Menu Home Search

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 30th April 2021

Date sent: Friday 30 April 2021

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

More COVID Vaccinations in 2021: In a statement to Parliament last week, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care confirmed that plans are being made for COVID-19 vaccination boosters to be given later this year to help protect against new variants. As reported earlier this month NHSEI has committed to discuss delivery of COVID-19 boosters and the impact on the flu campaign with GPC once further information is available. We are also awaiting the outcome of research in to the impact of giving COVID and flu vaccinations at the same time.

Foreign Travel, Vaccination & The NHS App: We were sorry when the Secretary of State for Transport announced in the news media that the NHS App was to be used to provide information about vaccination status. We deplore government by press statement. Some practices inevitably reported receiving calls from patients eager to plan foreign travel. The best GPC advice we have is that “use cases” are still being worked through but international travel will be the main one starting on 17th May. The data feed will be from the national data platform: vaccine data from NIMS and swab data from PHE. As we reported recently none of this is intended to affect practices. Data feeds will be “surfaced” directly through the NHS app without need for the permissions that relate to GP data. People who prefer a non-digital certificate will be served by 119 who will request COVID status from NIMS or PHE. We gather that third party suppliers are being considered to “surface” data from GP records but GPC argues there should be one single authoritative way of doing this through automated methods without any need for primary care to be involved. We will await developments with interest but advise practices to politely decline requests from patients. We are only sorry we cannot stop them getting in touch.

New GP Pay & Pensions System: Following a number of delays it appears that the new GP Pay and Pensions system will become available to practices and GPs on 1 June 2021. PCSE has this week written to both LMCs and practices, advising on next steps and what practices will need to consider in preparation. GPs themselves are due to receive information and guidance on using the new system in the coming weeks.

DWP Forms: Further to a recent meeting GPC had with the DWP, they have agreed to supply copies of all relevant GP forms prior to their publication on the HCP pages of Gov.UK.
Please find PDF copies here.

Locum GP tQuest & Radiology Set Up: This can be a challenge, especially at short notice. But not doing it causes extra work for those who do have access to have to order the scans and X rays for the locum, which is frustrating and inefficient for everyone. The set up steps to make the process quick and simple (with thanks to the Crown MC) can be found here. After adding a doctor to tQuest please call MPH IT with their GMC number to add them for radiology requests. If you have any issues with locum Smartcard access for tQuest or EPS please contact the LMC. 

Updated Guidance for HGV Medicals: Due to the pandemic DVLA decided in April 2020 to waive the medical requirement for a D4 licence renewal application for those aged 45 and over. Applicants were instead issued with a single, one-year licence.
After talks with the DVLA the BMA has agreed to aim to accommodate D4 medical appointments for working drivers to make sure that drivers are available to the transport industry. We would therefore encourage practices to enable working drivers to have this medical examination when necessary as much as public health guidelines and individual priorities allow. This excludes car driving licence renewals with small lorry (C1, C1E (107)) and minibus (D1 (101) and D1 (101,119)) entitlements issued before 1997 where these entitlements are used for driving large recreational vehicles rather than for working in the transport sector.
Further information and guidance on this can be found on the  DVLA website.

Neurodevelopment Pathway for Autism and ADHD from September 2021: The referral pathway for these groups will change, so that ALL patients will need to be referred directly from their school (who will be aware of the new changes and forms). As a result GPs will not be involved in the referral process, with the exception of under 5s, home educated children and those where there is a dispute between parents and the school. Currently it is being piloted in Taunton, Yeovil and East Mendip.

Changes to Mental Health support in Primary Care: Here in Somerset, service users, commissioners and providers across primary care, secondary care and the VCSE have come together to co-produce a radical redesign of a model of Mental Health (MH) care that has largely remained unchanged for 20 years.
Our ‘No Wrong Door’ model of care will transform access to MH care in the county and could become a model for implementation across rural, urban and inner city Mental Health (MH) services throughout England.
How to refer into the service?
Simply complete a short CMHS First Contact Form.  The form is available through EMIS, and can be accessed in the same area as the End of Life forms (through PyrusCloud). A maximum of 5 fields can be populated.

New GP Career Support Hub Launched: A new GP Career Support Hub has launched on the Future NHS platform, containing all of the information GPs need to support them throughout their career - from newly qualified doctors to those approaching the end of their career.
It provides information, guidance and support on career development, learning, mentoring, appraisals, career options/flexibility, wellbeing, pay and pensions to enable GPs to realise fulfilling, rewarding and exciting careers in general practice. 

Treatment Escalation Plans Top 5000: Since March last year the South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit has processed and sent 5000 TEPs to practices. During this time TEP quality has improved together with the confidence that these important documents have contributed to better care for patients. Soon the digital Somerset TEP (STEP) form in SIDeR will be accessible via a link from local clinical systems thanks to the work that Justin Harrington and Charlie Davis are doing.

Improving General Practice appointment data (GPAD) webinars and demos: Guidance for GP practices on standard national general practice appointment categories has been published to support the mapping of local appointment slots to these new categories. This follows from guidance published in August 2020 jointly with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) and the General Practitioners' Committee (GPC), which introduced an agreed definition of a general practice appointment.
NHS Digital is hosting several webinars to supplement this guidance and the categorisation. There are also some short demos that cover how best to carry out the national mapping exercise:

SITREP Thanks & Reminder: The LMC is grateful that we are now getting over 50 practices replying to the SitRep each week. The information gleaned is invaluable so thank you and please do keep on answering. We know that the longer and more complex any questionnaire is the fewer busy people will be able to answer it. Therefore we have altered the questions recently and are always open to suggestions about how we could improve it further both to make it easier to complete but also more reflective of the real world. In the meantime, and without in any way wanting to spread gloom and despondency, please do recall that an honest answer is what is needed: there is no merit in taking a “macho” attitude to coping. Hospital trusts do not hesitate to declare themselves to be in OPEL 3 (red) or OPEL 4 (black). Indeed the medical director has suggested that the Bath hospital rename itself “RUH OPEL 4” to save time. So please tell us if we can make the SitRep more realistic and declare how it really feels!

UWE Independent and Supplementary Prescribing Programme 2021-22 - Applications: Please find the application form here and criteria for the 20-21 IP Programme (NMP) here. Please read all information carefully as there are lots of changes this year to support the introduction of the Designated Prescribing Practitioner Assessor and Prescribing Supervisor (DPP/DPS) roles; as well as the requirement for all practices to have an educational audit.  
There is only one application form and one entry criteria for all professions. 
All queries regarding the criteria and application form should be directed to:
For any general information regarding this Programme or CPD funding  queries please contact the Somerset Training Hub Programme Director: email or email
Independent Prescribing September 2021 Timetable – Final Version can be found here.

Top Tips...

Can be found here. New item this week is:


Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
Fax: (01823) 338 561
Follow us on Twitter
Download the App
General Practice in Somerset Great Place Great Potential

We have updated our privacy policies on both the Somerset LMC and Somerset GP Education trust websites.

Related guidance and emails...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 3rd April 2020

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here General Practices' Alert...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 2nd October 2020

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here NHS COVID-19 App CV19 & Flu...

Somerset LMC weekly Update Friday 27th August 2021

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous editions can be found here PCN National Priorities...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 21st January 2022

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here Infection Protection & Control...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 8th January 2021

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here Movement of AZ Vaccine Updated...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Thursday 1st April 2021

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here We wish all our readers a very...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 7th September 2018

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates can be found here Registration of patients with learning difficulties...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 22nd April 2022

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here Referral Query and Advice line for...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 28th May 2021

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here Updated Enhanced Service...

Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 29th October 2021

Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here Response to NHSEI Plan to Improve...