When you attend for a blood or urine test you will be advised that your doctor will usually only get in touch with you if there is a problem or if a repeat test needed. We usually do not require you to ring for your result.
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; 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.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose, and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.
There is a direct access (walk-in) x-ray service for patients at the University Hospital North Durham and Shotley Bridge Hospital between the hours of 9.30 am and 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). This service is not available outside these hours.
If you require an ultrasound, CT, or MRI you will be sent an appointment.
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.