All you need is a referral form written by your doctor or registered clinician to book your X-ray at London Imaging Centre. During the week either call to arrange a time or pop in when it suits you, our walk in service operates Monday – Friday, 9am and 5pm. For X-ray on Saturday or Sunday, an appointment is necessary. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about our X-ray service and how we work at London Imaging Centre.
What is an X-ray?
An X-ray is a form of radiation. We use it to produce images of the inside of the body in a safe and painless way. In fact, it is so safe that X-ray imaging is in widespread use throughout the world.
During the examination, X-rays are passed through the target region (for example, a leg). As the X-ray moves through it releases energy particles, which get absorbed by the body. The denser the material, the more the energy it absorbs. This means dense parts of the body, like bones, show up as white. The softer material, like organs, shows up much darker.
What is X-ray used for?
The majority of X-rays are requested to check for fractures and breakages in bones. They are incredibly effective for this, but can be useful to check for other problems too. In general we use X-rays to look for:
- Breaks and fractures in bones
- Thinning or weakening of the bones (osteoporosis)
- Abnormalities in the curve of the spine
- Problems with teeth
- Lung infections (such as pneumonia)
- Heart conditions
What does an X-ray involve?
You’ll be asked to position yourself so the X-ray machine can easily access the part of the body being examined. You may have to sit, lie down or stand. The actual X-ray takes only a few minutes to perform, but you could be in the examination room for up to ten minutes.
How safe is an X-ray?
Like almost every medical procedure, there is a risk, but it is a small one. Excessive radiation is bad for our bodies, but X-rays use only a tiny amount to produce the image. To put this into perspective the amount of radiation you will be exposed to is the same as when you go on a transatlantic flight.
Are there reasons why I can’t have an X-ray?
Even though X-rays are safe, you must let us know if:
1. You are pregnant
Unborn children are at greater risk from being exposed to X-rays because they are still developing. If you are, or suspect, that you may be pregnant, you must tell your referring clinician or radiographer before the X-ray is carried out. This will allow you to discuss the risks and sign an additional consent form. Be assured that any information you give is treated with the strictest confidence.
2. You have had a similar X-ray in the last 6 months
This is just a precaution, but will allow us to discuss any additional risks with you.
Why use London Imaging Centre?
We’re imaging specialists. So we’re experts at performing X-rays to the highest standard and checking the quality with the utmost care. Whether you’re a walk-in patient or have booked in advance, we can perform many different types of X-rays, including:
- Standard X-ray examinations
- Dental X-rays including OPG and Lateral Cephalometric
- Visa X-rays – we’re an approved site for providing immigration chest X-rays (find out more here)
To make things really great, we’re conveniently located. You’ll find us in the heart of the Harley Street district in Central London, just a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus or Bond Street station.
What preparation do I need to do before my X-Ray?
The only thing you should to do is inform us if you are pregnant or have had a similar X-ray in the last 6 months. Other than that there are no special preparations. But there are a few things to note that will help keep your appointment running as smooth as possible.
- We will ask you to remove jewellery if it interferes with the X-ray
As an example, if you’re having an X-ray of your hand, you’ll have to remove your rings. If you’re unable to remove your jewellery, then let us know and we’ll advise you.
- We may ask you to wear a gown (provided)
This is especially the case if the X-ray is of your stomach, hip, chest or back. If you’re uncomfortable with this, we recommend you wear clothing free of metal, for example a tracksuit, so you don’t have to change. We do have a changing room, which can be locked to keep possessions safe.
- We ask that you arrive on time
We ask that you try to keep to your appointment time. Please don’t worry if you’re a few minutes late, but the later you are the greater the risk that we may not be able to carry out your test.
- Can I eat and drink before my X-ray?
Yes. Unlike some other scans, eating and drinking before an X-ray is fine.
- Can I bring my children?
We do have an area where children can wait while you have your scan, however it is unsupervised. As such, it is preferable if children are not brought to our centre. This will also help us perform your scan quickly and without distractions.
What happens when I arrive?
When you arrive at London Imaging Centre our staff will be there to great you and guide you through the procedure. They’ll take you through the three following steps.
As soon as you arrive, a member of staff will take your name and arrange for you to meet your radiographer.
2. Radiographer consultation
Our radiographers are highly trained at performing X-rays and putting patients at ease. They’ll explain the whole procedure and answer any questions you have.
3. Metal object removal
You may have to remove jewellery if it will interfere with the image. We may also ask you to put on a gown, if your clothes have metal in them. There is a changing room, which can be locked to keep possessions safe.
How is the X-Ray examination performed?
An X-ray is very straightforward examination:
- Get in position – You’ll be asked to lie on an X-ray bed or stand/sit against an X-ray frame. The radiographer may need to press gently on bony parts of your body to make sure you’re perfectly positioned
- Perform the X-ray – The radiographer will stand behind a radiation screen. While one dose of X-ray radiation is fine, without this screen the radiographer would be exposed to lots of it throughout the day.
- Hold your breath – For certain body areas, the radiographer may ask you to hold your breath while the X-ray is taken
- We’ll then check the quality of the images – To aid any diagnosis the images needs to be as clear as possible, so every so often we may ask to take another X-ray.
How long does an X-ray take?
You’ll be in the X-ray room for up to ten minutes depending on the examination being required. The X-ray itself is quick and lasts for a fraction of a second.
How much does an X-ray cost?
Our rapid X-ray service now comes at an excellent price. So combined with our popular walk-in service, self-funders can get the X-ray when they want, at the price they need – Affordable X-rays start at just £40 per view.
If you are planning to book an X-ray you can do so here.
Some X-rays require images from multiple angles, some from just one. With our Affordable X-rays self-funders pay only for what they need. This allows us to keep our prices low, while maintaining our imaging quality as they have always been, high.
How do Affordable X-rays work?
Our comprehensive X-ray service includes:
- Standard X-ray examinations
- Dental X-rays (including OPG and Lateral Cephalometric)
Prices start at just £40 for one view (one X-ray image). The vast majority of patients require only one or two views, although the exact number is defined by the region being scanned. Common examples include:
- Knee, Shoulder, Lumbar spine
What is included in the price?
- Walk-in centre: There is no need to book an X-ray. Our popular Walk-in centre welcomes patients from 9AM to 5PM, seven days a week. All that is required is a signed referral form. We can even accept evening or weekend appointments by prior arrangement.
- Over in 30 minutes: The total time spent in our centre for an X-ray is up to half an hour. During this time patients register, have a consultation with a radiographer – where the process will be explained and questions can be asked – and then have the X-ray.
- Consultant led: All X-rays are viewed by a Consultant Radiologist. A report is then made available online to the referring clinician within 24 hours (one working day), although the report can also be made on the same day if advanced notice is given. All patients receive a CD of their scans.
- A strong support service. Our radiographers are trained to make patients feel at ease and stay informed before, during and after their scan.
- Conveniently located: We are conveniently located in the heart of the Harley Street medical district on Wimpole Street, just a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus or Bond Street station.
Affordable X-rays are simple to book
All the information about booking, including our user-friendly online booking form is available here
When will I get the results?
A Consultant Radiologist will analyse your X-ray and send a report to your referring clinician within one working day (excluding bank holidays). Chest X-rays for immigration purposes may take longer. You’ll be able to take your images away on a CD. You should arrange an appointment with your referring clinician to discuss the results.
What should I do if I don’t hear anything?
Contact the clinician who referred you or give us a call. We may be able to contact your referring clinician on your behalf.
How do I book an X-Ray?
You will need a referral form from your clinician. You may use our walk in service, or if you would rather lock in your appointment time simply book an appointment using one of three simple ways:
- Complete our secure online booking form – fill one in here
- Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax us your referral to 020 7631 1604
- Call us on 020 7467 8800 – our bookings team will be happy to arrange your appointment
Is there a Walk-in service?
Yes. It means there is no need to book an appointment Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm. All you need is a signed referral form from your referring clinician.
What if I can only do evenings?
That’s fine. We also offer Late Evening & Weekend Availability by prior arrangement.
How do I change my booking?
You can call us on 020 7467 8800 or send us an email to email@example.com, we’ll be happy to rearrange and inform your referring clinician. The centre is open between 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week.
If you would like to book an appointment for X-ray, simply complete our step by step booking form and leave the rest to us. We will call or email you to confirm your booking*. Alternatively, you can request call back and one of our bookings team will be happy to contact you.
*Online booking is available for up to three regions X-ray appointments only and excludes oblique scans. All bookings are also dependant on confirmation via email from our bookings team and prices may vary based on your referral Form.
All you need to do is provide us with your contact details and a brief message and one of our bookings team will call you back.