Rapid Diagnostic Service

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-1303/2022
  • Departments: Radiology
  • Last Updated: 3 January 2022


You have been referred by your GP under a Rapid Diagnostic Service (RDS) pathway.

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your referral and most of your questions should be answered in this document.

It is not intended to replace the channel of communication between you and your doctor but may act as a basis for further discussion.  If after reading it, you have any concerns or require further explanation, please contact your GP surgery who will be able to direct you to a member of their health care team who has been caring for you.

What is the rapid diagnosis service?

You have presented to your GP with vague symptoms.  A number of common conditions may cause the symptoms you have, but they could also be cancer, so it is important for you to be seen quickly in order to fully investigate your symptoms.

Your GP should have already arranged blood and urine tests.  You have been referred to the Rapid Diagnosis pathway to get some additional tests done which will hopefully rule this out.

All of these tests are done to check your anatomy is normal and to help to try to find a cause of your symptoms.

These tests can detect abnormalities but can also be used to reassure you and your doctor that there are no abnormalities present.

Prior to arrival at clinic, we will ask you some questions to check whether there is any possibility of COVID-19 infection.

You will also receive a telephone call from the Radiology Department during which a member of the RDS team will go through a series of questions with you.

You will then receive an appointment for investigations from the Radiology Department via telephone or by letter.

You will be in the Radiology Department for up to an hour

What happens when I arrive?

When you arrive in the Department you will be weighed, so that there is an accurate and up to date record of your weight. This can help to work out if you have lost or gained weight between appointments.

You will be called into the ultrasound room and the sonographer will go through a questionnaire and ask you some further questions. The ultrasound scan will then be performed.

You will then have a chest X-ray. The radiographer may also ask you some further questions based on the answers you provided in your questionnaire.

Once both tests have been performed you can eat and drink as normal.

The ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan is a type of scan which uses high frequency sound waves to provide information about the organs within your abdomen.

The person undertaking your scan will either be a sonographer or a sonographer trainee who will introduce themselves and explain the procedure before they start. There may also be an imaging support worker in the room; they are there to help you and the sonographer. You may ask them to leave if you would prefer not to be accompanied.

You will be asked to lay on an examination couch and expose your abdomen. You may also be asked to expose your neck or groin depending on the answers that you gave on the questionnaire.

Cool gel is placed on your tummy and a probe is moved over the skin. Gentle pressure is required to obtain the best images. The images are displayed on a monitor which the sonographer looks at and interprets the findings. Once the examination is complete you will be given tissue to wipe away the gel. You can get help with this if you find it difficult.

You will be required to fast for 6 hours prior to your ultrasound scan

This means no food and no drinks with milk in (water, black tea or black coffee are allowed). You will also be required to attend the scan with a full bladder.

We advise you wear loose fitting clothing, so it does not need to be removed.

The chest x-ray

A chest X-ray is a type of diagnostic imaging that uses ionizing radiation in the form of X-rays to provide information about the organs in your chest.

The radiographer will help you to move your body into the position that will help them to obtain the best image of your chest. You will be asked to breathe in and hold your breath for a short amount of time. The radiographer will then check the image to ensure that it has all of the information needed for the doctor or reporting radiographer to look at.

If there is not enough information, you may need to have another X-ray taken. This does not mean that there is anything wrong.

The radiographer who performs your X-ray will not be able to give you any results, it will be reported and reviewed by a doctor, then your GP will explain the results of all of your tests.

You are advised to wear clothing without buttons or metal if you can. If you cannot wear clothing without buttons or metal, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.

What happens next…

When both tests in the Radiology Department have been performed, the results will be sent to a radiologist (a specialist imaging doctor) to review all of the tests.

The radiologist will provide your GP with the results of the X-ray and ultrasound scan.

Sometimes the ultrasound scan or Chest X-ray does not provide all the answers, so you may be contacted by the Radiology Department to arrange a further test; usually a CT or an MRI scan.

Where any further tests are required, those tests will be arranged by the Radiologist who will inform your GP of the results, and where necessary, will also inform the appropriate specialist doctor in the hospital.

You may therefore be contacted by someone from their department to attend a consultation and discuss your results further.

Should you require any further advice on the information contained within this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Ultrasound Department on: (01482) 624034

This leaflet was produced by the (Ultrasound Department) Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in November 2023 following publication.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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