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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Attending for an Xray

Attending for an Xray

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are some additional visiting restrictions in place within the Radiology department. Please check the restrictions here before attending.


Contact details

General X-Ray: 01604 544397

How to find us

X-ray is located within Radiology Area D at Northampton General Hospital

Click here for directions to the Radiology Department or click here for the hospital map


General X-Ray


Digital x-rays are the core imaging in a hospital for diagnosis. At NGH this service is based in the main x-ray department where 120,000, examinations are carried out per year. GP-referred x-ray examinations are also performed at Danetre Hospital in Daventry.

Plain-film radiographs are used to diagnose injury and pathology of the skull, face, spine, bony thorax and upper and lower limbs. They are also used in conjunction with other modalities, e.g., ultrasound renal calculi.



NGH has a dedicated Bone Densitometry Scanner that performs a special type of X-ray examination which is used to measure the calcium content of the bone.


GP services are appointment only and are available at both the main NGH site or at Danetre Hospital. 

From 1st April 2023, the Radiology Department will be returning to a walk in service for GP Chest referrals only between 08.30 - 17.00.

Appointments are available Mon - Sat 8.00 - 18.00 at the NGH site.

Daventry Hospital is open Monday- Friday 08.30 -16.30.

All appointments can be made by Ringing the GP x-ray booking line 01604 544397 between the hours of 08.00 and 18.00 Monday to Friday.

Outpatient referrals: a walk-in service is available 08:30 to 17:30 Monday to Friday at both NGH and Daventry sites.

Weekend appointments: Saturday and Sunday appointments are available on request.

Click here for more information at NHS Xray


Patient Information


What is an X-Ray

An X-ray is a quick and painless procedure commonly used to produce images of the inside of the body.

X-rays help to detect fractures and abnormalities of bones and a number of different pathology and conditions. X-rays are usually carried out in hospital X-ray departments by trained specialist called radiographers. At NGH students and Assistant Practitioners are also able to perform various x-rays with supervision.


How do X-Rays Work?

X-rays are a type of radiation that can pass through the body. They cannot be seen by the naked eye and you cannot feel them. As they pass through the body, the energy from X-rays is absorbed at different rates by different parts of the body. A detector on the other side of the body picks up the X-rays after they have passed through and turns them into an image.

Dense parts of your body that X-rays find it more difficult to pass through, such as your bones, show up as clear white areas on the image. Softer parts that X-rays can pass through more easily, such as your heart and lungs, show up as darker areas.

X-rays can also be used to guide doctors or surgeons during certain procedures. For example, during theatre cases to assist placement of metal work and on ITU to check line position.


Do I have to prepare for the X-ray?

There are no preparation required, however, there are some specific examinations where you will be informed in advance that you need to stop medication or avoid eating and drinking for a few hours before the X-ray. When you attend for the X-ray, it is better to wear comfortable clothes and avoid jewellery or clothes with a zip or button.


Having an X-Ray

During an X-ray, you will usually be asked to lie on a table or stand against a flat surface so that the part of your body being examined can be positioned in the right place. The X-ray machine, which looks likes a tube containing a large light bulb, will be carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined by the radiographer. They will operate the machine from behind a screen or from the next room.

The X-ray will last for a fraction of a second. You will not feel anything while it’s carried out. While the X-ray is being taken, you will need to keep still so the image produced is not blurred. More than one X-ray may be taken from different angles to provide as much information as possible. The procedure will usually only take a few minutes.


Are there any risks having an X-Ray?

The benefits and risks of having an X-ray will be weighed up before it is recommended. Talk to your doctor or radiographer about the potential risks beforehand if you have any concerns.

There is a very small chance of the X-ray causing a cancer many years later. This is less than 1 in 1,000,000 chances of causing cancer. For example, an X-ray of your chest, limbs or teeth is equivalent to a few days’ worth of background radiation and has less than a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of causing cancer. 

Let your doctor or the radiographer know if you are or think you may be pregnant.

There is a potential risk of radiation exposure to an unborn baby. For certain examinations such as those that include the lower abdomen, women aged between 12-55 years will be asked by a radiographer if they are or might be pregnant.


After the X-Ray

After the X-ray the radiographer will check the x-ray image and in certain cases, discuss with the radiologist/reporting radiographer if further images are necessary – they may ask you to wait in the department while they do this.

If no more X-rays are needed, you will be informed when the report/results will be sent to your GP or to the doctor who referred you for the X-ray. You will not hear back directly from the X-Ray Department.

Other information

You are not permitted to take photo’s of your x-ray. If you wish to obtain your x-rays, you will need to complete a Subject Access Request form following the details on the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust website – How to access your medical records: How to access your medical records (


Have you ever thought about Becoming a Radiographer?

What do Diagnostic Radiographers do?

Diagnostic radiographers use a range of imaging technology and methods to look inside a patient's body and find out what's causing their illness.

As a diagnostic radiographer, you work in a range of hospital departments, acquiring images using a range of technology including XRAY, MRI, CT Ultrasound and working with a variety of patient groups including paediatrics (children) and adults.

The role of diagnostic radiographer is varied it involves working in Imaging departments, providing imaging in theatre and Cath Labs and visiting wards including ICU to perform X-rays and Ultrasounds.

Most patients in hospital will require some sort of diagnostic Imaging during their stay or visit to the hospital- so Radiographers are busy people and meet lots of different patients (GP, outpatients, and inpatients) and staff groups, as part of the multi-disciplinary team!

To become a diagnostic radiographer, there are several routes …

 1) Complete an approved degree or masters in diagnostic radiography. Degree courses take three or four years full time, or up to six years part time.

 2) Apprenticeship, find a trust who offers this route - we do this at NGH!

 3) Return to Practice (RTP)

Have you previously qualified as a diagnostic Radiographer? You can RTP as a radiographer with as little as 30 days practice (those who have not practised for less than 5years) or 60 days for those who have not practised for more than 5 years.

All routes require HCPC registration on completion to enable you to practice.

To arrange a taster session (16 and over) or any other questions, please contact: General Superintendent Radiographer 01604 544985 or Senior Radiographer

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