I’ve just had a blood test at the surgery- what happens now?
If you have a blood test in the morning it arrives in the laboratory in the hospital that afternoon. If your test is in the afternoon, they will get to the laboratory the next day. Some tests are processed quickly at the lab, and some take several days (like tests for infection, for example.) Some even have to be sent away to other laboratories nationally. Once processed, the results are sent back to your GP using the internet.
If someone else requested this test (a consultant at the hospital, for example) the test result will be sent to THEM, and not your GP, and they will contact you where necessary. This also applies to X-rays and scans that are requested by your hospital consultant.
So how do I get my results?
We do not contact patients if their results are normal. This is due to the volume of results that come in every day. If each GP contacted every patient with their normal result it would result in 30-50 extra calls every day per GP, which would mean a big drop in available appointments for other patients- demand for these appointments is already very high. If your results are abnormal, you will be contacted in a timeframe appropriate to the seriousness of the problem. For example, if your result shows you have a serious infection, or a blood clot, you would be contacted the same day. If your blood test showed that your cholesterol was a little bit borderline, for example, we would just ask you to book in to discuss this routinely.
But I am interested to know what my results were, even if there isn’t a problem- how do I do this?
You can apply for online access to your medical record via the NHS app, which can be accessed from your phone (as an ‘app’), computer or tablet. This way you can see all your notes, all your results and appointments, etc. The hospital have a similar system called ‘MyCare.’ Please avoid phoning reception for results. They are not trained in interpreting blood or scan results and will not be able to give you any more information- additionally it can make it more difficult for unwell patients to get through to us on the telephone.