Types of imaging


Imaging using X-rays is a commonly used test carried out to help diagnose medical conditions. A diagnostic X-ray image is produced when a small amount of controlled radiation passes through the body recording an image on a detector plate placed on the other side.

X-rays are invisible and you don’t feel them when they pass through your body. X-rays are absorbed by body tissues and bones in differing amounts. For example, bones do not allow much radiation to pass through as soft tissues therefore the bones show up as white areas on the images whereas lungs, for example, which are less dense because they are filled with air, show up as darker areas.


What to expect

One of our specialist team will meet you to prepare you. We will complete a safety checklist with you in private and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. You will be asked to sign a consent form before your X-ray.

You will need to remove all metal objects such as clothing with zips, jewellery, hair grips and piercings from the area of your body being examined as they can affect the X-ray image.

The radiographer either will position you comfortably on the X-ray couch or ask you to sit or stand depending on which body part is being examined. We may need to make several small adjustments to ensure that you are in the correct position to obtain the best images. Depending on the instructions we received from your referrer, several images may need to be taken in different positions.

You will be asked to stay still and may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds. The radiographer will be able to see and hear you at all times. They will stand behind a screen
while they take the X-ray.

X-ray patient lying down

How long does an X-ray take?

Approximately 5–10 minutes but it depends on which body part is being examined.

Patient information leaflet

Download our Patient Information leaflet to find out more about our X-ray service.

X-ray leaflet
X-ray process
Referrer survey


We can accept referrals from medical practitioners i.e. consultants and GPs, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, Extended Scope Practitioners and Dentists. Sports massage therapists who wish to refer for MRI must have the appropriate qualifications.

X-ray FAQ's

If you have any questions or queries, we are happy to help so please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, please look at the questions we are asked most often.

The X-ray examination is able to demonstrate where a foreign object or implant is anatomically in the body, and whether it has any metallic component. X-rays may be requested by our referrers, including our Rapid Access Clinicians.

The X-ray room uses ionising radiation when taking an image therefore females of childbearing age will be asked about pregnancy prior to the examination taking place.