Requesting tests

Requests from users outside of Viapath should be made on our request forms. These are available from the stores at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, using a standard requisition form.

Request forms must contain the following information. Errors made when completing the form may result in delays in processing.

Required information includes the patient’s:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • NHS number, if available

For microbiology and virology swabs, the site of swabbing must be indicated. Patient date of birth and ethnic origin are important for certain tests as normal ranges may vary. The name and address of the clinician making the request must be included.

Labelling samples

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

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

At least two of the following must be given on the form and sample for the request to be accepted: patient’s name, date of birth and/or NHS number. The date the sample was taken should also be supplied and the requestor's name and location included.

The site of the sample is required for certain tests (including microbiology and virology swabs, and histopathology samples).

For the colour-coded key for blood collection bottles, read our Guide to blood collection tubes.

Viapath's test information page has more information about labelling and sample requirements.

Sending samples to the laboratory

Samples should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible after collection. The Trust Transport Department organises a regular service on week days for the transport of samples from GP surgeries to the laboratory.

Please ensure that samples for analysis arrive at the laboratory on the day they are collected. Samples for Microbiology and Virology, including bloods for serology (not blood cultures) and samples for isolation and PCR, may be kept in the refrigerator overnight for collection next day.