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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 25th September 2020

Date sent: Friday 25 September 2020

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers     This and previous updates are available here SGPET weekly update can be found  here

Flu Vaccine Shortages: We know that some colleagues have not yet received their orders but others are already running out of stock. Inquiries about getting more have often been met with, “Sorry, the government have bought up all our stock.” The GPC tells us that it is in discussions and HMG says it is a top priority to sort out new supplies to practices from the 30m vaccine central stockpile. The LMC wonders what could possibly go wrong?

Covid-19 in Care Homes - Be Warned: The SW Care Home Winter Readiness Pack says research suggests that older people do not always present with typical symptoms of CV19 such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. “Older people are at a greater risk of infection and death from COVID-19 and therefore we must remain alert. We should be more vigilant and anticipate more atypical presentations in older adults. If you notice these changes in your residents, inform their GP or call 111*6.” It then lists the following atypical symptoms: delirium; falls; generalised weakness; malaise; functional decline; conjunctivitis; anorexia; increased sputum production; dizziness; headache; rhinorrhoea; chest pain; haemoptysis; diarrhoea; nausea and vomiting. The LMC suspects it’s going to be a busy Autumn.

NHS Test & Trace App: launched on 24 September. The QR codes are not intended for healthcare settings but for business and other public buildings that will be mandated to keep a record of those entering. If practices want to apply for and display a QR code they can do so voluntarily but there is no expectation or contractual requirement to do so.

SW CHIS Updates: A brief reminder that the SW CHIS is holding the second presentation of the first GP Session: Refresh of SW CHIS and HI Hub. If anyone would like to attend, please e-mail This will run on October 1st, from 12:30pm-2:30pm.
For those who have attended the first GP Session, you should have received or be receiving your packets with information included. Please e-mail if you have not yet received these packets.
NHSE have asked CHIS to postpone sending the flu invite letters to parents of 2 and 3 year olds due to the continuing COVID19 situation.
The next COVER reporting submission is due beginning of November which will look at Q2 (July – September) data. Your local CHIS may be in contact for missing data so please reach out to your local office or respond to their email so we can ensure your data is correct.

Andrology Samples - From SPS: Andrology samples are being sent directly from practices to the laboratory with no appointment being made. Requests for andrology can only be accepted via Ordercomms. The andrology service runs an appointment system to ensure all samples are examined in a timely manner. This is especially important at the moment as we have a large backlog of patients. So please order electronically and tell patients that we will send an appointment letter to their home address.

Pre-Birth Safeguarding: CCG Safeguarding lead Dr Joanne Nicholl: Serious Incident & Case Reviews have shown that communication between health agencies regarding parents-to-be and safeguarding risks could be improved in Somerset as well as nationally: “Fragmentation of services, with different front-line providers within the same agency, can lead to silo-working within as well as between agencies. In such situations it is particularly important to have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different organisations, and clear pathways for information sharing and shared working” (Brandon et al (March 2020) Complexity and challenge: a triennial analysis of SCRs 2014-2017). In response to this we have written a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to make the process for information sharing within health visiting, midwifery and GP services clearer. This will help to safeguard very vulnerable pregnant women their babies. Please read this SOP to understand your role in information sharing, collective decision making and safeguarding.

Changing the Behaviour of Male Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse: The University of Bristol, with Barnardo’s, is undertaking the REPROVIDE study to offer weekly sessions of education and support to men over 21 who are worried that their behaviour in relationships with women might be abusive. Men can refer themselves, but the charity is also keen for GPs to support men to do so. The study tests the effectiveness of group behaviour change programmes to help men to reduce violence and abuse in their relationships. Those interested will get information and be invited discuss their eligibility. Following a questionnaire, they will be allocated to a control group or to weekly evening groups in Taunton or Shepton Mallet. These will cover conflict resolution, consequences, healthy relationships, gender-based beliefs, and particularly the impact of abuse on partners and children. This is often recognised as one of the key motivations for change. For further information on joining the programme or referring someone else, call 07870 376548, or visit their website here.

And Finally...

PCIS: The LMC cannot, of course, see into the future but do look out for something to practices’ advantage next week.


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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