Laboratory Services

The Laboratories, based at the Ulster Hospital, provide a wide range of routine and specialist laboratory services for South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust hospital and community users.

Did You Know?

Each year the laboratories carry out over 5.3 million tests on patient specimens.

The Laboratories encompass 3  separate disciplines:

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Haematology & Blood Transfusion
  • Microbiology

  • Clinical Biochemistry

    The Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory is involved in the study of body chemistry in relation to health and disease.

    It contributes to the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients by the measurement of analytes such as electrolytes, intermediary metabolites, enzymes, proteins, hormones and drugs in blood and other body fluids.

  • Haematology & Blood Transfusion

    The Haematology Department is involved in the investigation of blood constituents for diagnostic and treatment monitoring purposes. Blood smears are made of abnormal samples to examine the cell types and appearance of blood. This aids the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses such as Anaemia or Leukaemia. The investigation of clotting conditions and routine monitoring of anticoagulant therapy are also performed.

    Blood Transfusion provides blood and blood products to patients with acute blood loss, anaemia, clotting problems and also supports leukaemia cases during chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It performs cross-matching of blood for transfusion, screening and identification of antibodies and identification of blood groups.  On average, patients in this hospital require over 500 units of blood per month.

  • Microbiology

    The Microbiology Laboratory provides a comprehensive clinical service dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of infectious diseases. The laboratory examines a wide range of specimens mainly for the purpose of infectious disease diagnosis and treatment.

    Various techniques, such as, microscopy, isolation on culture media, detection of antibodies, etc. are employed looking for the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests are performed on isolates to determine the most suitable antibiotic to treat an infection.

  • Out of Hours Times & Information

    A 24/7 emergency out-of-hours service operates outside of the opening hours listed above.

    Only certain tests are available as urgent emergency requests out of hours. The tests that are available as urgent emergency requests and further detailed information on out of hours testing is available in the Laboratory User Manual.

Picture of labelling a testube

Contact Details

Normal Laboratory Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Weekends & Public Holidays: 9.00am – 1.00pm

There is only a restricted service provided on Public Holidays and weekends.  Requests should be confined to essential investigations and specimens should reach the Laboratory by 10.30am.