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When you attend for a test of any kind you should be told that you will be contacted if the results need following up. If you sign up for online services you will be able to check your own results on-line at any time, as soon as they have been checked by a doctor. You will also be able to compare them with previous results in your notes.

Please do not assume "no news is good news" in case the result has gone astray or we have tried and failed to reach you.

Most blood tests results are back in a few working days, but some tests, especially rarer ones may take longer. Just because one result is back, it does not mean they are all back. Most x-ray results are back within 7-10 days, but if a test suggests something serious, it is likely we will be told more quickly.

Our reception staff are not qualified to explain any results: they can only repeat the brief comment that the doctor has attached to the results, such as "normal" or "make appointment". Sometimes if the result is particularly sensitive (e.g. HIV test) or complicated, the doctor will recommend receiving the result in person.

Normally results are sent to the doctor who ordered the test. If a hospital doctor orders a test, the GP may not receive the result and may even not know it has been done. You can contact the specialist's secretary to ask about results, although usually a hospital secretary will not provide a result directly- the secretary may ask a hospital doctor to phone you back or they may involve the GP. Routine hospital letters can take up to a month to reach us, sometimes longer.

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