Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 13th November 2020
Date sent: Friday 13 November 2020
Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here
- Covid-19 Vaccination
- Practice sign up for CV19 Testing
- Temporary approval to suspend the need for signatures on prescriptions
- General practice is open
- COPI notice - review checklist
- DWP Work Capability Assessments
- Education Events on Zoom
- DS1500 research
- Essential Management of General Practice/Induction for New Managers
- And Finally...
Covid-19 Vaccination: This week has been dominated by the news of plans for a mass vaccination campaign after the Prime Minister and deputy CMO’s announcement. This is a rapidly changing situation. Last night there was an NHSEI webinar with Dr Nikki Kenani and Ed Waller Directors of Primary Care which also included Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, deputy chair of GPC. This will be an Enhanced Service like childhood imms and vaccs and not a DES after all. The notes here address some of the questions the LMC has been asked this week including the designation of vaccination sites in PCN areas, another short extension to the deadlines to name sites and express interest in the ES, the 8-8 7/7 opening requirement including if Xmas might be involved, the known characteristics (and even the names) of the two likely vaccines, a change to the 15 min observation period, reprioritisation of workload and ring fenced funding to support primary care. Please read it and rest assured that your LMC will continue to make sense of the changing scene as things hopefully become clearer to support practices, PCNs and our CDs serve the people of Somerset in these unprecedented times.
Practice sign up for CV19 Testing: Recently NHSEI announced that practices could opt in to receive CV19 swabs to test staff, relatives and patients according to need. Public Health has told us it would be helpful to know how many Somerset practices have signed up? Could colleagues please complete this 2 question survey by Friday 20th November.
Temporary approval to suspend the need for signatures on prescriptions: The Secretary of State has approved a temporary measure in England to help limit the transmission of coronavirus by suspending the need for patients to sign prescriptions until 31 March 2021. Patients are still required to pay the charge or prove their eligibility for an exemption. Where exempt the dispensing contractor will mark the form on the patient’s behalf to confirm it and, where applicable, to confirm that the patient’s evidence of eligibility has not been seen. Whether this will be a game changer remains to be seen.
General practice is open: The RCGP has launched a campaign to make it clear to patients that general practice is open albeit delivering services differently than before. The RCGP is urging patients, if sick, to continue accessing general practice - and other NHS - care throughout the second national “lockdown.” It has made downloadable resources to support GPs to get the message across. These can be shared on practice websites, social media or any other channels.
DWP Work Capability Assessments: The Department of Work and Pensions has issued a plea for GP practices to return requests for further evidence for Capability for Work Assessments as quickly as they can. People who have made these applications are often suffering financial hardship, hence their concern. The following is the DWP statement: "DWP are [sic] currently prioritising Work Capability Assessments for new claims to Universal Credit / Employment and Support Allowance and continuing to process all Personal Independence Payment claims. Ensuring individuals can access financial support in a timely manner is essential and we would therefore ask GPs to treat requests for further evidence as a priority.”
Education Events on Zoom: As practices will be aware the education team have moved the full programme where feasible online to Zoom and have also added many further events to those that had been delivered F2F. To date this has had excellent attendance, so much so that many have had waiting lists. More recently we are finding that despite places being booked, delegates have not attended on the day, one recent example was an event with 21 booked (with 5 on a waiting list) and just 9 attended on the day. Please can we ask that if you find you are not able to attend that you cancel your booking as soon as possible, to allows others that wish to do so can.
DS1500 research: DWP is researching how completing a DS1500 for special rules claims affects practitioners, patients and others. It is conducting research with GPs to understand more about experience with the DS1500 so that DWP can improve the “journey“ for all involved. They are looking to talk to GPs to understand experiences for about an hour. If you would like to take part pro bono publico and your appraisal please contact Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential Management of General Practice/Induction for New Managers: 2 places have become available on the online training taking place on Tuesday 17th November from 9.30am. This is open to practice managers, deputies and supervisors. Please contact email@example.com today if you would like to book a place. Details about the training can be found here.
The FTSE 100 rose 4.7% on Monday after the vaccine news from Pfizer – its best day since March. In contrast, Zoom’s share price tumbled 20%.
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