Out-of-Hours Test Results Project

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Out-of-Hours Test Results Project



  • Contact name

    Birgit Whitman

  • Contact email


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 6 months, 29 days

  • Research summary

    The management of abnormal pathology results in the out-of hours (OOH) primary care system is complex and time consuming and presents a significant burden to local OOH organisations and has been identified as a priority for action (personal communication with BrisDoc Healthcare Services). Increasingly, lab results are being reported in evenings and weekends, after a patient’s usual general practice has closed. The OOH team are then responsible for managing results that are reported as abnormal by local pathology laboratories. Test results may be slightly abnormal or there may be obvious concerns that require action, including hospital admission. However, the OOH service often don’t have access to recent medical records (Royal College of Pathologists, 2010) and are thus unable to make informed decisions regarding patient risk. There is no guidance available to support the management of these results, and thus, the correct management with due regard for patient safety, whilst considering the appropriateness for hospital admission, is unclear.

    The aim of this project is to develop cross-organisational decision rules for abnormal pathology results which are commonly reported to OOH providers and for which the management is uncertain. This will be achieved via 45 minute (approx.) qualitative interviewees of OOH GPs, GPs, Secondary care clinicians including acute medicine clinicians and pathology laboratory staff from the Bristol area.

    Following analysis of the qualitative data, a voluntary evidence consolidation meeting or discussion working group (DWG) will take place. Group members will comprise OOH GPs, GPs, Secondary care clinicians including acute medicine clinicians, Pathology laboratory staff and commissioners. The outcome of the DWG will be to produce a decision tree/guidelines, informed by the qualitative data.

  • REC name


  • REC reference