Test Information (FAQs)

How do I request a test?

Many of our tests have specific request forms as well as storage and transportation requirements so we suggest you revert to the individual test page in the first instance.  If a test specific request form is not supplied on the test page, then please use our generic request form which is available here:

Any errors made when completing the form may result in delays in processing.  Each request accepted by our laboratories for examination shall be deemed to be an agreement by the users of the service. 

What information should I include on my request form? 

Please note that the patient hospital number alone cannot be considered as a unique identifier for test requests sent to our laboratories.  The sample and request form should contain sufficient detail in order to ensure a positive match.  Request forms should be dated and signed by those taking the specimen.  Each request accepted by our laboratories for examination shall be deemed to be an agreement by users of the service.   

The laboratory operates a confidentiality policy in accordance with GDPR 2018 regulations and in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  We will not disclose any personal information to any other third parties, except where required by law, and without consent. 

How should I label my sample? 

All samples must be clearly labelled with sufficient information that unequivocally links the sample to an individual patient including:

  • Patient’s full name
  • Date of Birth
  • NHS/Hospital Number
  • Date sample taken
  • Requestor’s name or location

Samples will not be processed if key patient details are not included, or if samples cannot be matched unequivocally to request forms. 

To find out what tube type you need, please review this guidance: Tube Guidance.  We ask that you ensure this guidance is available to all laboratory staff labelling samples, prior to packaging and transportation to Sheffield Laboratory Medicine. 

How should I transport and store my sample? 

All hospital samples should be sent by first class post or courier as appropriate (see individual test information for details).  For more detailed guidance on storage and transportation of samples, please review our guidance: Refrigeration Guidance and Transportation Guidance

Where should I send my sample? 

Please send your specimens to the appropriate Laboratory or Central Specimen Reception. If you are in any doubt, please contact us. 

Department Specific Clinical Specimen Receptions 

Royal Hallamshire Hospital 
Glossop Road 
S10 2JF 

Central Specimen Reception at Northern General Hospital 

Laboratory Medicine Centre  
Northern General Hospital (North Lane) 
Herries Road 
S5 7AU 

 Should you wish to use DX delivery to Sheffield Laboratory Medicine which guarantees delivery by 8am the next day, please contact us for further details. 

How do I request extra tests for an existing specimen? 

We appreciate there are times you may need to contact Sheffield Laboratory Medicine to request additional tests on a sample we have already received or have stored.  Please be aware that as some laboratories store samples in the short, medium and long term, it can take time to locate the specimen, add the test and re-sample.  Not all specimens will be suitable for additional tests or retesting due to sample age or quality so please contact the relevant laboratory for further information. 

If we can assist you any further regarding how samples should be sent to Sheffield Laboratory Medicine, don’t hesitate to contact us by telephone on  0114 226 7666 or email at sth.labmed@nhs.net