Obtaining your test results
Test results are returned to us electronically, usually within two weeks. The doctor or nurse will look at the results and decide what the next steps are, and what action is required.
After looking at the results, if the doctor or nurse thinks that the results need explanation or further discussion, we will contact you – as agreed with the person who requested the test. This may be with a telephone call from a doctor, nurse or health care assistant, or a letter asking you to book an appointment to see us. Please insure that we have the correct contact details for you.
If your results come back and they are normal, with no action required, we will not usually get in touch with you. Our Patient Assistants are able to communicate normal results with you, although they will not give further details or medical information. If there are things that are still worrying you, the Patient Assistant Team will be able to book a follow up appointment for you.
You can phone and speak to a member of the Patient Assistant Team 14 days after your test was taken to check if the results have arrived if you would like to, however, we generally tell patients that if they do not hear back about the results, it means they are normal or that no action is required.
Sometimes you may have blood tests that are looking at a number of different things. These results occasionally come back at different times so please do wait 14 days to ensure that all your results have come back before contacting us.
If a doctor in a hospital or clinic requests you to have a test or investigation, it is their responsibility to ensure that you get the result and an explanation of what it means. When you attend a clinic you should always ask how this will happen and when you should expect to receive the result.
Often the doctor will say, “We will send the results to your GP”. Always ask at the hospital when you should contact your surgery, as some results take a long time to be processed and interpreted and copied to us.
Urine or stool samples, swabs and microbiological specimens come back to us electronically and will be processed by us in the same way as blood test results.
X-rays and Scan results need to be discussed with a doctor.
Cervical Smears are taken by the nurse or doctor. For routine screening purposes smears should now be performed every 3 years between the ages of 25 and 49 years, then every 5 years from age 50 – 64yrs. If you are over 65, you only need a smear if you have not had a smear since the age of 50, or if one of your recent smear tests was abnormal. The Patient Assistant Team will be able to share results of your smear test with you.
Understanding your results
Our team will explain what the results mean but if you want to find out more about your test results and what they mean there is an excellent web-site that we recommend: Lab Tests Online.