This section is designed to provide you with some information about your appointment so as to help you to prepare for your examination and give you some idea of what to expect whilst you are in the department and afterwards.

We cannot undertake an x-ray or scan without a referral from a GP or doctor.

All requests for an x-ray or scan are validated by the Radiology department so as to ensure that patients receive the correct test to ease diagnosis and answer the clinical questions that have been asked. Should a request not be deemed as valid, as per national and department standards and guidelines, we will return the request to the referring clinician with a letter explaining why this has been rejected. Staff in the Radiology department are authorised to reject referrals from a doctor if they do not meet national and department standards and guidelines.

Accident and Emergency Imaging is supported at HRI and ERCH only. A 24 hour emergency service is provided at HRI only.

How to make an appointment

Your referral for an x-ray or scan may be appointed by:

  • Telephoning the Central Booking Office at CHH (01482 622047). Please note that this is only available for x-rays or ultrasound scans. You must bring the request card with you to the appointment.
  • Your referral will be sent to the Radiology department by your doctor and an appointment letter will be sent out to you via the post.

We allocate appointments according to the next available appointment at any site. We do try and book an appointment at a hospital which is near the patient’s home address. However, sometimes this may not be possible especially if we have longer waits at a particular site.

All diagnostic tests have to be undertaken within 6 weeks of the request being received in the deptartment. This may take longer in some modalities but in others — for example, plain films and ultrasound scans — we usually do them within 2 weeks maximum for all routine appointments (again this is site specific and is dependent on demand).

Urgent referrals will be prioritised and appointed as soon as possible.

What should you wear for your examination?

You are advised to attend the department wearing clothes without metal fasteners, for example, a tracksuit. If this is not possible a hospital gown and changing facilities are available. If you wish you may bring your own dressing gown.

What to do when you arrive in the department?

Please go to the reception desk, as advised in the accompanying appointment letter, after which you will be shown where to wait until collected by a member of staff. Within the department the toilets and public phone are clearly signposted, should you need to use them at any time. However, do remember that if you have been asked to drink to fill your bladder, try to not use the toilet until after the examination.

What happens when you are collected from the reception / waiting area?

You will be advised if you have to remove any clothes before entering the examination room, in which case you will be shown to a private cubicle where you may take off your outer garments. For some examinations you will be asked to put on the hospital gown and dressing gown provided, but you may prefer to bring your own dressing gown. You should place your clothes and personal belongings either in a basket, which you will keep with you, or in a secure locker.

How to get the results of your x-ray or scan

As soon as the x-ray images have been taken they are available for reporting by a radiologist, sonographer or reporting radiographer. This usually takes place 48-72 hours after the x-ray or scan has been completed. The results are then posted out to the referring GP or doctor. As this can take a while, patients are advised to make an appointment to see their GP 10-14 days after their appointment to allow time for the GP to receive the result through the post.

Patients have to return to the doctor who referred them for the x-ray or scan to get their results. This may be to a GP or at a follow up appointment in Outpatients. Radiographers are not able to give results directly to the patient.

Department Opening Hours

Normal opening hours are 08.30am-5.30pm, Monday-Friday. However, we do have extended opening hours in Ultrasound, CT and MRI at weekends and up to 8.00pm on evenings. A 24/7 emergency service is provided in plain film and CT.

Other Information

Please read your appointment letter carefully so as to ensure that you know:

  • What time your appointment is
  • The site/department to which you are to attend
  • What to do if you are unable to attend
  • Any special instructions
  • Preparations which may be required before attending

Patient waiting areas are restricted in the Radiology department. Therefore, we request that you restrict the number of adults who accompany you during your visit to the department.

X-ray staff are unable to look after your child/children whilst you have your examination. Please try and make alternative arrangements or have another adult accompany you during your visit. If this is difficult, please contact us so that we can offer you a more convenient appointment.