Members of the public are also our patients and the primary focus of the microbiology reports we produce. However, reports are not normally communicated directly back to the patients themselves. This may change with time but there remains a professional nervousness among microbiologists because our consultant team and the reports we produce can never have the same clinical insights of the person who has requested the test. While what we attempt to do with narrative reporting is speak into the clinical situation, the amount of clinical insights we may be presented with on a request form will only be a small part of what the clinical team may be considering.
Therefore, when we comment on the report, we cannot see the whole clinical picture and we rely on the clinician reviewing our report with comments, together with their insights into the patients clinical picture and discussing in partnership with the patient. In that discussion, the local clinician managing you as a patient may well provide you with a copy of our report.