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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 12th February 2021

Date sent: Friday 12 February 2021

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

Guidelines on vaccines for use during the 2021/22 flu programme:  NHSE/I has issued guidelines on vaccines for use during the 2021/22 flu programme , following the publication of JCVI advice. The vaccines recommended for use are:

Please do read the guidelines and submit vaccine orders as soon as practical.

Second Doses of Pfizer Covid Vaccine: You will recall the concern when, acting on CMO & JCVI advice, the DH&SC and NHSEI unilaterally decided to change the interval between Pfizer vaccine doses to up to 12 weeks. Apart from the question of extrapolation of trial evidence and the manufacturer’s caution some colleagues were concerned about letting down patients who had been promised a second appointment and a few worried about legal action resulting. The GP Defence Fund commissioned a legal advice note on the subject which can be read here.  

COVID Virtual Ward (CVW): The acute trusts have both now set up secondary care CWCs. This is a step down service for patients discharged from the in-patient COVID wards who need monitoring and should not be confused with the primary care, step up COVID@HOME. GPs will receive the usual discharge summary including that the patient is being placed on the CVW. The patient will be given a pulse oximeter, measure their saturations daily and be called by the CVW nurse for review. Should they need further medical assessment this will be arranged on the COVID ward. The CVW will only address medical problems associated with COVID19. Patients can phone the CVW nurse 0800-1800 seven days a week on 01823 343647 or 07767440724. The patient’s GP can also use the numbers if they need to speak to the nurse about a patient on the CVW. If things deteriorate OOH patients will call 111 or 999 as normal. Patients can stay on the CVW for up to 14 days. On discharge there will be another summary and the patient will be advised to return the pulse oximeter to the COVID ward or their practice.

Freedom of Information Requests for Practices’ Gift and Hospitality Register: As we reported last week this caused significant concern when practices are so busy focusing on the pandemic and the COVID vaccination programme. After after we raised it with GPC the University apologised and immediately agreed to withdraw their request.

Registration of patients: The PGM guidance provides reassurance that all patients can register with a practice. If there is concern about identity, then this can be reviewed post registration through counter fraud. This has been highlighted to reassure practices following cases of a patient (eg homeless, those fleeing domestic violence) having problems acquiring a Covid vaccine through difficulties in having adequate ID to register

Body Map Stickers in Child Health Record: CCG Safeguarding Lead Dr Jo Nicholl writes: The red child health books now have a new body map sticker inside them. This is placed in the “notes” section towards the back. From birth any HCP who examines the baby is required to identify on the body map sticker any marks, bruising or birth trauma with clear written notes to accompany it. The reason for this is because historically this information would be recorded in the baby’s purple postnatal notes, which are sent back to the hospital following discharge by midwifery services. The HVs and GPs therefore had very little information when taking over care and so could not easily confirm if marks or bruises they observe were new. The red books will be issued at birth so that the midwife or paediatrician who performs the initial new-born check will be able to record any findings. We ask that the GP undertaking the 6 week check reviews the body map and adds information as required. It is imperative from a safeguarding perspective, but also clinically, that any practitioner who examines the baby is able to easily tell whether a mark or bruise is old or new. We hope that this new process will assist in the diagnosis of medical conditions and the protection of children at risk of harm.

Somerset Integrated Digital e-Record (SIDeR) Shared Care Record (SSCR):  As we reported recently SiDER has been live since November and has already been looked at a whopping 3,600 times by clinical staff across SFT community and mental health settings, YDH, St Margaret’s Hospice and Practices. A focussed dataset from YDH, 63/65 GP Practices and St Margaret’s is live on the SSCR. SFT records are due to be added before the end of March. Soon SSCR will be accessible by adult social care teams. The Electronic Palliative and Care Coordination System (EPaCCS) is also now fully integrated with the SSCR and can be created, viewed and updated by all staff involved in end of life care via SIDeR.
SIDeR is evolving and further uses will include admissions, expected discharge date and deceased alerts, creation of an electronic Somerset Treatment Escalation Plan and an Advanced Care Planning Form and a Comprehensive Assessment Form. The first of three electronic forms for the new Community Mental Health Service will also be included in the next month.
Want to know what the SSCR looks like? Check out this silent but informative video [you could play the piano to accompany it – BM] from our technology partner, Black Pear Software Ltd and on the SiDer page of the LMC website .

Contract Agreement Webinar for 2021/22 (England): Following the recent contract agreement for 2021/22 , the GPC will be holding two contract virtual roadshows/webinars on the following dates:
24th February – 19.30-20.30
25th February – 12.30-13.30
Please Look out for the registration details next week.

Responding to Complaints on NHS Choices: The LMC meets local CQC inspectors regularly to discuss all sorts of matters of importance to practices. This week one subject was the rise in complaints as tempers fray over COVID and the restrictions. CQC assured us that it understands this and that the number of complaints will not, in itself, trigger any sort of attention from them. It is the way complaints are handled that matters and CQC does like to see responses made to online complaints even if anonymous. Recall that saying you’re sorry does not mean that you are admitting guilt but acknowledging hurt feelings.

GP Retention Scheme Webinar: A webinar on the GP Retention Scheme will be taking place on Thursday 25 February from 7pm – 8.15pm. GPC will be looking at how the GP Retention Scheme works for both employees and employers, tackling some of the common misconceptions about the scheme and hearing from GPs who are currently on the scheme. There will a Q&A session at the end and you can submit any questions in advance to . A full list of speakers will be confirmed shortly. Click here to sign up.

PCN Business Manager Event 11th March: Following the event for South West Regional Association (SWRA CDs) held in 2019 by the SWRA LMCs at Taunton Racecourse (remember live events!) it was agreed to set up an event for PCN Business Managers with the aim to set up a SWRA Network, a virtual event has been organised for the 11 March 2021 from 13:30 -16:30 full details including booking can be found here

Apprenticeships Can Help General Practice in So Many Ways 4th March: Thursday lunchtime March 4th 13.00-14.00.
To help you find out more about:

  1. How apprenticeships can be used in general practice for clinical and non-clinical staff to: 

    ·  increase numbers of young people choosing to work in primary care

    ·  provide local alternative training routes for student nurses etc. 

    ·  nurture and develop talent in your practice

    ·  upskill existing team members to take on new roles and responsibilities 

    ·  help everyone realise their career and professional hopes and plans

  2. The simple steps you need to take for apprenticeships work in your practice
  3. What advice, support and resources are available locally to help you

Full information, contributors and Booking details here

CPD Funding and UWE Modules (e.g. NMP, PACR, PADRAP etc):  Please could this information on Personal Allocation Budgets (£1,000 per individual Nurse and AHP over three years) be shared with appropriate staff in the practice.

GPNs in General Practice: A short presentation on what Somerset Training Hub and the CCG have done and are continuing to do to support GPNs in Somerset

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA): This time focusses on the health effects of climate change and the steps taken to mitigate it and can be read in full here .

Taunton Samaritans Updated Telephone Number: The Taunton branch of the Samaritans would like to ask GP practices to update their number on websites and homepages. To access Samaritans the freephone number is 116123.

And Finally... 

French nun Sister André – thought to be the second oldest person in the world, who is blind and a wheelchair user and who was 117 on Thursday – has made a full recovery from Covid-19.


Kind regards



Jill Hellens

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

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