Out-of-hours 'failing to pass on test results'

Out-of-hours services are hampering the reporting of abnormal test results, according to the RCGP.

The warning comes after a number of cases were reported where laboratory staff were been unable to 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 to help improve the situation.

The advice recommends that PCOs 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 crucially, engagement 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 and a system to be put in place to quality assure abnormal results.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the RCGP, said: ‘The document is essential for primary care teams and pathologists.

‘Whether we are dealing with results which show that an individual requires immediate medical attention, or those that may have implications for public health, an effective system for reporting and acting on abnormal test results will ultimately lead to better patient care.’

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

RCGP publications

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

A 'tsunami' of work is drowning general practice: GPs speak out about a profession at its limit

A 'tsunami' of work is drowning general practice: GPs speak out about a profession at its limit

Rocketing workloads created by huge backlogs of cases and continuing COVID-19 disruption...

Slight increase in GP workforce during past year, but number of partners continues to fall

Slight increase in GP workforce during past year, but number of partners continues to fall

The GP workforce grew by 0.4% in the year to March 2021, but the number of GP partners...

Viewpoint: Patients and GPs are unhappy with access to general practice, what's the solution?

Viewpoint: Patients and GPs are unhappy with access to general practice, what's the solution?

Practices are deluged with work, yet many people still think they are ‘closed’. The...

Start date for COVID-19 booster campaign unclear, vaccines minister admits

Start date for COVID-19 booster campaign unclear, vaccines minister admits

A UK COVID-19 booster campaign could start from September - but could also remain...

BMA demands 'systemic change' after LMC report exposes racism in primary care

BMA demands 'systemic change' after LMC report exposes racism in primary care

Most black, Asian and minority ethnic primary care staff have experienced racism...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...