North London Partners in health and care

Phase Two ‘Right Test, Right Time’ guidance update

The successful launch of Phase One ‘Right Test Right Time’ (RTRT) pathology guidance for GPs in March 2019 across north central London has reduced the likelihood of unnecessary and duplicate pathology tests. This is good news for patients as it reduces over-investigation and unnecessary appointments which can cause anxiety. It is beneficial to GPs as it is often difficult to know which pathology test is needed and the burden of checking results is high.  

Phase 2 of the Right Test Right Time guidance launched in July for GPs. This updated the pathology guidance information and improved the electronic system by allowing GPs to access common tests and quick links to the new north central London order sets. The Phase 2 guidance covers additional information on endocrinology (hormone testing) and immunology as well as guidance on interpreting abnormal Full Blood Count (FBC) and abnormal thyroid function tests (TFTs).

All GP practices in NCL will have an updated pathology ordering system (tQuest and SunQuest) installed by the end of September 2019 (over 90% of practices already have this installed). The aim is for over 85% of all primary care requests to be made via the updated systems by March 2020. This will phase out the use of paper order forms which require manual ‘booking in’ by the labs and sometimes do not contain sufficient information to ensure appropriate testing and results provision. 

The north central London ‘Right test, Right Time’ project draws on work that has been done for the Choosing Wisely campaign, and is inspired by the significant efficiencies found by colleagues in other parts of London, and North Devon.

A clinical reference group of local lead clinical pathologists, hospital specialists and GPs have developed the ‘RTRT’ NCL guidance and tools implemented through this project.

GPs wanting more information should contact their CCG GP diagnostic lead or planned care commissioning lead.