Results Of Tests And Investigations
If you are phoning for the result of a test, we would like you to do this after 11:00am. This is because our phone lines are very busy early in the day, dealing with urgent queries. This also allows time for the incoming blood results and letters for that day to scanned into your records and then reviewed by your doctor. The reception staff should also have more time to deal with your request at these relatively quieter times.
Most blood, urine and swab results are back at the surgery within 2-3 days although more specialised tests can take longer. The results of most other GP requested tests e.g. X-rays/scans can take an average of 10 days to arrive back at the surgery.
The practice would like to remind our patients that it is your responsibility to phone in for these results, and if next steps are required (such as adjusting your treatment, repeating tests, coming in to discuss with the GP, or some other action), our reception team will be able to let you know. Whilst there are arrangements for promptly communicating the most urgent results, and also for "mopping up" those who do not contact us for their results (this could be a text reminder, phonecall or letter); in the main, you should contact us in the first instance, and this is your responsibility; you should not assume your results are normal because we have not contacted you. Not contacting us promptly may delay your appropriate next steps being taken.
If the test was requested by a consultant in hospital it will probably take 3-4 weeks before your GP is notified. We experience similar lengthy delays for clinic and hospital discharge letters. We appreciate this can be frustrating and is far from ideal but unfortunately, we do not have any control over this.
Whilst we endeavour to notify patients of abnormal results, we would ask you to assume some active responsibility in finding out the results of your tests.
TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY PLEASE ASK US FOR YOUR RESULTS. DO NOT ASSUME THEY ARE NORMAL JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT CONTACTED YOU.
Note that the practice has a strict policy regarding confidentiality and data protection and we will only release test results to the person to whom they relate unless that person has given prior permission for the release of this data or they are not capable of understanding the results.
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 childs hand will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream before the sample is taken.
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 an 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.