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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 14th September 2018

Date sent: Friday 14 September 2018

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

SPQS reporting: Some practice managers were concerned to receive guidance appearing to suggest that SPQS reports must be made by federation. This was not the LMC understanding which was that practices were “strongly encouraged” to report as part of a federation. We have received reassurances that “Looking at the request for federation level submissions; the specification for 2018/19 sets out the need for each practice to demonstrate individual progress/processes whilst being encouraged to continue to submit reports at a federation level, as per points 2.7 and 7.1 in the specification. Given that practices in previous years submitted their reports as federations, this arrangement shouldn’t need to be changed for this year, with the majority submitting collated reports but those that wish to sending individual updates.”

GDPR Survey on Subject Access Requests: GDPR Survey on Subject Access Requests: The introduction of GDPR, and the removal of the ability to charge to cover the costs of responding to subject access requests (SARs), is having a significant impact on practices. GPC is hearing from many areas of the country that SARs have increased significantly since these changes were made in May. This clearly has had financial and resource implications on practices. To accurately quantify the full scale of this problem they are surveying all practices across the UK to collect information. They have asked LMCs to ask as many practices as possible to complete this short survey as soon as possible. Please click here to access it. Only one response per practice is required and it would be best completed by a member of staff who actually does the work.

Workforce Minimum Dataset: Practice Managers will have noticed a new screen with a pop up asking if they are prepared to share Data with various NHS organisations, this has been raised with NHS Digital who have said that data is used by the organisations to monitor the GP workforce and plan the workforce required to deliver services to meet the needs of patients, all information is dealt with securely and it is entirely at your discretion whether practices wish to share the line level data with the any of the other organisations.

Try tto be nice to your locum: We have received reports of friction between practices and locums. There are two sides to every story but it is clear that the stresses and strains of running a practice can sometimes spill over when a locum asks about, say a Smart card problem or a delay in making payments (are cheques really necessary these days?). The Medical Director was a locum for seven happy years and remembers with affection the relief that always (well, nearly always) greeted his turning up. Locums are more scarce these days but are probably even more a vital part of the workforce nowadays: we all need each other.

Responding to Pharmacy2U The LMC is aware that this private online pharmacy has been advertising widely to encourage patients to use their services rather than their local pharmacy or dispensary, citing the convenience of online ordering and postal delivery. The National Pharmacy Association and the Dispensing Doctors' Association have both produced notices for members to use. They state that P2U is not an NHS organisation and has nothing to do with them, that controlled drugs cannot be sent by Royal Mail and quoting a judgement made against the company by the ICO (for selling on patient details) and a poor CQC rating. It is also said that P2U failed to deliver drugs to clients for three weeks over the Christmas 2015. They end with claims that patients not supporting their local pharmacy or dispensary could lead to loss of services valued by communities. NHSE has pointed out that many "non NHS bodies" are contracted to do NHS work and is reminding practices that one cannot appear to "coerce" patients into choosing a particular service by threatening the consequent loss of other services. We are allowed to advertise our services but in doing so we cannot allege others to be inferior. The LMC intends to ask NHSE what it will do about P2U which seems to be doing precisely that.

2WW Dematology The two week wait cancer referral pathway has been under great pressure of late and there are a growing number of patients who are now waiting longer that two weeks with no appointments available to Somerset patients.

It remains the duty of the GP to refer appropriately nonetheless.

Document Flow Training GPFV  This initiative has shown a significant reduction in workload for those practices that did the training and have adopted the process in house , We have organised further training for GPs and staff and would strongly recommend that practices who have not yet had the training attend, it is important that a GP attends with a member of staff who is likely to be doing this work, dates available to book online 25th September, 21st November  ???????

Prostap Takeda are now offering Somerset practices a discount of 30% through clarity, if practices need any additional information they have set up a dedicated Manager Harriet Carver to deal with queries and orders 023 8185 0083

There are currently three LH-RH agonists on the CCG formulary for use within their licensed indications. These are Zoladex (goserelin), Prostap (leuprolide) and Decapeptyl (triptorelin).  Practices are free to choose any of these products, within the relevant licence, when starting treatment.

We are aware that the different levels of discount are available from different suppliers when practices are buying in these products for "personal administration" supply to patients.

However, please remember that it is not appropriate to switch patients  established on one product to another because of the different discounts available, especially if this results in a higher acquisition cost for the NHS.  Such action would put the practice at risk of a contract challenge under the Annex 8 rules on excessive prescribing.

Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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