Specialist Spotlight, what is a haematologist?

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A haematologist works with patients in both out-patients and in-patients scenarios and provide advice and a consultancy service to all of the specialists in hospitals as well as GP’s. They will also manage diagnostic laboratories.

Part of their job is to provide a clinical interpretation of data and morphology from the laboratories relating to the form and structure of blood and bone marrow specimens. They are qualified to diagnose and manage disorders of the blood and bone marrow as well as supporting the haematology diagnostic laboratory including the blood bank.

Haematology is a demanding speciality that includes both clinical and laboratory work and as a result of this a haematologist will take an active part in every stage of patient management from the initial clinic visit, through the laboratory assessment and diagnosis right through to the treatment for the condition. They will work with patients of every age and can manage both benign and malignant conditions.

Specialists undergo training in all aspects of haematology, both clinical and laboratory. As consultants, they are expected to maintain a core competence in both these areas to provide an on-call and emergency service.

Common procedures/interventions

A haematologist would be involved in many procedures and these include:

  • delivering clinical care, often for life-threatening disease
  • formulating chemotherapy protocols and managing their delivery
  • managing hemipoietic stem cell transplantation procedures
  • providing advice on haematology laboratory results
  • sampling bone marrow and interpreting the morphology
  • performing diagnostic lumbar punctures and giving intra-thecal chemotherapy


Within haematology there is the opportunity to further develop special interests in a wide variety of clinical and laboratory areas. Most haematologists have further competences in one or more sub specialties within the discipline. These include:

  • haemato-oncology (acute and chronic leukaemia’s, lymphoma, multiple myeloma)
  • haemostasis/thrombosis (congenital and acquired disorders of haemostasis and blood coagulation and management of antithrombotic therapies)
  • disorders of blood production and destruction (including bone marrow failure, anaemias and autoimmune blood diseases)
  • transfusion medicine
  • paediatric haematology

The above information has been sourced from https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/


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