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Frequently Asked Questions

How can we help you today? Choose a category below to filter FAQs.

Do I need a GP referral or self-referral?

A key benefit of booking with National MRI Scan is that you do not need a GP referral to access our services. There is also no self-referral process. Instead, our in-house medical team will contact you once you have booked and made payment for your scan. Our clinicians will ask you for all of the relevant information they need to compile a referral on your behalf, which is then passed on to your chosen scanning site.

How will I receive my results?

Once you have had your scan, you will be able to view and download your medical images via the Image Exchange Portal (IEP). You will also be emailed a written report in PDF format. You can gain access to IEP through a web link, which will be sent to you by email, and you will need to complete a verification process on your mobile phone to ensure secure access.

Further instructions for accessing IEP are available here.

Can you send my results to my consultant?

If you are seeing a hospital consultant privately or through the NHS, you can email with your hospital name, department, and consultant name. Our team will then arrange for your scanning centre to send the results and images directly to your consultant via IEP (image exchange portal). Some of our scanning centres ask you to complete a consent form before they do this.

We cannot send results directly to GP's, but you will be able to access and download your own images through IEP, and take them with you when you next see your GP.

What is a 3T scanner and should i go for that?

The classification of MRI scanners as 3T or 1.5T relates to the strength of their magnets. 1.5T scanners have a lower magnetic field and are most commonly used in clinics. They provide accurate images for most diagnoses and body parts, and are often suitable for some patients who have certain medical implants or devices. 3T scanners have stronger magnets, and are better suited to brain, vascular, musculoskeletal and small bone system imaging in clinics. This is due to their ability to capture finer details. Read more here.

What is an open scanner, and where do you provide them?

Open MRI scanners are designed differently to traditional scanners, and are better suited to people with claustrophobia or anxiety. Instead of lying on a flat bed that is moved into the traditional tunnel-shaped scanner, an open MRI allows you to see the room around you more clearly. It usually has magnets above and below you, rather than all around you. You can use our booking locator to find your nearest open scanner, and there is further information about MRI-related claustrophobia on our news page. Read more here.

I've booked and paid for my scan - when will I hear from you?

Once you have booked and paid for your scan, your case will be picked up by one of our clinical team. They will be in touch within 48 hours of booking. If you have not heard from a clinician after 48 hours, please contact us.

I've had my consultation - when will my scan appointment be confirmed?

After your consultation, our clinicians will refer your appointment request to our partner scanning centres. The partner centre will then contact you within 2-5 working days to confirm your appointment time. If you have been waiting for longer than 5 working days, please contact us.

I've had my scan - where are my results?

After your scan, your images will be reported on by a radiologist, and will usually be sent to you via IEP (image exchange portal) within 5 working days.

If you have been waiting for longer than 5 working days, please contact us.

I cannot download my images?

When you receive email access to your images on IEP (image exchange portal), an information sheet will be provided. This explains how to view and download your scan results. If you are unable to gain access to IEP, we recommend taking your laptop or tablet with you to your consultation, where your consultant can assist you. Read more here.

Can I cancel and get a refund?

Yes, we do offer cancellations and refunds, though depending on the status of your booking this may incur a £50 cancellation fee. For more information, visit our terms and conditions.

My images have expired, can you send me another link?

IEP images expire after 2 weeks, and we recommend downloading your images as soon as you access them. If your IEP link expires, please contact us and we can send a new link to renew your access.

What's included in the price of my booking?

  • A pre-scan consultation from one of our medical team over the phone or via email.
  • A written referral by our medical team, using the information from your consultation.
  • An MRI scan at your chosen scanning centre.
  • A written report on your scan by a consultant radiologist.
  • Electronic copies of your scan images, which are downloadable.
  • A post-scan consultation with one of our medical team if there are any adverse findings in your scan.

How long does it take to get my results?

Scan reports can take up to a week to reach our clinic, and we then get in touch with you to discuss your results. If you have not heard from us after 5 working days, please contact us.

Can you provide sedation?

We do not provide sedation for our MRI scans, but if you have any worries or concerns about your MRI, please do mention this to your consultant. We can also offer open MRI scans for people who struggle with claustrophobia. You can find out more about open scanners here.

How long does an MRI scan take?

An MRI scan on a single body part can typically take between 10-30 minutes to complete. Full-body MRI scans, additional body parts, or more complex scans can last up to 90 minutes. This time frame can vary, and your radiographer will let you know the estimated duration of your scan before the procedure starts. Visit our news page for more information on how MRI scans work.

Is an MRI scan safe?

Yes - MRI scanning is a painless, safe and non-invasive medical imaging technique. However, not everybody makes a suitable candidate for an MRI, e.g. people with certain medical implants. For more information, visit our news page. Read more here.

Do MRI scans have any side effects?

MRI scans themselves do not cause any side effects, but you may experience side effects if your consultant requires you to have a contrast agent for your scan. These are normally mild and subside quickly. Examples include headache, nausea and a warming sensation, and in extremely rare cases allergic reactions to contrast agents can occur. For more details on safety and contrast agents, view our news page. Read more here.

Is it safe to have an MRI scan with tattoos?

Some tattoo inks can contain metallic particles, which might react with the strong magnets within an MRI scanner. The risk of this happening is very low (less than 0.3%), and symptoms usually present as a tingling sensation in the skin that subsides after 24 hours. If you experience any discomfort or heat on tattooed skin during your scan, tell your radiographer immediately.

Who can have an MRI scan?

MRI scans are safe and suitable for most patients. If you have any medical implants or devices, metal in your body, or are in the early stages of pregnancy, an MRI scan may not always be the best option for you. For more information about MRI safety and suitability, please visit our news page. Read more here.

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