Medical microbiology

Medical Microbiology services at St George’s Hospital are 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, to provide a single, integrated pathology service across South West London and beyond.

For more information about South West London Pathology visit the website

South West London Pathology

Most pathology services are provided from the main ‘hub’ laboratory based at St George’s with ‘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


Current medical microbiology services at St George’s Hospital

Medical Microbiology is the study of micro-organisms which cause disease and is concerned with their detection, identification and treatment thereby preventing the spread of infection. There are two main laboratories, bacteriology and virology. St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust medical microbiology laboratory provides a 24-hour diagnostic and clinical service for the trust and local GPs, it also takes referrals from within the London region and south east England.

The laboratories occupy modern, purpose-built accommodation on the St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust site and are fully equipped to perform a broad range of diagnostic procedures. There are consultants and, as a teaching hospital, regularly trains a number of doctors in microbiology. There are technical, support and clerical staff. The trust’s infection control team is part of the clinical service and is responsible for preventing the spread of infection within the hospital. This includes monitoring infections, dealing with incidents and outbreaks of infection, formulating hospital policy, encouraging awareness of infection control measures such as hand washing, auditing ward cleanliness and providing training for staff.

Medical Microbiology provides advice to medical staff on how to take samples for testing, on the tests available to detect infection, treating and controlling infections and how to interpret results from tests. Its clinical services also include regular ward rounds, representation at major trust committees including antibiotic usage and bedside consultations.