Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Clinical Biochemistry

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Patient collected samples

24 hour urine specimens

Instructions for accurate collection of urine over 24 hours are distributed along with the urine containers.

There is also an OUH patient information leaflet available here:

24 hour urine collection for kidney stones (pdf)

Labelling 24 hour urine collections

Correct labelling of 24 hour urine specimens is particularly important.

All 24-hour urines should be clearly labelled with the patient's name, date of birth and NHS / hospital number. In addition to this, the start and end time of the collection should be written on the label.

If more than one bottle is used for a 24-hour urine collection, it should be clearly indicated on all bottle that they are part of the same collection.

For example: a 24-hour collection is made between 7.00am 1 August 2016 and 7.00am 2 August 2016, and two bottles are used.

Write the start date as '07:00 1st August 2016' on both bottles, write the end date '2nd August 2016' on both bottles and write 'bottle 1 of 2' on the first bottle and 'bottle 2 of 2' on the second bottle.

Do not use urine bottles with different preservatives as part of the same 24-hour collection. Many urine tests can only be performed on bottles with specific preservatives. If you use two bottles with different preservatives, the collection may be invalid and the whole collection may need to be repeated.

Please do not use other containers for collecting urine, such as milk bottles. We are unable to accept specimens in these containers for analysis.

Instructions for collecting a 24-hour urine

When you get up on the morning you are due to start the collection, pass the first urine into the toilet. This time will be the start time of the collection and should be written on the urine container.

From this point on, collect all of the urine passed for the next 24 hours, including the first urine passed on the morning of the second day, which should be collected within ten minutes of the start time.

For example, if you begin the collection on the first morning at 7.00am, you should collect the last urine between 6.50am and 7.10am the following morning.

Once the last urine is collected, write the end time on the urine container.

Stool specimens

Instructions for accurate and safe collection of stool samples is available via the NHS website:

How should I collect and store a poo (stool) sample? - NHS website

Appropriate containers are provided for the collection of stool samples, but if an alternative container must be used, it should be thoroughly washed and carefully dried before use.