North West London Pathology identified a clinical need to assist people with diabetes living in the community who may have missed their routine diabetes review appointments during the pandemic.
A postal testing service was introduced to bridge the gap in the interim to help monitor these diabetic patients for HbA1c, lipids and urine microalbumin. This enables GPs to monitor their patients remotely and avoid them needing to attend GP practices or hospitals to have their bloods taken during the pandemic.
A pilot was started in December 2020 with a local practice for 100 of their patients for Hb1Ac testing. The laboratory sends out a postal pack to the patient which includes: instructions, request form, blood collections tubes and a capillary device to take the samples. The completed postal pack is posted back to St Mary’s hospital laboratory for testing and results are sent back to the GP practice to follow-up with the patient.
The pilot now offers additional tests: Lipids, Microalbumin (urine) and LFT’s as well as HbA1c. The clinical team are evaluating other tests to expand the tests on offer to GP practices.