Skip to main content

Plain film referrals

All plain film referrals will be treated as routine, apart from urgent chest X-ray referrals (where the required urgent referral criteria are met).

A booking system is in operation and all valid X-ray requests are given appointments depending on their urgency.

Demand for this service remains high but capacity has been increased in the short term to include weekends which has been popular with patients.

There is a walk-in service but this is only available at Washwood Heath Community Diagnostic Centre. This is exclusively reserved for urgent chest X-ray referrals that meet the required urgent referral criteria.

Please notify patients that they may be imaged on any of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) sites depending on urgency and availability.

Referral criteria for plain film radiography for primary care is available in the 'downloads' section.

Routine imaging referrals

The new routine imaging request form is now available. Any other request form versions will no longer be accepted.

The routine imaging referral form can be used for any:

  • plain film examination not covered in a direct access pathway
  • CT imaging examination recommended by advice and guidance
  • CT imaging examination recommended as a follow on from previous imaging and recommended in the report
  • ultrasound examination not covered by a direct access pathway and adhering to the UHB ultrasound good practice principles

The following are not acceptable routine imaging referrals:

  • Urgent chest X-ray where the required urgent referral criteria are met
  • Anything covered by a direct access pathway:
    • Brain imaging
    • Urgent pelvic US scan (ovarian pre-menopausal)
    • US renal
    • CT TAP (thorax abdomen pelvis) weight loss
    • CT KUB renal colic
    • Urgent chest X-ray

    Urgent chest X-ray referral pathway

    UHB offers urgent chest X-rays when:

    • there is a clinical suspicion of intrathoracic malignancy (when the required urgent referral criteria are met)
    • it is urgently required for a non-specific sypmtoms (NSS) pathway referral

    If the referral is for one of the above and meets the required urgent referral criteria, please download and use the 'urgent chest X-ray' pathway referral form.

    For other indications, or if the required urgent referral criteria are not met, please download and use the 'routine imaging referral' form. Please see the 'downloads' for a summary of UHB chest X-ray and urgent referral criteria.

    When making a chest X-ray referral to UHB, please always provide the patient with a link to the 'information about chest X-ray referrals from your GP' advice webpage:

    DXCT pathway

    UHB provides an automated CT recall pathway when a chest X-ray shows findings of possible malignancy. This is called the UHB DXCT pathway. This is provided regardless of how the patient is referred for chest X-ray from their GP.

    If the chest X-ray findings show possible malignancy, the Imaging department will automatically arrange for the patient to be recalled for a CT scan. The patient's GP will act as the named referrer for this scan, but does not need to request the scan themselves.

    After the patient has undergone their CT scan and it has been reported, the results will be discussed at a UHB Respiratory Clinic meeting. A letter outlining the results of the CT scan and management plan will be sent to the patient's GP.

    If the results of the patient's CT scan and respiratory triage clinic letter are not received by the GP practice within three weeks of the patient attending for their CT scan, please contact the CT booking team.

    Please download the DXCT pathway for more information and guidance.

    Accessibility notice

    We have published some or all of the documents on this page in PDF format to allow us to display the information in a certain way. If you would prefer the information in a more accessible format, or would like any more information on website accessibility for this site, please see our accessibility statement.

    Referral forms

    Only print and manually complete a referral form if you do not have access to an electronic version on your practice management system.

    Please note that any forms completed by hand must contain the wet signature of the GP referring the patient otherwise it will be rejected.

    Last reviewed: 24 April 2024