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Radiology (Xray)


Contact: Freeman Hospital: (0191) 223 1707; RVI (0191) 282 4330

Having an X-Ray

What is an X-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

This is a picture of the internal structures of parts of the body, produced by exposure to a controlled source of x-rays and usually recorded electronically and viewed on a computer screen.  An ordinary x-ray is still one of the most sensitive ways of detecting many problems, for example, arthritis, despite all of the new more sophisticated forms of scan.

Do I need any special preparation before the examination?Show [+]Hide [-]

Usually none.  Any woman who is, or might be pregnant, should notify the Radiology Department in advance.  Also please tell the Radiology Department if you have recently had a similar x-ray.

What does the examination involve?Show [+]Hide [-]

Depending on which part of the body is being examined, you may be asked to undress and put on a gown. 

You should remove any valuables and jewellery and keep them safe i.e. give them to a friend to look after, take them into the x-ray room with you, or leave them at home.

If female between the age of 12 and 55 years, you may be asked for the date of your last menstrual period.  Please say if you are or might be pregnant. 

A radiographer will take you into the x-ray room where you may be asked to lie down or stand up depending on the x-ray examination

Although the Radiographer will go behind the screen, you will be seen and heard at all times should you have a problem. 

You will be asked to stay still and hold your breath for a few seconds. 

You may hear a slight whirring noise from the machine but you will be unaware of the fraction of a second when the x-ray is taken. 

The Radiographer may take other x-rays in the same or different position to complete the examination.

Once the Radiographer is happy that the x-rays are satisfactory and the examination is complete, you will be able to get changed and go home.

How does it feel?Show [+]Hide [-]

You will feel no pain due to the x-ray. 

How long will it take?Show [+]Hide [-]

The examination usually takes between 10 -15 minutes.

I am a diabetic. Does this change anything?Show [+]Hide [-]


What are the benefits of having an x-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

This examination will help us make the correct diagnosis so you will be able to be given the correct treatment.

What are the risks of having an x-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

There are risks involved with x-rays but the exposure is kept to the minimum required to obtain an image of the area under investigation.  Typically, this amounts to a level of radiation equivalent to that which we all receive from the atmosphere over a period of four months.  You should not worry about this radiation from the x-ray and as your doctor feels he needs to investigate a potential problem, the risk from not having the examination could be greater.

Are there any side effects?Show [+]Hide [-]


What happens about the results?Show [+]Hide [-]

Your x-rays will be examined and reported on later by the doctor (Radiologist).  A report will be sent to the doctor who asked for this examination to be performed.  You should make an appointment to discuss the results in clinic.

Can I drive home? Show [+]Hide [-]


I need an ambulance/ transport. Do you arrange it?Show [+]Hide [-]

If you need an ambulance/ transport, you should ask your GP Surgery to arrange it. You will need to give them three working days notice.  Please note that hospital transport is provided on medical need only.

What if I cannot attend for my appointment? Show [+]Hide [-]

If your appointment time is not convenient please contact the hospital department immediately so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable examination time to someone else.

Freeman X-ray Appointments                 0191 2231707 (8.30am-5.00pm)

RVI X-ray Appointments                           0191 282 4330 (8.30am-5.00pm)

GP X-ray Appointments                            0191 282 4827 (8.30am-5.00pm)


Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. 

The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.

Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.

You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:

Telephone: 0845 300 6016 



What if I have any comments, suggestions or complaints?Show [+]Hide [-]

Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:

The Departmental Manager            

X-ray Department Level 3                           

Royal Victoria Infirmary                               

Queen Victoria Road                                   

Newcastle upon Tyne                                  

NE1 4LP                                                       

Tel: (0191) 2821099


The Departmental Manager

Main X-ray Department

Freeman Hospital

High Heaton

Newcastle upon Tyne 

 NE7 7DN

Tel: (0191) 2821099

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm

All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard Tel: (0191) 233 6161 (24 hours)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.  You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email

Information produced by:

Carole Dodd, Deputy Service Manager, Directorate of Radiology

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