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Communication of Test Results to Patients

Following a consultation with one of our clinical staff, you may have been asked to have some further investigations. Anything that is arranged by us at the surgery will be reviewed by our clinicians.

If the results are normal, we will not routinely personally contact you to inform you. Normal blood test results will be filed automatically on to your medical records; however our automation system may text you to advise you of this. Normal other results such as urine and stool tests, scans and X-Rays will be reviewed by a clinician and filed.

Any abnormal results will be actioned by the clinician who has requested it, or by a clinician who is covering, should they be absent for any reason.

We may let you know of the abnormal result in a number of ways. Our most common routes of informing our patients are via telephone call or a text message but we may also use email or a letter if contact using the former is not possible. The route of contact will be dependent on the importance of the result and the urgency by which it needs to be actioned. We may send you a text message to book a telephone appointment to discuss your results, or we may ask our receptionists to contact you to book this, if you don’t have a mobile phone number.

If all test results are normal, and you still have symptoms, we may therefore not be in touch with you and we ask that you contact us via Anima to ask for a follow up conversation with the clinician who saw you initially. You should be made aware of this during your initial consultation.

All filed results are available for you to see on your NHS App. Sometimes the clinician will leave messages on the filed results in order to give you more information about slight abnormalities. For example, a slightly high cholesterol or slightly low vitamin D level. Please check your results on the NHS App for such messages.

Please note that we have a strict policy regarding confidentiality and data protection. We will only release test results to the person whom they relate unless that person has given prior permission for the release of this data, or they are not capable of understanding the results. This may be the case if the patient has dementia or a learning disability, by which case we will discuss with their next of kin.

What if your tests were requested by a hospital specialist

Our guidance states that the clinician who has requested the results, should be responsible for actioning them and letting you know. This means that if you have had a test done at the request of the hospital, it is your specialist that needs to discuss the result with you. Many hospital tests are specialist in nature and we may not know how to interpret the result, and will not be aware of the ongoing plan. If you are waiting for a result from the hospital, please be reassured that they will contact you directly if urgent. If not urgent, they will arrange to speak to you at an appropriate timeframe in the outpatient clinic. If you are concerned that this hasn’t been arranged, please call the secretaries for the specialists you are seeing.

Version 1: March 2024