Newcastle Laboratories

On-Call Service

IMPORTANT: Microbiology & Virology are based at Freeman Hospital and urgent samples from other sites require the sender to organise urgent transport to Freeman.

For urgent specimens you MUST arrange for the specimen to be processed with the on-call Biomedical Scientist (BMS).

The following procedure is currently in operation for Urgent Microbiology or Virology samples out of hours:

  1. You must telephone the on-call BMS via Switchboard if you require a specimen to be processed out of normal working hours. A BMS is not always present in the hospital throughout the night, and if you just send the specimen to the laboratory without informing the BMS, it will not be processed until the next working day.
  2. The only exception to this rule is when you take blood cultures out of hours; these are taken to the on-site laboratory, so there is no need to telephone the BMS.
  3. Urgent requests sent to the laboratory out of hours must contain all relevant details including the name and telephone number of the person to whom the result should be reported.
  4. Non-urgent samples taken out of hours at both RVI and Freeman (except blood cultures – see above) should be taken to the respective laboratory reception, where on call and night-shift staff will regularly refrigerate them throughout the night.
  5. If in any doubt about the correct way to transport a specimen, please refer to the Transport of specimens section.

PLEASE DO NOT send Microbiology or Virology samples in anything other than the approved containers.

Tips for sending samples from RVI:


Urgent Samples


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