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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 31 August 2018

Date sent: Friday 31 August 2018

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers  This and previous updates can be found here

Health Information Service (CHIS) Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) It is clear that the current plethora of DSAs presents a challenge to practices as well as to LMCs when asked for their views. It must be borne in mind that the LMC cannot give formal legal or financial advice as it says on our email disclaimer. However the general guidance from our Practice Support Unit legal advisor is available on the website . For what it is worth the Medical Director thinks that the current DSA contains reasonable safeguards to allow data sharing. We have also been informed by the Commissioning Support Unit that the GDPR now allows the ICO to punish and data subjects to sue data processors (in this case Health Intelligence the contractors for NHSE) as well as data controllers. The current system of data extraction via MIQUEST is essentially the same as pertained under the previous provider. Information is filtered for relevance at the practice end. However when MIQUEST is no longer supported by NHSE at the end of the year, we question that the current proposal (to more widely extract EMIS information from practices and filter it centrally) will be valid under GDPR and the six Caldicott principles (especially 3. “Use the minimum personally identifiable data”). We understand that the Information Commissioner’s Office is being consulted. HI CHIS has assured the LMC that, when MIQUEST is switched off on 31st December, practices who have agreed to the current DSA will be able to prevent further data extractions if a new system cannot be agreed.

Latest list of drug supply problems Colleagues will note that the latest bulletin from the BMA shows the long anticipated news that our old friend Adalat Retard 20mg has now been discontinued after a long and distinguished career. Those who do choose to open this document will also see that you don’t need to wait for a “no deal, cliff edge” Brexit for major drug supply problems to exist.

Joint statement on influenza vaccination Please read this document which is signed by the chairmen of the LMC and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee representing community pharmacies.

Practice closures in Wales the Valley isn’t always Greener Figures show that 17 main and 28 branch surgeries in Wales have closed since 2013, leading to 42,800 patients needing to find a new practice. Dr Charlotte Jones, GPC Wales chair, said that surgeries were struggling to stay afloat due to problems recruiting and retaining doctors, the “sheer volume” of workload, “under-resourcing” and “overwhelming bureaucracy.” To date in Somerset we have not had one practice closure.

GP Earnings and Expenses Report   Colleagues may be surprised to read this. While earnings may have risen, over the same time frame there has been a reduction in the workforce. For example, in England the number of full-time equivalent GPs has fallen by more than 2 per cent, and partners by more than 4 per cent. It is likely that the falling workforce accounts for a significant proportion of the apparent rise in an average partner’s salary, as funding allocated to them to meet the needs of their patients is shared between fewer doctors who are doing more work.

It is also important to note that average income before tax for GPMS combined GPs in the UK in 2016/17 was £92,500. The average income before tax in real terms in 2006/07 was £120,308, which represents a 23.1 per cent decrease.

Since 2005/06, expenses have been increasing at a faster rate than income before tax for GPMS contractor GPs in the UK, resulting in an expenses to earnings ratio which has grown each year since then and which, at 65.8% for the UK is now at an all-time high. This is evidence that practices are both investing in practice staff but also that they are facing huge cost pressures to keep their practices running.


Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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