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laboratory scientist

In our Histopathology Service we study disease by viewing the cellular component and tissue architecture microscopically. Histopathology is involved in 70 per cent of all diagnoses made in the NHS, providing vital prognostic information as well as guiding the management of patients.

Histopathology is one of several laboratory-based disciplines which work together in identifying the cause of symptoms and conditions, enabling clinicians to arrange appropriate treatment. It is important to have a firm understanding of the causes of disease before treatment begins.

We carry out around 4,500 surgical tests each year and more than 350 post-mortems. These are performed for a wide range of external organisations including other NHS Trusts, HM Coroners and private companies as well as collaborations in research and education.

Paediatric pathology

The need for dedicated specialised paediatric pathology is dictated by the requirements of the clinical service. Although there is overlap between many aspects of the services provided by general and paediatric histopathologists, there are key reasons why a specialist paediatric service can provide a better clinical service:

  • Spectrum of diseases: The types of disease in the fetus, placenta and child can be quite different from that in adults; in particular in relation to inherited and congenital disorders, and malignant tumours.
  • Child development: Understanding abnormalities in children requires a detailed knowledge of normal developmental changes and processes. Serious misinterpretation may arise without this knowledge.
  • Sample preparation: The preparation of samples from a fetus or child requires a more labour intensive, individual approach.

Our wide range of paediatric histopathology services includes bone and soft tissue, breast, cardio respiratory, dermatopathology, endocrine, gynaecological, haematolymphoid, head and neck (oral and ENT), upper gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary, intestinal and colorectal, urological, renal and placenta.

Investigations we carry out include histology, enzyme histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy.

Post-mortem examination services

Fetal and perinatal pathology primarily involves post-mortem examination and examination of the placenta.

The information provided about the baby who has died often also provides information of great importance for parents’ decision-making and for medical care in a future pregnancy or of subsequent children.


  • Full UKAS ISO 15189:2012 Accreditation
    (with the exemption of the following tests: Engel’s Gomori, Oil Red O, NADH-TR, Succinate Dehydrogenase, Cytochrome Oxidase, Myoadenylate Deaminase, Phosphofructokinase (PFK), Acid Phosphatase, Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), Sirius Red, PHOX2B, Leishman’s, Congo Red, PAX-5, ALOX-15 and COVID-19)
  • UK National External Quality Assurance Scheme (UK NEQAS)
  • External Quality Assurance Schemes (RColPathol and BRIPPA)
  • HTA Licensed




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