ECGs on behalf of specialists
Practices are frequently asked to perform ECGs by specialists, especially from the mental health trust. Psychiatrists request ECGs because psychotropic medications cause prolonged QTc and can result in arrhythmias.
LMC are frequently asked whether it is practice’s responsibility to perform these ECGs. This is not an easy question to give a yes or no answer to.
Are you commissioned to perform ECGs? Some parts of Lincolnshire have a “bundle of services” commissioned which includes provision of ECGs. If you are signed up to do ECGs through the “bundle” then yes you should perform the ECG, as you are funded to do this. If you are not commissioned to perform the ECG then you do not have to perform the ECG, the specialist should arrange this through the outpatient ECG service.
If you do perform the ECG you do not have to provide interpretation. If a specialist gave a patient a blood form and you performed phlebotomy, the result of the test would go to the specialist, and you would not be expected to interpret the result. The same stands for the ECG. Your practice should perform the ECG and forward this to the requesting specialist, and they should take action on this result.