24 hour urine collection

What sample container will I receive?

A sample container is provided for a 24 hour urine collection. Some containers contain a preservative (strong liquid acid or powder); this must not be thrown away.

The label on the container will tell you if there is a preservative and care should be taken not to spill or touch any as it could burn the skin, even when it is mixed with urine.

If you spill the preservative, advice for first aid for skin or eye contact is provided on the back of the container.

When do I collect the sample?

It will be easier if you choose a day when you will be at home for a complete 24-hour period. If you have to go out, take your container with you. On your chosen day, begin at the usual time when you wake. The end of the collection will be 24 hours later.

Start of collection e.g. 8am or when you wake

Empty your bladder completely and flush the urine down the toilet. You will now have an empty bladder; the collection of urine will start from this point. Write the date and time on the bottle. For the rest of the day and overnight, collect all urine passed into the container.

You may find it useful to collect the urine in a smaller, clean container and carefully pour it into the sample container straight away.

End of collection e.g. 8am, 24 hours later

After 24 hours (at the same time as the previous day) empty your bladder and add this urine to the container. Add no more urine. Write the date and time. This completes the collection.

Make sure that during and after the collection the container is kept in a cool place.

You will need to stop the collection and start again with a new container if:

  • you have a bowel movement and are unable to collect the urine separately
  • any of the urine is accidentally discarded during the collection

After the sample has been collected

Check the cap is screwed on firmly. Carefully fill in all details required on the container label including your name, date of birth and hospital/NHS number.

Please note: Any container received unlabelled cannot be accepted and you would have to repeat the collection.

If you don’t have your NHS/Hospital number or the barcode label please contact your GP surgery, ward or clinic.

What to do with the collected sample

Check that all details have been filled in clearly on the label.

Deliver the container (and the request form if you were given one), as soon as possible direct to the laboratory, hospital or your GP.

Laboratory Specimen Reception

Pathology Sciences Building

Southmead Hospital

Bristol BS10 5NB

Opening hours 8am – 10pm

Further Information

Further information can be found at:



24 hour urine collection