Blood Tests & Wound Care

Blood Tests

There may be occasions where one of our GPs or our practice nursing team requires you to attend the practice for a blood test.

This is usually where we are checking for an illness or ruling something out and forms part of diagnostics.

The results are sent off to a laboratory and we usually receive the results in 3-10 days – depending on what your blood is being tested for.

It is the responsibility of the patient to call the practice for their test results and we ask patients to do this after 2.30pm when our phone lines are quieter.

The GP will have reviewed your test results and the receptionist can advise you whether they are normal or whether you require a follow up with the GP or another clinician.

The Practice is now able to undertake blood tests for some hospital departments. However there are strict rules in place for patient safety around how we provide them. The clinician at the hospital MUST have put their request on to the clinical system. They are aware of this protocol, but if you attend the practice and this has not been done you will be turned away as patient safety is our priority.

All tests that are required by teams within Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust and STEPS Eating Disorder service must be undertaken by the provider and they should book you to see one of their phlebotomists where they need you to have a blood test.

Why is this?

The clinician who requests a test is responsible for reading the test results correctly. The reason a person may be under a consultant at a hospital is for specialist advice. A GP practice cannot and should not do these blood tests when the request has not been put on the clinical system by the specialist as the result would come back to the GP and not the specialist as they should do. A GP cannot take responsibility for reading the test results for a specialist consultant.

In the case of AWP and STEPS, they do not currently have a safe, agreed arrangement for GP surgeries to support their patients.

For more information on what happens when blood is taken please click here

Wound Care

Our practice is keen to support patients receiving wound care in the community setting but this cannot always be undertaken due to high demands on nursing services.

GP Practices are contracted to provide some wound care but over time this has become excessive and the limited funding we receive for this additional service does not cover the work required. We are contracted to provide a “reasonable” level of wound care. The definition of reasonable is based on appointment availability, staff resourcing and safe capacity for care.

Nursing services in GP practices are contracted to provide chronic disease management which includes asthma, diabetes, COPD, CHD and hypertension.

If we provided wound care for all the cases we were asked to then we would not be able to see patients with chronic diseases and manage their ongoing care.

Hospitals and other 3rd party private providers are responsible for the whole treatment of care they provide and it is inappropriate to discharge a patient into the community without ensuring the patient has continuity of care for the treatment they have just received as either an inpatient or outpatient.

What should happen?

If you have had surgery in hospital either via NHS or privately, the hospital should arrange post operative wound care for you. If you are too unwell to leave your home the hospital should arrange for the district nursing team to manage your care. If you are not housebound, the hospital should arrange wound care management in their outpatient department if there are no immediate appointments available at your GP practice – or they should direct you to your local walk in centre. GP practices have a limited amount of appointments for on the day urgent nursing needs and these are utilised daily. The hospital should explain to patients there may not be available appointments at their GP surgery and what to do in these instances.

Due to demand on nurse appointments it is usually 2 weeks before the surgery can book you in for regular wound care management. Please note that we do not provide dressings to patients for self treatment unless we have received a discharge summary from the hospital detailing the dressings required and the GP or nursing team has reviewed and confirmed this is acceptable without being seen. We must act safely for our patients.

If you require compression bandaging also known as 4 layer bandaging we can only provide this for a limited period of time and not for patients who require this service for the foreseeable future.

Our aim is always to support wound care provision locally for our patients where we have a safe capacity to do so. However, please do be understanding if we do not have appointments due to high demand. It is not possible to employ more people to provide a service that we are not funded to provide. There may be occasions where due to staff sickness, annual leave or recruitment issues that we have reduced capacity. In these instances we will direct you to either the service who undertook your surgery, A&E or the walk in centre at Hengrove. We understand these may not be the preferred locations for treatment but with limited NHS resources our role is to ensure you can access what is needed – sometimes this will not be at the practice. We will always strive to help where we can.

It is our role in the practice to provide safe care and we can only do this if we direct blood test results to the specialists to read them and also provide a reasonable amount of wound care services without creating risk to existing services – we do hope you understand this.

Please note this is affecting most GP practices and not just our practice. Thank you for your continued support.