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Duty of care regarding communication of investigation results

Updated on Wednesday, 8 July 2015, 904 views

The GPC are aware that in some areas, some hospital doctors have been instructing GPs to find out the test results which the hospital had ordered. Both the General Practitioner Committee and the Consultants Committee of the BMA agree this practice is potentially unsafe, and that the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that results are acted upon, rests with the person requesting the test.

That responsibility can only be delegated to someone else if they accept by prior agreement.Handover of responsibility has to be a joint consensual decision between hospital team and GP. If the GP hasn't accepted that role, the person requesting the test must retain responsibility.  

This advice is in line with both National Patient Safety Agency guidance and the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations
Duty of care regarding drugs recommended from outpatients
Communication of prescribing recommendations from out-patient clinics to patients and their GPs is a complex area where patient safety can be compromised. We would strongly recommend that LMCs and Hospital Trusts agree policies that are publicised and adhered to by all parties. These policies should include the following general principles:

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