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Welsh GPs to finally be notified of patients’ Covid test results

The Welsh Government is rolling out a system to automatically alert GPs in Wales of their patients’ Covid-19 test results next month.

This follows multiple correspondences from BMA Wales on the issue, and after the country’s GPs had complained about the downsides of not being told their patients’ Covid status.

A Welsh Government spokesperson told Pulse: ‘All Covid-19 test results are recorded in the patient’s clinical record. A system to automatically alert GPs to these results has successfully passed testing and will be rolled out in September.’

This follows a recent survey by BMA Wales which showed that 95% of members agreed that it was ‘important’ that patients’ test result automatically went onto their GP records.

Dr Eilir Hughes, cluster lead of Dwyfor Cluster, told Pulse that access to this type of intelligence will be crucial for Welsh GP practice clusters.

He said: ‘The strategy is local, and to do that successfully you need a sensitive tool of people on the ground keeping an eye on things.’

He said this comes as cluster leads have been tasked by the Welsh Government to manage Covid clinical assessment centres.

‘These had to mothball as the numbers receded, but the main question for a second wave is how are we gauging what the numbers are like,’ said Dr Hughes.

‘By the third week of September, when the schools are back, we see a rise in viral conditions anyway, so this year we need to be extra careful in differentiating between Covid and other respiratory issues. It will be a difficult winter regardless of Covid – so we need tools to allow easy access to local intelligence,’ he added.

It comes as NHS Digital rolled out a system of immediate notification of patients’ Covid-19 test results last month.

Meanwhile, NHS Test and Trace is failing to ask nearly 30% of Covid contacts to self-isolate.