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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 5th June 2020

Date sent: Friday 5 June 2020

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

SGPET Covid weekly update with all online education can be found  here

General Practices' Alert State:  Somerset LMC’s assessment of General Practices’ Alert State for the period 29th May - Friday 5th June ​​​​​​. 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 8th at 7pm.

Shielded Patients: The widely anticipated third version of the Standard Operating Procedure for Primary Care came out late last Friday. Section 2.5 seemed to expect us to do home visits on all shielded patients if they needed care. With an unerring sense of timing Mr Hancock announced on Sunday that these people could in fact leave their homes under certain circumstances from Monday. The latest SOP (or at least S2.5) was therefore out of date after only a few hours. GPC has raised the contradiction with NHSEI and the LMC cannot rule out that an answer will have emerged by the time you read this.

H2 Antagonists Supply Problems: After the ever to be lamented and probably quite undeserved death of Ranitidine unsurprisingly other H2 antagonists have been difficult to find. The latest we have is that Nizatidine 150 & 300mg will be out of stock for the foreseeable future, Famotidine 40mg (only, not 20mg) has limited availability from one supplier and Cimetidine 200mg is OOS, 400mg expected to be back at the end of June but 800mg is still in stock.

Test & Trace: GPC England has asked for clarity on the implications for HCPs of the Test & Trace system. NHSEI has said that if someone who works in, or has recently visited, a health or social care setting, such as a practice, tests positive for CV19, the case will be escalated to local PHE, who will liaise with the practice to agree on appropriate action. If they were wearing PPE at the time of the contact, this will not count as a contact.

CQC Phone Calls Starting: following an article in the update on the 22nd May we learnt from the CQC on Tuesday that these will commence with a handful of Somerset Practices next week. Those to be contacted will either be overdue a full inspection or those with which inspectors are already in contact after a recent one. The calls are designed to discuss the challenges that practices are facing and how they can be supported if needed. The LMC has good relationships with our local CQC team but also recognises that so many of the ground breaking innovations made to improve patient care and keep patients and teams safe have been made in the welcome absence of regulatory distractions. Practices now planning to “live with” CV19 and at the same time deal with backlog of general cases caused by lock down will welcome CQC’s assertion that the calls should be supportive. The LMC would like to hear if that is not your practice’s perception.

Paper requests for Radiology: YDH have reported that a number of requests are arriving without a GP signature, Unfortunately until they can get Electronic requesting up and running in the GP domain, requests cards do need a signature, this can be electronic in the signature box. This fulfils the IRMER regulation that they are legally bound by.

Chlamydia LES: Some practices will have received the latest Chlamydia LES contract to sign. It is unchanged from previous years. Given our current circumstances where we are all operating on a total triage model you may find it difficult to effectively deliver this important service as it is worded in the contract. The LMC have written to our Public Health colleagues to highlight this and they have agreed the following which will be shared in more detail with practices next week

Notification from Southwest Pathology Services – Consumable supplies from NHS Supply chain (Vacutainers): The NHS Supply Chain is sending us very short date vacutainers at present. This is entirely outside of our control. Current stock has a shelf life only to end of June hence we are sending out short orders to ensure that you will not have redundant stock. At present we advise that practices to only order requirements for the current month. Our stores team are working hard to manage this to keep all users supplied with in date stock which means we need your support until this situation resolves.

Queens Nurse award: We are extremely pleased to report that our Practice Nurse advisor and Respiratory Nurse specialist working in Primary care Paula Messenger has been awarded the Queens Nurse title.

SEW Podcast - Episode 2 - Dealing with Anxiety: ​​​​​In this episode, our hosts Dr. Andrew Tresidder and Dr. Peter Bagshaw use their expertise to discuss how to deal with anxiety in these difficult times. During the conversation, they cover coping strategies, the benefits and drawbacks of different medication, how getting closer to nature can help and much more as they dig deep into their experience as doctors and their own lives to share their expert insight.
Next episode of SEW, Adapting to Change – The New Normal, will be available to listen to free from the 16th of June 2020 through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Google Podcasts, or whichever platform you listen to Podcasts

Yeovil GP Remote sessions: SGPET is disappointed that the annual June Yeovil Update course cannot take place as planned next week. However, some of the programmes contributors are able to run live Zoom educational sessions on line that you can join and take part in. The four sessions on offer are:

Further details of each session, timings, technology and how to book are at: SGPET courses

Top Tip...

Residential Institute Codes (RI): A new process for RI codes was introduced last year, it has been simplified and there are only two codes which can be found here . Please note you do not need to recode your existing patients.
Here's link to the PCSE patient registration process. They have produced a simple and easy to use Guide to Patient Registrations. This will keep you up to date with the current process.

And Finally…

GP in Somerset and Practice/ GP Twitter accounts:
GP In Somerset Thank you to those practices that have sent the GP in Somerset team content on life in lockdown, we have been getting some great content and photos, we could do with more for all the social media channels to attract primary care staff to Somerset, if you have any stories to share please e mail the team with videos, pictures and stories to
Twitter GP in Somerset, the LMC and SGPET are on twitter @gpinsomerset @somersetlmc and @SGPET we are aware that a number of practices are taking to this platform but are not always aware who and your twitter handle so please do let the office know and we will give you a follow and a retweet


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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