doctor examining an x-rayAn 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 a 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. We do not carry out X-rays in-house at any of our sites at present. If you need an X-ray your GP will refer you on to one of the local X-ray departments.

You can find out more about X-ray tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website.

When you have your X-ray you will usually be told when to expect the results to go to your GP. Most arrive within 2 weeks but this can be longer in busy periods. X-rays are, however, checked every day by a clinician and if anything needs to be followed up urgently your GP will always be contacted.

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