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The County Durham and Darlington foundation Trust's (CDDFT) Pathology service has laboratories located at University Hospital of North Durham and the Darlington Memorial Hospital. There is also on-site presence for sample receipt at Bishop Auckland Hospital.

Diagnostic testing is an integral part of the healthcare equation. Almost nothing happens, whether diagnosing a disease or monitoring a therapy, without a laboratory test.

We provide a high quality diagnostic and consultative service to clinical users of County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust and to primary and secondary care providers in the locality.

Pathology is led by our Clinical Director Dr Paul Barrett, together with the Pathology Senior Management Team consisting of Clinical and Scientific staff.

The departments are split into specialties led by a Clinical Lead and a Scientific Lead/Manager. The specialties are as follows:

CDDFT Pathology Service holds full accreditation (excluding the Andrology Service) and complies with all legislative requirements governing the practices and competence of Medical Laboratories.

Microbiology in July 2019 voluntarily suspended part of the scope of accredited tests while work is carried out to rebuild the containment level 3 laboratory at UHND. During this time work will be process at the Darlington Pathology site.

During this period, certain tests will not be included in the laboratory's UKAS scope of accreditation (9341). This does not affect the quality or standards of the results produced; it is a temporary state while the department awaits re-assessment at the end of summer.

The accreditation will be reinstated once all UKAS requirements have been demonstrated after the rebuild has been completed. the following test are now off scope for Microbiology:

  • Sputum, Broncho-alveolar lavages, Pleural fluids and any other respiratory secretions for C&S.
  • RSV testing by lateral flow Immunoassay

for further information please contact the Pathology Quality Manager


The individual laboratories undertake accreditation assessment through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO 15189:2012 standards. For further information on the tests accredited within each UKAS accredited department, please go to the following weblink :

UKAS : Search Accredited Organisations

Andrology services are provided, but as a non-accredited service. The pathology service is licensed under the terms and conditions of HTA (Human Tissue Authority) and complies with regulatory standards as required by MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority).

Where appropriate all scientific and clinical staff are registered through the appropriate council (Royal College of Pathologists - Clinical Staff, Health Care Professions Council - Biomedical Scientists)

The majority of requested tests are catered for in-house; only a small percentage is referred elsewhere due to their specialist nature or because the low volume makes testing uneconomic.

The directorate has consistently achieved good results in benchmarking audits and surveys.

Biochemistry, Haematology & Transfusion and Microbiology provide a 24 hour acute service on a shift basis (Blood Sciences) or via On-call provision (Microbiology).

The department welcomes all users comments and these can be emailed to the Quality Manager or by following the Trust - tell us what you think (comments, feedback, complaints) on the link on the right of the page.


'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital