A blood test involves drawing a sample of blood 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
Blood tests are available at the practice and are most commonly performed by our phlebotomist. Nurses and doctors can also take blood tests, although they may not have time to do this if your appointment is attending to something else as well. If this is they case they will arrange another appointment for you to have the test.
A blood test most commonly involves taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm or the back of your hand where the veins are relatively close to the surface. Blood samples from children are most commonly taken from the back of the hand. In this case child's hand will be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream before the sample is taken. In the case of children it may be felt appropriate for the blood test to be taken in the children’s outpatient clinic at the John Radcliffe Hospital and this option will be offered to you if your child is advised to have a blood test.
You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website. Find out more here
Click here for the 28 Beaumont Street patient guide to having blood tests.
An X-ray is a widely used diagnostic test to examine the internal organs of the body. X-rays are an 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.
In Oxford there is a walk in service for routine X-rays which have been requested by a GP. This means that once you have been given a referral by your GP you can go to the Churchill hospital at any of the times when the X-ray department is open. The result of the X-ray is usually made available by a computer link to 28 Beaumont Street within the next couple of days.
In the case of suspected fractures, then you need to go to the A+E (minor casualty) department in the John Radcliffe Hospital. Your X-ray, if needed, will be arranged in the A+E department. If you see your GP before you go, then you can obtain a GP referral for the required X-ray which may streamline your visit to the hospital.
You can find out more about X-ray tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website. Find out more here
Other investigations such as MRI scans, CT scan, ultrasound scans and bone scans will require a medical referral and the arrangement of a hospital appointment. In the NHS there is a lot of pressure on these essential services. Only in the most urgent cases will these tests be possible to arrange within 1-2 weeks. Otherwise, you can expect an appointment for within 4-6 weeks.
Blood test results
The nurse, doctor or phlebotomist responsible for taking your blood tests will tell you, at the time of your consultation, when the results can be expected. Please call reception between 14:00 and 18:00 on the expected date.
The results will have been checked by the next working the day they have arrived at the practice by one of the doctors before you are told the result. If there are any findings of concern then the doctor will try to contact you by telephone or email and if they cannot get in touch this way you will be sent a letter. Please make sure your contact details are up to date and that you have given permission for telephone/email contact. If the results are normal the doctor will annotate the results so that the practice receptionist can confirm this when you call for the results.
Note that the practice has a strict policy regarding confidentiality and data protection and we will only release test results to the person to whom they relate unless that person has given prior permission for the release of this data, or to their official carer if the person is not capable of understanding the results.
Please note that our reception staff are only permitted to tell you only the information the doctor has summarised over the telephone. If you need to discuss the detail of your results you are encouraged to make an appointment with you doctor.
Although we will of course make every effort to contact you if a result shows the possibility of a serious condition, we cannot contact you about every test result. Therefore, we ask that you take the responsibility of calling to check your results and to make an appointment to follow them up with your doctor if you have been advised to do so.
Result of xrays and scans
If our doctors have requested xrays and scans then the results are made available to the practice within a few days of the test. As with blood tests, if the results need acting upon, then the doctor will make every effort to get in touch with you. If the result is normal then you wont hear from the doctor and instead you would be expected to call the practice for confirmation of the result.
Please note that if xray and scans have been requested by hospital doctors, then their results may not be accessible to the practice in Beaumont Street. The usual hospital practice is to inform you of your test results either in a letter copied to you, or at the next hospital appointment. We would ask you not to call the practice to find out hospital results, but instead to get in touch first with the secretary of your hospital consultant.