Urgent Samples - Instructions

Urgent Tests

An acute Clinical Biochemistry and Haematology service is provided by the Department of Blood Sciences 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This acute service is currently provided from each of the three main Blood Sciences laboratories based at the Leeds General Infirmary and St. James’s University Hospital.

The definition of an acute sample is one where the result is likely to affect management of a patient before the time when a routine sample would be reported (see the turnaround times page for routine processing times). Only CLINICALLY URGENT samples should be requested acutely

Please use this service sensibly. If it is abused there will be delays in the reporting of truly urgent results.

During Normal Working Hours

During normal laboratory hours urgent specimens should be transported to the Department of Blood Sciences as rapidly as possible. Please note: the department is not responsible for, or able to carry out repairs to the POD system. The responsibility for ensuring a sample is received by the laboratory in a timely fashion lies with the requestor.

Please telephone the laboratory using one of the numbers below to notify us that we are to expect an acute specimen. If a phone call is not received, the sample will not be processed acutely.


Biochemistry: 0113-39-23285

Haematology: 0113-39-22412


Biochemistry & Haematology: 0113-20-64565 or 0113-20-65551


Haematology and Biochemistry: 0113-39-21612

The below acute locations do not need to phone the laboratory. Samples from these locations will automatically be processed acutely.

Hospital Site List of Areas Automatically Treated as Acute 
 LGI  A&E, CDU, CAT, MSAA, Wards 9, 31, 32, 33, 34a, LCODH
SJUH A&E, Ward 22(CDU), Ward54(ICU), Ward 81(HDU), Wards 26, 27, 28, 29, 68 & 68a, 80 and  87 when hand delivered by nursing staff or when clinic is being run from lab.
Anticoagulation clinic (Tues am & Fri pm) - delivered in red bags.
SDU, AMA-27a. Bexley wing labelled “acute for chemo” green acute sticker, Marked with red.

Please ensure that the specimen is correctly labelled and clearly marked URGENT. Incorrectly labelled samples will NOT be processed. For further information please consult the Pathology labelling policy.

Outside Normal Working Hours

Outside normal working hours please contact the duty Biomedical Scientist via one of the bleep numbers below. The above acute locations do not need to contact the laboratory. Samples from these locations will automatically be processed acutely. 


Biochemistry: bleep 2486

Haematology: bleep 1311


Biochemistry: bleep 6234

Haematology: bleep 4499

The on-call BMS can be contacted via switchboard or via the bleep numbers provided on our lab contacts page.

Please remember that outside normal working hours only an ‘on-call’ repertoire of tests are available, and that staffing levels are minimal (often a single Biomedical Scientist). This is why it is very important that only CLINICALLY URGENT samples are requested acutely. The on-call repertoire includes most general haematology and clinical biochemistry tests, but not non-acute tests such as Thyroid Function Tests and Haematinics.

Accessing Urgent Results

Only clinically abnormal results are phoned to the requestor. The results server is the primary location of test results and users with access to the results server should ALWAYS endeavour to retrieve results themselves before contacting the laboratory. Inappropriate calls to the laboratory, especially outside normal working hours will cause disruption to the service resulting in delays to the issuing of truly urgent results.

If you would like to comment on, or send us feedback about the provision of our acute service, please do so via the user feedback page.

Page updated: 10/10/2011  | Updated by: Micheal O'Sullivan

Blood Sciences Urgent Samples Links