The Cytopathology department receives workload from James Paget University Hospital, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn and GP’s from most of Norfolk and parts of Suffolk. As a result, it is one of the largest cytology departments in the country.

Cytopathology comprises two main areas:

• Gynaecological Cytopathology – screens cells from the female genital tract e.g. cervical samples
• Non-Gynaecological Cytopathology – examines cells from other sites in the body for the diagnosis of malignancy, infectious or inflammatory diseases. Fluids from the chest and abdomen are routinely examined, as are urine specimens and sputa.

The department receives approximately 85,000 smear tests per annum, as well as around 4,000 non-gynaecological tests.


Cervical screening

Cervical sample preparations are examined under a microscope to look for cells that may indicate pre-cancerous conditions of the uterine cervix. Occasionally cervical cytology is useful in identifying other abnormalities such as ovarian and endometrial cancers. The department is meeting the national turnaround time (TAT) target of 14 days from the sample being taken to the result being available to the patient.

Testing for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is known to be associated with cancer of the cervix. Testing for high risk HPV can help to decide at an early stage which women should be referred to a hospital clinic for further investigation (and possible treatment) and which women could be safely returned to routine screening without the anxiety of repeat screening tests. NNUH is taking part in the HPV Sentinel Sites Implementation Project and is using HPV to triage women with low grade cytological abnormalities and to manage women who have received treatment for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN).

Opening Times

Monday 08:30 – 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 – 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 – 17:00
Thursday 08:30 – 17:00
Friday 08:30 – 17:00
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Contact Details

Main Telephone Number: 01603 286035