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Clinical Biochemistry

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Diagnostic laboratories

John Radcliffe Laboratory

The John Radcliffe Laboratory is a large teaching hospital laboratory, which provides a comprehensive range of biochemical investigations.

Up to approximately 4,000 specimens are received on each weekday for analysis. 60 percent of the laboratory's workload is from primary care.

The main analytical sections of the laboratory are:

Core Automated Laboratory

This laboratory is equipped analytically with four Abbott Architect c16000 analysers and four Abbott Architect i2000 analysers. These analysers are linked to an Inpecco automated track system, which is also equipped with a bulk input module, input/output sorting module, three online centrifuge units, one decapper module, one aliquotter module, one resealer module, one recapper module and two storage/retrieval modules. Haematology and Virology analysers are also connected to the Inpecco track.

Screening Laboratory

The Screening Laboratory is staffed Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm, not including Bank Holidays.

Samples can be received by the Core Laboratory out of hours and stored appropriately.

The Screening Laboratory provides newborn blood spot screening tests and antenatal Down's, Edwards' and Patau's screening tests, as part of national screening programmes, and 1st and 2nd trimester screening for the following geographical areas:

  • Oxfordshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Wycombe
  • Milton Keynes
  • West Berkshire
  • Ashford and St Peter's
  • Frimley Park
  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells
  • Dartford
  • East Sussex
  • East Surrey

The screening laboratory provide 2nd trimester screening only for the following locations:

  • Wexham Park
  • Basingstoke and Winchester
  • Isle of Wight
  • Portsmouth
  • Salisbury
  • Southampton
  • Falklands
  • Chichester
  • Worthing
  • Musgrove Park, Somerset
  • Yeovil, Somerset
  • University College London Hospitals
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford
  • Medway
  • Brighton

The lab is equipped with PerkinElmer AutoDELFIA and DELFIA Xpress analysers, a Roche Cobas e411 analyser and two LC-tandem mass spectrometers.

The laboratory also performs:

  • immunosuppressant drug monitoring using mass spectrometry
  • pre-eclampsia testing using the Roche Cobas e411.

Point of Care Testing (PoCT)

The Point of Care Testing section in Clinical Biochemistry has responsibility for the following.

  • All i-Stat support in OUH and Oxford Health. There are around 50 analysers sited around the Trust and in community hospitals offering multi-parameter point of care testing.
  • All point of care blood glucose analysis in the Trust and provides support for Oxford Health.
  • There are over 250 data-networked blood glucose meters in operation across the Trust at any one time with over 3000 operators providing over 500,000 blood glucose and 70,000 blood ketone results per annum. There are also 200 non data-networked blood glucose meters out in the community which POCT support.
  • Data networked urine strip readers (around 30 across the Trust).
  • 2 Abaxis Piccolo analysers for LFT and amylase analysis.

The support the section provides includes providing stock control and supply, quality control and quality assurance, connectivity and first-line technical support.

Manual Laboratory

This laboratory provides a range of esoteric assays not routinely performed by larger analytical platforms. This laboratory is equipped with the following analysers.

  • 2 Bio-Rad D-100 HPLC analysers for HbA1c analysis.
  • HM-JACKarc faecal occult blood test analyser.
  • 1 IDS iSys analyser used for P1NP, IGF-1, renin and aldosterone analysis.
  • One Sherwood Scientific Chloride analyser used for sweat analysis.
  • 1 API 4000 LC-MS/MS analyser used for the analysis of urinary 5-HIAA and Metadrenalines.
  • 1 Waters Acquity UPLC anlayser used for the calculation of GFR using Iohexol measurement.
  • 1 Waters HPLC anlayser with UV detection used for analysis of amino acids for the investigation of metabolic disorders.
  • Other smaller pieces of equipment for analysis of pH, faecal constituents etc.


A smaller section provides support to all staff in the department in laboratory induction, completion of formal laboratory-based training, further education and CPD.

The Core Automated Laboratory offers a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year service.

The Manual Laboratory, Screening Laboratory and PoCT section are staffed from 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday, not including Bank Holidays.

Churchill Laboratory

The Churchill Laboratory is a combined Biochemistry and Haematology Laboratory that provides a service to the whole Churchill Hospital site.

For consistency of analysis this laboratory is equipped with similar equipment to the other laboratories within the Trust. This laboratory is equipped with two Abbott Architect c8000 analysers and one Abbott Architect i1000 analyser. Approximately 500 specimens are received each day.

The operating hours for this laboratory are 8.00am - 7.00pm Monday to Friday, not including Bank Holidays.

Horton Laboratory

The Horton Laboratory provides Biochemistry services to the Horton General Hospital and the general practices in and around Banbury, Brackley and North Oxfordshire.

For consistency of analysis this laboratory is equipped with similar equipment to the other laboratories within the Trust.

This laboratory is equipped with two Abbott Architect ci8200 combined chemistry/immunoassay analysers. Approximately 1,000 specimens are processed daily.

The Horton Laboratory offers a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year service.

Specimens for analyses not provided on site are referred to the John Radcliffe Laboratory.

Last reviewed:03 November 2023