29 July 2022

The Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) and the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) are aware that there is an emerging issue with the ongoing supply of wax for processing and embedding histopathology samples.

This document signposts best practice guidance and practical advice for optimising utilisation of histopathology wax while maintaining clinical standards. It represents prevailing best practice that should be followed in day-to-day practice. Discussions with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) suggest that this supply issue is likely to last for a number of weeks, with more robust supplies available from October 2022. It is expected that this will be a UK wide issue. During this time stocks are likely to be constrained.

We encourage organisations to work collaboratively, follow relevant guidance and engage with NHS England/DHSC and Government bodies to make optimal use of available supplies this will limit the risk of histopathology service disruptions. Advice on supply chain and suppliers will be covered outside of this advisory document from DHSC/NHS England or Government bodies. We recommend that this guidance is followed closely.