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What to do before and after tests/treatment

To help our treatment of health problems, you may be asked to have various medical tests depending on your condition. These tests are usually carried out by a nurse but we may need you to prepare beforehand to make sure the test results are accurate.
We may also perform specific treatment on you and this can require you to prepare your body beforehand so the treatment works properly.
Once you have had the test, you will be told by one of our medical team when we expect to have the results back. This varies depending on the specific test.
Before tests/treatment
If you have been requested to have a fasting blood test, you need to fast for 14 hours before the test, consuming no food or drink except for water on its own. Because of this we recommend you have fasting blood tests earlier in the morning to minimise the amount of time you are awake but not eating. You can still take any prescribed medication during this time unless your doctor has informed you otherwise.
If you are having your ears syringed, you need to have been using olive oil or ear drops for five days before your appointment.
If you are bringing your child for their childhood immunisations, you need to bring along their Red Book and give it to the nurse when you have your appointment.
If you are having travel vaccinations, you need to make your appointment at least one month before you go abroad as it can take up to a month for your body to build up good antibody levels against the diseases you are vaccinated against.
If you are having an asthma check-up, you need to bring along all your current inhalers.
For women, if you are having a smear, you need to be mid-cycle. If you have a regular period, it needs to be around 14 days after your last menstrual period.
After tests/treatment
Most blood test results are available within 2-3 days. Less commonly requested blood tests take longer. Urine culture results take 4 working days. X-ray reports can take up to 4 days to reach us from the hospital if they arrive at all; sometimes we have to chase them up.
The doctor or nurse who organises your tests will usually arrange with you the best way to get the results to you. Our Health Care Assistant, Joyce, will remind you of the arrangement at the time of the test. If you are asked to phone up for them then please try to call between 14:00 and 16:00 - this gives the doctors enough time in the morning to analyse and comment on the results.
For reasons of confidentiality we ask you to ring for your results in person. 
Reception staff are not medically trained to discuss your results with you - they will simply provide the comment that the doctor has provided. They will be able to make an appointment or arrange a telephone consultation for you to discuss them with the appropriate clinician. This will usually have been prearranged with the doctor or nurse at the time of the test itself. You should be clear about what the follow up arrangements are.
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