Service overview - Microbiology

Our microbiology departments look at all aspects of microbiology, such as bacterial and viral infections. The teams have become increasingly high profile following the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA and C. difficile as well as antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’.

Microbiology consultants and teams of microbiologists test patient samples sent to them by medical staff from our hospitals and from doctors' surgeries.

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Basildon Hospital - Microbiology services

Who the service is for

Healthcare professionals requesting pathology tests and investigations.

About the service

The information below is for healthcare professionals.
The tests offered, together with sample requirements, are listed in the Pathology Handbook at

The Pathology Department includes the following specialist sections:

Cellular pathology

Laboratory, Level C / Pathology Reception area, Level B, Basildon University Hospital,
Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL


Telephone: 01268 524900
Infertility semen sample appointment: 01268 524900 ext 8212

Opening times: Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5pm 

About the service

The cellular pathology department provides a diagnostic histology, andrology and cytology service.

Routine histology

Specimens are to be sent in 10% buffered formal-saline. Please ensure that the container is large enough not to squash the tissue, and that it contains sufficient fixative.

The specimen container must be clearly labelled with the patient's details including the NHS number. Reports from small specimens are usually available two working days after receipt in the laboratory.

Larger specimens and specimens requiring special stains or tumour markers will take longer. Please telephone for results only when absolutely necessary. If the report is required by a given date, please indicate on the request form.


Post-vasectomy specimens may be delivered to the despatch department at Basildon. These are reported on the same day.

An appointment must be made for infertility semen samples by calling 01268 524900 ext 8212. Samples for male infertility should be delivered to the cellular pathology laboratory at Basildon Hospital within one hour of production. Samples must be received before 4pm. Leaking samples will not be processed.


Cervical samples are only accepted with a fully completed, clearly written, request form. DOB is mandatory and the patient's NHS number and full address should be included wherever possible.

Post mortem examination

The cellular pathology department also provides a post mortem examination service.

The majority of post mortems are performed by the pathologists at the request of the Coroners Officers for the Coroner. If there is a delay in the release of the body following a post mortem requested by the Coroner, the Coroner’s office may be contacted on 01245 506837 or 01245 506838.

Clinical biochemistry

Laboratory, Level C, Basildon University Hospital,
Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL


Results Enquiry: 01268 524900 ext 3030
Medical Secretary: 01268 524900 ext 3018
Consultant Biochemist/Head of Department Clinical advice: 01268 524900 ext 3014

Opening times:
Monday - Sunday, 8am – 8pm
Outside of these hours the laboratory is covered by a single Biomedical Scientist, for emergency and urgent work only

About the service

The Clinical Biochemistry Department tests and analyses specimens, such as blood and urine, and provides the results to healthcare professionals including hospital staff and GPs.

The scientific staff who work in the department are available to provide advice and help with patient investigation, interpretation of results and discussion of clinical problems.

Electronic requesting and pathology reports are available to all local GP surgeries. The department is also able to provide detailed information on test requesting for individual surgeries for clinical audit purposes.

Point of Care Testing (POCT)

A point of care team provides support to all Trust point of care instrumentation including glucose meters, urinalysis machines, anti-coagulation meters. Support includes training, daily maintenance, quality assurance and troubleshooting.


Haematology laboratory, Level C, Basildon University Hospital,
Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL


Haematology Day Unit: 01268 524900 ext 3141
Haematology Infusion Suite: 01268 524900 ext 8276

Opening times:
Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 6pm 

About the service

The Haematology Department provides a range of diagnostic and treatment services for inpatients and outpatients, including:

haematology day unit (Orsett Ward)
haematology infusion suite
haematology and coagulation blood tests
haemoglobinopathy screening
antenatal screening
anticoagulant monitoring for outpatients.

The department also provides blood transfusion compatibility testing and issue of blood products mainly for inpatients but also for patients transfused at community sites.


Level C, Basildon University Hospital,
Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL


Bacteriology results: 01268 524900 ext 3557
Lab manager: 01268 524900 ext 3555
Infection Control Team: 01268 524900 ext 3444

Opening times:
Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm
Outside of these hours the microbiology laboratory will undertake examination of normally sterile body fluids and other specimens where the results are needed immediately to support patient care.

Specimens with abnormalities that suggest UTI can be stored in boric acid bottles (red capped) overnight and delivered to the Microbiology Department for culture the following morning.

Gentamicin and Vancomycin assays may be performed in the evening and at weekends, but every effort should be made to arrange these during normal working hours. 

About the service

The Microbiology Department provides a comprehensive bacteriology, mycology and virus serology service including molecular and antigen detection tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of infection, for the Trust and local community clinics, hospitals and GP surgeries.

The department also provides an infection prevention and control service for the Trust.

Broomfield Hospital - Microbiology services

The Microbiology Department provides an accurate, comprehensive and timely microbiological service. This service includes laboratory diagnosis of and advice on treatment of infections, immunisation, and the provision of prevention of infection advice.

The Microbiology Department closely collaborates with the Consultants of Communicable Disease Control in Witham and local Occupational Health Consultant in co-coordinating the management of outbreaks of infections in the community.

Contact details:

Microbiology Department
Broomfield Hospital
Court Road

Tel: 01245 515019
Fax: 01245 515017

Southend Hospital - Microbiology services

Our pathology team provides a comprehensive diagnostic service to the hospital as well as to South Essex Partnership Trust, the Spire Wellesley Hospital, the BMI Hospital and all GPs and community clinics under the remit of NHS South East Essex.

The team is made up of five departments:

Clinical biochemistry
Haematology/blood transfusion
Cellular pathology

Our laboratory is registered by the Health Professions Council as a training laboratory and regularly undergoes inspections by accreditation agencies including Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE); our cytology department is fully assessed by the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP). These agencies assess the laboratory against standards of all aspects of safety, quality and performance

Clinical advice is available 24 hours a day and the laboratory service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Core hours range from 08.30 to 17.30 with an out of hours emergency service operating outside of these times.