Tests & Results

Blood Tests

Blood tests are requested by the doctor or nurse at Willow Tree, or from a hospital doctor and appointments are available for the Phlebotomist (a technician who takes blood) at the surgery, weekday mornings until early afternoon (when the samples are collected for the hospital). Appointments can be booked online but only if the test has been requested first and a form produced.

Obtaining your Test Results

Obtaining the results can be different depending on whether they were requested by the surgery or by a hospital doctor.

Willow Tree test results are returned to us by electronic link, some within 24 hours, some up to 7 or even 10 days later. The doctor or nurse should give you instructions on how and when to obtain your results. Please make sure you understand as it will vary in each instance. Significant results (requiring action or explanation) will be relayed to you as agreed but routine results which are normal will not be.

You can see the results online with Patient Access (once you have registered for this). Alternatively you can phone and speak to a Receptionist when the surgery is quieter after 11am. The Doctor will have looked at the results and signified whether they are normal or if abnormal, what that means and what action is required (for instance to repeat the test or make an appointment to see the doctor). It is useful to know how many tests were ordered so you know if they are all back; some may come back at different times. Please ask the Receptionist to check if you are uncertain.

Receiving results ordered by hospital doctors from the hospital can be variable. If a doctor in a hospital or clinic requests you to have a test or investigation, it is their responsibility to ensure that you get the result and an explanation of what it means. When you attend a clinic you should always ask how this will happen and when you should expect to receive the result. Often the doctor will say, “we will send the results to your GP”. Always ask when you should contact us, as some results take a long time to be processed and interpreted and copied to us. Often we don’t receive them at all. We shall always try and help you, so if you have first tried contacting the secretary of the doctor who ordered the test and are getting nowhere, please contact a receptionist here and we shall attempt to get the result. We have online access to most tests carried out at Northwick Park Hospital and this is gradually being extended to other hospitals in North West London.

Understanding your Results

Your doctor will explain what the results mean and there are often leaflets which can be given for further information.

There is also an excellent web-site we recommend: Lab Tests Online

Other Tests

Urine or stool samples, swabs and other microbiological specimens

These are usually taken in the surgery or handed in before 1.30pm – when they are collected for Northwick Park Hospital. These results come back to us electronically around 4-7 days after sending: the bugs have to grow, be identified and tested against several antibiotics. Again, the receptionist will tell you your result if you phone and we’ll contact you if any changes to treatment re required.


These are usually performed at Northwick Park (1pm – 7.45pm, walk in service) or sometimes Edgware Community Hospital (9am – 4pm, walk-in service). The results are returned electronically usually 2 or 3 days later (Northwick Park) or 7-10 days after the examination (Edgware). The result will be online or the receptionist will tell you: we’ll contact you if it requires any action or explanation.

Ultrasound Scans, DEXA, MRI scans

These may may be booked by the doctor at the hospital or a contracted service performed in several local hospitals. They will send you an appointment and the results are sent to Willow Tree 7-10 days later. Usually because these results require explanation, the doctor will normally contact you though you may also phone to check with a Receptionist if they are back.

ECGs and 24Hr BP checks

These are performed at the surgery by the nurse. Your GP will check the result and contact you. You can book at reception if a doctor requests.

Cervical Smears

These are taken by the nurse or doctor. Click here for further information on cervical screening. Results take around 14 days to come back to us and you will receive the results in a letter. The Receptionist will also be able to tell you if they are back and normal.

Pregnancy Tests

As self-test pregnancy testing kits are so widely available now (from pharmacies, supermarkets, family planning clinics etc) we don’t perform these at the surgery except in special cases for medical diagnosis. The Doctor or Nurse requesting the test will give you the result.