Skip to main content

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


Patients should not be asked to deliver their own samples to the Microbiology Laboratory.

Outpatient samples

Outpatient samples should be delivered via the GP.

For referral requests from outside the Trust please send samples to the laboratory using Hayes DX.

For more information please see:

Pathology and Laboratories Directorate Specimen Transport Protocol (pdf)

Within the John Radcliffe Hospital

All specimens should be sent to the laboratories in the large plastic bags provided, marked:


POD system

The most efficient way to transport samples (including blood cultures) is via the 'POD' system available in high throughput clinical areas.

All laboratory medicine specimens are suitable for transportation using the POD system as long as they fit within the POD carrier. This works 24 hours a day.

On the John Radcliffe Hospital site the POD system 'address' for Microbiology Reception is code 777.

By porter

If using a porter, specimens from all areas should be clearly marked:



On the John Radcliffe Hospital site, you can deliver the samples to Specimen Reception (Level 7) yourself - this may be quickest for urgent samples if you are within the John Radcliffe Hospital.

From the Churchill, NOC and Horton

Transfer from other medical units in Oxford is by vehicles operated by the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) and a shuttle bus between the JR, Churchill and NOC sites.

This operates on an hourly basis.

Transfer from the Horton General Hospital is by vehicles operated by SCAS and approved sample courier services.

Samples are collected from the Pathology Laboratory and should arrive 15 minutes before SCAS collection time.

The collection times are:

Monday to Friday: 08:00; 11:00; 14:00; 16:30; 18:30; 22:00

Saturday: 09:00; 11:00; 16:00; 23:00

Sunday: 09:00; 12:00; 15:00; 23:00

Specimens for urgent investigation out of core hours should be sent via the best available transport or porter service directly to the Specimen Reception area on Level 4 at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

From the Horton, urgent specimens should be taken to Pathology Reception and the Biochemistry on-call BMS notified immediately. They will arrange transport of the specimen to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

From GPs / community

Specimens are collected from GP surgeries one to three times a day (depending on practice size) and delivered to central Specimen Reception on Level 4 of the John Radcliffe Hospital.

They are sorted and delivered to various laboratories, including Microbiology.

This service can also deliver reports, and equipment required for specimen collection, from the John Radcliffe Hospital to local GP surgeries.

All specimens transported by these services must be appropriately packaged and labelled.

Transport should be such as to guard against unauthorised access to specimens.