If the doctor sends you for tests it usually takes three to five working days for the results to come back.
When the results arrive the doctor will look at them and mark them up in one of three ways:
- If they are normal and he/she is not concerned about them at all, they will be marked “tell ok”. The receptionist will be able to pass this on this information only.
- If the doctor wants to give a little advice or reassurance about the result, he/she will put “speak to doctor”. This can usually be done over the telephone.
- If the result means you will need further treatment or discussion, the doctor will put “make appointment”. Please don’t worry! This doesn’t mean that there is something terrible happening, it just means the doctor feels he/she needs to talk to you properly, rather than a quick telephone call.
Rest assured that if the doctor wants to see you sooner rather than later we will telephone you, or write to you (do we have a daytime telephone number for you?). Again, try not to worry. This doesn’t automatically mean that there is a major problem. The doctor might want to start you on medication as soon as possible or, if the result was normal, he/she might want to order further tests.
Finally, if the test was ordered by a hospital doctor, we do not always get the result here or, if we do, it may not be until a letter arrives, which takes longer. In this case we may advise you to contact the consultant’s secretary.
Please note that we do have a strict policy regarding confidentiality and data protection. In this respect we will only give out results to the person they relate to unless that person has given prior permission for their release or if they are not capable of understanding them.