Haematology, Blood Transfusion and Immunology

The Haematology, Blood Transfusion and Immunology department provides a high quality analytical service and clinical advice. We receive in excess of 519,000 specimens per year, on which we perform over 799,000 tests. The service is consultant-led with 70 medical, scientific and support staff and comprises four sections:

  • Haematology
  • Coagulation
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Immunology (provided via referral to Derriford Hospital)

Routine Haematology

The routine Haematology service analyses samples, which includes the following:

  • Full Blood Count (FBC) + film in exceptional cases (eg Malaria)
  • Infectious Mononucleosis (IM) Screen
  • Sickle Screen, examination of blood and bone marrow
  • Haemostasis
  • Thrombophilia investigations
  • Antenatal Sickle cell and Thalassemia screening


The Coagulation service includes testing for basic coagulation screen.


The Andrology service includes semen testing.

Blood Transfusion

The Blood Transfusion department offers:

  • Blood grouping
  • Patient Blood Management
  • Antibody screening (including antenatal)
  • Antibody identification
  • Cross matching
  • Blood product/component

Each year, we supply around 16,000 units of red blood cells, as well as platelets, plasma and other blood products, to patients at both the Royal Cornwall Hospitals and the Community Hospitals in Cornwall.

Safety for Blood Transfusions

In the UK, we have rigorous regulations regarding blood donations and blood transfusions to minimise the risk of being given blood that is contaminated with a virus, or from an unsuitable blood group. Compared to other everyday risks, the likelihood of getting an infection from a blood transfusion is very low. All blood donors are unpaid volunteers and they’re very carefully selected and tested to make sure that the blood they donate is as safe as possible.

If you’re going to have a blood transfusion, we’ll ask you to wear an identification band with your details on to make sure you get the right transfusion. We’ll check this each time you receive a new bag of blood, and we’ll also ask you your full name and date of birth to double check.

Further information about Blood Transfusions

If your doctor suggests you need a blood transfusion, you can find more information on the NHS Blood and Transplant website.

If you have recently had a transfusion and feel unwell, please read our patient information leaflet and get in touch with your doctor.

Immunology (provided via referral to Derriford Hospital)

The immunology service based at Derriford offers testing to investigate disorders of the immune system, including:

  • Autoimmune diseases – systemic lupus erythematous, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease and myasthenia gravis
  • Allergic diseases – hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylaxis
  • Immunodeficiency – Chronic granulomatous disease
  • Hypersensitivities – Asthma
  • Other disease such as AIDS and HIV

Key Haematology, Blood Transfusion and Immunology Contacts

Head of Department

Dr Adam Forbes (Consultant Haematologist)
01872 252765

Lead Biomedical Scientist for Haematology

Martyn Hicks
01872 252502

Lead Biomedical Scientist for Blood Transfusion

Dr Ian Sullivan
01872 252500

More information about Haematology, Blood Transfusion and Immunology

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