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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 31st July

Date sent: Friday 31 July 2015

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers          This and previous updates are available here

Flu Immunisations   2015

Now is the time to start getting organised

You will be now have heard that from  this  year community pharmacies can  provide flu immunisation for the over 65s as well as adult patients “at risk” for health reasons.  Last year pharmacies immunised about 1000  “at risk” patients (about 20 per participating pharmacy)  in Somerset, about 1/3 of whom had not previously been immunised.   In 2013-14 practices immunised 72.5% of over 65s and this fell to 71.3%  last year.  We know that roughly 20%  will decline immunisation, so about 9% of  this population could be immunised but are not at present, and some of them would be prepared to go to a pharmacy to have this done, but would not attend their  GP  practice. In an ideal world, the new arrangements would provide increased coverage without practices losing money but this is probably too much to hope for.

Practices can ill afford to lose the income from the annual flu campaign, but retaining it will, for some, will mean making sure that patients are specifically invited to come for their jabs, and that access is made as easy as it can be. Whilst some patients rather enjoy coming along to mass immunisation sessions – especially if these are made a bit entertaining by adding other events – others would much prefer a drop in or quick appointment arrangement.

Practices will need to capitalise on patient loyalty and habit by contacting them early to book appointments or attend a drop-in session , and it is worth making sure you have a co-ordinated campaign.  For example you could

Somerset LMC Roadshows Collaborative working Dates for your diary Somerset LMC are holding a series of roadshows in September, with SPH, Adrian Poole (Porter Dodson) Andrew Spear (Lentells accountants), please see dates and venue below, more info will be available in the coming week and the events will be bookable online at no charge, all will be in the evening from 7 with a light supper.

15 Sept - Yeovil

Frogmary Green Farm, South Petherton

17 Sept - Bridgwater

Blackmore Farm Cannington

22 Sept – Taunton

Taunton Racecourse

24 Sept – Wells

The Fountain Inn

Open Access Echocardiography  Services

Are for adult patient only

At his Six Week  Check a baby was found to have a murmur and was referred to the YDH  Open Echo Service and the admin team noticed the date of birth and made a rapid appointment    Fortunately there was a paediatric-trained echocardiographer on duty to perform the test when the baby attended and  a large atrial septal defect was discovered.  The paediatricians were called to the department to make arrangements for the family.

We have been asked to remind GPs that babies with heart murmurs should be referred directly to the paediatric service  as the Open Echo services are usually staffed by adult ultrasonographers,  and the  time to an appointment may not be suitable for potentially urgent paediatric cases.

Questionnaire on Quality Indicators in Primary Care The Health Foundation is undertaking a review of  indicators on the quality of care offered by GP practices in England   on behalf of the Department of Health,

Practices are invited to participate by completing an online survey at: Link

The LMC has responded,  expressing the view that most of the current “ quality” measures  are used because they are easy to measure  process figures, and that  real practice  quality is complex, and includes many intangibles.  We believe that at the very least genuine   outcome measurements  should be used, and all  criteria  should be properly validated and  adjusted for practice populations.


Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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