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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 20th March 2020

Date sent: Friday 20 March 2020

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

General Practices' Alert State: Somerset LMC’s assessment of General Practices’ Alert State for the period 13th March - Friday 20th March.
You can follow this link ​​​​​​for a more detailed assessment and an explanation of the General Practice Alert State system.
This information is for awareness and consideration when making decisions which may have an impact upon General Practice across Somerset.
The survey for this week is now open until Monday 23rd at 7pm. 

Prescribing in the time of Corona, from Peter Holden GPC Emergency Planning Lead: Please do not amend your prescribing quantities: if we prescribe [everything for] 84 days we will break the supply chain.

Home Visits for the Longterm Self-Isolated - from Mark Sanford-Wood, GPC: Risk groups including 70s are being advised to apply social distancing - not full isolation. That means they should not run unnecessary risks, should wash hands regularly etc., but this means they CAN attend surgeries if required. Just consider if the visit to the practice really is necessary. If so then go ahead with all the proportionate and sensible precautions.

Fit Notes During the Present Unpleasantness: From current HMG guidance for employers (S13): "By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. This does not need to be fit note (Med 3 form) issued by a GP or other doctor. "Your employee will be advised to isolate themselves and not to work in contact with other people by NHS 111 or PHE if they are a carrier of, or have been in contact with, an infectious or contagious disease, such as COVID-19. We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home due to suspected COVID-19, in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government."
At time of writing the rule is that Self Certification is for seven days (but GPC is pressing for extension to 14) and NHS111 can provide a confirmatory email for the remaining seven for the self-isolating.

Sample practice telephone message: in case you’ve not done this: “Please do not book a GP  appointment or  attend your GP Practice  if you have symptoms associated with coronavirus, including a new continuous cough or a high temperature. You are advised to stay at home for 7 days. If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. Only call 111 direct, if you cannot go online, or are advised to do so by the online service. For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit  www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. ​​​​​Our senior clinical team will be triaging all appointments.Thank you for your patience.”

From the Letter from the Royal Colleges, DHSC & GMC: "Due consideration should and will be given to healthcare professionals and other staff who are using their skills under difficult circumstances due to lack of personnel and overwhelming demand in a major epidemic. This may include working outside their usual scope of practice. The healthcare regulators have already released a joint statement here to explain this."

LMC Office: It has been necessary to move the team to working from home as several members are in an at risk group, we have systems in place to ensure that we can continue to operate remotely. Home-working staff will have secure access to files, systems and emails and will be able to continue to respond to your needs as normal the phone line has been diverted to a mobile, practices should not notice any difference, but please do e mail us if you experience any problems.

 

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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