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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 28th June 2019

Date sent: Friday 28 June 2019

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers          This and previous updates are available here

Network News…

GP Board meeting with CDs: We met on Tuesday evening for what was intended to be an informal meeting of PCN Clinical Directors and the GP Board with no other official representation. It was agreed that its main objective would be to develop relationships and explore what can be achieved by the PCNs as a collective, and also to ensure that what is asked of PCNs, and particularly PCN Clinical Directors, is appropriate and achievable. We received reports from each network and had a discussion on PCN development. One concern from CDs was the call on their time from other organisations to attend various meetings. It was agreed that the requests should come via the LMC office to be assessed against an agreed criteria, before circulating appropriately. Support for CDs and PCNs will be ongoing and further meetings planned.

Software problem at Pathology Lab: Practices should be aware that, regrettably, there was a problem with software installed in an analyser in May this year. The manufacturer’s safety notice was received in early June. Some 40,000 tests from 22,000 patients were processed between 2nd May and 3rd June. The good news is that the error rate is estimated at less than 0.18%, that factors in processing which could exacerbate the problem are not used locally and that in NW England a lab had been using the software for three years without any adverse effect being yet noted. And, of course, there is always a degree of error in any laboratory system. This error would have caused results to be lower than the true value or negative. A formal communication from the CCG and lab will be sent to practices soon together with lists of patients possibly affected: screening tests for PSA and CA125 are the most important to review. The CCG has accepted that checking patient records for tests in primary care will have an impact on time and resources. The LMC will be pressing for remuneration (at the very least) for any extra work caused which practices should record. We expect that tests ordered by hospital clinicians will be reviewed in secondary care.

Safeguarding Appraisal Guidelines: The latest intercollegiate guidance on safeguarding is that, over three years, all doctors should record and reflect on 12-16 hours of child and eight hours of adult work. This should include using varieties of learning methods and events including multidisciplinary ones such as team meetings, e-modules, study days, conversations with other professionals and other learning from experience. The LMC regrets that this guidance remains out of kilter with the five year revalidation cycle.

Consultant Connect: This way of getting advice from hospital colleagues has been much valued by colleagues in primary care. Perhaps inevitably some specialities can be harder to contact than others and there has been a (for us) controversial move by one department at T&S to only accept admissions via CC rather than through Somerset Primary Link. Moves are underway to resolve, or at least to reconcile the matter, but the LMC would be interested in any examples of difficulties referring patients you may have experienced.

Annual allowance and tax change survey: Following the announcements of the review of the NHS pension scheme arrangements, GPC is asking doctors concerned by the impact of these tax measures to write to their local MP. Colleagues across the country in all specialities are reporting disinclination to take on extra responsibilities (or reducing existing ones) if exceeding annual pension allowance (and tapering tax relief for the lucky higher earners) means paying more in tax than the amount earned for the work. Younger GPs should also consider the real chance that they will rapidly save up to the decreased maximum lifetime allowance and then have perhaps decades more work before they can get their pensions. Scoffers may well say “poor old you with your massive pension pot” but the point is that this is impacting on NHS services when there is already a shortage of GPs. Government and Treasury policy is therefore, once again, at odds like threatening PCNs with VAT for subcontracting services. See the template letter here. GPC also needs your help to influence the review by filling in this brief survey about the impact that the current pension arrangements may have had on you here. It is designed for BMA members but seems to work for anybody. It purports to have a dispiriting 39 questions but this did not prove to be so when your MD completed it.

What is your view of the future? Following the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, the introduction of the GP Contract and the publication of the GP Partnership Review, Dr Nigel Watson would like to establish what impact this has had on the morale of the profession now and the potential this has for the future. You are invited to complete a short survey here.

QMasters Evening Training Session – Wednesday 3rd July, Frome Medical Centre Conference Room 6.30pm-8pm: This is another chance to attend a QMasters training session if you missed the first one held in Taunton on 21st May. Please book online here

 

Kind Regards

 

Jill

Jill Hellens

Executive Director
Somerset LMC
Crown Medical Centre, Venture Way, Taunton, TA2 8QY

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
Fax: (01823) 338 561     

www.somersetlmc.co.uk
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