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Somerset LMC weekly Update Friday 27th August 2021

Date sent: Friday 27 August 2021

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers                    This and previous editions can be found here 

PCN National Priorities Published Brief Summary 

Remaining PCN DES specifications deferred or diluted:

Instead there will be five new ‘areas of focus’ covering the next 18 months:

BD BLOOD TUBE SHORTAGE. The LMC was surprised by the national guidance to suspend all but “essential” blood tests until 17th September. GPC met NHSEI yesterday afternoon to be told this could last until late September but no one knows for certain. NHSEI is seeking alternatives from other companies should it be necessary but these would need validation. Richard Vautrey asked for clear guidance on testing in general practice, including the impact on QOF and is waiting to hear from the primary care team. He argued it would be unreasonable for practices to have to delay tests and then catch up again later, adding to the current backlog. He also suggested more guidance on what monitoring could be extended; that this crisis be used this to emphasise a reduction in requests from hospitals to practices for blood tests and that patient information be produced. We will keep you updated as we know more. letter with full information

RSV SURGE EXPECTED - A PULSE OXIMETER FOR EVERY PRACTICE FROM THE CCG As colleagues will know an RSV surge is expected this autumn meaning more children with bronchiolitis/wheezing. Many of these children will need assessment by primary care, OOH, MIUs and A&E and a proportion of them will require hospital admission. To help prevent services becoming overwhelmed under the current circumstances the CCG has taken a systemwide approach so that the less unwell can be looked after by their families. To support this we have developed a pathway to manage wheezy children based on the RCP guidelines which include knowing oxygen saturation level. OOH and MIUs have consistent access to paediatric O2 saturation monitors but general practice is more patchy. To help use of the pathway the CCG has procured one high quality paediatric oxygen saturation monitor for each practice to be distributed when they are available. The monitors are a brand recommended by local paediatricians and there will be a training video available.

GMS/PMS Core Contract Data Collection 2021/22– CQRS Offer - deadline Monday 06 September 2021 - The requirement of a named GP and the service for the Identification and Management of Patients with Frailty are combined in this service. It is a contractual requirement for all patients to have an accountable GP. For the frailty service and practices will be required to use an appropriate tool, which is, the Electronic Frailty Index (eFI), to identify patients aged 65 and over who are living with moderate and severe frailty. We have included a link to the guidance on our website. (frailty originally posted 14.08.20 now updated) If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

COMMUNITY PHARMACY CONSULTATION SERVICE (CPCS) Since the middle of June there has been around 1400 referrals to Community Pharmacies across Somerset which is about 7% of the national total - a really great start given that Somerset has only 1% of the population. A third of these have been face-to-face and more that 90% have been dealt with directly or signposted to another service and 70% were dealt with at the first contact. As you might imagine skin rashes, URTI symptoms and insect stings are amongst the most common ailments. This is pleasing progress so far and practices are encouraged to use the CPCS to help with demand on practices at this extraordinary time for all. Eleven of the 13 PCNs will be live by the end of August. In depth reviews in September at PCN & practice level in September will aim to increase referrals as we move into winter. The initial goal is for a typical practice make 10 referrals a week, growing to 10 a day in larger ones which some are already heading towards. Any Practice Manager wanting further support should contact the Implementation team or

STOMP (Stopping Overmedication [Psychotropic] of people with Learning Disabilities) is a National project helping people to enjoy a good quality of life and, to this end, the CCG is asking practices to support SFT by running an EMIS search devised by Joel Willson of SHS (once imported the file is called LD QI 2021/22”) to reconcile practice lists of patients with a Learning Disability and/or autism with those held on SFT’s RIO system to create one, definitive list. After sending the list to SFT can then review and find :

SFT will inform practices of any patients on the practice list who are not known to them so that they can be referred to SFT for a review. For questions please contact

The Importance of Workforce Planning – it’s wider than just your “ARRS”! October 6th 2021: Places are still available or this day to be held at Taunton racecourse all being well, ( if not we will revert to virtual) it will be a mixture of presentations and group work, and is aimed at PCN clinical directors & managers, practice managers, operation managers, lead nurses and GP employers numbers are limited to 2 per practice initially so please do book early.

and finally..

You are not a frog  The podcast for GPs, hospital doctors and other professionals in high-stakes, high-stress jobs who want to thrive rather than just survive.

Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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