Newcastle Laboratories


Each request received by the laboratory is considered an agreement between the laboratory and the sender. The obligations of both parties to that agreement are detailed on this site. If an organisation external to the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, wishes to procure our services, to a value in excess of £10,000 per annum then a Service Level Agreement will be drawn up between the two organisations.

Cervical Screening:

The Cervical Screening Service is provided by Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead.  Contact for further information regarding supplies, results or other enquires.

To provide a diagnostic service:

The cytology laboratory also receives samples from symptomatic patients who are suspected to have cancer, or to rule out malignancy.

Specimens are usually fresh fluids that can be collected relatively rapidly, painlessly and simply, these include urines, bladder washes, CSF, sputum, bronchial washes, serous fluids and fine needle aspirates.

Fresh fluids are received in universal containers, and are spun down to concentrate any cells in the fluid that are then transferred via cytocentrifugation to glass slides (fine needle aspirate samples can be spread directly onto slides).

Non-gynae specimens can also be processed using Liquid-Based Cytology methods.

The specimens are then stained with Papanicolou and May Grunwald Giemsa so that the Pathologists can interpret them microscopically. The Pathologists may then request further special stains and/or immunocytochemistry to help them reach a diagnosis.


Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis:

This is a screening test only, checking for the absence of sperm after a vasectomy. It is not to be used for fertility assessment (number and vitality of spermatozoa). If this is required please refer the patient to Newcastle Fertility Centre for Life.

How to collect a semen sample for post-vasectomy sperm count:

2015 Sperm

Before you collect your sample:

  • The first sample should be submitted at least 16 weeks after the vasectomy has been performed
  • You should have ejaculated at least 20 times prior to submitting your first sample
  • Samples should be collected after a minimum of two days but no longer than seven days of sexual abstinence

To collect your sample:

  • Use only the container provided for your sample. Do not use a condom to collect your specimen as these are harmful to sperm.
  • It is very important that the entire specimen goes into the container and none is lost. If some sample is lost, select ‘N’ for the Complete Sample? Question.
  • Ensure that the container is securely closed.

Please label the specimen container with:

  • Your full name and date of birth
  • The type of specimen (semen)
  • The date and time the specimen was produced

Please ensure that the request form provides the following information:

  • Your full name, address and date of birth
  • Your GP’s name and surgery OR referring clinician.
  • The date of your vasectomy
  • The date and time the specimen was produced
  • Consent (or not) for the use of surplus sample for training and validation.
  • Contact telephone number
  • NB: Samples without complete labels or forms may not be accepted
  • Download and print the Request Form here ( under ‘Forms’  -Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis Request Form )

Delivering your specimen to the hospital:

  • Keep the specimen at room temperature or as near to body temperature as possible (for example, by transporting it in your pocket)
  • Your specimen must be delivered within 2 hours of production to the: Cellular Pathology Department, Cytology Reception at the Royal Victoria Infirmary ( in the New Victoria Wing, LEVEL 3) on any weekday (Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays) 8:00AM to 3:00PM. Please ensure that the sample is handed to a member of staff.
  • If any sperm are identified in your sample, you will be asked to provide a repeat sample at the hospital


Please note that the PVSA service is currently out with our UKAS accredited scope.