Cellular pathology

Cellular Pathology services at St George’s Hospital are now part of South West London Pathology which is a partnership set up by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Croydon Health Services NHS Trust,  and  to provide a single, integrated pathology service across South West London and beyond.

For more information about South West London Pathology visit the website www.swlpath.nhs.uk

South West London Pathology

South West London Pathology began operating as a new integrated service on 1 April. Most pathology services are provided from the main ‘hub’ laboratory based at St George’s and ‘spoke’ Clinical Blood Science laboratories at the other hospital sites (Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Croydon Health Services NHS Trust).  This ensures that essential clinical services such as A&E, theatres and obstetrics continue to receive the same level of pathology support.  It also enables local knowledge and clinical expertise to be retained within each Trust, but the whole partnership benefits from the larger scale and improved technology that can be provided through the establishment of a ‘hub’ laboratory.

Services included in South West London Pathology

The partnership officially started on 1 April 2014 and the following services are included:

  • Cellular Pathology – Cytology, Histology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Clinical Blood Sciences – Haematology, Blood Transfusion, Protein Reference Unit and Immunology, Biochemistry


Cellular Pathology services are essential to the delivery of cancer services, and specialist pathologists are core members of all the multi-disciplinary teams operating specialist cancer services within the Trust. Cellular Pathology is

Cellular Pathology comprises:

  • Cytopathology – the study of cells and how they develop and function. This includes exfoliative cytology and fine needle aspiration. The service carries out more than 26,000 tests on smears each year as well as more than 7,000 other tests to diagnose diseases, including cancer.
  • Surgical Pathology – the examination of tissue taken from a patient during surgery to help diagnosis or help decide which treatment is appropriate. Each year more than 22,000 specimens are examined.
  • Autopsy Pathology services. This includes the one per cent of hospital deaths without a clear cause, a regional service for babies dying at birth and some coroner’s autopsies. Please note: this service is not part of South West London Pathology.

The department trains histopathologists as part of the South Thames Regional Histopathology Training Scheme and its lead doctor is the regional training programme director. The reader in skin pathology is the Royal College of Pathologists’ regional specialty adviser.

The department has two seminar rooms, fully equipped for video-conferencing, in which it holds regular clinical meetings.

Cellular Pathology 020 8725 5263