National Healthcare Science Week: Histopathology at Arrowe Park Hospital

Histopathology, also known as Cellular Pathology, is the microscopic study of tissue samples, taken during surgery or at post mortem, to establish the cause of disease. Diseases such as cancer are diagnosed by looking for abnormal features in tissue and cells.

The histopathology department is located in the North West corner of Arrowe Park hospital, Birkenhead, near the large chimney.

The department is extremely busy and relies on the technical skill, commitment and professionalism of all its staff to produce quick, accurate and high-quality results for patients.

Histopathology workload prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was increasing year upon year, the number of specimens the department processes has increased by 10% from 40,100 to 44524 between 2015 and 2019. COVID-19 increased the pressure on the department but the team worked extremely hard and ensured that they continued to provide a high quality service to our patients.

Arrowe Park’s histology team is very friendly, professional, highly skilled and committed. They provide a high-quality histology/cellular pathology service to our hospital and local community. This was demonstrated throughout 2019 and 2020 when they faced the enormous challenge of dealing with staffing shortages and increased workload due to COVID-19. Despite COVID-19 the department has maintained the high quality service and turn-around times for tests that the hospital and the people of Wirral rely upon. We are extremely proud of how they came together as a team through this incredibly difficult period.

Here are some examples of careers available within a histopathology department

Healthcare Science support worker

Entry requirements include passes in GCSE maths and English and Science or equivalent. For higher support worker roles A/AS Levels or NVQ level 3 equivalents are acceptable.

Healthcare Science associate

Entry requirements additional to those above include Knowledge of range of non-routine healthcare science duties acquired through training to level 4 diplomas or equivalent.