The department of haematology at The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust comprises of two separate specialties - haematology and blood transfusion.
The haematology department works very closely with the clinical haematology service to provide specialist care to patients with disorders of the blood and is responsible for performing more than 875,000 routine haematology laboratory tests a year. In addition to this the haemoglobinopathies laboratory at Central Middlesex Hospital provides a specialist and expert service taking requests referred from many parts of the country and performs around 18,000 separate tests per annum.
Description of service
Haematology is the investigation and diagnosis of disease from the examination and testing of blood and bone marrow. Blood samples, taken at the GP surgery or on a ward or outpatient clinic, are taken into special specimen bottles and then sent to the laboratory for testing. Bone marrow samples are taken with a needle puncture, usually to a hip bone, with local anaesthesia by a trained specialist clinician. Bone marrow samples are only taken in rare instances and are by special appointment. The blood samples or bone marrow can then be smeared onto glass slides, stained with dyes and studied under the microscope for cellular abnormalities such as cancer. Blood films can also be checked for example, for malaria in this way.
Blood samples can be tested for a variety of other things such as the concentration of haemoglobin (the red, oxygen carrying component in the blood), the number of white cells, red cells or platelets. Other tests include coagulation screening to test how well blood clots and specific tests of clotting, for example factor VIII which is low in patient with haemophilia and causes bleeding and joint problems.
Haemoglobinopathy testing looks to see if patients have or might be carrying disorders of the haemoglobin molecule such as sickle cell and thalassaemia.
Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals
Patients delivering samples for testing are requested to go to pathology reception, level 5 (block C, above pharmacy), Northwick Park Hospital.
Central Middlesex Hospital
Patients delivering samples for testing are requested to go to pathology reception, floor 2, Central Middlesex Hospital.
- Laboratory Enquiries
020 8869 3000 09:00 to 17:30 Monday to Friday