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 receive 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 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.
What Does my Test Result Mean?
Once a doctor has reviewed a blood result it will be filed with a comment. The results can then be viewed via online services.
Here is a guide to the comments used:
- Normal. Take no action – The doctor has looked at the result and it is within normal limits.
- Satisfactory. Take no action – The doctor has looked at the results and found it to be close to the normal range and not concerning. Some patients have ongoing abnormal results that are ‘normal’ for them.
- Abnormal but expected. Take no action – The doctor has looked at the result and no further investigation or treatment is needed.
This may be for the following reasons:
- The result is in keeping with your known medical condition(s)
- The result has already been discussed with you
- You are already on the correct treatment
Specimen lost/unusable, repeat test – Unfortunately, there has been a problem getting a result. This may be due to:
- A delay in samples reaching the laboratory
- A label problem
- An incorrect specimen containers used
- An error in the laboratory
Abnormal – GP has called patient. The doctor has reviewed your test result and has contacted you with an appropriate plan. If you have not received a call or have concerns, please make an appointment.
Abnormal – letter with advice sent to patient. The doctor has reviewed your test result and you will have received or be about to receive further information about this result in the post.
Abnormal – to review at pre-booked appointment. The doctor has reviewed your result and can see that you have an upcoming appointment where this will be discussed OR you may have an upcoming ‘virtual appointment’ where the doctor will review your results and will contact you if needed.
Abnormal – already actioned by another doctor. A doctor has reviewed your result and dealt with it accordingly.
Abnormal – already on correct treatment: continue with this. The doctor has looked at the result and is satisfied you are already on the appropriate treatment.
Other messages you might see when checking test results:
Cholesterol is satisfactory: No action needed (QRISK < 10%). The doctor has reviewed the cholesterol result and may send you a text message with further advice or the cholesterol will be rechecked annually
Cholesterol is satisfactory: No action needed. Already taking a statin. The doctor has reviewed your cholesterol result and is satisfied you are already on appropriate treatment.
Diabetes is well controlled: Continue medication and/or working on diet/exercise measures: The doctor has reviewed the result and is satisfied that your diabetes is well controlled.
SMS with advice sent to patient: The doctor has reviewed your result and sent you a text message with next steps. If you have not received this, please check you have updated your mobile number on our system
Your sugar test result continues to be in the pre-diabetic range: continue annual check and lifestyle changes. The doctor is happy to keep an eye on your blood test annually
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.