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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 10th December 2021

Date sent: Friday 10 December 2021

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

Message from Dr Martyn Hughes, Somerset Training Hub (STH): At the end of November I stepped down from my work with Somerset Training Hub as I am now retiring from the NHS.
Somerset GP Dr Jon Dolman has taken over as STH's new Director & Clinical Lead and the Training Hub is delighted that Jon is joining the team.
The LMC and local GP educators worked with HEE to set up SGPET in 2008 and then, in 2015, the LMC and SGPET set up the Training Hub. To be involved in both these important developments, and through them support everyone working in Somerset's general practices has been a highlight of my 40+ years in the NHS.
None of what has been achieved would have been possible without the hard work of everyone in the SGPET and STH teams and the readiness of everyone working in general practice to make the most of our help to progress their learning, develop their skills, improve their services to patients and protect their own wellbeing.
A big thank you to all the colleagues who have made this part of my career as a GP and educator so rewarding. Good luck in these most difficult of times and, if a little early, Happy Christmas and all the best for 2022.
Please send any queries you would previously have directed to Martyn to the Training Hub office at

Covid Recovery Certificates for under 16s: With Christmas approaching and given the incidence of Covid on the continent governments are issuing their own conditions of travel and entry. The Polish government in particular has been cited in "Children 12 years and older are subject to the same rules as adults, set out above. This includes if they are travelling with fully vaccinated parents/guardians. If a child of 12 years or older cannot demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within 180 days from the first day of a recognised positive test result, they will have to complete mandatory quarantine on arrival in Poland. The UK does not issue COVID-19 certificates of recovery for children under the age of 16. In this case, you must present a letter or email from your GP confirming the individual’s recovery status." This is not contractual work and so can be declined or charged for.

Letter re temporary GP contract changes to support COVID-19 vaccination programme: The LMC is aware not all practices have seen this letter from NHSEI dated the 7th December and have included it for your information.

EMIS Seasonal Flu Data Issues: Further to regional NHSEI’s last communication of 2nd December about the October seasonal flu payment extract for EMIS practices, EMIS has now completed the process to re-extract the correct data. Declarations may proceed for the Seasonal Flu Service. Declarations in CQRS that were approved and submitted to PCSE before the updated data was received will have been processed for payment. The reconciliation process and any associated actions will then be communicated when received from the CQRS team. The LMC understands that some Mendip practices were particularly affected.

Influenza is now circulating with outbreaks reported & some hospital admissions: After many months of negligible or no cases influenza is back. This should spur those of us who have been too busy to have a flu jab so far to get it done. An avian flu alert also remains in place – the Medical Director’s hens are under cover – but so far there has been no transmission to people.

Community Pharmacy Consultation Service: We have previously reported the good progress of the CPCS in Somerset. The CCG, flushed with this success, have now promised some useful financial incentives to increase the level and consistency of referrals across all 64 practices in Somerset over the winter. The support funding will be in place from Monday 13th December and will run until the end of March 2022. Payments will be made on a monthly basis. There are two sectors of support funding: Practice based: £4500 and PCN Based: £6000.

Somerset New to Practice General Practice Fellowship Programme for Newly Qualified GPs: Are you or do you know a GP that has qualified since May 2021 and is/will be working in Somerset? If so this funded fellowship programme may be of interest. It is a 2 year programme designed to provide personalised support to newly qualified GPs to help gain confidence and to develop enjoyable, fulfilling and sustainable careers in general practice. NHSEI is aiming for a 100% uptake and nearly all of our Somerset GPs have joined. We started in April 21 and currently have 24 fellows, so you may already have one of our them working in your practice! We have had great feedback, and one of the highlights is the benefit of the mentoring, appreciation of paid time ( £10,000 pro rata per annum) to undertake chosen CPD or interests and the online monthly Thursday lunchtime 30 minutes session with various speakers. Example topics include: knowing about appraisals; PCN overview; lifestyle medicine; managing difficult blood results on a Friday afternoon and time management. It is also wonderful to see the development of peer groups forming throughout Somerset and I really hope this continues beyond fellowship. This programme continues to evolve according to the needs and aspirations of our fellows. Our next cohort will start in April 2022. See programme here . If you would like to find out more or apply, please contact Dr Catherine Ievers

And finally… Wednesday was the first anniversary of vaccinating for Covid. Since there have been over 100 million doses given more than 90% of which were through services managed and run by GPs. That’s equivalent to just under 1/3rd of the normal annual workload in general practice. This deserves wider publicity, but well done!


Kind regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director
Somerset LMC
Crown Medical Centre, Venture Way, Taunton, TA2 8QY

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