Test results: In all cases, please telephone us – preferably in the afternoon – to check your own results. If you telephone later in the day, not only are our phone lines less busy but also your doctor will have had more time to review your results. Medical information and test results can only be given to the patient and then only with their doctor's permission.
You do not usually need to speak to your doctor as they will leave a simple message to be passed on to you. This will either be along the lines of ‘Test results satisfactory, no further action’ or ‘Ask patient to speak to doctor’. There is usually no urgency to do this and it generally means there is a need for some further discussion or to agree a plan of action, rather than any bad news.
Before contacting us, please allow at least: three working days for most blood and urine samples [samples to virology can take longer]; seven working days for stool samples; 10 working days for biopsies and surgical specimens.
If we do a swab test or you are given a swab test to do at home, please allow three working days before telephoning for your results. For x-ray results, please allow 10 working days.
Samples: If you are asked to provide a sample, for the health and safety of our staff:  Put your sample in a clean, sealed container;  Clearly label the container with your name, date of birth and GP’s name; Put the container into a plastic bag;  Hand deliver it to a receptionist before noon, as all samples are collected by courier at 1pm for processing at the laboratory in Derriford;  Make a note to contact us to obtain the results.
Blood tests: 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 or 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, though blood samples from children are most commonly taken from the back of the hand. You can find out more about blood tests, their purpose and the way they are performed on the NHS Choices website.
X-ray: 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 help new patients identify problems with soft tissue, such as pneumonia or breast cancer. If you require 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. You can find out more about x-ray tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website.