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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 26th February 2021

Date sent: Friday 26 February 2021

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

Dr Clifford John Mann OBE FRCEM FRCP 1962-2021: The LMC was sad to learn of Dr Mann’s tragic death after a short illness on Saturday 20th February. He was Consultant in the Emergency Department at Musgrove Park Hospital for 22 years. Cliff (Ch Cross & Wminster, BSc. MB BS 1986) was an outstanding clinician with a first class mind who rose to the top of his profession. He served as President, Royal College of Emergency Medicine (2013-16) and then as National Clinical Advisor in A&E to NHSE. He spoke truth to power. Cliff wore his eminence lightly with modesty, courtesy and humour. He will be fondly remembered as as a brilliant, pragmatic and, above all, kind doctor and colleague by all those who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him. Cliff was also a devoted family man: our hearts go out to Rhona and their children. (BCM)

Updated GMC guidance on prescribing: As many are doing more and more remote consultations we thought it important to highlight that the GMC last week  published updated guidance on prescribing to support doctors who are increasingly seeing patients via remote and virtual consultations. 
Key updates include:

New guidance can be found here. 

Retired doctors – return to practice to support the pandemic effort: Given the intensity of workload pressures and the mounting backlog due to COVID-19 the BMA has recently updated its online guidance for doctors considering a  return to clinical practice in the short, medium or long term and for those wishing to specifically support the vaccination programme. This follows consultation with NHSE/I and NHS Professionals. 

QOF: The GPC has confirmed that QOF will restart in April 2021, remote consultations will continue to be an acceptable way of delivering QOF related reviews. While the pandemic continues it may not be possible to include an FEV1 as part of a COPD review. If patients need spirometry for diagnostic purposes practices should refer to a commissioned service.  There is no requirement for the practice to do this. Guidance on Spirometry in general practice (bma.org.uk) can be found here.  

Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Campaign: Urgent referrals for suspected lung cancer have seen a reduction as a result of COVID-19 and have been slow to recover compared with other cancer pathways. They were 35% lower between March–November 2020 in England and Wales compared with the same time period in 2019, or around 17,800 fewer people.
As a result, Public Health England is running a lung cancer campaign encouraging patients to present to their GP, so you might see more patients presenting with potential symptoms. CRUK has a one page guide on its website for information and practical advice on managing patients with suspected lung cancer during the pandemic, including updates in national guidance.

Contract Valued for 2021/22: Global sum will increase by £3.82 (4.1%) to £97.28; QOF point value up by £6.33 (3.3%) to £201.16 while OOH adjustment rises by 14p (3.0%) to £4.59.

Providing a letter to say a patient is of 'Unsound Mind' for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS): We know that this has become a national issue. Such a request is asking for a professional opinion and is not one of the certificates listed for which no charge can be made according to contract. However the BMA made this statement on Wednesday: Following discussion of this issue at today’s Professional Fees Committee meeting it was agreed we will take this forward with BMA Legal to try and obtain an opinion on the broader issue of collaborative fees in the wake of the unsuccessful judicial review on [fees for] child safeguarding.

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: 

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

Remote surgery sessions with Veales Wasborough 11th May: Practices may remember the complimentary surgery sessions we held with Ros Lockhart from Lockharts solicitors at the LMC office that proved to be very popular. Since Lockharts merge with Veales Wasborough we have asked if these could be re- instated remotely until we can all meet again face to face, if you would like to book one of these sessions please complete the enquiry sheet and e mail direct to Sandeep Saib  SSaib@vwv.co.uk further detail here

Online Fit Note research help: The DWP is developing and improving the current Fit Note uploading system for patients and wants to give GPs the opportunity to have their say on what they do and don’t like about the whole sick note process.  This will allow changes to be made before the system goes live at the end of March 2021 after which it will be more difficult. So now is the time to speak out. Take the survey here  – it will only take about 10 minutes. 

And Finally...

Some good news, NHSE has confirmed that there is no anticipation that practices will need to open during the Easter Bank Holiday, however, depending upon supplies, the vaccination centres may need to be open.

 

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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