Emergency and Urgent Requests

Sample Prioritisation

On arrival in the laboratory, samples are prioritised to ensure that the most appropriate handling of the analyses required and the speed of return of results to the requesting clinician.


Unless otherwise indicated samples are classified as Routine.  For Blood Science the results of most tests will be available on the same day if received by the laboratory by 11:00 hrs. Many results will be available within a few hours.  Other tests will be available within the turnaround time defined in the Test Directory.


The appropriate laboratory should be  telephoned prior to sending emergency samples (see Specialities for contact details) and these should be clearly labelled as such.  Samples from A&E, Admissions Units and Critical Care are prioritised within the laboratory, as long as they are clearly identified.  Results will generally be available within 2 hours of receipt (for blood science). Samples may be sent by the Pneumatic tube system, special arrangement with porters or by courier.  It is the requesting doctor's responsibility to contact the laboratory if a result fails to arrive.