RCGP statement on laboratory testing delays

Publication date: 07 October 2020

Responding to the news from Roche that they are experiencing delays in processing laboratory tests Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "GPs will only order laboratory tests if they think it will be beneficial in diagnosing a patient or helping to manage an existing health condition, and they need to be able to order investigations as and when necessary. Any delays in receiving test results will be a cause of concern for GPs and patients alike - particularly in cases where the results will determine or change a patient’s treatment plan.

"This issue must be rectified urgently, both to alleviate anxiety that delays will inevitably cause for patients, but also the increased workload that this will cause in general practice further down the line when appointments potentially need to be rearranged for investigations to be redone. In the meantime, GPs need clarity as to how long this issue is predicted to go on for, as well as what steps we should take when presented with a patient who we think would benefit from a laboratory test.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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