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We provide a comprehensive Pathology and Mortuary service to both Acute Trust and Primary Care with an overall 50:50 split.

Pathology is led by Dr Paul Barrett, Clinical Lead 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:

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

Immunology, Haematology and Biochemistry are currently accredited to ISO151589:2012 standards, Microbiology and Cellular Pathology are previously CPA accredited and are currently undergoing assessment to achieve ISO15189:2012 accreditation. 

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)

Some departments have additional specialist inspections, statutory requirements and hold additional licenses e.g. Blood Transfusion through the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Cellular Pathology through the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).

There are two main laboratory sites at Darlington and Durham. There is also on-site presence for sample receipt at Bishop Auckland Hospital

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.


'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital