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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 15th January 2021

Date sent: Friday 15 January 2021

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

COVID Oximetry @home pathway: This webinar held on 12/01/21 was hosted by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN Network) and shared a collaborative approach to monitor and manage patients at risk of sudden deterioration. This link shared further resources and also holds downloadable presentation for those that wish to catch up on it.

Doctors not on the performers' list can vaccinate: An important change in legislation on Thursday means ANY doctor who holds GMC registration can now give vaccinations in primary care without having to be on the medical performers’ list (MPL). This means that any GP who has retired the last 10 years (and will therefore have had emergency registration activated by the GMC under last year’s emergency powers) can vaccinate without having to complete all of the paperwork and dealing with PCSE/Capita involved in rejoining the MPL. Providers will need to assure themselves they fulfil the competency and training requirements set out in the National Protocol for Covid-19 mRNA BNT162b2 under which the service provider/contractor is responsible for ensuring that persons are safe to vaccinate. There is even more good news: Prevent training is among items removed from the requirements.
The LMC has also been asked about whether these doctors should have temporary contracts? GPC advice is that this is not strictly needed but that the practice and doctor should record their agreement. An email would suffice, in the same way as one confirms a locum engagement. This will automatically enlist them for indemnity under CNSGP. Some retired doctors offer to work for free and then a peppercorn rate can be agreed making the appointment like that of a locum in all other respects.

CV19 Vaccination promises you cannot keep...: The LMC has had reports of hospital colleagues asking GPs for patients to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible before an important operation or other treatment. This is, of course, well-intentioned but entirely impossible as vaccination priority has to be in line with JCVI instructions. This has been an issue nationally as well as locally. Clinical Directors in the two local Trusts have now told colleagues not to do this. Our advice to you on receiving such is to: email to gently point out the impossibility of what is being asked; to ask that the hospital writes to the patient to correct the mistake and to arrange vaccination in secondary care if important for the management of the patient. The LMC also advises GPs and primary care teams not to over promise to patients either. Some reports suggest that has happened, again, with the very best of intentions we make no doubt.

...And Be careful who you tell: The CVP has come as a great relief: a sense that at last we are “fighting back.” All colleagues are right to be proud of what has been done so quickly and it is entirely understandable that they may wish to share that good news. We regret however that the use of social media has caused some disappointing results. One HCP in their enthusiasm inadvertently and unfortunately gave the impression that others could turn up without an appointment which disrupted a vaccination session. Another posted themselves being jabbed which led to adverse comments as even the most anodyne remarks can these days when it appears that everyone is a critic with an opinion (no matter how unfounded). The LMC advice is to curb your enthusiasm to share the good news and, sadly, to advise your teams to do likewise.

Clinical Director Remuneration: The LMC was delighted to hear that the DH&SC has announced that CDs will now be paid at 1 WTE instead of the wholly inadequate 0.25 WTE in recognition of the work being done for the COVID vaccination campaign. We have learned from the CCG that this will be paid outside the normal payment run in full for January to March.

Microsuction referral pathway - Taunton Vale Healthcare’s Microsuction Clinic: The LMC have received a few enquiries on the referral process for practices, Taunton Vale have now shared this useful document to inform practices of the process.

Diagnosing Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: Dr David James writes, “Dr Bickerton at Yeovil and I receive queries on whether a patient is likely to have Familial Hypercholesterolaemia. The Broome criteria may not be easy to use in all cases and there is a more straightforward means of coming to a decision using the Welsh Lipid Clinic guidelines. This should only be used in the index case within a family.”

Domestic Abuse letters for Legal Aid: Richard Vautrey writes, “The BMA believes that there is no need for medical involvement in the process for gaining access to legal aid for domestic abuse victims. We feel that such requests can compromise the relationship between doctor and patient and that legal aid agencies should take the word of victims without needing to consult a GP – who themselves may not be best placed to confirm whether domestic abuse has occurred. This is a position we continue to make clear through our input into the Government’s ongoing review into bureaucracy in General Practice. While these letters are not funded by the NHS contract and practices are able to charge patients a fee for their completion, the BMA recommends that they do not. Ultimately, however, this is at the practice’s discretion.

Training for General Practice Nurses/ GPs/ health professionals on learning disabilities: 2 short webinars, one on QOF and LD and one on how to carry out the Annual Health Check. Provided by Learning With Nurses, funded by the NHSE Primary Care Team. Flyer can be found here with more details and booking, you can also book via this link.

Secondment Opportunity RePAIR Fellow: The opportunity is for a multidisciplinary role open to applicants from all settings including Registered Nurses, Midwives, and Allied Health Professionals, Higher Education Institutes and Social Care who are currently working with students on programmes leading to registration in one of these regulated professions. More details here HEE-SW RePAIR Fellow.
If you have any queries or questions regarding the application process, please contact Lydia Carmichael-Brown, Human Resources and Recruitment Lead Officer via email:

BMA Law partnership webinar: BMA Law’s specialist solicitors hosted a webinar in December covering every aspect of partnership agreements and why they are vital to protecting your partnership. From the perils of partnership at will to last man standing and green socks clauses, this webinar outlines why you need a partnership agreement, how often you should update it, and the common pitfalls to avoid when drafting one. Access a recording of the webinar here

Diabetes Prevention Webinar 21st January: Somerset CCG along with our provider of the National ‘Healthier You’ Diabetes Prevention Programme are holding monthly drop-in webinars for referrers to programme. The half hour sessions hosted on Microsoft Teams commence on Thursday 21st January at 12:30 and will provide any relevant updates to the programme, refreshers on referring, course content and an opportunity for referrers to ask questions. If you are interested in attending the webinar on Thursday 21st January please contact Georgie Clayton, the Diabetes Prevention Lead Officer on who will send you invite and add you to the mailing list for future webinars.

What is the secret of great comedy?: Our friends at the central CQC what to know what you think about the organisation. Do let them know here.
The answer to the question is, of course, timing.

The Somerset Emotional Wellbeing podcast: The podcast has been shortlisted for an HSJ Award for Mental Health Innovation of the Year this year and forms a core pillar of the upcoming Staff Mental Health Resilience Hub currently in development. The episodes they are putting out at the moment are timely and will help staff (and wider population) through these unprecedented times. Listen to the latest and previous episodes here.

Somerset Covid Vaccination Video: Practices may wish to use this video on websites and social media platforms.


Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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