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Joint GPC/BMA Consultants Committee statements on Duty of care for hospital test results and drugs reccommended from outpatient clinics

Please see below two joint statements from the GPC and the BMA Consultants Committee. These are self-explanatory and, needless to say, in line with all previous advice issued by the LMC. You might find these statements to be a useful addition to other resources when faced with inappropriate requests from secondary care.

The joint GPC and Consultant Committee statement on hospital test results has been updated and a statement on Duty of care regarding drugs recommended from out-patient clinics has also been published – as per below and on the BMA website.

Duty of care regarding communication of investigation results

We 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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