Thyroid UK
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Private blood tests

Hi, thinking of having some private tests, looking st blue horizon. Are they good or can anyone suggest better options? 

I'm looking at these, only difference is the more expensive one has rt3. Is that a significant test?

Could I pay the NHS to do these? 


11 Replies


NHS doesn't do rT3 so you'll have to order it privately if you want it done. 

I don't know whether you can pay the NHS for the tests if your GP won't order them on NHS.  Some people do pay their GP surgery or local hospital for phlebotomy for private tests which require vacutainer collection.  Blue Horizon offer microtainer collection which you can do yourself at home.

In my opinion rT3 isn't important and the Thyroid Plus 10 will do TSH, FT4, FT3 and thyroid antibodies with options for ferritin, B12 and folate.  City Assays do vitD for £28.

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Blue Horizon are excellent and the Thyroid plus 10 is excellent value. You can do it at home with a finger prick test, the blood collects in a very small tube, or you can have a normal blood draw, the choice is yours. It doesn't include the Vit D test like the Plus12 but that is easy enough to do with City Assays for £28 and that's a blood spot test.

The Thyroid plus 12 requires a blood draw, the blood for the rT3 test requires to be processed on some way before it is sent to the lab. I don't know whether that can be done at a GP surgery or whether it needs to be done at a hospital. I would say the rT3 test probably isn't necessary if this is your first thyroid test

Some GP surgeries will agree to do the blood draw, they may charge, some won't do it. Some NHS hospitals will do it, some won't. You may need to go to a private hospital like Spire or BUPA or find a private phlebotomist.


I found out yesterday that BH has a new test : The Thyroid Check Plus Eleven which costs £129. I don't know if discounts are available from Thyroid UK for this test.

It is the same as the plus 10 with the addition of vitamin D, or alternatively it is the same as the plus 12 without reverse T3.

If there are no available discounts for the plus 11 test then (I think) it is cheaper to use the plus 10 and then pay separately for vitamin D from city assays or betteryou.



I think you'll get a £10 discount on most BH tests using the code TUK10.


Think I'll go for the plus 10 as I've had my Vit d just done. 

Thanks for the offer code!


IMHO, private tests are good for peace of mind. You don't have to  stress out about your upcoming visit to the doctor hoping and praying s/he will allow a particular test and walking out frustrated or devastated if they don't let you get one. My current, stupid, Endo will only do TSH and T4, but that's OK, when I feel things have changed a little bit, or I have increased my dose I pay for a private complete thyroid panel. It's a bit expensive, but you only need a full panel every year. Then you can sit back and listen to the doc's misguided opinions based on your TSH. Of course, it isn't always perfect - like I just ran into -  the doc might decrease your dose to a point where you cannot convolute the dose you know you need. Well, you can but you run out of pills in a ridiculously brief time - and your busted. That's when you have to hit the road again and get another doc.

Oh and rT3, yes, I think it is important because it is a double check for you, it lets you know that you might be exceeding your critical, optimal dose. i.e. you are "dumping" T3, i.e. you are getting too much or you are not converting your T4 and you are dumping unused T4. Tricky isn't it!


I think that's a very positive way to view it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life battling with the GP (although I know that is standard) so testing myself is a good idea.

Rt3 ups the price by 60 or 70 quid though so I'm put off that really. 


Hi MissLissa,

Thank you for considering us for your Private Blood Test requirements - I can see you have had some advice here from some experienced patients - I'll just add that we are always available if you need any help. The RT3 is an expensive beast alright and we wouldn't recommend it for everyone - do check with your endocrinologist if it is needed first. We're jusst glad that we can offer it as a postal kit at all - up until recently it was only available as a frozen sample requirement which meant a trip to London or one of the private hospitals we use.

Very best wishes,

Paul Harris

Clinical Director

Blue Horizon Medicals


Thanks Paul, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the '10' one


Hi Paul H, "- do check with your endocrinologist"! Surely you must be joking. If it isn't TT4 or TSH the answer will be NO.

But I am very glad that people in the medical field are reading this site. I go to your equivalent here in the US (True Health Labs) and I can tell you they saved my life. I think you will find this amusing: I had a complete thyroid panel from THLs just before a regular Endo appointment. I took my panel results to my appointment and thought she would be interested, perhaps as a help to see why I was having severe hypo symptoms. All she copied down was my TSH and TT4 telling me that I was hyper due to a low TSH! I tell you, Endocrinologists are giving the medical profession a bad name, you do not need a PhD in physics or mathematics to know that there is a serious gap in their logic and knowledge.

1 like

Hi LAHs,

Sorry to hear that you are having battles with your endo, I think it's a mixed bag really - some of us in the UK struggle to get an Endo appointment at all, and it's at the GP stage that most have TSH FT4 FT3 discussions! So do you guys in the USA use TT4 as opposed to FT4? Interesting!

Best Wishes,



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