Immunology is located within the Clinical Biochemistry service, and provides a full range of immunological investigations, either locally, or in association with a tertiary centre at the Royal Free Hospital. Local expertise includes immunofluorescence microscopy in addition to quantitative tests and screening tests. Local services are provided for auto-antibodies (anti-nuclear, ENA, DNA, tissue panels); coeliac screening, anti-CCP; cardiolipins and allergy. Investigations for organ specific antibodies and cell surface antigens are referred to the Royal Free, and neuroimmunology is referred to the Oxford University Hospitals. Urgent investigations are generally not available, except for ANCA which can be arranged by discussion on a case by case basis.
Due to the nature of the skills and knowledge of our immunology staff, the laboratory also provides the services for paraproteins and Bence-Jones Protein, xanthochromia and faecal calprotectin.
The laboratory is staffed by HCPC registered scientists, with specifically enhanced training in immunology. The service is CPA accredited and whilst clinical governance for the service is within clinical biochemistry, the department has one PA of medical Consultant immunology cover on site each week to provide clinical advice and peer review of the service. The Consultant is available to provide telephone advice to our users at other times outside of the onsite PA.
Collectively, the staff can provide advice on investigation strategies, specimen requirements, result interpretation, clinical liaison and advice on patient management. The Consultant immunologist is happy to see patients who need referral in his clinic at the Royal Free Hospital.
Referrals are accepted from GPs by letter, fax or the Choose and Book system. We also accept referrals from other hospitals or medical professionals by letter, fax or phone. Medical professionals may contact one of the doctors on the team by phone via the main hospital telephone number for advice or if a patient needs seeing urgently.
Please note that we are unable to accept referrals for allergy.
OPD referrals for adults are provided by the Royal Free Hospital. Advice and guidance can be obtained
from the Clinical Biochemistry department.
Links to tertiary centres:
Although on the 19 July 2021 regulations around the use of facemasks / coverings and social distancing will change across the country, at Bedfordshire Hospitals all COVID infection prevention control measures currently in place will remain the same.
The Trust has decided it is currently not safe to lift all restrictions at our hospitals.
Everyone attending our sites will still be required to wear a facemask (unless medically exempt), adhere to social distancing and attend your appointments alone especially in our Emergency Departments and Outpatients (exclusions apply to our paediatric patients and those requiring carer support)
Visiting is now permitted on most of our adult inpatient wards in a controlled manner. Appointments need to be pre-booked with ward staff.
Full details about attending our hospitals and visiting is available here.