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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 18th October 2019

Date sent: Friday 18 October 2019

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

EMIS NUG Report:The Somerset LMC committee IT Lead and colleagues attended the recent EMIS NUG conference held in York, you can read that report here.

GP in Somerset: Somerset LMC started a campaign to highlight Somerset and the GP practices over 3 years ago, we are getting excellent engagement through social media channels (twitter/Facebook/instagram) to date have attracted over 20s GP into the county, and we have had interest from a further 5 this week, we also take the campaign to various career fairs throughout the country. We are in fact off to the RCGP career fair in Liverpool next week
If you haven't already done so please ensure you like the Facebook page both personally and as a practice if you are signed up, also follow on Twitter (@gpinsomerset) and Instagram (gpinsomerset) to ensure the widest reach possible it will help highlight your surgeries and any vacancies you may have
We are planning targeted interviews and filming at practices over the coming months, more news on that soon

Direct Gastroscopy Booking: From the 7 October 2019 practices that face Musgrove Park Hospital will be able to book routine OGDs on the ERS platform choosing “Endoscopy Gastroscopy/OGD – Direct to Procedure/Test *GP pathway*. The referral form has guidance to support decision-making for routine OGDs. After the test if a biopsy was taken the histology will be sent to the referring GP in their results inbox with a guide to interpretation. Where significant pathology is seen at the time the endoscopist may decide that follow up in secondary care is required. If this is the case the GP will be informed the referral HAS BEEN MADE and the Consultant will become responsible for the patient’s care. Where histology later shows unexpected findings these will be explained in the histology report, with an email address for further information ( 
The following documents were devised in conjunction with the LMC for GPs who choose to use this pathway which will reduce waits for patients and improve ease of access for GPs. Direct to test OGDDirect to Test OGD Process Flowchart and Histology Advice

Reconfiguration of Hospice Services at Yeovil: Please see announcement below from Dr Joy Milliken clinical director of St Margaret’s Hospice about the difficult decision to close the inpatient beds at Yeovil and to expand the provision at Taunton. Outpatient services will continue at Yeovil with an enhancement of community services. The hospice is also discussing the provision of some “ring fenced” beds for EOL care under its supervision closer to Yeovil. The hospice hopes that this new approach will enable more support for EOL patients whilst ensuring St Margaret’s can sustain hospice services in the county. (link)

Respond to the NHS pension scheme consultation: The Government has reissued its consultation on introducing flexibilities to the NHS pension scheme. GPC believes it is too little too late – we need its commitment to reform pension taxation, in time for the next tax year. This is your chance to raise your concerns – use our template to respond.

Simulated phishing campaign: The CCG IT team sent out a simulated phishing email to Somerset practices. Recipients were invited to open the email, to click on a link and then to post information on the link. At that stage an admonitory message was received urging the practice to be more careful in future. Congratulations to the following practices where no one took any action at all on this dodgy email which was sent to 61 practices: Mendip Country Practice & North Curry.

Locum guidance on pension annualisation: The BMA has sought clarity from NHS Business Services Authority on annualising for sessional GPs who are members of the 2015 career average revalued earnings scheme. Locums who work out-of-hours can now be afforded a different pension status as part of the 2015 scheme. This will change how their pensions are annualised. Read more here.

NHS APP Campaign: NHSX (The “X” stands for “User Experience” – obviously) has launched an information campaign about the NHS App. The App provides “a core and consistent digital offer from the NHS, in line with commitments set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.“ To make sure the provides a good service and user experience NHSX is aiming at staff first and asking for feedback in order to improve. They have created a toolkit of materials to help NHS organisations promote the App to staff. If you have any feedback please send it to

Learning disability registers: NHS England have published new guidance for practices to ensure that LD registers are comprehensive and up to date and that vulnerable patients are given the opportunity to get flu vaccinations and annual health checks. GPC has raised concerns with NHSE about the amount of GP time to manually update registers to include all of the conditions listed and are pressing NHSE and NHS Digital to commission an automated system as soon as possible. Meanwhile, where diagnosis of a learning disability is unclear, GPs should refer for a specialist assessment.

Ibuprofen shortages: Some supermarkets have reported shortages of ibuprofen, claiming it is due to global shortages. Paracetamol is, of course, often a very safe and effective alternative to ibuprofen. If in doubt, patients should speak to a pharmacist for further advice

HRT Shortages: The Government announced last week that it is introducing new measures to tackle HRT shortages including new restrictions on the parallel export of 18 products some of which currently face supply shortages due to manufacturing problems. 

Ranitidine supply issue: The Department of Health and Social Care has just informed us that the MHRA sent a CAS alert about ranitidine yesterday, stating that all oral formulations of ranitidine are anticipated to be out of stock, with no date for resupply until further notice.
See more information in the CAS alert.

Online consultation guidance: NHS England has published guidance and an implementation toolkit for practices and commissioners, in using online consultations in primary care. Read more here.


Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

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

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