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Test Results

Tests undertaken by your doctor

 

A variety of tests may be requested by your doctor. These may include tests of urine, blood and other body fluids and may also include small segments of skin (biopsies) removed during a minor procedure. Additionally tests may be requested from the imaging Department at local hospitals and may include x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound scans, MRI scans and nuclear medicine scans. The medical centre is also able to arrange for some tests to be urine and blood at the medical centre.

 

All results are reviewed at the surgery and patients whose results need action taking, will be informed either by phone or letter. At present there are not enough staff resources to inform all patients of normal results. The time taken for results to be returned is very variable: a small number of blood results are returned later on the same day but usually take 2 to 3 working days. Results from the Imaging Department for x-rays and scans etc. usually take 7 to 10 working days. On occasion some tests may take several weeks to be returned.

 

As a general principle no news is good news. Usually investigation results which are highly abnormal return to us very quickly and we will get in touch with you on an urgent basis either by phone or first class letter. If you are anxious about an investigation result, please bear in mind the timescales that are indicated above. Laboratories and imaging departments work flat-out to try and get results back to us as quickly as possible and if we make constant efforts to get a result sooner, then this usually simply slows the whole process down. If there is a pressing clinical reason - for example a significant deterioration in the patient's condition - then it is possible to get results and reports expedited but I am sure you will understand that this cannot be applied without good reason.

 

Patients often contact us about results that have been requested by hospital departments. In the end we will always be informed by letter about results and conclusions that have been seen to by our hospital colleagues but individual results do not come directly to us. If you are worried about a result this will be viewed by the clinician who requested the test and in the same way as ourselves, they will let you know if urgent action needs to be taken. They may be waiting to see you in clinic before coming to a complete conclusion, telling you about this and then writing to us. Please therefore be patient with the hospital, often we cannot access this information and in fact usually the opinion of the specialist is the important part of the information that is required. If you are going to try and get results in these circumstances, please contact the secretary of the specialist that you are seeing. They should be able to liaise with the relevant doctor who can then help to pass a message back to you.

 

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