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News and Updates

Monday 11th December 2017 Change of HIV Viral Load vacutainers - PF-PSS-EXT-13
Pathology First has been working with the Sexual Health clinics across BTUH and SUH to standardise testing processes for HIV viral loads.
The vacutainers to be used now are :-BD 362795 (PPT TUBES VIRAL LOAD 5 ML WHITE)
If you require these tubes please collect from Phlebotomy reception / Level C.
Thursday 23rd March 2017 Changes to the Pathology Service  
Due to significant changes in the Pathology Service, including instrumentation, since 2016 the Pathology Handbook is in the process of being thoroughly reviewed. Please be aware that in the interim some test information, including reference ranges, within this handbook may not be up to date and you should therefore contact the Pathology Department concerned if you have any queries/concerns regarding a specific test.
A new Pathology First handbook is currently in development.
Friday 1st Aug 2014 Paper Reports Display Sample Collection Time
In line with UKAS accreditation requirements Pathology report forms are being altered to show the time of sample collection and time of report (at the bottom of paper reports). Previously the date Recieved was displayed but where it is provided, the date and time of sample collection will now be displayed.
Thursday, 1st May 2014 Free T3 and Free T4 Reference Ranges
Free T3 and Free T4 reference ranges have been revised from 1.5.2014 to harmonise with Southend Hospital and to provide separate ranges for children. New ranges are on Free T3 and Free T4 test directory pages. The assays for Free T3 and Free T4 have not changed and actual reported results will remain the same.
Monday, 14th April 2014 Change of Free Light Chain Method
From 14.04.2014 the serum FLC assay has been transferred from Roche Cobas to SPA-Plus analyser. Patient comparison data showed significant differences between methods at higher values. Therefore, in previously monitored patients, with serum Kappa FLC of >50 mg/L or a Lambda FLC of >70 mg/L as analysed with the new SPA-Plus method samples will also be analysed by Roche Cobas method to provide dual reporting for a six month period.
Monday, 10th February 2014 HbA1c Comments

Comments for HbA1c results will also provide information regarding diagnostic criteria for diabetes mellitus, in addition to information on glycaemic control in patients known to have diabetes.

Tuesday, 29th October 2013 Biochemistry / Haematology Results Line: 01268 593030
The results line for Biochemistry and Haematology results 01268 593030 (internal extension 3030) has extended opening and is now open Monday to Friday 09.00 to 18.30 hrs
Thursday, 28th March 2013
Change in Haemoglobin Reporting Units: Important Information For Clinical Staff

From Monday April 8 the reporting units for Haemoglobin and MCHC will change from g/dL to g/L.This means that results will change by a factor of 10. It is very important that you are aware of the change and the potential clinical risk, particularly with very low results where there is the potential for confusion, e.g. a Hb of 1.9 g/dL will, after the change be reported as 19 g/L.This is happening due to harmonisation of reporting units within pathology. This will also affect point of care equipment.
If you have any concerns or queries about this change you can contact the laboratory on 4804, or the BMS3 in Haematology, Reg Caples on 3029.Any concerns regarding point of care equipment can be discussed with the POC manager Bronwyn Moore on 8382.

Monday, 29th October 2012 Change to Faecal Calprotectin service from 6th November 2012
From 6th November 2012, Faecal Calprotectin will be analysed in-house at Basildon Pathology using the same methodology used when samples were referred to King's, so results are comparable. Samples will be batched and analysed once a week.
Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 Change to Children's Phlebotomy from 1st November 2012
From 1st November 2012, Basildon, Orsett and St. Andrew's Phlebotomy Departments will no longer be able to bleed Children under 16 years of age. All blood sample requests on children under 16 years of age need to be booked via Children's Outpatients. To book an appointment please telephone 01268 524900 ext 8167
Tuesday, 28th August 2012 HbA1c: Change of methodology from 17.9.2012
From 17th September 2012, the HbA1c method is changing from Boron affinity chromatography to Immunoassay. There is good agreement of results between the two methods at levels above 45 mmol/mol (6.3%), with a slight negative bias shown with Immunoassay at HbA1c values below 45 mmol/mol. This negative bias at lower values should not affect monitoring of known diabetics but, as with all methods, lower values should be used with caution for diagnosis of of impaired glucose tolerance. A letter detailing this information will be circulated.
Wednesday, 22nd August 2012
Change to Basildon Phlebotomy Clinic service 1st October 2012

From 1st October 2012 fasting patients attending Basildon Phlebotomy clinic will be bled preferentially before other non-fasting and non-urgent patients. Please could you encourage your patients attending Basildon Phlebotomy clinic, who do not require fasting blood tests to come after 10:00 when thier waiting time will be shorter. There are evening Phlebotomy services at Basildon, Monday to Thursday, until 18:45.

Friday, 30th December 2011 New units and reference ranges for Vitamin B12 and Folate
From 30th December 2011 units for Vitamin B12 and Folate have changed. Please note new results will be significantly different from previously reported results.
Vitamin B12: 180 - 900 ng/L (to convert from old units (pmol/L) to new units (ng/L) x 1.355)
Folate: 4.6 - 20.0 ug/L (to convert from old units (nmol/L) to new units (ug/L) x 0.44)
Monday, 22nd August 2011 Collection tubes for Aluminium are now Red Top (Plain) tubes
Monday, 20th June 2011 New TSH Reference range from 19.7.2011

From 1st July 2011 the TSH reference range will change to 0.27 - 4.20 mU/L. (from 0.4 - 5.0)

Monday, 10th January 2011 New (high sensitivity) Troponin T protocol

From 10th January 2011 a new protocol for high sensitivity Troponin T (HsTnT) has been introduced. Units of reporting have been changed from ug/L to ng/L (0.05 ug/L = 50 ng/L) and the cut-off is now 14 ng/L. Please click here for new protocol.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2009

Hba1c Available as an 'Add-on Test' from 28.9.2009

Following results of an on-line audit of the Add-on Test system it has been agreed that the HbA1c test may be added on to existing requests for FBC (must be added-on within 2 days)

Tuesday, 1st September 2009

New Test: Biotinidase

Monday, 20th July 2009

Unlabelled urine and faecal samples will not be accepted for analysis after 1.9.2009.

Thursday, 28th May 2009

HbA1c Conversion Table (new units from 1.6.2009)

Thursday, 28th May 2009

New Evening Phlebotomy Times (5pm - 8pm)

From 1st June 2009 evening phlebotomy times have changed from 6 - 9pm to 5 - 8pm. This means that weekday phlebotomy at Basildon OPD will now be available from 8am to 8pm without a break in service.

Thursday, 7th May 2009

New Patient Information Sheet:  Spot (random) urine collection

Tuesday, 5th May 2009

Change in creatinine values from June 2009

From 1st June 2009 we are re-aligning our creatinine method to ensure compatibility with other laboratories. From 1st June 2009, creatinine results will be approximately 15 umol/L lower. A comment will be attached to the result identifying this change and reference ranges will be adjusted. Please note that you should be aware of this difference if you use creatinine levels to monitor patients over a period of time;  eGFR results will NOT be affected by these changes. Please click here for further details and background.

Wednesday, 28th April 2009

HbA1c dual reporting from June 2009

From 1 June 2009, results will be provided in the UK as both IFCC-standardised units (mmol/mol) and DCCT-aligned units (%). This will give everyone time to become familiar with the new units and how they relate to DCCT numbers, and thus to the risk of complications. From 1 June 2011, results will be reported only
in the new IFCC units. A leaflet for clinicians explaining why this change is required has been produced. A leaflet for patients has also been produced. A conversion table is also available.

Monday, 23rd March 2009

New Test: Ethylene Glycol

Wednesday, 18th March 2009

Letter from CMO on Prostate cancer screening with PSA

The CMO (Sir Liam Donaldson) has issued a letter advising on screening for prostate cancer using PSA in the light of 2 research trials published in this weeks NEJM. The advice recommends continuing to follow the  Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP) guidelines which state that men are entitled to have a PSA test free on the NHS provided they have made an informed choice based on PCRMP materials.

Friday, 20th February 2009

New Tests: Flecanide, Lamotrigine, Faecal Reducing Substances

Monday, 16th February 2009

Reporting eGFR on inpatient/outpatient U&E requests

In order to assess renal function in patients requiring imaging with contrast, it has been agreed at the Medical Division to automatically add eGFR to all U&E requests. The eGFR on such requests will be reported as either >30 mL/min or the actual value if below 30. This is to help ensure the validity of the result in patients who may be seriously ill or with changing creatinine values (eGFR calculation is more reliable at lower values).

Tuesday, 10th February 2009

New Test: Aquaporin antibodies


Tuesday, 23rd December 2008

Add-on Tests for Biochemistry - Form change

In order to maintain patient data security, the add-on test form has been revised. Instead of full patient name, only the 1st three characters of the patient's surname and the first name are required.

Thursday, 11th December 2008

Add-on Tests for Biochemistry Samples - A Pilot

A web page has been set up allowing users to request add-on tests for samples already collected. Please note that this is for Biochemistry tests only and that if results are required urgently the lab. must also be contacted directly (core hours 0845 155 3111 x3030 , non-core hours via switchboard or 7070)

Monday, 8th December 2008

New lower reporting limit for Rheumatoid Factor (< 10)

Following review of Rheumatoid Factor method the lower reporting limit has been changed from <5 to <10.

Tuesday, 21st October 2008

New Pink-top EDTA tube for non-FBC EDTA tests from 3.11.2008

Tuesday, 7th October 2008

New Tests: MAG antibodies and V-gated Ca/K channel antibodies

Tuesday, 16th September 2008

Clinical Haematology GP Referral Guidelines

New Clinical Haematology guidelines on referral of patients from Primary Care and advice on discharge.

Friday, 5th September 2008

New Test: GAL 1-PUT

Tuesday, 12th August 2008

New Test: Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia

Monday, 11th August 2008

Pathology Handbook available on Internet

A test version of the Pathology Handbook is available at This external site makes the handbook available to sites without access to the Basildon Hospital intranet (e.g. GPs, MI Unit).

Wednesday, 6th August 2008

Using Pathology Services Efficiently

How you can help us to help you. A guide for Hospital users to print-out and use (please!).

Monday, 4th August 2008

Beta-2 Microglobulin - Change of Referral Laboratory

Samples for B-2 microglobulin will now be referred to Southend for analysis (previously analysed at Sheffield). A comparison shows no difference in results obtained. Turnaround times are expected to be <1 week.

Monday, 14th July 2008

New Point of Care Testing (POCT) Manager

Bronwyn Moore has joined us as Point of Care Testing Manager. Her contact number is 8382. Please direct all enquires regarding POCT to Bronwyn e.g. glucose and urine meters, blood gas etc. 

Monday, 14th July 2008

Cardiolipin Antibodies - Change of Reference Range / Method

The method for anti-cardiolipin antibodies (ACA) has changed. The new method detects only higher affinity antibodies and is expected to be more specific for anti-phosopholipid syndrome (APS). The reference ranges have changed from the old cut-off of 20U/L to 40U/L (positive) and 10-40U/L (weak positive).
In addition, to increase specificity, all positive ACA will have anti-beta 2 glycoprotein 1 measured.

Tuesday, 6th May 2008

Growth Hormone - Change of Units

To conform with National UK recommendations growth hormone is now being reported in mass units (ug/L). To convert results in old units (mU/L) to new mass units divide by 2.4.

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