Laboratories

University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) has one of the country’s leading clinical laboratories, able to provide world class support to clinicians and researchers.

The new hospital’s laboratories bring together services which previously operated at both Selly Oak Hospital and the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Services

The laboratories cover the following disciplines:

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Haematology
  • Microbiology (including virology, serology and mycology)
  • Cellular Pathology (including Histopathology, Cytology and Molecular Pathology)

The laboratories are run by experienced medical doctors and scientists, and feature state-of-the-art equipment to automate many of the processes for testing the large numbers of specimens generated by the hospital every day.

The laboratories hold Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd accreditation and work to recognised quality standards.

The hospital is also a major supplier of laboratory services for universities and other health organisations in Birmingham and the West Midlands, both for clinical diagnostic and research purposes.

The range of tests available at the hospital covers the majority of clinical investigations, although a small number of tests are carried out by specialist laboratories at the University of Birmingham and City Hospital Birmingham.

Results

The clinical laboratory services operate out of a new facility within the main hospital and are fully integrated into the hospital’s informatics networks.  This means tests can be carried out rapidly, utilising an automated vacuum-tube system to send samples to the laboratory, and the results can be accessed as soon as they are authorised and entered into the system.

Clinicians and appropriately accredited researchers are able to access these test results via the hospital’s informatics network, using desk-based computers or hand-held tablets located on every ward.

Commercial research support

UHB’s clinical laboratories have well-established protocols for handling the testing of specimens for commercial research.

This includes a central contact point for researchers and close co-ordination with the hospital’s Research and Development management infrastructure to ensure adequate resources are in place to undertake the necessary testing.

Laboratory activity in relation to commercial trials normally involves safety monitoring, ensuring that trials of new drugs or treatment regimes are not having an adverse affect on a patient.

Typical safety monitoring tests include:

  • Liver and Renal function tests
  • Full Blood Count and Coagulation tests
  • Pregnancy testing of potential trial participants, using serum human chorionic gonadotropin tests
  • Blood Glucose

However, the scale of the facilities and the expertise of the laboratory staff enables the hospital to provide just about any standard clinical test.

Non-commercial research support

The clinical laboratory services at UHB work closely with the Research and Development management team to ensure research is planned with the necessary resources allocated for laboratory support.

This includes protocols to finance and provide any extra equipment, consumable supplies, staff training or new procedures for non-standard testing or non-standard frequency of testing.

This means the laboratories are flexible in their ability to provide the necessary testing services in support of research.

Contacts

The clinical leads for the laboratories are:

Any queries about availability of laboratory testing, as well as details of methodology and process management, should be directed to:

Dr. Kirsty Gordon, Principal Clinical Scientist,
Telephone: 0121 371 5996
Email: kirsty.gordon@uhb.nhs.uk  

Any queries about the cost of laboratory testing should be directed to:

Jayne Dipple
Clinical Laboratory Services Business Unit
Telephone: 0121 371 5956
Email: jayne.dipple@uhb.nhs.uk