What is Biolab?
What type of tests do you offer?
Can I have tests without involving my doctor/practitioner?
Which other laboratories offer Biolab tests? / Is there another Biolab in the UK?
How do I know the results are accurate?
Why hasn't my doctor heard of Biolab?
I need someone to recommend which tests I need and my doctor can't help?
Can you recommend a doctor in my area who refers patients to Biolab?
Do you offer food allergy tests?
Can you help me with the interpretation of my results?
My doctor doesn't understand your results and has asked me to call Biolab?
Can I add test requests to my request form.
When are you open?
Do I have to make an appointment?
How long do I have to wait for an appointment to see your nurses?
Where are you?
Which is the nearest underground station?
Is there parking nearby?
Will I get a copy of my results; I am paying for the tests?
Is Biolab recognised by medical insurance companies?
How long do the tests take?
How soon will the test results be ready?
How safe are your needles?
Will the blood test hurt?
When do I pay for my tests?
How can I pay for Biolab tests?
Q) What is Biolab?
A) Biolab is a medical laboratory in the West End of London offering a range of specialist tests to assess the effects of a patient's environment on their health. Most of our tests are used in conjunction with routine pathology tests to provide an in depth analysis of a patients biochemistry. In addition to the laboratories we have consulting rooms that are used by doctors specialising in this field of medicine, and a nursing area for collecting blood and other samples for testing. (Back to Top)
Q) What type of tests do you offer?
A) We measure levels of micronutrients (minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids), other biochemical parameters that relate to nutritional & antioxidant status. We also have a wide range of tests to assess the impact of a patient's lifestyle on their health (i.e. gut function tests, toxic metals, allergy tests etc.). (Back to Top)
Q) Can I have tests without involving my doctor/practitioner?
A) No, Biolab is a medical/preactitoner referral laboratory and can only perform tests that a doctor or registered healthcare practitioner (dentist, nutritionist, chiropractor etc.) requests, and we send duplicate copies of our reports to each patient's GP (unless the patient objects to this). (Back to Top)
Q) Which other laboratories offer Biolab tests? / Is there another Biolab in the UK?
A) Some routine medical laboratories offer a few of our mineral, toxic metal and vitamin tests. There are no other labs in the UK that perform the full range of tests available at Biolab. Many of our profiles are unique to Biolab. There are some laboratories in America that offer mineral and vitamin screens, essential fatty acids and various gut function tests. There are also a few laboratories in the UK that offer toxic metal and chemical sensitivity tests. You should discuss with your doctor which laboratory would be best to perform the tests you require. (Back to Top)
Q) How do I know the results are accurate?
A) Biolab employs a team of highly qualified and experience biochemists who perform all of our laboratory tests. Some of our tests use well established methods which have been widely reported in scientific / medical journals. Some of our more specialised tests have been developed at Biolab and in many cases their methods and clinical significance have also been published in the medical literature. Where available we participate in external quality assurance schemes enabling us to compare test results of a shared sample with other laboratories. Internal quality control procedures are also used for each batch of tests analysed. Tests referred to other laboratories are only sent to large well established pathology departments. Most of our external referrals are sent to The London Clinic, which has a fully Accredited pathology department. (Back to Top)
Q) Why hasn't my doctor heard of Biolab?
A) Biolab is a highly specialised private biochemistry laboratory, so unless your doctor has previously referred patients to Biolab, or belongs to the British Society for Ecological Medicine, or reads literature about nutritional and environmental medicine it is unlikely that he /she will have heard of Biolab. Over 5,000 UK doctors have now referred patients to Biolab since we opened in 1984. (Back to Top)
Q) I need someone to recommend which tests I need and my doctor can't help?
A) We cannot tell you which tests you should have, but have to leave this to a medical practitioner who is familiar with your full clinical history. The type of tests requested will depend on your symptoms, diagnosed diseases, clinical history, lifestyle, drugs and other treatments in progress and numerous other factors. We can discuss with your doctor which tests might be helpful, or we can recommend medical specialists who are familiar with our range of investigations (most of these would be doctors in private practice, because there are only a few areas of the UK where NHS doctors can refer patients for Biolab tests). Our medical referral list includes a number of doctors from around the United Kingdom who are familiar with our work (Medical referral list) (Back to Top)
Q) Can you recommend a doctor in my area who refers patients to Biolab?
A) We only recommend doctors to patients if we know that they have been interested in this field of medicine for a number of years, and attend workshops, conferences etc to learn more about the role of nutrition and the environment in ill health and wellbeing. There is patchy coverage in some parts of the UK, but we will do our best to offer assistance. Please contact us directly for further information. (Back to Top)
Q) Do you offer food allergy tests?
A) We offer food and inhalent allergy screens (IgE) - see Allergy tests (Back to Top)
Q) Can you help me with the interpretation of my results?
A) Not directly, but we are always willing to discuss our findings with your medical practitioner. (Back to Top)
Q) My doctor doesn't understand your results and has asked me to call Biolab?
A) We can write to your doctor and discuss our results in greater detail, but we cannot give you advice directly. (Back to Top)
Q) Can I add test requests to my request form.
A) Only if you have spoken to your doctor or practitioner about the additional tests, and he/she agrees. (Back to Top)
Q) When are you open?
A) Biolab is open from 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Nurses are available from 9:30am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday and 9:30am to 2pm on Fridays. We do not close for lunch and we are not open at weekends. (Back to Top)
Q) Do I have to make an appointment?
A) To avoid unnecessary delays, it is best to make an appointment to see our nurses before coming in. Patients with appointments will be seen before those without. (Back to Top)
Q) How long do I have to wait for an appointment to see your nurses?
A) For routine Biolab tests appointments are normally available within 1-2 days. For some of the more specialist tests there can sometimes be a longer delay for appointments. (Back to Top)
Q) Where are you?
A) We are in the West End of London, close to Harley Street and Great Portland Street. If your doctor has given you a green Biolab pathology request form, there is a map on the reverse of the form. Alternatively you can view a map of the area by clicking here. (Back to Top)
Q) Which is the nearest underground station?
A) Great Portland Street and Regents Park are both 5-10 minutes walk from Biolab. Oxford Circus is about 10 minutes walk. See map. (Back to Top)
Q) Is there parking nearby?
A) The area around Biolab (and most of the West End of London) has 2 hour parking restrictions and all parking is metered. NCP car parks are sign-posted in the West End of London for long term parking (but the cost is over £20 per day). Biolab falls within the congestion charging boundary, so it costs £8 to bring a car to Biolab (see www.cclondon.com for further details). (Back to Top)
Q) Will I get a copy of my results; I am paying for the tests?
A) All Biolab reports are sent to the referring doctor/practitioner in duplicate, so that one copy can be given to you once the doctor has seen the results and added his/her interpretation and recommendations. The General Medical Council have advised us not to issue results directly to patients because we do not have full details of a patient's medical history and we therefore cannot provide an adequate interpretation of our findings. (Back to Top)
Q) Is Biolab recognised by medical insurance companies?
A) If the referring doctor is recognised by your medical insurance company, then normally the cost of any laboratory investigations he / she requests will also be covered. Please confirm what is covered with your insurance company before the tests. (Back to Top)
Q) How long do the tests take?
A) Many of our tests only require a blood sample to be collected , so 5-10 minutes is required with our nurses. The sweat mineral and toxic metal profile takes one hour (absorbent patch taped to back for 1 hour), so you would need to see a nurse at the start and end of the test period. Other challenge tests (gut fermentation profile, glucose tolerance and breath hydrogen measurements) require a series of samples to be taken and can a number of hours. Some urine tests require a complete collection over 6 hours or 24 hours (normally done at home). (Back to Top)
Q) How soon will the test results be ready?
A) Many of our tests results are completed within 24 to 48 hours of receipt of the samples, but some of the more complicated assays take longer. We therefore recommend that patients allow up to 10 working days before making a follow-up appointment with their practitioner to review the test results. (Back to Top)
Q) How safe are your needles?
A) Completely safe. We use a blood collection system called Vacutainer (manufactured by Beckton Dickinson), which is also used extensively by most private and NHS medical establishments. A new needle is used for each patient. The needle is held in a holder and remains in the vein for as long as necessary whilst all the blood collection tubes are filled. It is placed in a clinical waste bin immediately after being removed from the vein. This is a very safe and hygienic way of collecting blood samples. If you have any concerns regarding the safety of the system please discuss them with the nurse at the time of the tests. (Back to Top)
Q) Will the blood test hurt?
A) You will feel a very slight prick in the arm as the needle enters the vein. There is no sensation as the blood is drawn, but you may feel a slight sensation as the needle is withdrawn. Many patients don't even realise when the needle is inserted or removed. Our nurses are all highly experienced at collecting blood samples and blood is normally obtained at the first attempt. We see many children and this doesn't normally present a difficulty either. We explain to all patients, and parents, precisely what we are going to do and we are very willing to answer any questions you may have. For small children we will apply a local anaesthetic cream before the blood test. Occasionally slight bruising may occur after the blood collection, which can be tender for a few days. This is not in any way harmful. (Back to Top)
Q) When do I pay for my tests?
A) We ask that you pay for your tests when the samples are collected by our nurses, or enclosed with postal samples. If your doctor/practitioner indicates on the request form that he / she will settle the account then payment is not required and we will invoice the doctor directly. If the tests are covered by medical insurance we will provide you with an invoice. Some insurance companies will refund us directly, whilst others refund patients. (Back to Top)
Q) How can I pay for Biolab tests?
A) We can accept payment by cash, cheque (or banker's draft) or by Visa/Mastercard credit/debit cards. We kindly ask that payment is included with samples. All payments should be made in Pounds Sterling (the UK is not in the Euro Zone therefore we cannot accept payment in Euros). For international transactions we can accept payment by Paypal (please contact us for specific details). There is an additional surcharge of 5% of test fees for this service to cover Paypal's commission charges. (Back to Top)