Case Studies

CellNass’s success has been built on delivering measurable benefits to our customers. This can be seen through the feedback we’ve received over recent years.

Kettering General Hospital

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides quality care to the population of North Northamptonshire. Since joining the CellNass service in 2017 they have taken advantage of the convenient off-site archiving, speedy recalls and efficient tracking using out CellTrak Software. We spoke to Laura Saberton, Senior Biomedical Scientist, to find out more about their experience.


What first inspired you to use CellNass?

We needed a solution to the reduced archiving capacity we had for blocks and slides in this hospital as we were struggling for space. We heard about CellNass and the fact that it would be off-site and thought that it would be the best solution for us.


Have you been involved in any uplifts of materials?

I was on-site when the first uplift happened and that was very smooth and easy for us here in the lab.


What are your thoughts on our CellTrak software?

I think it’s fantastic. Cornelia came over and did a training session with me and another senior within the department. She was amazing, she explained everything really well. She gave us a folder with step by step guides, basically SOPs of how to use the system, which we found fantastic and we still use now. Ever since the training, we have been using CellTrak and we find it easy to track everything that’s happened in the past and see who’s done what.


We’ve found it a good way to communicate between team members within the department because when you log on you can see who has been active and who has ordered what. It stops us ordering blocks and slides more than once and prevents any confusion. Ever since we’ve been using the tracking system, we find that recalls happen very quickly, we order blocks and slides one day and get them delivered the next morning. Cornelia really was brilliant – she was so helpful. She did the training with us and after she’s always been there if we need her, we know we can email or call her anytime.


Are there any features you feel are missing from CellNass or CellTrak?

I can’t think of anything, but I do feel I could give feedback if I thought of it and you would take it on board.


What would you say to anybody else considering joining CellNass?

As limited space was the key thing for us, I’d say that I know off-site archiving can make hospitals feel a bit anxious if you’re used to having all material on-site and within walking distance, but the speed of the service makes this nothing to worry about. It’s very quick so you don’t need to be concerned about the time frame.


I just wish we’d started using CellTrak earlier as you can see everything on there. My first question was how much the software would cost, as I’m sure you can imagine, but it’s free and comes with excellent training from Cornelia. I’ve found it brilliant and really easy to use. We plan to carry on using CellNass for the foreseeable future – it’s definitely worked for us.

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Birmingham Women's Hospital

The Cellular Pathology Department at the Birmingham Women's Hospital provides a specialist diagnostic gynaecological histopathology service to the Trust and the Regional Gynaecological Cancer Centre. It is also a recognised Regional Perinatal Pathology Centre providing a fetal and perinatal autopsy service to the whole of the West Midlands region. We spoke to Tervinder Sokhi to find out more about their experience of using CellNass since they joined us in 2015.


Why CellNass?

The primary reason was because of the requirements of the Human Tissue Authority. We are a specialist hospital that provides a gynaecological and perinatal service (relating to the time, usually a number of weeks, immediately before and after birth). As we provide a perinatal service to the region we handle a fair amount of post mortem material so being compliant with the HTA was high on our agenda. We do around 700-730 post mortems each year. All our post mortem tissue blocks and material has to be stored in licensed premises. That was the big area that pushed us to CellNass as you were the only people offering this.


What have you found to be the best thing about CellNass so far?

CellNass is brilliant. We just give you the slides, blocks or documents to archive and you catalogue all the material. When we have used an alternative storage solution, we had to code everything ourselves. Using CellNass takes out a huge piece of work that we would have had to do. Once the material is off-site it is so easy to retrieve it - you just go online and order it.


Did you find it convenient to arrange an uplift?

Absolutely fine - as soon as we tell you what we want transferring then you quote, and we arrange a mutual date. When the team are here, I know I can just leave them to it. They know exactly what they're doing so I just tell them what needs to go and leave them alone.


Are there any features of CellTrak you find particularly useful?

It's all useful. Everything is archived so all we do is enter the lab numbers and the system tells us if the item is in storage or has been requested already. This helps us to avoid wasting your time because the system tells us we have already retrieved it. All our documents are on there and it has an archive of our activity which is really handy to have.


Have you needed to give us any feedback and how have we responded?

I haven't needed to. Since day one it's been really good. It's the easiest system that we have to work with from a material and documents point of view. Anything going off-site is always quite a nightmare to deal with and to keep up to date, but with CellNass you have peace of mind. You don't really have to do anything. Everything is on the system that you need and when we do send more work to you, and it has been catalogued, we receive a spreadsheet back, so we know what is all off-site. It's all online as well.


And have you found CellNass to be quick enough so far?

Absolutely yes. Though usually, nothing has been that urgent. When something is really urgent, we just ask and we get it the next working day.


Would you recommend CellNass as a service?

Definitely. CellNass provides an end to end solution for off-site storage which is really beneficial. We have found that other companies can only provide half a solution meaning we have to provide half a solution ourselves. As CellNass has this end to end solution, it's brilliant. It takes away all the stress of having to constantly monitor where the material or documents are located. Obviously, with patient tissue, you always want to know it is in the best of hands, and it is with CellNass. Knowing that tissue and documents are safe and secure and can be checked online or just a phone call away really gives us peace of mind.

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Plymouth Hospital

Another Happy Customer…   Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust is the largest hospital in the South West Peninsula, providing comprehensive secondary and tertiary healthcare. They are the region's major trauma centre, with a secondary care catchment population of 450,000 and a wider peninsula population of almost 2,000,000 people.

The Cellular and Anatomical Pathology Department, located at Derriford Hospital, incorporates Histopathology, Cytopathology, Neuropathology, and Anatomical Pathology.

The Department receives approximately 36,000 surgical biopsies, 2,000 non-cervical samples, and undertakes 1,100 post-mortem examinations each year.

Here, Steve Blunden, Histopathology Services Manager shares his experience of using CellNass:

“Prior to becoming a CellNass customer, the Department’s ever-growing volume of slides, blocks and paper documents were being stored across six different rooms at an offsite location, all a distance from one another.

Although everything was relatively well catalogued, there is no doubt that some of our materials were occasionally randomly stored without taking into account their different sizes.

On meeting with CellNass, we were impressed by their knowledge about the storage requirements of a Cellular and Anatomical Pathology department such as ours. Using the same terminology reassured us that our material would be in safe hands.

We completed the paperwork and welcomed the CellNass team to Derriford to conduct the necessary assessments for the moving and uplifting of our material. Shortly after, the CellNass uplift team came to our site, and removed everything in its existing state, and indexed/repackaged it back at their site for archiving. It was a big job for the team, but I found the planning and preparation to be fantastic, resulting in it being conducted with minimal disruption and completed in a short period of time.

Since moving our archiving over to CellNass, we have been very pleased with the service received. Using the CellTrak system, we have found material recalls to be quick and very easy, something that previously could take our staff a few hours to undertake, or indeed I would have had to go on my way home. 

We are delighted to have moved to CellNass and would recommend them for any other Cellular Pathology laboratories looking for an outsourced archiving solution.”


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Royal Cornwall Hospital

The uplift process was very smooth and CellNass organised everything – we even get cardboard storage boxes as part of our contract.

Valerie Rodd is the experienced Histopathology Manager at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust in Truro. She’s been part of the team there for 25 years, and during this period they’ve become regular and loyal CellPath customers. We were delighted then when the RCHT became CellNass’ latest client and were keen to ask Val a few questions in order to discover the reasons behind the decision to adopt the CellNass solution.

“It wasn’t a snap decision!” Val began. “It’s the result of discussion and a fair degree of persuasion on my part over a number of years before deciding it was the right solution for us.”

The Royal Cornwall Hospital serves a dispersed resident population of approximately 500,000 people. Val manages a 23-strong team of staff and they receive approx 35,000 histology samples per year with a varied
workload, encompassing “all the specialities you’d expect in a general hospital, barring neuropathology”. There is a well-equipped Biomedical Science dissection lab, the hospital possesses full Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) and is HTA registered.

The cytology department on site receives over 50,000 vital cytology samples.

With such a large quantity of material being taken, and all of it requiring proper indexing and storing, it’s no surprise storage space was a chief reason for the decision:

“Previously blocks and slides were stored on site, but we were simply running out of space,” explained Val. “We did move the material into temporary on-site storage but in the long-term, it simply wasn’t a viable solution. We looked into those self-storage solutions but there were a number of drawbacks such as no HTA accreditation and a stipulation that due to the weight of the material that it could only be stored on the ground floor, with no guarantee of future availability.”

The process of choosing CellNass began in earnest when CellPath’s Myrna Morgan, Territory Manager, and Colin Brewer, CellPath’s HTA Designated Individual, visited the site and provided a quote for the initial uplift and subsequent ongoing archiving. After that – and having convinced the Trust that it was the best option – the customer relationship began.

“The process was very efficient and CellNass organised everything – we even get cardboard storage boxes as part of our contract… ‘Moving Day’ went very smoothly with good teamwork between CellNass and my team – and Myrna overseeing everything. I was very pleased despite the fact life was made more tricky by a heavy downpour that day!

Since using CellNass we’ve had more retrievals than expected. In fact, we had requests for retrievals when the initial uplift was only just on its way from our site and hadn’t even been indexed yet!

I thought this might prove problematic but getting the requested items back was actually very efficient and accurate. We’ve sent 25 years worth of stored blocks/slides to CellNass (with the most recent 5-years staying here at the RCHT) and I’m pleased the future storage of our material has been resolved and confident we’ll benefit from an efficient and reliable service”.

We are always happy to welcome customers to have a look at our facilities - if you'd like a tour, please use the form on the right and a member of our customer care team will be in touch to arrange an invitation to visit.

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West Suffolk Hospital

One reason customers are sometimes reluctant to change to CellNass is that they’re worried about the disruption and difficulty it may cause to employees and workflow. After all, removing (in many instances) decades worth of slides and blocks can appear an arduous undertaking.

Simon Wiggley, Deputy Histopathology Laboratory manager at West Suffolk Hospital, kindly agreed to share his experiences.

How did you hear about CellNass

We’d been aware of them for 7-8 years but at that time we still had some space for samples. This space was more recently re-appropriated by another department – it became clear we needed a solution.

How did you end up working with CellNass?

We got the ball rolling, they sent us a quote and we accepted. Bob’s your uncle!

And were there difficulties in the transition?

Not at all. They came to our site for 2-3 days, working diligently and causing minimal disruption. The whole process was very smooth.

Is the on-going service good?

We do fairly regular retrievals simply by filling out an electronic form. We get a very fast response to that and the samples are generally returned in 1-2 days.

Would you ever consider choosing another provider?

There might be companies doing similar things but none that have CPA and HTA authorisation. It’s important we have an audit trail that shows we’re compliant. CellNass’ experience and reputation is also reassuring.

Have you ever visited the CellNass site?

Not yet, no – it’s a bit of a trek from Sussex!

We are always happy to welcome customers to have a look at our facilities - if you'd like a tour, please use the form on the right and a member of our customer care team will be in touch to arrange an invitation to visit.

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