Microbiology Services Laboratory – Bacteriology

 Our services are:

  • Investigating patient reactions suspected to be from bacterial contamination
  • Examining visually abnormal blood components 
  • Confirmatory testing for the bacterial screening of platelet components  
  • Bacterial screen testing of:
    • tissues for transplantation (including tendon, amnion, heart valve, skin, menisci and bone) 
    • cellular medicinal products (including cord blood and stem cell products) 
    • autologous and allogeneic serum eyedrops 
  • Investigating bacterial contamination of reagents 
  • Providing a validation service for aseptic processing, disinfection, and media lot release testing (for use within NHSBT)
  • Research and development (R&D), and process validation 

Suspected bacterial transmission 

If you suspect bacterial transmission as a result of tranfusion follow the process for reporting adverse events. 

Visual abnormalities

Where a visual abnormality in the unit is observed prior to or during transfusion, without patient reaction, please refer to the information on the component recall for an explanation of the process.

Environmental monitoring programmes  

We offer professional support at a national level in the implementation and maintenance of environmental monitoring programmes for manufacturing laboratories and clean room facilities.

Refer to our user guide for comprehensive information.

Research and development

R&D plays an integral role within our service. We undertake a variety of research projects with the aim of improving blood and tissue safety, some of which involve international collaboration.

If you wish to discuss a proposal for a new R&D project, please contact the Laboratory Manager and Principal Bacteriology Development Scientist. 

Regulation and accreditation

The laboratory operates within a Quality Management System (QMS) ensuring compliance with regulatory and accreditation standards as set out in ISO 15189 and BSQR (Blood Safety and Quality Regulations). It is routinely inspected by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) and is subject to inspection by the HTA (Human Tissue Authority) for tissue / stem cells / cord blood. MSL is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 8783.


Laboratory Manager
Mhairi Webster
0208 957 2896
07385 384868

Deputy Laboratory Manager / Quality Manager
Holly Ciesielczuk
0208 957 2883
07385 388119

Deputy Laboratory Manager / Business Continuity Manager
Pravesh Dhanilall
0208 957 2896
07385 388258

Principal Bacteriology Development Scientist (R&D lead)
Jennifer Bearne
07385 387950

Microbiology Services Laboratory - Bacteriology
Charcot Road

Mission statement 

The aim of Microbiology Services Laboratory - Bacteriology is to provide a world class routine and research & development bacteriology service for the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and wider NHS, focusing on the improvement of product (blood components and tissue products) and patient safety.

Customer satisfaction

Each year we issue a user satisfaction survey to assess our users' satisfaction with the service. Feedback is evaluated, and where required, actions are identified to improve the service provided by the laboratory. 

Read our report for 2023 (PDF 508KB)


User guide

Download the MSL user guide from the user guide page