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Medical photography

What is medical photography?

Medical photography (also known as clinical photography) is the use of imaging equipment to document a number of medical conditions.  These photographs are requested by consultants/doctors and taken by medical photographers who follow a strict code of ethics and respect the privacy and dignity of each patient.

Medical photography covers a broad range of imaging techniques, including highly specialised areas such as ophthalmic photography.

Why have I been asked to have medical photographs taken?

If your consultant/doctor has requested for you to have medical photographs taken, this is most likely as a way to help record and monitor your condition.  For certain conditions, photographs can be used as part of the planning process alongside other tests such as X-Rays, scans and blood tests.  Your consultant will explain the reason that medical photographs are being requested and will ask you to sign a form to say you are happy to consent for these to be taken.

You do not have to have medical photographs taken if you do not wish to.  Even if you have provided consent, you can withdraw this at any point if you change your mind - so if you do, please let somebody know.

Where will the photographs be taken?

Where medical photographs are taken will depend on the type of images required.

You may be asked to come to the Medical Photography studio on the 2nd (top) floor of junction 3, York Hospital.  The medical photography office is also located here, which you may be directed to if you need studio photographs.  If you are an inpatient, the photographers will usually come to visit you on your ward or in theatre.

If you are an ophthalmology patient, the photographers will take your images within the eye clinic on the 1st floor of junction 3, York Hospital.

What will happen on the day of the appointment?

Your doctor will explain to you why photographs are required and explain to you where you will need to go to have your photographs taken.  The doctor will ask you to sign a consent form if you are happy to proceed.  You will then either visit the medical photographer, or they will come to you.

You may need to have something done before medical photography can take place i.e. many ophthalmic photographs require you to have dilating eye drops put in your eyes.  These are used to widen your pupils to allow for a clear view of the retina.  These may cause blurry vision for 2-8 hours so it is advisable not to drive to your appointment if you are going to have ophthalmic photography.

You may be asked to have photographs on more than one machine to focus on different areas of your eye, but all ophthalmic machines require you to put your chin on a chinrest and forehead touching a bar.  You will be asked to look at a flashing light and some machines produce a camera flash when the photograph is taken.  If you have any problems with camera flashes then please let the photographer know.

For other areas of the body, the photographer will explain which aspects of your condition they have been asked to photograph and show you how you need to sit or stand in order to help produce anatomically correct medical records.  You may be asked to remove any make up or jewellery and for some conditions, you may be asked to remove some clothing.  We make every effort to maintain our patients’ dignity but it is important that we photograph your clinical condition as accurately as possible with the minimum of distraction. If you feel uncomfortable at any time or wish to have a chaperone present please tell the photographer.

What will happen to my medical photographs?

When images are taken by the Medical Photography department, they will be stored securely on a server which has limited access and also added to your electronic patient notes.

What are the medical photography opening hours?

Medical Photography at York Hospital is open between the hours of 08:30 and 17:00 Monday-Friday (closed at bank holidays).

How do I contact medical photography?

The medical photography office is located on floor 2 of junction 3, York Hospital.

The medical photography contact number is: 01904726770.

Medical photography (also known as clinical photography) is the use of imaging equipment to document a number of medical conditions


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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.

Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.