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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 13th August 2021

Date sent: Friday 13 August 2021

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

Flu Vaccination Programme 2021/22: NHSEI has published the two practice-based Enhanced Service Specifications and practices have until Monday to opt in. The specifications are similar to last year’s except they now allow practices to vaccinate certain non-registered patients, including care home staff, in line with the current COVID-19 ES. They may be modified subject to JCVI advice or government policy changes. As reported last week it is important to note that we are awaiting the outcome of clinical trials on co-administration which could have a massive impact on delivery but the advice at present remains to “crack on” with flu plans.

National Incident Declared by NHS Over Blood Sample Tube Shortage: We carried a message from Somerset Pathology Services recently but things have got worse. Shortages are expected until towards the end of September and we are already seeing shortages in some types, particularly EDTA. The National team has now issued advice on changing clinical and laboratory practice to conserve stocks – see here. You will see there is radical advice which amounts to the rationing of certain tests which will have implications for primary care. Dr Sadie Thomas of SPS says support is available: duty.biochemist@somersetft.nhs.uk for non-urgent enquiries that SPS will aim to answer the next working day. For urgent queries telephone: 07770645278 (8.30am – 5pm). SPS is working with the NHS Supplies but shipments are small so will not be able to supply in quantities that GP practices are used to getting.

PCSE & GP Payments Update: After two months the performance of the new online portal remains poor. GPC is talking to PCSE several times a week but progress is slow. The BMA knows about the problems practices and individuals are facing and intends to survey practices in England at the start of September as a ‘snapshot’ after three months (details to follow). GPC’s purpose is to hold PCSE to account to make use of the portal practical.

Child Health Information Service Data Processing Impact Assessment (DPIA): The long delayed change from using MIQUEST to EMIS Search & Report for extracting child health data (immunisations, 6-8 week checks & maternal Hep B data) across the region is expected to start in September. CHIS will be sending the DPIA to practices next week for feedback so it can be amended by its Data Protection Officer. Contact details will be provided then. Colleagues should be assured that Somerset’s DPO, Kevin Caldwell, has been sent the DPIA and will be making his informed comments in due course.

NHS COVID Pass & UK Passport Names Not Matching: Unfortunately the gov.uk website is giving the following advice: “You should check that the name on your passport matches how it is displayed by NHS COVID Pass at least two weeks before you travel. If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated.” NHS COVID Pass - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) This has caused some panic on two counts. First, the NHS COVID Pass only lists first and family names but UK Passports have middle names too. We believe this is cannot be what the advice to make sure names match means. Second, people may not have changed their UK Passport after getting married (to give the most common example). Practices report patients asking to change the name on their patient record back to their maiden name often within a few of days of travel. The LMC believes that this should have nothing to do with General Practice and has raised this national question with the GPC. Of course patients are entitled to change the name on their record and practices have to respect this choice as long as they are certain of the identity of the person making the request. But practices cannot be expected to fast track these changes for the convenience of foreign travel no matter how helpful they wish to be.

Updated ventilation guidance (HTM 03-01) Specialised ventilation for healthcare buildings: The latest NHS ventilation guidance published in June 2021 is now on the LMC website . It gives comprehensive advice on the legal requirements, design implications, maintenance and operation of specialised ventilation in healthcare premises including primary care. 

Psychiatry UK ADHD: CCG Medicines Management chief Shaun Green writes, “We are getting a lot of enquiries about private recommendations and our basic rule is treatment for Somerset patients should follow Somerset formulary and shared care wherever they are seen by a specialist. https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/prescribing-and-medicines-management/ and shared care document for ADHD. https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/SCP-ADHD-Jan-2021.pdf Our position – which matches NHSEI and GMC policies – is that a GP can accept or decline shared care, based upon their clinical knowledge and the assurance of the diagnosis and recommendations of the specialist asking for care to be shared. This service being private begs the questions of how they will fulfil their part of patient monitoring required under shared care and how they will review and perhaps trial the withdrawal of medication?”

LMC advice remains always to ask these questions and to be satisfied with the replies before agreeing to share care.

GP Recruitment event 15th September at Haselbury Mill, Nr Crewkerne: Our latest popular GP recruitment event will be held from 4.30pm on Wednesday 15th September as a face to face meeting. This event will give GPs and GP Trainees the chance to meet and talk to a wide variety of Somerset practices in one place. If you are GP or GP trainee looking for a job in Somerset please book here Somerset practices can book their place to advertise their vacancy here. Registration and participation is free.

Proxy access in care homes – the CCG Digital Team would like to hear your experiences: Did you know that you can set up Care Home staff as a ‘proxy’ for the residents in their care to enable them to order repeat medication online? The benefits include: improved clinical safety; easier access (care home staff can order at any time) and an improved audit trail. For more contact morgan.daly@nhs.net (or 07876 567516) who also is keen to hear the experiences of those already using it.

Kind Regards

Barry

 

Dr Barry Moyse

Medical Director

Somerset LMC

www.somersetlmc.co.uk
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