Tests and Results
Blood Tests at Shepley Health Centre
We offer appointments at the surgery for blood samples to be taken. A person trained in taking blood is called a Phlebotomist. Blood tests have to be processed by the laboratory within a certain time frame, otherwise the results can be meaningless. At our surgery the van collecting samples calls at lunchtime, and so all phlebotomy appointments are necessarily in the morning.
There are a small number of tests that have to be done at the hospital, and in this case you will be told explicitly. There are also a number of people in whom it is very difficult to obtain samples from, and if you happen to be one of these, you will also be asked to attend path lab to have blood taken.
Urine, stool, clipping and swab tests at Shepley Health Centre
These need to be received at the laboratory whilst they are in a fit state to be analysed. Generally a sample received or collected the afternoon before will be fine to go off with the next collection. However, this does not apply on a Friday afternoon.
If, for example, you think you have a urine infection, and have an appointment on a Friday afternoon, you might want to bring the sample to the surgery in the morning, so it can be sent off, and keep your appointment in the afternoon. If you think that the nurse or doctor will want to perform a swab test on you, it would be better to come to the surgery to any session other than one on a Friday afternoon.
Blood tests at HRI and CRH
If the times we offer for blood taking prove inconvenient, there is also a walking-in, no-appointment phlebotomy service, open to all adults and adolescents, offered by both Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital.
The hospital phlebotomy Service operates Monday - Friday only, and is closed every bank holiday. At both locations the opening-times are 7:30am - 5pm. To use this facility you will need to request a blood form from the surgery, and then present it at the phlebotomy department at the hospital, where you can sit and wait for the blood to be taken.
At Huddersfield only, the department is also open by appointment only from 5.00 pm until 5.40 pm on alternate Wednesdays. It is advisable to ring for appointments, (on 01484 355765), in the afternoon when the department is quieter and staff are available to answer the telephone.
Blood tests for house-bound patients
For house-bound patients who cannot be brought to the surgery, we can request that the blood sample be taken by the district nurses. The district nurses do not telephone before visiting, as it is expected, with the person being house-bound, that they will be in whatever time they call.
Blood tests for children
Generally children have to have blood tests taken at the Acre Mill Children's Outpatient Department (over the road from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary). This is by appointment only.
To arrange this, once you have collected a blood form from the surgery, you need to phone the childrens' clinic on 01484 343210, and they will book you an appointment and tell you where to go.
Please note that for small children a local anaesthetic cream will be offered and the child can play for 35 minutes whilst this takes effect.
For older children a cryogesic spray will be offered. This has an immediate freezing effect.
For suitable children over the age of 10, you can also used the adult blood taking drop-in service at Huddersifield Royal Infirmary between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.
If the doctor or nurse practitioner wants you to have an x-ray done, they will give you a form and expect it to be done at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Most people use the appointment free walk in service, but if you prefer to book an appointment call 01484 342186.
The walk-in timetable, and where to go at different times is as follows:
Barnsley General Hospital X-ray department
Some patient prefer to go to Barnsley General Hospital for x-rays. The system is different to that at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. To have an x-ray in Barnsley it is necessary for patient to phone the department to make an appointment. The department asks that patients phone the department 3 working days after the x-ray is requested, in order to book an appointment. You cannot just turn up at the department like you can in Huddersfield.
For x-ray appointments you need to phone 01226 432199.
For scan appointments you need to phone 01226 432638.
Sperm Counts / Semen analysis
In order that we get a meaningful result this test needs to be performed by the laboratory within 1 hour of the sample being collected.
The test is only done at Calderdale Royal Hospital, and is only done between the hours of 8:30am and 3:30pm. And so, it is best that the test form and the sample container be taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital, and the sample be produced there, and then handed in person to a member of the lab staff, rather than leave it with a pile of other less urgent investigations.
You'll need to refrain from any sexual activity for at least two days, but not more than 10 days before you collect your sample. This means no sex or no ejaculation of any kind, including masturbation. Longer or shorter periods of abstinence may result in a lower sperm count or decreased sperm motility.
Results of tests requested by the surgery
It takes differing amounts of time for results to come back to the surgery.
The result of:
- Common blood test tends to be known by the next afternoon.
- More unusual blood test can take anything between 3 days and 6 weeks to come back, (depending on whether the sample gets sent to another part of the country etc.)
- Urine tests for infection can be back within 1-5 days. (Basically as soon as the lab knows the result they let us know, but sometimes it takes longer for the lab to obtain the result).
- Stool or poo tests for infection can be back within 2-7 days. (Again the lab will let us know the result as soon as they find out, but it takes a variable amount of time for the cultures done in the lab to be readable).
- Swabs come back from the lab in 3-7 days.
- Nail clippings and skin scrapings is known within 7-14 days of the sample being received.
- Tissue removed in minor surgery sessions takes 1-3 weeks to come back.
- X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasound scans can be back within a couple of days but sometimes it take 2 weeks or more for us to hear.
- Nerve conduction studies takes 2 weeks to come back.
- Echocardiograms take about 2 weeks to come back.
- 24 hour ECG tests tend to come back after 2 weeks.
- ECG's are done in the surgery, and the result is often known by the end of the next working day.
- 24 hour blood pressure tests are done in the surgery, adn the results tend to be known by 2 working days after the test is done.
- Cervical smears take 2-4 weeks to come back to us.
Obtaining your test results
All results coming into the surgery are viewed by a doctor, who will then write a comment on it. This may be that the result is normal, as expected, or that it confirms that the correct treatment has been given.
If more action is needed, the adminstrative staff will be asked to contact the patient (or parent/carer/guardian). The action needed may be:
- to ask the patient to collect a prescription
- to ask the patient to book an appointment to discuss the result (which could generally be a telephone or a face-to-face consultation)
- to tell the patient that a further test needs to happen.
Sometimes the test result will be abnormal and we will not contact you. This tends to be for non-urgent test results when we have told you to book an appointment with the clinician once the result is back, or if the test was done as prior to a routine review, when we are expecting you to book the review appointment.
Sometimes a test result generates more questions, which our non-clinical staff are unable to answer. It is not necessarily that the result is bad, it may be just that the explanation needed is more than can be put in a simple message, or that we need to examine you, or reassure you that all is well, but warn you of situations you need to look out for etc.
For certain tests, like tests on diarrhoea, infected urine or swabs, if you are better, then it is not necessary to obtain the result. If we do not hear back from you we will assume, as commonly happens, that you are better. If you are not better however, and have not heard from the surgery we ask that you let us know, so we can decide what action to take. If the result comes back and we need to change your treatment we will let you know.
In minor surgery sessions we do not remove tissue if we think it is likely to be cancerous. (The hospital tends to deal cancerous lesions, and the surgery to remove them is often more drastic.)The test performed on the tissue removed invariably confirms that the doctor suspects, and no more action is needed. We will only contact you if we get an unexpected result.
For all other tests, we ask that if you have not heard from the surgery (within the timescales given above), that you contact us. Most of the time we will be able to confirm to you that the results are normal, acceptable or that further action is not necessarily needed. Even if this is the case, if you think that your original problem has not yet been sorted out, you may need to book a further appointment.
On occasions, you contacting us will prompt us to notice that no result has been received, and if necessary we will chase it up with the hospital.
It is a good idea to check we have upto date contact details (i.e. mobile or landline number)for you when we do a test.
Results of Tests organised by the Hospital
Test results always come back to the clinician requesting the test. So in the case of tests requested by the hospital, the practice will not automatically have the result.
Sometimes the hospital sends a copy of the result to the surgery, and sometimes the surgery only learns the result of a test if it is mentioned in the body of a letter we receive from the hospital, which tends to arrive a couple of weeks after patients are seen in the outpatient clinic. If patients would like to know the results of tests before their outpatient appointment they will need to telephone the secretary of the consultant whom they are under. Sometimes they will tell you the result, sometimes they will not and sometimes they write or send a fax of the result to the surgery instead.
However, for certain blood tests, x-rays, biopsy results, CT scans, ultrasound scans and MRI scans, done at HRI or CRH only, although the surgery will not have the result automatically, we can use our practice computer to view the result if it is stored in a certain place on the hospital computer.
We are willing to look to see if there are results that we can view on the computer. However, if we do this please note that:
- Sometimes the result generates questions as to what happens next, which often only the hospital is able to answer.
- If the result is not accessible by us, you will have to contact the hospital yourself.