Results Of Tests And Investigations
When you attend for a test of any kind you will be told how long you should expect to wait for the results. Please bear this in mind and call the surgery once sufficient time has elapsed.
Our reception staff are not qualified to comment on results therefore it is your responsibility to check them and make any necessary follow-up appointment with the doctor.
Please note that we do have a strict policy regarding confidentiality and data protection. In this respect we will only give out results to the person they relate to unless that person has given prior permission for their release or if they are not capable of understanding them.
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.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.
Urine (pee) tests and Stool (poo) tests
Urine Your GP or another healthcare professional may ask for a urine sample to help them diagnose or rule out certain health conditions. Urine contains waste products that are filtered out of the body. If the sample contains anything unusual, it may indicate an underlying health problem.
Urine tests are most commonly done to check:
- for infections – such as a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia
- if you are passing any protein in your urine as a result of kidney damage – this is known as an ACR test
For more information on the types of urine (pee) samples and how to collect and store them, please click here
Stool Your GP or another healthcare professional may ask you for a stool sample to help them diagnose or rule out a particular health condition. Poo contains bacteria and other substances that are in the digestive system. By testing the levels of these substances and bacteria in your poo, it's possible to work out what's happening in your digestive system.
For example, the sample can be tested to help diagnose:
- gastroenteritis – a common condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting, and is usually the result of a bacterial or viral tummy bug
- inflammatory bowel disease – such as Crohn's disease, a condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system
- Ulcerative colitis, a condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed
For more information on the types of stool (poo) samples and how to collect and store them, please click here
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 .
An ultrasound scan is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body. The technology is similar to that used by sonar and radar, which help the military detect planes and ships. An ultrasound allows your doctor to see problems with organs, vessels, and tissues without needing to make an incision.
Unlike other imaging techniques, ultrasound uses no radiation. For this reason, it’s the preferred method for viewing a developing fetus during pregnancy.
Your doctor may order an ultrasound if you’re having pain, swelling, or other symptoms that require an internal view of your organs as it can be used to monitor or help diagnose a condition.
You can find out more about ultrasound tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website
Screening is a way of identifying apparently healthy people who may have an increased risk of a particular condition. The NHS offers a range of screening tests to different sections of the population. The aim is to offer screening to the people who are most likely to benefit from it. For example, some screening tests are only offered to newborn babies, while others such as breast screening and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening are only offered to older people.
If you get a normal result (a screen negative result) after a screening test, this means you are at low risk of having the condition you were screened for. This does not mean you will never develop the condition in the future, just that you are low risk at the moment.
If you have a higher-risk result (a screen positive result), it means you may have the condition that you've been tested for. At this point, you will be offered further tests (called diagnostic tests) to confirm if you have the condition. You can then be offered treatment, advice and support.
Finding out about a problem early can mean that treatment is more effective. However, screening tests are not perfect and they can lead to difficult decisions about having further tests or treatment.
Click here to find out what types of screening are offered and the benefits, risks and limitations of screening.