Getting your test results
If your test results show that you need more tests or treatment, we will contact you.
Once a doctor has reviewed your test results, you can view them:
- in your NHS account (through the NHS website or NHS App)
- phone or visit us between 10am to 12pm and we will tell you what the results are
All patients’ records are confidential and in order to maintain this confidentiality, laboratory and X-ray results will only be discussed with the patient themselves (or parent of a minor if appropriate) when satisfactory identification has been established by the receptionist.
Routinely, patients are contacted by the practice when further action is required on receipt of test results. However, if you are ringing for results, please be aware that our reception staff are not medically qualified to interpret results. They will only be able to tell you whether or not the results are back from the laboratory and whether or not the doctor has asked to see you again regarding them, or requested any further action.
If you wish for further clarification on your test results, please ask for a telephone consultation with the doctor or nurse practitioner, who can discuss them further.
On average please allow 5 working days for your test results to come back from the hospital unless your doctor has advised otherwise. Please note that X-ray results take a little longer.
A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test. For example, a blood test can be used to:
- assess your general state of health
- confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection
- see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are functioning
A blood test usually involves the phlebotomist taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm and the usual place for a sample is the inside of the elbow or wrist, where the veins are relatively close to the surface. Blood samples from children are most commonly taken from the back of the hand. The child’s hand will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream before the sample is taken. For some children, it may be more appropriate for the doctor to arrange the test within a hospital based clinic.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.
An X-ray is a widely used diagnostic test to examine the inside of the body.
X-rays are a very effective way of detecting problems with bones, such as fractures. They can also often identify problems with soft tissue, such as pneumonia or breast cancer.
If you have a X-ray, you will be asked to lie on a table or stand against a surface so that the part of your body being X-rayed is between the X-ray tube and the photographic plate.
An X-ray is usually carried out by a radiographer, a healthcare professional who specialises in using imaging technology, such as X-rays and ultrasound scanners.
You can find out more about x-ray tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website.
Why have I been referred?
Your GP will discuss with you and, if appropriate, your carer, about why a referral is being recommended. It is usually because your GP wants a specialist’s help in deciding on the best way to treat your condition. This might involve referring you for tests or investigations that cannot be carried out in a GP surgery. Your GP will also discuss with you what choices there are for where you can be referred.
How will I hear about where and when the appointment is?
GP practices and hospitals use different ways of arranging appointments:
- Your GP practice may give you a reference number and a password you can use to book, change or cancel your appointment online or by phone. In time, more and more GP practices will refer patients in this way.
- You may receive a letter from the hospital confirming your appointment. You need to reply as soon as possible and tell the hospital if you can attend on the date offered.
- Alternatively, sometimes patients receive a letter asking them to phone the hospital to make an appointment with a specialist.