regulations. When multiple sample containers are placed in single secondary packaging, they should either be individually wrapped in absorbent material or separated to prevent contact between them. Sample packages should be labelled with the UN3373 symbol. The package should also be labelled with the words “Diagnostic Specimen” and the name and address of the referring laboratory.

Dry IceWhere specimens are transported frozen on dry ice, dry ice must be placed outside the plastic specimen bag and packages clearly identified with a dry ice identification symbol:

If samples are transported in wet ice, the ice must be placed outside the plastic specimen bag and the packaging must be leak-proof.

Please also enclose a completed request form including:

  • Full name of patient
  • Date of Birth
  • Name and location of requesting clinician
  • Tests requested
  • Clinical details including details of any medication

Quality Policy

The Laboratory is committed to providing a comprehensive paediatric clinical laboratory and interpretive service of the highest quality to both internal and external users. Laboratory management will:

  • Ensure that they are aware of, and take into consideration the needs and requirements of the service users
  • Ensure the laboratory contributes effectively to a positive patient experience and clinical outcome
  • Work closely with the clinical teams to ensure that the patient pathway is optimised
  • Work with, and support the initiatives of the Trust Clinical Business Units (CBUs)

The services provided by the laboratory include:

  • Routine and specialist metabolic Biochemistry and allergy testing
  • Routine and specialist Haematology including haemophilia, leukaemia, and oncology,
  • Blood Transfusion service including provision of all blood products as required by its users.
  • Newborn screening for phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, MCADD, haemoglobinopathies and inherited metabolic diseases (Glutaric Aciduria Type 1, Isovaleric Acidaemia, Homocystinuria and MapleSyrup Urine Disease).
  • Paediatric Histopathology including paediatric surgical and autopsy, fetal & perinatal services
  • Paediatric Microbiology including bacteriology, mycology, virology, serology and infection control.
  • Point of Care Testing

In order to ensure that the needs and requirements of users are met, the laboratory will:

  • Operate a quality management system
  • Set quality objectives and plans to achieve continual improvement of the service
  • Set and monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reflect patient outcome
  • Ensure that all personnel are familiar with the Quality Manual and all procedures relevant to their work
  • Commit to the health, safety and welfare of all its’ staff in accordance with relevant health and safety and environmental legislation
  • Ensure that visitors to the department are treated with respect and that due consideration is given to their safety while on site
  • Uphold professional values and remain committed to good professional practice and conduct.

Authorised by Paul Newland, Clinical Director for Pathology
Review date July 2017, Version 1.4

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