As part of the Ionising Radiation Medical Exposure Regulations (IR(ME)R) a doctor registered with the General Medical Council must refer for an x-ray due to the involvement of radiation. It’s a legal requirement, so, unfortunately, you can’t self-refer for the service. This referral can be from your GP or any consultant, whether that be a consultant you’ve seen at Kings Park Hospital or anywhere else.
If you are referred, we will contact you to book you in for your x-ray at a time that suits you. We often work extended hours which enables us to offer evening appointments if necessary. Ultrasound scans are carried out by our consultants at dedicated sessions during the week. If you are in the hospital seeing one of our consultants in our clinics, and they advise you need an x-ray, this can be carried out during your consultation.
You won’t need to wait to be seen, your consultant may take you directly to the diagnostic imaging department after your consultation or ask you to remain in reception, and one of our radiographers will come and collect you.
Usually no preparation is required for an x-ray. We may ask you to remove any jewellery that may show up on the x-ray, for example, taking off any rings if you are getting a hand x-ray. In addition, depending on the part of the body you are having x-rayed, you may need to change into a gown. It helps to ensure nothing on your clothing gets in the way of making a diagnosis, such as a button, zip, logo or bra strap.
Our x-ray department is self-contained. Once the outer door is closed, we light up the Do Not Enter sign, ensuring the changing room and the x-ray room are isolated to provide privacy.
Where you’ll sit, stand or lie depends on which body part we’re imaging. For chest, shoulder and knee x-rays, you’ll probably stand up. For hand and elbow x-rays, the radiographer will ask you to sit on a chair at the side of the table and rest your hand on it before taking the image.
The consultant that referred you for the x-ray will receive a copy of it. They will be able to view the images with you to discuss the findings and possible treatment.
For ultrasound, we book scans appointments in advance due to the preparation required.
We will advise you on what you need to do at the time of booking. For example, you may need to fast before the scan or come in with a full bladder.
The radiologist will report what they find informally to you during or straight after your ultrasound scan. If there’s something concerning, they may advise that further investigations are needed. They’ll get back to the consultant with a written report of the findings and may suggest further investigations or tests.