The warning comes after a number of cases were reported where laboratory staff could not find an appropriate primary care physician to act urgently on an abnormal test result.
The concerns have prompted the RCGP to issue advice for GPs, out-of-hours providers and pathologists. It recommends that primary care organisations should inform the laboratory of arrangements for making contact with a GP out of hours.
GPs who request tests must provide sufficient patient details and clinical information to allow effective communication between the lab and the out-of-hours provider, and dialogue must be promoted across the whole local urgent care network.
The RCGP also identifies a need for a protocol for the laboratory to report lack of response from out-of-hours providers.
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