Imperial Collage Healthcare
15 June

Patient Identification Policy-Three unique identifiers required on all samples

The Patient Identification Policy for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHNT) released in October 2016 stipulates the following 3 unique identifiers must be present on all samples sent to the laboratory for them to be accepted for analysis:

  • Name-forename and family name
  • Date of Birth
  • NHS or Hospital Number


These details must be written directly on the sample container or on a printed label. This policy has been adopted by North West London Pathology (NWLP).

The NWLP labs receive samples from other laboratories and Trusts that may not have the 3 identifiers required under this policy and therefore fail to meet the ICHNT/NWLP requirements. The NWLP labs will accept and test non-conforming samples but will not accept responsibility for any sample/patient mismatch that may have occurred at the originating lab.

The NWLP labs can make agreements with referring labs to test samples that conform to local identification policies as recognised exceptions to the policy on the basis that the referring Laboratory accepts the risk of patient/sample identification errors made at the originating lab/hospital including those from third party labs/hospitals.

Please email or with any questions or concerns you have regarding the application of this policy to samples sent from your laboratory to NWLP for testing.

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