Diagnostic Imaging (Radiology, X-ray)
Due to the coronavirus outbreak we are no longer able to offer a walk-in service for X-ray examinations. For appointments at Weymouth, Bridport, Blandford or Dorchester all patients must ring the central X-ray appointments line on 01305 254462.
We now have a central booking line for all GP patients requiring an X-ray. If you have been referred for an X-ray by your GP please wait 24 to 48 hours before phoning to book an appointment. This will allow us time to receive and process your request ready for an appointment to be booked. Our X-ray direct booking telephone number is 01305 254462. Thank you for your patience at this time.
The DCHFT Radiology Department (also known as the Radiology and X-ray Department) is one of the major diagnostic departments at the hospital.
It has a large team of dedicated and experienced radiologists, radiographers, sonographers, nurses, radiology assistants, friendly support and administration staff and state-of-the-art machinery, working together to provide you with the very best of imaging services.
The department is split into two different units within the hospital.
The majority of examinations are performed in the main X-ray Department, situated in South Wing, Level 1.
This department deals with all outpatient clinic patients, patients on wards, all ‘special’ examinations, such as CT, Ultrasound and MRI as well as booked appointments, unless otherwise stated in your letter.
There are two waiting areas within this department – a small area, which is for patients coming from the Emergency Department (ED) and a larger waiting area, which does have a small play area for children.
In addition to this, the Mammography Suite, the Dental Department and the Obstetric Ultrasound Department can be found within the Women’s Health Department in East Wing Level 0.
Unfortunately, there are no children’s facilities within this area.
About the department
The Trust utilises a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), a digital imaging display and storage system. This enables images to be viewed anywhere in the hospital, so that doctors and healthcare professionals have easy access to the imaging examinations they have requested.
All X-ray and scan requests are made electronically on a system called ICE. This allows doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other non-medical referrers both in the Trust and from GP surgeries to refer you easily and quickly for your imaging investigation.
Your X-ray or scan images will be looked at by reporting radiologists, radiographers or sonographers . These reports are sent electronically via the ICE system to the healthcare professional or doctor who referred you.
If you have been referred by your GP or consultant, you will be contacted either by phone or letter to be given an appointment. We aim to give you an appointment within six weeks for routine X-rays and scans, and within two weeks for urgent X-rays or scans.
Radiologists may change the priority of your examination depending on the clinical information given to us by your doctor.
You may also have your X-ray or scan on the same day you see your consultant for a consultation. This depends upon the nature of the X-ray or scan, as well as availability of scanners and appointment slots. All requests are prioritised on clinical urgency, and you will always be given the soonest appointment possible.
The Radiology Department also supports the Inpatient and Theatre teams. Surgeons perform a few operations under X-ray guidance. Your consultant should explain this to you.
The majority of examinations are performed during normal office hours, although the diagnostic imaging department does provide a number of on-call and emergency services to the hospital including radiography, CT and ultrasound scans. These scans can be requested by hospital doctors, 24 hours a day, but will only be performed in emergency cases.
Keep up to date with the latest news in the department via the DCHFT Diagnostic Imaging Twitter account.
Services offered within the Radiology Department
Ultrasound (general, antenatal and vascular scanning)
Plain Film X-ray (Emergency Department)
Plain Film X-ray (dental)
Breast Imaging and Screening
Other Imaging Departments
We work alongside a number of community hospitals across Dorset, including Weymouth and Portland Community Hospitals, Blandford Community Hospital and Bridport Community Hospital.
More information, including opening times, is available on the Dorset HealthCare website here.
Diagnostic imaging results
Your imaging examination will be reported on by a Diagnostic Imaging Specialist such as a radiologist, sonographer or reporting radiographer.
The report will be issued to your referring GP or consultant team who will inform you of the next steps in your care pathway.
The availability of the report can vary dependent on the type and complexity of the imaging examination.
Information for GPs
We have a Duty Radiologist working from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please contact the Duty Radiologist with any queries/concerns regarding your patient’s examination procedure, or with any other matter that we can help you with.
The Duty Radiologist will be more than happy to address your queries and requests. You can call the Duty Radiologist on 01305 256964.
The results will be authorised and made available on PACS as soon as we can. Patients are usually requested to contact their GPs for results in seven to 10 days time. If the results are not made available by this time due to any unforeseen circumstances, we do apologise.
Your team can contact our report enquiries line on 01305 254442 with any queries concerning reports. If the patient’s condition changes and you would like your results expedited, please get in touch via the enquiries line.