Stockport Pathology

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a list of the most commonly questions we get asked on a daily basis.

Laboratory wide FAQ`s

Department Specific:

Cellular Pathology
Blood Sciences
Infection Prevention
IT, Quality & Administration

Laboratory Wide:

Q. Can I phone the laboratory to obtain a test result for myself or a family member?

A. Patients are advised to contact the doctor or clinic who requested their test. Due to confidentiality the laboratory is unable to give results to individuals or any family member on behalf of a patient.

Q. Can I bring my own sample to the laboratory?

A. If you have been advised by your doctor to deliver a sample to the laboratory, patients must ensure that the sample and request form is fully complete with a first name, Surname, Date of Birth, Location (e.g name of clinic) and date of sample. Samples can be delivered to laboratory reception between the hours of 8am and 8pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am and 5pm (at weekends). Outside these hours, samples can be posted through the laboratory reception postbox located at the front entrance.


Cellular Pathology:

Q. What is the general turn around time for biopsies?

A. Generally the department would quote 48hrs turn around time, though this can vary depending upon the specimen type. Small biopsies generally fall into this category with the exception of bone marrow trephines, where the tissue is allowed to fix for 24hrs before being decalcified in EDTA for a further 48hrs before it is placed on the cut-up. The tissue is then processed overnight and the pathologist receives the cut sections the following day. Larger specimens, especially cancers of the colon can take longer as the tissue needs to be `opened` in such a way as to allow the tissue to fix thoroughly. This can add at least an extra 24hrs onto the turn around time. Large specimens requiring decalcification such as femoral heads will take as long as it takes to enable them to be processed - up to a week or more. Any specimen may be subject to further work such as special stains or immunohistochemistry if necessary which can also increase turn aound time. Specimens are dealt with as quickly as possible to get the results ready as soon as we can.

Q. How do I book a frozen section and how long does it take?

A. To book a frozen section please call the laboratory on ext.5223 (the sooner the better!). We will require the patient`s details (=full name, D.O.B., unit number/NHS number), specimen details (=specimen type, name of consultant taking specimen), contact details and estimated time of arrival. We need these details to accurately book the patient in and to get the equipment ready beforehand. The time taken to report the specimen can vary depending upon the type of tissue and how many samples are sent. One straight forward sample should take between 30 and 40 minutes from receipt.


Blood Sciences:

Q. What sample type required for tests?

A. Check out our test matrix on this site.

Q. Where do test result go to?

A. All results are reported back to request location. Further information can be obtained from 0161 419 5626 / 4675.



Q. When can I bring my semen sample for Infertility/Post vasectomy investigations, into the laboratory?

A. Infertility and Post vasectomy samples can be brought into the laboratory Monday to Friday via an appointment with the Microbiology Secretaries on 0161 419 4491. We regret that we are unable to process your sample at the weekend.

Please ensure the sample is brought to the laboratory within 1 (one) hour of the sample being produced and that it is kept warm (i.e in a coat pocket) whilst transporting the sample.

Post Vasectomy samples can be brought to the laboratory at any time and have no special temperature needs.

In both cases please ensure that your full name and date of birth are on both the form and on the sample container.


Infection Prevention:

Q. What is PPE?

A. PPE is the abbreviation for personal protective equipment. This incorporates face masks, eye protection, aprons/gowns, gloves and footwear. It is each individual’s responsibility to assess what PPE they require prior to performing a procedure. Aprons are colour coded according to task; Yellow = infection, Green = Food/Beverages, Blue = ANTT/Clinical procedures, White=general patient care.

Q. What do the whiteboard magnets represent?

Hand Hygiene Logo

A. This logo on the whiteboard represents that this patient has a health care associated infection. We would recommend that you liaise with the person in charge on the ward to establish what IP precautions need to be implemented.


IT, Quality & Administration:

Q. How do I use the GP Pathology Electronic ordering - TQuest?

A. Here is the link to the User Guides for the various GP systems

EMIS Health GP system Guide

Q. How do I get a new user added to the Pathology tQuest Electronic ordering system?

A. Please download a copy of the tQuest new user form from our website here:
Click here to download the tQuest New user form

Please then send us the completed form via email to: and

Q. When I launch Tquest GP ordering, I cannot see all the request information screens.
How can I fix this?

A. If you experiencing a problem with TQuest where you can only see the top three tabs but cannot see request information to place an order follow this procedure:

1) Open internet explorer.

2) Select tools, then internet options, then Security tab at the top, click the trusted sites icon (green tick), the press the sites button.

3) insert into the Add this website to the zone box then click Add.

4) Click Close, Click OK.

5) Close internet explorer.

6) Go into the GP system and make a request and all should now be working.

Q. What version of Read codes do the Laboratory use?

A. The lab use Version 1.035 of the Pathology Bounded Code List (PBCL) of Read Codes for Pathology Report Messages.