Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 25th June 2021
Date sent: Friday 25 June 2021
Sent to all Somerset GPs and Practice Managers This and previous updates are available here
- Workload control in General Practice
- QOF 2021/22: Quality Improvement Templates
- New PCSE pay and pension system update from the GPC
- Proposed changes to annual complaints collection (K041b form)
- PCN CD Remuneration
- Long-COVID and Weight Management Enhanced Services
- Webinar for long covid
- Community Investigation Hubs STF's
- Somerset Emotional wellbeing Resilience Hub
- Online Search for Attorney or Deputy (From Devon Doctors)
- The Earswitch
Workload control in General Practice: This updated guide will help practices to agree quantitative limits to individual safe practice for GPs. Appropriate limits on workload will depend on the unique circumstances of each practice, the contractual status and the preferences of each individual GP, as well as the complexity of care being provided. This is also available on the LMC website here
QOF 2021/22: Quality Improvement Templates: The Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) Quality Improvement (QI) reporting templates for 2021/22 have been published and are available to download.
Proposed changes to annual complaints collection (K041b form): NHS Digital has published their response to their consultation on the proposed changes to the annual complaints collection (K041b) and the plan for its reintroduction. These changes were initiated by the GP bureaucracy review NHS Digital paused the collection of the 2019/20 KO14B form, from general and dental practices, but have now confirmed that collections will resume from the 9 August to capture complaints recorded in 2020/21. The NHSD response sets out:
- A range of simplifying changes that will be introduced - some will commence at the next collection whilst others will commence at future collections.
- There will be an extended 12 week collection window for the next collection
- Improvements to the portal to address specific technical issues that previously occurred, which should make the experience of uploading the return easier.
PCN CD Remuneration: Following GPC lobbying NHSEI has confirmed a further welcome extension to pay the full sessional payment to PCN clinical directors in recognition of their work.
Long-COVID and Weight Management Enhanced Services: NHSEI published two new Enhanced Services relating to Long-COVID and Weight Management. Additional support for practices to help patients with long-COVID has merit. But the GPC wants more help for the general practice workers who themselves need occupational health services and the practices that need financial support to better help colleagues on prolonged sick leave.
The Weight Management Enhanced service will present additional work at a time when practices are already stretched. We also have concerns that this service specification is overly bureaucratic, further micromanages clinical consultations, is clinically flawed and demonstrates a lack of trust in GP teams to do what is best for patients. Furthermore it is not clear that local weight management services have the capacity to respond to increased referrals.
It is disappointing because NHSEI could have shown commitment to be less directive and HMG could have addressed the factors underlying obesity but instead we have an ES.
The enhanced services have been published without the agreement of GPC, they are voluntary. Somerset LMC would rate the Long Covid ES as AMBER and weight management as RED. LMC Traffic System
Webinar for long covid: To support GP education and help raise awareness of long covid in primary care there will be a couple of webinars aimed at clinical staff in primary care. This is particularly timely due to the publication of the DES and the requirements for practices to demonstrate that they have received training in this area.
The first webinar for practices in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset will be on the 22nd July between 1-2pm and will be delivered by 2 clinicians working in the south west in COVID clinics.
If anyone at your practice is interested in attending please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Investigation Hubs STF's: Community Director GP Dr Andrea Trill writes, “To reduce work arriving from secondary care immediate funding has been found for phlebotomy HCAs to be sited in PCN sites for practices to use. PCNs have identified whether they have people wanting to work additional hours, to train as phlebotomists, or if they need to buy in new staff. Training is available from this week and the HCAs are starting in PCNs from next week.
This is only step one. The next is to build on this by providing a single point of access by October for the appointments and processing of results. In addition, if national funding is agreed, the aim is for spirometry, FeNO, ECGs (including ambulatory), BPs (incl ambulatory), weight and heights to be included from the Autumn.
The haste needed has precluded much consultation, so apologies for that. Please do not assume that because of this there is an expectation that primary care will continue as the coordinators of this work: there is not. We are trying to build a model that will support new ways of working (increase in virtual appointments and A&G for example), whilst recognising the impact this has on primary care. Over the next weeks we will be hoping to meet with PCNs for more detailed conversations- all ideas welcome.
A second pathway of work is to try to reduce the number of investigations being requested- are they reasonable, is the time line right, are they realistic and importantly are they polite?
We are aware there are hurdles in the way but the LMC agrees that it feels as if we have an exciting chance to help unravel a long-standing knotty problem.”
Somerset Emotional wellbeing Resilience Hub: have developed various digital promotional assets that colleagues are free to use to promote to all staff working in the Somerset Healthcare System. To date they have had 991 users visit the site, viewing a total of 3,573 pages, fantastic start for such a valuable resource.
Online Search for Attorney or Deputy (From Devon Doctors): More likely to be useful OOH but if you ever need to find out urgently whether a patient has an LPA etc. and the records do not help or are not available the Office of the Public Guardian holds a register that can be searched to find the contact details of those involved which can be found here.
The Earswitch: Dr Rich Stevenson of Bath University writes: Somerset GP Nick Gompertz is developing the Earswitch which uses an otoscopic camera to detect voluntary movement of tensor tympani to control a virtual on-screen keyboard to help people with neuro-disabilities (eg MND) to communicate. Nick and his colleagues at the University have funding from the National Institute for Health Research to learn more. They don’t currently know how many can voluntarily flex tensor tympani so need to survey 2000 people. You can read more or get help with the survey here.
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