Tests & Results
Results Of Tests And Investigations
We will contact you by telephone, or by letter, only if a result is abnormal and you require treatment or further investigations. You will not be contacted if your result is normal. If you wish to enquire about the results of your tests, this can be done online using our online services.
Blood Tests (Phlebotomy)
Blood tests can be used in a number of ways, such as assessing your general state of health, helping to diagnose a condition, assessing the health of certain organs or screening for some genetic conditions.
Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and the healthcare professional who arranges your blood test will tell you whether there are any specific instructions you need to follow before your test such as avoid eating or drinking anything, apart from water (fasting) for up to 12 hours or to stop taking a certain medication.
It's important to follow the instructions you're given, as it may affect the result of the test.
We can refer patients to the hospital if an X-ray is required.
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 often identify problems with soft tissue, such as pneumonia or breast cancer.
If you have an 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.
An X-ray is usually carried out by a radiographer, a healthcare professional who specialises in using imaging technology, such as X-rays and ultrasound scanners.
You can find out more about x-ray tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
A blood pressure test is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high or too low. Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your arteries as it's pumped around your body. High blood pressure (hypertension) can put a strain on your arteries and organs, which can increase your risk of developing serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Low blood pressure (hypotension) isn't usually as serious, although it can cause dizziness and fainting in some people.
A blood pressure test is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high or too low, because most people won't have any obvious symptoms. Having a test is easy and could save your life, you can ask for a blood pressure test if you're worried about your blood pressure at any point.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test that can be used to check your heart's rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats, these signals are recorded by a machine and are looked at by a doctor to see if they're unusual.
ECGs are often used alongside other tests to help diagnose and monitor conditions affecting the heart such as arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, heart attacksand cardiomyopathy. They can be used to investigate symptoms of a possible heart problem, such as chest pain, suddenly noticeable heartbeats (palpitations), dizziness and shortness of breath.
Cervical Screening Test
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 years old. Cervical cancer can develop when cells on the surface of the cervix (neck of the womb) begin to grow and divide abnormally. A virus called HPV (human papilloma virus) can cause these changes that may, in a few cases, turn into cervical cancer.
Most cases of cervical cancer could be prevented if women go for regular cervical screening (a smear test). By going for a regular smear test you can check the health of your cervix. The test can help to find any abnormal cell changes in the cervix before they have a chance to develop into cancer. By finding these abnormal changes early, they can be successfully treated.
A cervical screening test (previously known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina. Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer. For more information, please review the pages on the NHS website.
Every 15 minutes, someone in England and Wales is diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Bowel cancer screening uses a small sample of your stools collected at home to detect blood from polyps that may develop into cancer over time. Removing these polyps can reduce your chances of developing bowel cancer in the future. Bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer is highly treatable when detected in the early stages, which is why it’s so important that you are diagnosed as soon as possible.
Although some people may find the screening test unpleasant, it can be done it the privacy of your own home.
You will be contacted about your bowel screening using the information held about you at your doctor's surgery, so it is very important that they always have your current address.
The bowel screening test kit was updated in 2019 with a much easier test called a 'FIT' test.
The new screening kit (know as a FIT kit) is automatically sent to men and women between 60 and 74 every two years.
If you are over 74, request a screening kit by phoning 0800 707 60 60.
The screening centre for Portsmouth is Queen Alexandra Hospital. If you are concerned by symptoms of bowel cancer or by your family history do not wait for your testing kit - speak to your GP.
More information about bowel screening can be found here.
Breast screening saves around 1,400 lives each year across England. One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time in their lives. Breast screening involves an x-ray examination of the breasts, called a mammogram.
Breast screening can help find small changes in the breast before there are any other signs or symptoms, and detect cancers at an early stage when they are too small to see or feel. Early detection means there is a good chance of successful treatment and a full recovery.
You will be contacted about your breast screening using the information held about you at your GP surgery so it is very important that we always have your current address. All women between 50 and 70 and registered with a GP, are invited for breast screening every three years.
You will be invited at the same time as other women registered with your GP. You should expect to receive your first invitation at sometime between 50 and 53. Breast screening is also being extended to women aged 47-49.
If you are over 70 you can request a screening appointment by contacting the breast screening unit. If you have any concerns, do not wait to be invited to a screening appointment - please let us know.
The screening centre for Portsmouth is Queen Alexandra Hospital, and in a mobile screening unit which operates at Asda in Fratton and Sainsbury’s in Farlington.
If you need to rearrange your appointment, or have missed a previous screening appointment, then please phone the hospital switchboard on 023 9228 6000 and ask for the following extension:
Breast Services - 6336 Outpatients - 3280
Yearly mammogram appointments - 4066.
For 3-year mammogram appointments call 023 9228 3613 or 023 9228 3614.
If you have a physical disability or use a wheelchair, the screening team can advise you if breast screening is technically possible and which is the most appropriate place to be screened. Every effort is made to minimise any anxiety you may experience at all stages of the screening process.