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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 4th December 2020

Date sent: Friday 4 December 2020

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

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme (CVP): Colleagues will have followed the developments this week with the Prime Minister, Deputy CMO and CEO of the NHS, announcing the CVP followed by the MHRA’s approval of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine. What is proposed is unprecedented in scale in the Western world but has not only already lifted the national morale but also, in time, could save lives and see some normality return to the life of the British people.
The stakes being so high we understand the frantic rush to devise a CVP and to get practices to sign up. However, it seemed obvious viewing NHS webinars that there was a mismatch between the JCVI recommendations that those over 80, the housebound and in care homes should be the first priority and the characteristics of the vaccine. Currently it is judged too unstable once thawed and diluted to be taken out of the centre.
And so Pulse and the BBC reported this week that primary care would have to wait for the less fragile Astra Zeneca Oxford vaccine later this month or in the new year. The Pfizer vaccine would be given in hospitals starting with key staff such as in ICUs. It seemed that the draft Enhanced Service already agreed with the GPC would have to be shelved or seriously amended to reflect this reality.
Then yesterday (Thursday) we learned that JCVI had refused to change the priority list in the light of the vaccine’s characteristics and GPC sources described the BBC and Pulse reports as “premature and possibly mistaken.” The “Pfizer vaccine based” ES specification was formally issued largely unchanged.
For the first time, apart from the PCN DES itself, this practice-based ES (they have to be by law) came with the requirement that practices had to work in PCNs to qualify. And the stipulations on storage, the need to avoid wastage (hence the 8-8 7/7 working clause if needs be) and even security and the guarantee of properly functioning IT were per force devolved to the signatory practices.
Why on earth would any practice sign up to terms that it could not possibly satisfy individually? There is a clause which says the Secretary of State can amend the conditions which may, or may not lend comfort.
We were therefore pleased to see the communication to practices yesterday evening in which leaders from the whole Somerset-wide health system pledged to work together to make the thing work to the benefit of the people we all serve.
Much remains unclear and it is obviously unsatisfactory that NHSEI has insisted on a specification that (may be) out of date. Nevertheless the benefits are potentially so massive that your LMC is pledged to help make this work.
It will require a leap of faith and we will do our best to safeguard the interests of practices and all practitioners to mitigate the failings of the national centre so that the most good can be done.
We will also do our best to answer your questions but please understand the cloud of uncertainty at the time of writing! In fact we gather further announcements are expected today (Friday) about over 80s being vaccinated at designated sites so watch this space.
Dr Barry Moyse, Medical Director.

Training modules Covid Vaccine: The Core Training Modules are now live, accessible via the Learning for Health site

Support for GPs to deliver care to patients with hearing loss: A new toolkit is available to support GPs to deliver care for patients with hearing loss and encourage deaf patients to access primary care.
The toolkit – developed by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) – also offers guidelines on how to recognise early symptoms of hearing loss and how to refer patients for a hearing assessment.

GP trainees mileage payment: NHS Employers and the BMA have published joint guidance for the reimbursement of home to principle place of work mileage for trainees in a GP practice. The guidance will provide the necessary information for employing organisations on operationalising the current provisions in the absence of an updated version of the terms and conditions. This is applicable to both back dated and future claims.

New Lloyd George no farther: PCSE tells us that as part of the historic record digitisation programme the way medical records are managed for new patient registrations of babies and first entrants to the NHS is changing. The production and distribution of new patient paper Lloyd George envelopes is expected to cease in December (tbc). Practices will no longer receive a new paper Lloyd George envelope for a first time registration to the NHS. At a later date (also tbc – this is PCSE remember) practices will no longer receive transit labels to move records for these patients when leaving a practice. If you need an envelope to store paperwork that cannot be scanned and so still need to create a physical record order a Lloyd George envelope via PCSE Online. Communication will be sent out by PCSE very shortly explaining the process and including FAQs. In the meantime
Please send any questions to Customer Support Centre(The LMC wishes you well with this)

New Somerset Domestic Abuse Website: The County Council has redesigned the Somerset Survivors website which can be found here. It now provides clearer information for the public and professionals. And has lots of new content too. Please highlight these changes to colleagues and patients as much as possible.

Latest Drug Shortages: Bisacodyl suppositories are expected to make their emergence again in January but Normacol is back in stock for those unable to wait until then.

Somerset Training Hub - Invoicing for CPD Funding for Nurses and AHPs: Thank you to all Practice and PCN Managers for submitting your practice and PCN CPD Investment Templates. The Training Hub has now received the funding from HEE for 2020-2021. I will be contacting PCN Managers and the individual practices not in a PCN during the week beginning 7th December with the amount to invoice the Training Hub.
I am not able to accept any further requests for centrally funded places offered by UWE as these places have been filled. I have however requested additional places for all named individuals on the waiting list and those listed in your PCN Template. UWE are looking to set up sufficient courses to meet the demand. I will send a list of names with the invoicing arrangements.
Please ask staff not to contact me but to apply for the required course directly via the UWE website. Practices will need to approve the request. Reminder: the budget for 2020/21 has been ‘top sliced’ to fund some of the initial places and the funding must be used for CPD for named individual nurses and AHPs. You will be asked for details of spend in early March 2021.
For more information please email Carol.Hobbs4@nhs.net

 

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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