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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 and is viewed by the doctor on a computer screen.  An ordinary x-ray is one of the most sensitive ways of detecting many problems, for example, arthritis or a chest infection.

Why do I need an x-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The medical team caring for you need more information and have asked the radiology department to take an x-ray to assist them in their diagnosis.  This information can be used to decide the best form of further investigation or treatment.

Who performs the x-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The x-ray will be performed by a radiographer or assistant practitioner who are allied health professionals trained in medical imaging.

What preparation will I need?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Usually none.  Any woman who is, or might be pregnant, should notify the Radiology Department on the telephone number below.  Also please tell the Radiology Department if you have recently had a similar x-ray.
  • Radiology GP x-ray Appointments        0191 2824827 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)

I have diabetes. Does this change anything?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • No.

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

  • Depending on which part of the body is being examined, we may ask you to undress and put on a gown. 
  • You should remove any valuables and jewellery and keep them safe e.g. give them to a friend to look after, take them into the x-ray room with you, or leave them at home.
  • Women and girls between the age of 11 and 55 years may be asked for the date of their last menstrual period.  Please say if you are or might be pregnant. 
  • A radiographer will take you into the x-ray room and may ask you to sit, 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. 
  • We will ask you to stay still and may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds. 
  • You may hear a slight whirring noise from the machine. 
  • 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 long will the x-ray take?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Each x-ray is different and may take between 5 and 15 minutes to complete, depending on the area to be examined.

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

  • You will not be aware of the x-ray.  You may experience a little discomfort whilst being positioned to gain the best view of the area being examined.

When do I receive the results of my x-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • A radiologist (a medical doctor who specialises in imaging) or a reporting radiographer will examine and report your x-ray.   The report will be sent to the doctor who asked for this examination to be performed within two weeks.  You should ring the doctor who referred you for this examination after this time.

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

  • This examination will help us make the correct diagnosis so we can give you the correct treatment.

What are the risks/side effects of x-ray?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • All x-ray machines produce potentially harmful x-rays.  Modern equipment is designed to keep the dose to patients as low as possible.  If your doctor has asked for an x-ray, then they will have decided that the benefit of having the information that the x-ray gives, is greater than the risk of the small dose of radiation.  Since x-rays can harm unborn babies, if you are, or could be pregnant, please tell the radiographer before you have the x-ray.  This is very important.

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

  • Yes.

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 so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable scanning time to someone else:
  • Radiology GP x-ray Appointments    0191 282 4827 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)

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
  • The Departmental Manager, Main X-ray Department, Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN
  • Tel: 0191 282 1099
  • 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:  Mark Paterson, Superintendent Radiographer

Diagnostic Imaging DatasetShow [+]Hide [-]

  • 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 
  • Email: 
  • Website:
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