Why does the doctor ask me to have tests?

To confirm a diagnosis:

Doctors may suspect a condition but need some test result to be sure. A common example is diabetes, because the definition of diabetes is a high blood sugar level. 

Regular monitoring:

If you have a long-term condition (LTC), or you are taking certain medication (for example, anti-coagulant drugs), your doctor may advise you to have regular blood or urine tests.

You may receive reminders by phone, text message, email or letter, to collect test request forms from time to time. You can have the tests done at the places and times specified.

Alternatively, please contact the reception and they will liaise with your doctor to issue the test request forms.

Health concerns:

If you are worried about your health and wish to have some tests done, please discuss with your doctor, or leave a message with reception. They will inform your doctor, who decides which tests are appropriate.

What types of tests are there?

Your doctor may refer you for:

  • blood tests 
  • urine tests
  • stool tests
  • histo-pathology tests
  • x-ray
  • scans (ultrasound, computerised tomogram, magnetic resonance imaging)
  • ECG (electrocardiogram)

Where do I go for blood tests?

Urine, sputum and stool specimens (securely packed with the request forms) can be left at the surgery reception before 12 noon from Monday to Friday.

Phlebotomy (blood sample) service

Test results:

How do I get my test results

What do the test results mean?

Some test results are either one way or the other. For example, a pregnancy test is either 'positive' - which means you are pregnant, or 'negative' - which means you are not.

Most test results show a number. The doctors check this against a 'range' of numbers, called 'normal range'. This is not a single number, but two numbers that are the upper and lower limits. In between the upper and lower limits are all the numbers that we find commonly among healthy people.

If your test result is a number that is way above the upper limit, or far below the lower limit, it is considered abnormal, and usually needs treatment or other investigations. If it is just outside the limits, it is considered borderline, and the doctor may advise treatment or just watching it for a little while and repeating the test.

What are the normal ranges of test results?

These numbers are given in good faith and for your own reference only; they may vary between laboratories in different areas. They are not a substitute for medical advice. If you have any doubt please speak to your doctor.

Reference values - Lipids (fats) test 

Cholesterol, a family history, high blood pressure... how worried should I be?

Reference values - Sugar tests

Reference values - Vitamin D tests 

Reference values - Renal (kidney function) testReference values - Thyroid test

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website