"False low results from HbA1C tests, and difficulty getting a proper, timely result"

About: NHS Lanarkshire

(as the patient),

About 2 years ago my HbA1C result came back as 5. 4%. My new GP practice felt I was over-medicated. My medication at that time 2000mg Metformin + 100mg Sitagliptin per day. The Sitagliptin element was removed.

At the next test, 6 months later, my HbA1C result was still lower than preferred by the practice, so my medication was reduced by 50% to 1000mg Metformin per day.

At the following test my result was still lower than expected, at which time someone (Lab or GP) questioned the results and I was asked to give a second sample - this gave the same result. So, I was asked to give a third sample which was sent to the National Reference Lab in Oxford who confirmed that I had a blood variant which gave a false low reading from the standard test. My HbA1C was now around 12% and had been at that level for possibly 12 months.

By this time, I was found to have additional retinal degradation.

So, it was decided that my blood samples had to be sent to a lab which could handle the variant. Initially, Glasgow Southern General and now Kings Cross.

However, it recently took around 8 weeks to get a result back, and from the most recent test (22/7/16) I was informed today (9/8/16) that the GP practice could not tell me when I might get the result of this test.

My diabetes has been poorly managed for around 2 years now. Initially owing to my GP receiving false lab results, and more recently owing to the unspecified length of time to receive a result.

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Response from Kathryn Ferguson, Patient Affairs Manager, Primary Care Division, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Kathryn Ferguson

Dear gleamac,

I’m sorry to read of your frustrations regarding the amount of time it is taking to get the results of your blood test.

It is clearly important that you get them as soon as possible to enable you to agree the ongoing management of your condition with the healthcare team. Whilst I’m unable to comment on the length of time specialist tests take to process I’d recommend you ask your GP to contact the lab to find out when your results will be available and how long this type of test should normally take to process.

If you need additional advice regarding your GP practice you can contact me on 01698 858321.

I wish you well with the ongoing management of your condition.

Kind regards


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