Warrington and Halton Hospitals




















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Histopathology and Cytopathology

About this service

The Histopathology and Cytopathology Department, based at Warrington Hospital, provides a comprehensive diagnostic service, reporting Histopathology, and Non-Gynaecological Cytopathology samples and is based on the first floor of Appleton wing at Warrington Hospital.


The Histology laboratory examines a wide range of tissue samples.  These could be tiny biopsies removed at a clinic, or larger samples removed in theatres in an operation.  The tissue is dissected to identify areas of interest, or if it is a small sample, all the tissue may be examined.

The tissue undergoes a process which enables us to create very thin sections of tissue which are placed onto glass slides.  The slides are then stained to show the different components of the tissue from which Histopathologists (doctors specialised in the study of cells and tissues) make a diagnosis.  This diagnosis forms a written report which is used by clinicians to treat and manage patients.  The whole process can take several days to complete.



Cytology examines cells, such as those in body fluids or obtained by aspirating cells from lumps.  This is called Non-Gynaecological Cytology.

Gynaecological Cytology examines cells from the cervix sampled as part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

 Non-Gynaecological (Non-Gynae) Cytology

The fluids examined in Non-Gynae Cytology include urine, pleural fluid, cyst fluid and aspirates from lumps such as those which may occur in the breast.  The samples are spun to concentrate the cells in the sample onto a glass slide which is stained to show the detail of the cells.

Histopathologists make a diagnosis from these stained slides and create a written report for clinicians to treat and manage patients.

The laboratory also performs fertility investigations on semen samples in where a number of complex factors are assessed to produce a written report for clinicians.  These results are used to plan and manage further treatment for patients and their partners if necessary. 

Post-vasectomy analysis on semen samples is undertaken in the laboratory to identify the presence or absence of sperm after a vasectomy.

 Gynaecological (Gynae) Cytology

Cells taken from the cervix when a cervical smear is performed are examined under a microscope.  This is part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme, and the technique used to store the collected cells and to prepare them for examination is called Liquid Based Cytology.  The samples are prepared at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the subsequent slides are examined at Whiston Hospital as part of a consolidated service.



The Mortuary is based at Warrington Hospital.  For all matters concerning a death, please contact the Bereavement Service at Warrington Hospital. The Bereavement Service will advise on the role of the Coroner in the investigation of deaths.  If a Post Mortem investigation is required, small pieces of tissue may need to be sampled and examined in the Histology laboratory.  The Coroner’s office will advise on all aspects of this.

Our facilities

Warrington Hospital

  • Staff attend two breast clinics and one head & neck clinic each week.

  • Requests are received from theatres, GPs, endoscopy, out-patients and wards

  • Frozen sections are undertaken here – usually pre-booked.

Halton General Hospital

  • Staff attend one breast clinic each week.

  • Requests are received from theatres, GPs, endoscopy, out-patients and wards

  • Pre-booked frozen sections are undertaken here.

Other Information & Downloads

The majority of work in the department is received via a requesting clinician I.E. there is no direct patient drop in. However infertility invesitagtions are booked by the patient themselves after referral by their GP or Hospital Consultant. The majority of reports would need to be interpreted by a doctor. Therefore there is no direct communication between the department and the patient.

The Consultant Histopathologists support all of the Multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs), by discussing their findings with non Pathology staff such as surgeons and radiologists. 

Main Contact Information

Pathology Department

01925 662542

Fax Number:
01925 662043

Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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