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Senior Specialist Anatomical Pathology Technologist

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
£51,488 to £57,802 a year p.a inc HCA
Closing date
21 May 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
The Mortuary and Bereavement Service consists of APTs, both qualified and trainees, Bereavement Officers, a Mortuary Assistant and administrative staff, working closely with Consultant and Junior Histopathologists from Cellular Pathology.

This department sits within the Directorate of Haematology, Cellular Pathology and Supporting Services. The Cellular Pathology laboratories and its scientific staff are managed independently by GSTS Pathology (Viapath). There are two mortuaries, one at Guy's and another at St Thomas' Hospital. St Thomas' acts as the main mortuary and is the site for all post-mortem examinations and related activity.

Main duties of the job

This is a senior post for an experienced Specialist Anatomical Pathology Technologist (APT) who holds both the Certificate & Diploma of Anatomical Pathology Technology or the Level 3 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology technology with relevant, extensive and demonstrable experience. As a Specialist Senior APT in the Mortuary and Bereavement Service (MBS) the post holder is expected to support both junior and senior staff, work as part of a team on a rotational basis within all specialities of Mortuary and Bereavement work and rotate between Guy's and St Thomas', and be able to assist in specialist post mortems, including paediatrics and high risk cases.

About us

Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust are looking for Senior Specialist Anatomical Pathology Technologists to join our team in the heart of central London. Our hospitals could not bein a better locationto enjoy the city and are within walking distance of allthat London has to offer.GSTT has a reputation for being an employer of choice, with development opportunities, central London accommodation and an ever dynamic working environment and opportunities for professional growth.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Scientific and Technical

PM Room

To assist the Pathologist with post-mortem examinations:

Specialist practical mortuary skills Paediatric/perinatal, forensic, neuropathological, high risk, CBRNe, PEACE cases
  • Be careful to carry out specialist PM examinations and techniques
    • Specialist evisceration techniques (middle ear, spinal cord, eyes)
    • Specialist reconstruction techniques (significant trauma, decomposition, paediatric/perinatal)
  • To ensure the post-mortem room and equipment is prepared for all types of post-mortem examinations.
  • To take, process and store digital images (photographic and radiology) as part of the post-mortem examination.
  • Too assist the pathologist during histological cut up sessions following fixation of tissue samples after the post-mortem examination.
  • To assist in the basic and advanced training of junior staff, both practical and theoretical:
    • To oversee and assist both internal and external Junior Pathologists on a day-to-day basis as part of their training programme
    • To oversee and assist Junior APTs on a day-to-day basis
    • To prepare and deliver training programmes for Trainee APTs according to the Level 3 Diploma in APT standards and requirements.
    • To deliver high quality PM demonstrations to medical students and non-medical relevant parties (police, emergency services first responders, armed forces etc)
  • To assist and ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection of all tools and surfaces in the PM rooms after the days examinations are complete.
  • To maintain equipment on a day-to-day basis in accordance with department policies/procedures and in accordance with manufacturers guidelines.
  • To receive and book in external histology.

  • To support the mortuary manager in leading the service, in training staff, attending and representing the service as Trust meetings, auditing mortuary practice and promoting the quality agenda in the service.

Clinical and Clerical
  • To ensure patients are accurately received into the mortuary, with correct identifying information, registered, weighed, measured.
  • To be responsible for the release and transfer of patients from the unit to the authorised person for collection.
  • To book viewings and, when necessary, accompany and assist the bereaved in the mortuary visitors room.
  • To prepare and layout patients for viewing, including high-risk cases.
  • To carry out cleaning and dressing of patients as required.
  • To accompany visitors and facilitate official identifications on behalf of HM Coroner.
  • To ensure that the bereaved are supported and treated with courtesy and consideration at all times.
  • To ensure accurate records of patients property are maintained.
  • To assist the Mortuary and Bereavement Service Manager/Chief APT plan work schedules and staff allocation to tasks.
  • To give both basic and specialist lectures to groups who attend the Mortuary and Bereavement Service and throughout the hospital.
  • To co-ordinate the provision of hospital funerals for Non-Viable foetuses and POCs, ensuring documentation is complete and that funerals can take place in a timely manner.
  • To facilitate the release of NVFs/POCs/HTA relevant material directly to next-of-kin when required.
  • To oversee the monitoring of patient condition and mortuary capacity.
  • To monitor and escalate long-term patients to the appropriate department (bereavement centre staff, local council authority, referring establishment or funeral director as appropriate).
  • Monitor the referral system for external post-mortem examinations (hospital consented paediatric/perinatal cases, coronial/forensic paediatrics, coronial adults and PEACE patients) and managing bookings for x-ray examinations when appropriate.
  • Maintain in-depth, up-to-date working knowledge of The HT Act and its relation to mortuary practice
    • Understanding consent forms for hospital PMs, with particular attention to SANDS forms
    • Understanding consent for retention/disposal of relevant material received from coroners offices after PM examination
  • Carry out disposal of retained material as per the Nok wishes, following laboratory tracking protocol.
  • Deliver consent training to clinicians.
  • Take consent for adult hospital PM examinations.

  • To ensure that records are kept up to date and stored safely to ensure compliance with good work practices for the standards of the HTA Codes of Practice and ISO 9001 2015 standards.
  • To comply with local and national policies for the safe, secure and confidential processing and storage of patient and other mortuary information.
  • To use the departments information databases according to the authorised protocols.
  • To maintain the integrity and accuracy of IT systems, written MBS records and databases.

  • To ensure staff maintain adequate stocks of consumables and chemicals for MBS.
  • To maintain adequate stocks of consumables for MBS Major Incident store.
  • Monitor and purchase equipment and consumables for routine and specialist post-mortem work.
  • Maintain adequate consumables for use with the cremation and burial of babies/POCs.
  • Ensure timely payment of invoices for maintenance/contact work.

Training and Development
  • To be responsible for his/her continuing professional development.
  • To comply with departmental training support policies.
  • To keep up-to-date with current Mortuary and Bereavement practices and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and any other professional bodies e.g. Human Tissue Authority and DoH.
  • To ensure lessons are learned from post-event analysis, proactive risk assessments and timely dissemination.
  • To provide specialist advice and support on a range of human tissue, Mortuary and Bereavement issues.
  • To complete all annual mandatory training sessions as set out by the Trust.
  • Assist with training of departmental and portering staff.
  • Deputise for Chief APT and/or mortuary manager as required if instructed.
  • Deliver education and training relating to mortuary practice to Trust staff.
  • Deputise for the Chief APT at Trust committee meetings if required.

Out of Hours Service
  • There is a paid on-call service in operation, which offers advice and assistance to the bereaved and hospital and outside staff 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.
  • The post holder must attend the mortuary on request of the Mortuary and Bereavement Service manager in the event of a major incident being declared. On request/necessity all staff must attend the mortuary in the quickest time possible and must be prepared to stay until the hospital has been stood down from major incident status.
  • The portering staff will not prepare a high-risk patient for viewing the Deputy APT must attend the mortuary, prepare the patient and following a viewing return the patient to storage.
  • If required, arrange for staff to attend the mortuary out of hours.
  • The post holder may be required to attend the mortuary to facilitate a forensic/Home Office post-mortem examination. The APT may be called to assist with limited notice and must be prepared to attend the mortuary until the post-mortem examination is finished. The Duty APT will be responsible for calling another APT to assist.

Health and Safety
  • To adhere to all departmental and Mortuary health and safety regulations and policies.
  • To oversee and assist in regular review and change of protocols and policies.
  • Ensure staff adherence to Trust and local policies and report any non compliance or licensing breach to the relevant line manager.
  • To oversee and assist in carrying out various types of risk assessments within the service.
  • To ensure all legislation in relation to Bereavement, Mortuary and post-mortem services are strictly adhered to.
  • To keep the workplace and work areas clean and tidy.
  • To oversee and assist with the disinfection of the post-mortem rooms, including drains, on a daily basis.

  • Maintain specialist knowledge of the HTA Codes of Practice, ISO 9001 2015 standards and the BSI Rules and Guidance.
  • Responsible for assisting with the production of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Policies for MBS, in collaboration with team managers.
  • Ensure continued performance against the departmental Quality Objectives.
  • To assist the Mortuary and Bereavement Service Manager in maintaining high quality standards within the department.
  • To be responsible for and participate in clinical audits.

Person Specification

Education/ Qualifications


  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science or a related degree, or equivalent experience
  • Certificate & Diploma of Anatomical Pathology Technology or Level 3 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology with relevant, demonstrable experience
  • Participation in continuing professional development


  • Member of the AAPT
  • Amspar (medical terminology) qualification



  • Considerable specialist experience working as an APT including working with: High-Risk cases, Paediatric/ perinatal cases, Forensic cases, CBRNe cases, Neuropathological case.
  • Supervision, training and teaching healthcare professionals
  • Experience working in a hospital environment


  • Team leading experience



  • Thorough practical knowledge of current Mortuary practices and legislation
  • Good working knowledge of the Human Tissue Act (2004)
  • Computer literate and general familiarity with common office software.
  • High degree of numeracy
  • Good communication skills, both written and spoken English
  • Good interpersonal and team working skills
  • Good organisation, planning and accuracy skills
  • Ability to adopt a sympathetic approach to patients & relatives
  • Ability to adopt a professional approach with distressing situations and images
  • Ability to adopt a professional approach with exposure to unavoidable and unpleasant working conditions for prolonged periods
  • Ability to adapt efficiently to changing work patterns and situations
  • Ability to adopt a professional approach towards doctors, health care workers and other users of Mortuary and Bereavement service
  • Ability to concentrate in a busy and noisy environment


  • Knowledge of BSI ISO 9001 2015 standards

Employer details

Employer name

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust


St Thomas' Hospital

Westminster Bridge Road



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