The first issue is that GP practices are obliged to provide urgent care for patients within 'core hours' which are 8am to 6.30 pm. Keir tweeted later that the answer phone message said to contact the new 111 service. Is that adequate to meet the terms of the GMS contract? And would they be able to give a secondary care doctor contact details for a patient, or relatives/carers of that patient?
We don't have NHS 111 in Wales. There were some tweets from another doctor about the move to 111.
Lincolnshire GP, Phil William suggested that the national spine currently is updated with contact details but this is not always synced. We have a system in Wales which works in a different way so am not so familiar with the spine.
In this case, not being able to get through to the GP practice was not urgent as the test had been taken some time back. But Keir has had the experience of finding GP practices closed during 'core hours' on several occasions and sometimes he has needed to communicate urgent information. Phil Williams suggested contacting the practice manager and the 'local area team' which replaces PCTs to update them.
Practices closing at lunchtime was also identified as a problem.
This was a good example of a discussion in Twitter highlight a potential patient safety issue and discussing a way that it could be addressed.