Tests & results

In general, unless the doctor or nurse has specifically asked you to do so, there is no need to ring up for your results. All results are received electronically in to the practice and are reviewed by a doctor or nurse. If you have not heard from us, then the clinician is satisfied with the result, and no further action is required.

You can now view your results via the online access apps. Visit the online services page for information about how to register.

If you would like to ring about your test results, please call between 14:30 - 16:30 when fewer people are ringing for appointments and the lines are quieter. The staff may be able to tell you if the result has been marked as normal or satisfactory by the doctor. However, please remember that our Care Navigators are not clinically trained, so if some results require explanation or discussion, you will be offered a consultation with a doctor or nurse. Usual estimated times for results to return are shown below, along with details on what the tests involve, and where you can have them done. Click on each of the headings below to expand the boxes and see more information.

Tests requested by your hospital doctor

Please note that if you have had a test which was requested by the doctor at a hospital appointment or during an in-patient stay, the results will be sent to them, not us. Occasionally they will write to us with those results, but this is not the default. If you have not heard from them and would like to know the result, try contacting their secretary at the hospital.

Blood tests

There are a number of community clinics that provide the blood test (phlebotomy) service for us, freeing up our practice healthcare assistant and nurses to offer more appointments for more specialised tests and reviews. The nearest clinic for most of our patients is at Garston. A full list of clinics along with opening times can be found here. Results for blood tests vary from being back the next day, to taking at least three weeks, depending on their complexity and how often the lab processes that test. For example a full blood count will be processed the same day it is received by the lab, and the result sent across to us electronically the next day, whereas less frequently analysed tests such as for coeliac antibodies or vitamin D are processed as a batch once every few weeks by the lab, so take much longer for the result to come back.

X-rays (radiographs) and ultrasound scans

X-rays and some ultrasound scans can be done locally at the South Liverpool Treatment Centre (Garston), or the York Centre (Smithdown Road behind Asda), in addition to the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals. The doctor will usually make an electronic request for the test during your consultation. For X-rays Garston asks that you ring first to make an appointment, but for the others you can simply turn up. Although the images are captured digitally whilst you are there, they then need to be examined by someone qualified to interpret them, usually a radiology doctor. We usually say to leave at least a week for the report to come through. Your GP will not get to see the actual radiograph (image). Ultrasound scans are also requested electronially, but they will contact you to make an appointment. For some female ultrasound scans you may be asked to go to the Women's Hospital. If you have been sent for an ultrasound scan, we will usually want to see you back for a review, and it is suggested that when you have had your scan, book an appointment with the doctor that sent you for it a week or two afterwards by which time the result should be available.

ECGs (heart tracings)

A straight-forward heart tracing can be done at Garston or Old Swan. Often they will give you a copy of the heart tracing to take away and hand in to the practice. However, all heart tracings are also sent to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital to be examined by a Consultant Cardiologist, who will pick up any subtle signs which might not be picked up by a non-specialist. Sometimes the doctor will want you to wear a monitor for a 24 hour period, for which you will have to attend on two consecutive days (first day to get fitted, second day to return the device) and these are usually fitted at the Royal, although you could also go Aintree or Whiston.

Ambulatory (24hr) blood pressure monitoring

This can be done at Garston and you will attend on two consecutive days (first day to get fitted, second to return the device.) The data is then analysed and a report sent through to us in the post. The doctor will send a request to Garston and they will contact you arrange an appointment. The report can take a few weeks to come through. Usually the doctor will want you to come back for review, so once you have a date for the test, please come back for a follow-up appointment 2-3 weeks after that with the doctor that sent you for it.

CT (computed tomography) & MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans

These much more detailed, complex and expensive scans are still done at the main hospitals, and usually for our patients that will be the Royal or Broadgreen, although sometimes we also use The Walton Centre or Whiston. Results can take a week or so to come back, as they must be reported by an experienced radiology doctor. The GP will fill out a detailed request form about the problem under investigation, the findings so far, and what the clinical question to be answered is and send that to the hospital. They will then contact you directly to make the appointment. The scan request is always a specific query. We cannot request, and they will not perform, "whole body scans". If you have been sent for a scan, we will usually want to see you back for a review, and it is suggested that when you know when your scan date is you book an appointment with the doctor that sent you for it about two weeks afterwards to discuss the result.

Echocardiograms

These scans of the heart which use ultrasound can be requested if the GP wants to know how efficiently your heart is pumping, or if they want some more information about the heart valves. They are performed at all of the main hospitals in Merseyside, and booked through the e-Referrals System so you can select the location and date that suits you. The results will usually take over a week to come back, and are usually not suitable for explaining over the phone. If you have been sent for a scan like this, we will usually want to see you back for a review. We suggest that when you know your scan date, book an appointment with the GP for a couple of weeks after the scan date to discuss the result.

Spirometry

This test involves taking deep breaths and blowing as hard and for as long as you can into a special machine which will then tell us about your total lung capacity, and how quickly you can breathe the air out. Sometimes you will then be given a few puffs on an inhaler and the test repeated. These measurements help us to determine your lung function. If this is the first time you've done the test we will usually be wanting to see you back for a review, but we also periodically re-test those patients with a known diagnosis to monitor their condition, in which case follow-up in surgery may not be necessary. The tests are performed by a team from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, at community clinics across the city. A detailed information leaflet can be downloaded from the Liverpool Heart & Cest Hospital. Your GP will send a referral form to their office and they will contact you with an appointment.

Bone density scans (for osteoporosis)

These are done at the Royal or the Liverpool Women's Hospital. If you have had one before in Liverpool they ask that you get the test repeated on the same machine. Apparently there is some variation between the machines, and treatment progress is therefore best to be re-assessed on the same machine. These scans are booked via the e-Referrals System, and it takes a few weeks for the results to come back.