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 Immunisation 2015
- Somerset LMC Roadshows Collaborative working: Dates for your diary
- Open Access Echocardiography Services
- Focus on Subject access requests for insurance purposes
- Questionnaire on Quality Indicators in Primary Care
- What CQC loos for in relation to Safeguarding?
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
- Print leaflets to give to patients attending surgery, enclose in correspondence, attach to prescriptions etc
- Put up posters and other publicity (including waiting room screen adverts) early. Advertise the flu campaign through local groups and organisations, including your PPG.
- Use modern media – can you Email and/or text patients? Use Facebook? Or Twitter? Put up a banner on your website?
- Keep a close eye on who has booked and be prepared to write to or phone patients who have not done so earlier than usual. Quite a few older patients will actually wait for a letter before booking, so make sure your publicity says this is not necessary. It is worth investing in staff time to really keep on top of this.
- Offer a variety of appointment choices (including some on-line) , which ideally include early and late sessions, “drop-in” options (especially at lunchtime) , and opportunistic immunisation when people see a clinician. Your objective should be always to offer patients an appointment that is convenient to them, for once they have switched to a pharmacy provider they won’t come back!
- if you have mass immunisations sessions, do make sure they are slick and efficient. Last year an enterprising pharmacist put a sign in his window offering drop-in immunisation to people queueing outside the GP surgery for their jabs!
- Make sure you have suitable templates ready to use for recording immunisation and prescriptions, including batch numbers, and try to add reminder flags to the notes of “at-risk” patients. It is surprising the number who attend during the flu immunisation season but who are not offered a jab.
- Make it fun and a bit competitive – For example, you can post the number of jabs given by all the team members each week. Print off a graph for the staff notice board plotting cumulative weekly achievement against target. Small prizes are a surprisingly good incentive.
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
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.
TEL: 01823 331428