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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 24th April 2020

Date sent: Friday 24 April 2020

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

General Practices' Alert StateSomerset LMC’s assessment of General Practices’ Alert State for the period 17th April - Friday 24th April.  
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 27th at 7pm.

CV Act 2020 The Cremation Medical Certificate (form 4): Published on the website  has been updated to provide for a medical practitioner completing the form on their computer or other device to embed an electronic signature. This will enable the form to be sent via another person’s email account, such as the generic practice one, without the form having to be first printed and signed.

BMA COVID-19 contract for temporary engagements: The Sessional GP Committee, working with GPC and BMA Law, has produced a model contract with terms for the engagement of a GP providing temporary COVID-19 services. The model terms are intended to provide practices with the ability to flexibly employ additional GPs to deal with the demands of responding to COVID-19. In particular, it is aimed at locum GPs in order to provide access to employment benefits such as maintaining continuous coverage of death in service benefits while supporting COVID-19 services, and access to the employer’s occupational sick pay and annual leave entitlements.

GP and Practice toolkit update: The GPC have published a toolkit for GPs and practices which should hopefully answer many of the questions on a large range of topics. It covers: Service provision, Home visits and care homes, Redeploying staff, working in hubs and furlough, Indemnity, Annual leave, Dispensing and medications, Locum doctors, Primary care networks and has links to our updated guidance on returning doctors, IT, homeworking and remote consultations. The toolkit can be accessed here. This is also on the LMC website here. ​​​​​​ ​​​​​​ 

CHIS data sharing agreement: Practices will have received a new agreement this week from CHIS, this was not shared with the LMC or the DPO before sending and there are concerns that have still not been addressed, we would therefore ask you all to hold off from signing until we let you know it is safe to do so.

Two important lessons for working in time of COVID-19 - This means you!: First - if you would normally admit a case the ADMIT it now despite CV19. Second - if you make a video consultation RECORD it as being such.

COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure - Using the NHS Directory of services to report General Practice Capacity: Colleagues will have seen that this was sent to all on 22nd April. The CCG has asked us to remind you that this is a requirement on them and not on individual practices. At present all you need do is to continue to complete the daily LMC sitrep report please. Clearly this, or something very like it, will become a contractual requirement by the end of the month.

SARSAS: Somerset & Avon Rape & Sexual Abuse Support has had to change how it works during the epidemic during which, of course, many will suffer more depression and anxiety due to the lockdown. A poster and letter to update you and anyone you might need to signpost towards SARSAS.

VE Day Bank Holiday From The CCG: Whilst we have not had formal confirmation of national plans, it is likely that the arrangements for the Bank Holiday on Friday 8th May 2020 will be in line with those put in place for the Easter Bank holidays... The need to be open is likely to be a [contractual] requirement but we recognise that the provision of these services is best planned by practices themselves and we are happy that practices work together to develop a strategy to provide cover on this date in terms of likely requirements and working arrangements. We expect every practice to be open unless there is a PCN or inter practice arrangement which a) retains patient access through their usual practice telephone number and b) provides full read/write access to EMIS. Please can all practices prepare to be open on this basis.
More details will follow when national requirements have been clarified as will details for the Bank Holiday on Monday May 25th 2020. Should you have any queries or concerns, please link with your CCG locality lead.

EMIS Training videos: Corinne Raymont Senior IT trainer and the team at SCWCSU have put together some short training videos for returning GPs new to EMIS web have just been posted on the training website.They can be found here . ​​​​​​
You will need to register on the site first. The form is a copy of the electronic registration form, if you are a locum GP the advice from the team is to enter Locum GP as the Practice Code and then the name of the practice or one of the practices you are working at for the Practice Name.

Practice Support Calls Via Zoom with Yvonne Vigar: From next week, these calls will be held once a week on a Tuesday morning at 11am. Therefore, the following zoom meetings are currently available for you to call into:

These are available to anyone who would like to join a group call to discuss what issues they may be struggling with that day / week and to come up with solutions; or as a general support call.
The zoom details are as follows:
Topic: Practice Manager Support Call
Join Zoom Meeting here
Meeting ID: 743 957 4814
Passcode: 653510
If you require an individual call, please contact Yvonne directly at

NHSE Apologises for Shielding Lists Debacle: Speaking on 16th April Dr Nikita Kanani NHSE Director of Primary Care admitted the process has been 'really frustrating' for GPs and said she was 'very happy to apologise' after some patients received a letter in error and others presented to practices after self-identifying as who should be on the list. Dr Kanani said: 'I hope that we can get the processes better. There are lots of agencies involved and we must get it right. My apologies, for what that is worth.' It’s not clear to the LMC if Dr K has attended any training on how to apologise effectively.


Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

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

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