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Who checks the blood test results?

I started Mtx 3 weeks ago and was told to have blood tests every two weeks. So far I've had one at by GPs surgery. They told me that the results wouldn't come back to them as the blood test request form was supplied by the Rheumy, and couldn't tell me who writes up the results in the monitoring booklet. They suggested that I ask the GPs reception to print me off the results from some database, but that means I'll be the only one looking at them until I see the Rheumy again at the end of July. What's the point of fortnightly blood tests if the Rheumy doesn't see the results for 3 months and no-one else looks at them? What does everyone else do?

14 Replies


As far as I know, your consultant should be monitoring your blood tests until you go to monthly testing then your doctor takes over, that's what happens here but I'm not sure it's the same everywhere.

You should be contacted if there is anything wrong with your bloods although again from experience this doesn't always happen.

I certainly will be checking my results from now on even if they get fed up with me ringing up.

I think you should contact your consultants secretary or Rheummy nurse if you have one to check.

Mary x


My GP monitors my blood test results and phones me on the same day or the next day if there are any problems so that I can adjust my dose of MTX if he is concerned - which he has been on a couple of occasions. But I don't have a rheumy team and I guess it depends who is contracted in you local NHS to do this job - but I wouldn't like being in the situation of not knowing who to contact or who's job it is to check them each time either? That sounds far too vague - your GP's surgery should at least be able to give you advice on who to ask. You need to know who is checking them as a matter of urgency I would say. Tilda x


Not sure about other parts of the country as every PCT seem to have different procedures. I'm sure if there was a problem the lab would flag it up with the Rheumy team or your GP.

I get my bloods done at the MSU at my hospital with a copy of results going to my GP. If there's a problem the lab flags it up and a member of the Rheumy team contact me to go in for repeat tests. However, if it's a problem with my Kidneys (I have kidney disease) they contact my GP to follow up. My results from the previous test are marked in the monitoring book each visit.

I've been having my bloods checked every 4 - 6 wk's for 15 yr and the procedure has never changed.

Also, the DMARD team nurses come into the GP surgery weekly and some people get their bloods done by them, after the test the monitoring book is taken away by the nurses, when results are in they mark them in the monitoring book and post back to the patient.

I think like medications there seems to be a post code lottery as to what the procedure is, and perhaps another area where each PCT should be doing the same thing and save patients a lot of worry.

Beth xx


Since starting mtx I've been on weekly blood tests taken each Wednesday. I phone the GP surgery each Friday to check that they've come back clear before taking my next dose . I also leave my mtx booklet at the surgery and this gets updated with my results. Moving onto monthly testing now that I've had 4 clear weekly tests.

Paula x


If I have my bloods done at the surgery I ring after a few days and the receptionist tells me if they are normal or if not tells me to ring the GP. I had some done recently at the hospital and after 2 weeks my GP surgery still didn't have the results. The rheumatology secretary had told me to ring my surgery. Eventually she had to get them for me. I would prefer to keep a record of the results myself but the surgery aren't happy to give me a copy.


I have my bloods done at the hospital because I know that they are checked. My rheumy said that they all her patients have their results fed into a computer programme that raises an alert if anything is too high or low. And I pick up print outs of the last results when I have an appointment. I used to go specially to get them monthly, but now feel more confident of their systems so leave it until I have an appointment so several months. But if I'm worried for any reason I can phone in and get them read out to me. So no one national system! Polly


I am in the UK my rheumy or rheumy nurse cc's all of the letters including blood test results to me. I took part in a project at UCH London which enabled me to monitor my own blood test results and speak to my nurse about any problems.

You should have all of this and be in full control


I meant to add to make all of this work when I have had a blood test I call the nurse and tell or leave a message telling that I have had a test that day. Then they know to look for my results


Am I the only person who just thinks my blood tests are OK unless I hear to the contrary?I have the tests done at GP's surgery, blood goes to the hospital lab and if ever anything is wrong "the Computer" informs me. I don't have a book for the results - it's all on the computer at the hospital. A couple of times I haven't been able to get to the GP's surgery on time to get the bloods done - then there is some sort of alert to the rheumy team & the rheumy nurse reads the results and contacts me to say what I should do.


I agree Kathy, I have blood tests monthly at my GP surgery, and believe me, I will soon hear hear from them if something isn't ok. I also keep a record card to take to either 3 or 6 monthly to hospital, as I live out of area. Jennyx


I thought like you the hospital would let me know if there was a problem.

My ALT went up to 184 and AST to 80 and I didn't get a call. Carried on taking a high dose of MTX (20mg) for 2 weeks before I found out!

I'm phoning up in future.



I had a similar problem like Mary, my liver result was 157 in February this year, this wasn't picked up until the 5 weeks later when I went to monitoring. Like Mary, no one rang to tell me and I had injected MTX 20mg five times when I shouldn't of. Not very happy I can tell you. The result of that days test was 201 it rose a few days later to 257. I had to stop all RA drugs and have only just started back on MTX after having two normal range test results. Still got to introduce SlZ. Specialist nurse said that the consultant who ordered the test should of checked them.

I know my doctor gets my test results, I use to take MTX orally and I have been told that they are suppose to check that I am having blood test done monthly before they will issue a repeat prescription. I was amazed once, months after I had been taking MTX, when a note was attached to my repeat order bit on the prescription asking me to contact them to confirm that I was having monthly monitoring.



My Gp keeps an eye on the blood test results as does the nurse that takes them and writes them in my book each fortnight at the surgery and then I check the book myself that equals three checks in my case x


Many thanks for all your replies - there does seem to be a variety of methods of monitoring. I've decided that when I go for my next blood test I'll ask for a print of the last one and ask the nurse to interpret each time until I go back to the Rheumy. Must just say that this site is keeping me sane as without it I would worry and worry about these little unknowns until they became major issues


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