Chester and Wirral Microbiology Service is part of the collaboration between the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The principal diagnostic laboratory is based at The Croft Business Park Bromborough. The Laboratory address is: 11 Bassendale Road, Bromborough, Wirral. CH62 3QL. Small satellite laboratories on the Arrowe Park and The Countess of Chester sites are used for processing out-of-hours specimens. Access to consultative and principal diagnostic services outlined below are available on a 24 hour basis.

Diagnostic Service

The department provides a comprehensive microbiological service in medical bacteriology, mycology, virology, parasitology and serological investigations. Advice on the selection of appropriate diagnostic specimens, their collection and transport is available. Please refer to the users handbook available on the Trust intranet/extranet for more information.

Results of particular clinical significance are phoned through to the surgery or relevant medical staff, irrespective of whether the original request is marked as urgent or routine.

Microbiology Service User Guide

URGENT' Specimens for Microbiological Investigation

Biomedical Scientists (BMSs) are available in the laboratory between 08.00hrs and 19:00hrs 7 days a week to process any samples that are considered urgent. The BMS must be contacted in the laboratory on 01244 362500 with the details of the request BEFORE the sample is sent to the laboratory. Samples MUST arrive at Microbiology by 18:30, otherwise they will need to be processed by the on-call BMS in the on-site satellite after 19:00

Out of Hours Service / Emergency On-Call Service

19:00hrs to 08:00 a.m. 7 days a week

Requests for urgent specimens to be processed after 18:30 pm should be directed to the on-call Biomedical Scientist through switchboard at either Wirral sites or Countess of Chester Hospital.

The following are out-of-hours requests that may be made via Biomedical Scientist:-

  • Paediatric (<3 years old) MSSUs (Microscopy / Culture)

Urines should be screened by dipstick by the requestor. BMS staff will only come in to examine samples that are positive for leucocyte esterase or nitrites.

  • Material from Sterile Sites

e.g. Synovial fluid

  • Peritoneal fluid (e.g. Ascites)
  • CSF
  •  Pus from deep seated abscesses

(Other pus swabs etc contact the Consultant Medical Microbiologist)

  • Pus
  • Specimens from theatre (note bone/tissue cannot be processed out of hours)


The Department operates a 24/7 service for urgent specimens. If an urgent specimen has missed the last transport run then a taxi may be required to transport the sample to the Laboratory at Bromborough. A Taxi specimen can only be accepted in the CWMS Laboratory at Bromborough between 17:00hrs and 18:30hrs Monday to Friday.

Urgent specimens out of hours (19:00 – 08:00) are processed by the on call Biomedical Scientist (BMS) in the on-site satellite laboratory. Full instructions on where to send the sample will be given by the BMS when the BMS is contacted by the clinician requesting the urgent specimen.

Daytime Laboratory Hours

Monday - Friday
08.00hrs. - 19:00hrs

Weekend and Bank Holidays
08:00hrs - 19:00hrs

BMS On Call Service for urgent tests

Monday - Sunday
18:30hrs - 08.00hrs the following day

Only Medical staff are given access to the BMS on call (exceptions are other lab staff, bed coordinator, senior Trust managers). Contact on-call Biomedical Scientist via switchboard of each Trust

On-call service for urgent clinical advice

Consultant in Medical Microbiology

Between 17.00 - 09.00 Monday - Friday and between 17.00 on Friday and 09.00 on Monday (weekends), please contact the Consultant Microbiologist on-call via the switchboard of each Trust Please note that the on-call Consultant Microbiologist should only be contacted in response to requests from the following categories of personnel:-

  • Consultants (in exceptional circumstances contact may be made by a registrar if the patient has been discussed with the consultant in the team, but the consultant is unable to make the call himself / herself).
  • Pharmacists.
  • Laboratory staff.
  • General Practitioners

Key contacts and their telephone numbers / extensions

Consultant Medical Microbiologist and Deputy Director of CWMS

Dr Ildiko Kustos

01244 366 785/2494

Secretary: 01244 36 6773

Consultant Medical Microbiologist

Dr Jeremy Gardner

01244 366 788/2494

Secretary: 01244 366 773

IT Manager and Departmental Manager

Mr Iain Green

01244 362 496


Chief Biomedical Scientist


Mrs Sarah Wood

01244 363 352

Quality Manager

Joanne Evans

01244 365 519



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