Medical Laboratory Assistant (Specimen Reception)

Type: Permanent

Date Posted: 27-Feb-23

Closing Date: 29-Mar-23

Location: Prescot, L35 5DR

Salary: Not specified

Medical Laboratory Assistant (Specimen Reception)

A Vacancy at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

This post is based at Whiston Hospital Pathology Department

13.75 hours per week which will include working nights on a 6 week rotation, weekends and bank holidays.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, organised, methodical and highly motivated individual.

The responsibilities of this job are to perform basic clerical and reception duties within the laboratory, receive and log specimens into the department and record tests requested on the laboratory computer system.

Working independently although under the technical supervision of a qualified Biomedical Scientist, to undertake pre-analytical preparation of specimens received and to act as the first point of reference for enquiries into the department.

Interview Date – TBC

To contribute to the timely delivery of 24hr pathology services to our users. Key duties will involve sample handling and checking, aliquoting, data entry into the Pathology Administration System, sample loading and clerical duties. Ensuring the air tube is working and reporting faults without delay. It also includes dealing with visitors and telephone queries and Pathology Stores.

This post will involve working closely with Consultants and junior medical staff, General Practitioners, Laboratory and other hospital/professional staff both in this organisation and outside agencies and assisting patients with general enquiries both on the telephone and face to face.

You will be expected to participate in the bank holiday and weekend work rotas as required.

Please be aware, that we may close a vacancy earlier than stated, should a sufficient number of applications be received, you are therefore advised to apply at your earliest convenience.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is the only acute Trust in Cheshire and Merseyside, and one of the few in the entire country, to achieve the title of OUTSTANDING, rated by the Care Quality Commission.

We provide a full range of acute adult services to our local population of circa 360,000 and provide tertiary services across a much wider area in the North West, North Wales and Isle of Man. We are a Major Trauma Unit and the Mersey Regional Burns Unit.

Our ‘5 Star Patient Care’ strategy is at the heart of all that we do; supporting our vision to provide world class services for all our patients by getting it right for every patient, every time.

Our latest achievements include:
• Acute Trust of the Year – HSJ Awards November 2019
• Trust rates Outstanding by the CQC – Inspection August 2018
• Top 100 places to work in the NHS (NHS Employers and Health Service Journal)
• Best acute Trust in the North West for quality of care (NHS Staff Survey 2021)
• Best place to work in the North West (NHS Staff Survey 2021)

In the NHS Staff Survey 2021 the Trust scored the highest marks in the North West for the following areas;
• Standard of care
• Best place to work
• Care of patients being the Trust’s priority
• Staff engagement
• Staff morale
• Compassionate and inclusive
• Providing a safe environment for staff


• Duties may vary slightly from site to site so may or may not be applicable on all sites.
• Receive and barcode all samples and request forms as appropriate
• Enter Patient and Sample details into Laboratory Information System. Data entry of all patient identifiable information, clinical details and request details for all disciplines with the exception of Blood Transfusion into the Pathology (Telepath) system (accuracy is vitally important).
• Sort and deliver bar-coded samples/requests to appropriate department in a timely manner
• Receive requests into Telepath via the order communications systems
• Process samples through pre-analytical stages such as centrifugation, aliquoting into additional tubes, removal of clots and loading onto the analytical track to be analysed.
• Numbering, Telepath entry and loading of Blood Cultures onto the analyser in Microbiology
• Take and communicate as required all telephone enquires
• Prioritise urgent samples for fast tracking
• Process add-on Requests
• To use the Patient Administration System and other systems to check patient details.
• To carry out LIMS housekeeping – manual patient merges in Haematology, Biochemistry and Microbiology once patient information has been checked in the above systems and to notify Blood Transfusion of any mismatches.
• Pneumatic Air Tube- Pathology Reception is responsible for receiving fault calls regarding the air tube that must be dealt with immediately as per policy.
• Purge air tube system and clear simple faults as required
• Report ongoing faults to Facilities Maintenance
• Respond to telephone enquiries from service users, patients, relatives, and departmental colleagues with correct use of telephone and the giving out authorised results from Telepath as required.
• Use of fax, photocopier, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as required.
• Understand and follow storage and stock rotation requirements of relevant stock in various storerooms.
• Distribution of GP orders (including blood forms) to surgeries in a timely manner.
• To ensure that all reports are sorted and distributed to the relevant bodies through internal and external posting systems in a timely and efficient manner.
• Accurate filing and retrieval of reports. Scanning of request forms.
• To work closely with all departments within the Pathology Directorate to ensure that a timely accurate service is delivered.
• To provide cross cover for colleagues as and when required.
• Night rota staff will work in Microbiology including processing Blood Cultures to the point of loading and starting the analyser.
• Any other duties deemed necessary to ensure the smooth running of the department commensurate with the grade.

Workflow Management
• Timely data entry of requests to facilitate maximum efficiency of turnaround times of results.
• Collect samples from wards/departments/Phlebotomists to meet required turnaround times when required by supervisor/manager.
• To maintain good working relations with all members of staff and to promote effective teamwork.
• To promote an efficient, courteous telephone manner to our service users.
• To actively participate in departmental meetings.
• Ensure risks to service such as faulty equipment or unexpected staff shortages are reported to the supervisors or manager as soon as possible.
• Replenish stock of blood bottles as required and prepare and despatch orders to community locations.
• Receive visitors to the laboratory as necessary
• Flexibility in helping to cover holiday/sickness absence.
• Participate in departmental meetings as required.
• To advise the Supervisor or Biomedical Scientists when consumables are approaching minimum stock levels, or take appropriate action
• Tidy Reception area when appropriate
• Decontaminate all work areas – following Standard Operating Procedure.
• Health and Safety
• Adhere to Trust and departmental Health & Safety protocols and Fire regulations.
• Identify risks, and to be aware of risk assessments affecting the workplace. Report clinical incidents to the Blood Sciences Service Lead. Report any defects or required maintenance in building /services to the Blood Sciences Service Lead.
• Adhere to current Control of Substances Hazardous to Health legislation (COSHH). Ensuring the preparation, safe handling, storage, and disposal of reagents is carried out in accordance with departmental policy and COSHH legislation regarding hazardous materials and chemicals.
• Communication
• Communicate any relevant information to laboratory colleagues within the section and inform effectively at hand over.
• Actively participate in departmental meetings, team briefings, educational and audit meetings as appropriate.
• Ensure effective communication is maintained within the department.
• Maintain good working relations with all members of staff and promote effective teamwork.

This advert closes on Sunday 12 Mar 2023

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