There are three departments within the Pathology Directorate: Blood Sciences, Microbiology and Cellular Pathology. Each department is lead by a Consultant Team which provides support and advice on the clinical significance and interpretation of diagnostic tests. Blood Sciences and Microbiology operate a 24hour, 7 day service.

The Directorate is fully computerised with the majority of in-patient and out-patient requests made electronically. ICE, the GP electronic request ordering system, is used by most GP Practices. Electronic requesting has enabled significant improvements in the quality of patient data, which impacts on other departments within the Trust.

The Directorate aims to provide a comprehensive, cost-efficient service, responding to the needs of its users. Click here to view our Quality Policy.

To read the Pathology Quality Manual click here.

Click here to view a guide to the Medical Microbiology services for Wirral University Teaching Hospital and Countess of Chester Hospital.

Cellular Pathology and Blood Sciences services please Click here to view the Pathology Services Handbook.


Our accreditation is limited to those activities described on our UKAS schedule of accreditation found here.

UKAS schedule of accreditation site for Microbiology 



 ***Service User Notification 31 July 2018***

You may be aware that the histopathology department at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust currently has two consultant vacancies. Similar to departments up and down the country, we have at this time been unable to recruit to these posts due to the chronic shortage of qualified pathologists.

In light of the decreased capacity, we will be utilising the services of an outside company (‘Backlogs Ltd’) to prevent any unacceptable drop in reporting turnaround times. Some of the reports, therefore, may be authorised by consultants unfamiliar to you but please be reassured that all are fully qualified Histopathologists who work nationally.

Quality assurance:

Backlogs will:

  1. Use only tenured NHS consultant pathologists that are enrolled in The Royal College of Pathologists’ approved EQA schemes.
  2. Use staff who hold qualifications recognised by The Royal College of Pathologists for technical work.
  3. Undertake Internal Quality Assessment on randomly selected cases for each pathologist they use.
  4. Work within a Quality Management System aligned to UKAS to ISO 15189 standards

We hope that this will be a temporary arrangement and shall endeavour to return to our full establishment in the near future.


Yours Sincerely


Dr Natalie Meara

Consultant Histopathologist and Clinical Lead for Cellular Pathology


Dr Mark Fraser

Divisional Medical Director for  Diagnostics and Pharmacy.

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