The department provides a full emergency and routine diagnostic and clinical interpretative service for inpatients and outpatients as well as a service to general practitioners.  We also provide specialist services on behalf of other NHS and private healthcare organisations.

Portsmouth Pathology Service provides a range of diagnostic services, specialist regional screening and general practitioner services from a purpose-built laboratory complex located on the Queen Alexandra Hospital site.  We have invested heavily in automation and new technology and aim to provide a high quality, cost effective and responsive service to both patients and clinicians. 

We perform over 1000 different tests on site and can arrange for other specialist tests to be performed elsewhere.  As one of the largest pathology services in the country we employ over 250 staff and perform over 2 million requests (10 million individual tests) each year.  We welcome visitors and are happy to provide tours by arrangement; please contact Jane Loader, Support Services Manager (tel: 023 9228 6057 or via email

The Pathology handbook provides more detailed information about our service.

The Pathology test database provides information on the investigations that we provide.

Portsmouth Pathology Service employ a range of staff.

Medical staff provide clinical and interpretative advice.  They are vital to the diagnosis and clinical management of disease.  Please see the Royal College of Pathologists website for more information (

Clinical Scientists provide clinical and interpretative advice.  They advise on the appropriate tests to carry out based on the patient’s symptoms and also have expertise in the science behind the tests used.  They are involved in assessing new tests for introduction and, in conjunction with laboratory staff, for ensuring the quality of the tests.  Please see the Royal College of Pathologists ( and Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine ( websites for more information.

Biomedical Scientists (BMS) and Associate Practitioners  carry out a range of laboratory and scientific tests on samples of tissue and body fluids to support the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Please see the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) website ( for more information.

Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs) provide support to Biomedical Scientists and undertake a range of tasks including receipt and preparation of samples for analysis, data entry, answering telephone enquiries and making up solutions of chemicals and reagents.

Anatomical Pathology Technologists provide assistance to pathologists in conducting post mortems which aim to identify and understand the cause of death.  They are also responsible for the respectful reception and accommodation of the deceased and preparing bodies for viewing by relatives.

Cytology Screeners – use microscopes to examine cells to screen for abnormalities that may be the first signs of cervical cancer.

Administrative and Clerical and IT staff provide a range of support services across all areas of the laboratories.

Contact details

Portsmouth Pathology Service
Queen Alexandra Hospital
Cosham, Hampshire

Pathology Helpdesk tel: 023 9228 6271 (Monday to Friday 0830-1700hrs)

Clinical Director – Dr Ruan Simpson
Tel: 023 9228 6000 Ext 1718

Pathology Quality Manager - Mr Alex Walster
Tel: 023 9228 6431

Opening times

Core opening hours:  Monday to Friday 0900-1700hrs

An emergency service operates at all other times and on Bank Holidays.  Please see the Pathology Handbook for further details.

Patients should aim to deliver pathology samples to Specimen Reception during the times stated above.  Urgent samples may be delivered outside of these hours; please use the intercom outside the entrance to Pathology on Level E.

How can a patient make an appointment?

Information for patients requiring a blood test is provided here.

Non-maternity patients who have been asked by their doctor to make an appointment for a glucose tolerance test (GTT) should contact the Pathology Helpdesk on 023 9228 6271 (Monday to Friday 0900-1645hrs).  Requests for  sweat tests should be telephoned to 023 9228 6271 (Monday to Friday 0900-1645hrs).

Clinical Haematology appointments please ring 023 9228 6000 Ext 5473

Anticoagulant (Warfarin) clinic please ring 023 9228 6752 or 023 9228 6000 Ext 1772.

Andrology (male fertility testing) appointments please ring 023 9228 6799. 

Next of kin wishing to make an appointment to view a recently deceased relative please click here.

Test results – pathology test results need to be interpreted, taking into account your personal medical history.  We believe this is best done by your doctor and for this reason we currently do not provide results to, or discuss results with, individual patients or their families.  Please contact the healthcare professional who requested the tests in order to obtain your results.

Patient instructions sheets (see Related Content below).

Location on site

The service is located in the purpose-built Pathology Centre which is accessible via the link bridge on Level E of the main Queen Alexandra Hospital building.


From the North or Main Entrances please make your way to lift area 7.  Come up to level E using either the stairs or the lift.  Turn right out of the lift lobby onto the main hospital corridor.  The link bridge is on the left approximately three-quarters of the way along the corridor just before lift area 8.  Pathology Reception is located at the end of the link bridge on the right hand side.

Next of kin who have an appointment to view their recently deceased relative should make their way to the Accompanied Relative Entrance which is located outside of the Pathology Centre on Nightingale Road, close to the Southwick Gate entrance to the Queen Alexandra Hospital site.

Other information

We operate a comprehensive quality management system to ensure that a high quality service is provided and the requirements of users are met.

Our laboratories are either accredited to ISO 15189:2012 (medical laboratories - requirements for quality and competence) or working towards achieving accreditation.  Details of laboratories accredited to ISO 15189:2012 and their schedules of accreditation can be found on the UKAS website.  We are also licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and accredited by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Portsmouth Pathology Service is actively involved in a number of lines of research in conjunction with the Trust’s Research Department.  There is also a dedicated research laboratory integral to the Pathology Service.


QA Level E
Last updated - 08 November 2019

This is a printable version of