Pathology Direct Online Purchase FAQ
Welcome to the FAQ guide for the Nuffield Pathology Direct service, Online Purchase. Please note that this covers the online purchase of Pathology (blood) tests.
What is a referral?
A Referral is the recommendation of a medical professional such as a GP or a consultant. A referral is usually necessary to see any practitioner or specialist other than your GP. The term "referral" can refer both to the act of sending you to another doctor or therapist and to the actual paper authorising your visit.
How do I get a referral?
You should consult with a medical professional who will provide you with a referral should they deem it necessary.
What if I don’t have a referral?
If you have not seen a doctor but still wish to access the service, we can arrange a number of blood tests for you from a list of tests that have been clinically approved by our GPs.
How can I pay for my blood tests?
Pathology Direct is a self-pay service. You can pay by credit/debit card. We can issue receipts but itemised invoices can't be provided. Unfortunately, you're not able to use insurance/health plans to pay for tests.
What happens once I have paid for my blood tests online?
You will receive an email receipt of your online purchase with acknowledgement of your tests and other preferences.
A member of the PDS team will contact you by phone within 24 working hours (next working day) to confirm your purchase, discuss your referral option and book in your appointment at your chosen Nuffield Health Hospital.
Which hospitals can I book a blood test appointment at?
You can purchase blood tests online at 30 Nuffield Health Hospitals and a member of the Pathology Direct team will call you back to book you into your nearest suitable Nuffield Health Hospital.
Who carries out my blood test?
Nuffield Health has qualified Phlebotomists at one of our 30 locations that will collect the samples for your blood test. A video of what to expect from your blood test can be seen on the Pathology Direct web page.
Tests are carried out in our national network of pathology laboratories and accredited partners.
How long will my phlebotomy appointment take?
Your phlebotomy appointment should take around 15 minutes.
Can I cancel blood tests purchased online?
Yes, please contact our Pathology Direct team to request a refund. Unfortunately, a £10 cancellation fee will apply if you wish to cancel your blood test. This charge will apply once you have received and been allocated an appointment date and time. Contact the Pathology Direct Team at email@example.com
Can I amend or change the time of my blood test?
Yes, contact the Pathology Direct team who will be able to help you amend any bookings. Please note: You cannot reply to the confirmation email you receive. Contact the Pathology Direct team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I change the location of my blood test appointment?
Yes, please contact a member of the Pathology Direct team who will be able to help you amend your booking. Please note any booking or change will be subject to availability at the preferred location and we do request that if you wish to change the location that you notify us at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. Contact the Pathology Direct team at email@example.com
How far in advance can I book blood tests?
We can book appointments up to 6 weeks in advance.
How long will it be before I get my results?
Most test results are available within a week, some sooner and some considerably longer. It depends on the complexity of the test and the testing laboratory. If you wish to enquire about turnaround times for a specific test please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see T&Cs for full details. Please note all turnaround times are estimated.
How will I get my results?
Results are sent to you by encrypted e-mail as a password protected PDF and can be sent by 1st class post by arrangement. If the blood test was requested by a doctor, a copy of your results will be sent to that doctor to ensure they are made aware of your blood results.
What if my results come back positive or outside of the reference range?
We do not provide interpretation of the blood results, so it is important you take your results to a doctor for review.
In the event that a result requires immediate attention, one of our Nuffield Health GPs will contact you to discuss this further (immediate attention is defined as critical values as outlined by the Royal College of Pathologists). Please note, your personal and contact details will only be shared with a Nuffield Health GP in this instance.
I don’t want my GP to know my results – is this OK?
If your request is from the approved list of specific blood tests you can order them directly without a doctor’s referral, but if any result is abnormal, you will need to discuss this with a GP or consultant for interpretation and further management. A doctor’s referral is required for a large number of specialist blood test that are not on the pre-approved list, so you may need to consult with a GP prior to accessing this service.
What tests can I get done through your PDS service?
Providing you have a referral, we are able to provide the full range of recognised diagnostic tests with sample collection arranged at Nuffield Health hospitals. We are able to provide a more limited range of tests if you do not have a referral.
Can you do tests on children or those under 18?
No. Unfortunately we cannot provide testing for those under the age of 18 through the Pathology Direct Services. Please contact your nearest Nuffield Health hospital to enquire.
Do I need to do anything in particular before I attend for my blood to be taken?
No. However, if there are any special requirements, you will be advised of this by the PDS staff.
Can I eat and drink before my blood test or do I need to fast before my blood test?
This will depend on the test being performed and the reason you are having the test done. Not all tests require a “fasting blood test”, you will be advised of this by the PDS staff at the time of booking.