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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 21 August

Date sent: Friday 21 August 2015

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers  This and Previous updates can be found here

Taunton Radiotherapy Late Effects Service

Specialist advice for patients with long term complications of radiotherapy

Late effects  of radiotherapy (developing 6 months or longer post treatment)  are manifold and, depending on site, may include bowel and bladder disorders, sexual dysfunction, fatigue,  and damage to a specific organ such as the heart.  These physical symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life, often leading to emotional distress. Not all patients will develop late side effects, much depends upon intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as the radiation dose, the number of treatments delivered and whether the patient has any co-morbidities)

Late effects can develop after many years and are therefore not always associated by the patient with his or her previous cancer treatment.

The Beacon Centre, Musgrove Park Hospital, operates a “Radiotherapy Late Effects Service” for patients who develop symptoms as a consequence of cancer treatment. This service is led by Karen Morgan, a Macmillan Consultant Radiographer.

It  offers a range of strategies including assessment of symptoms with appropriate diagnostics, patient information, treatment care plans and simple medications. Onward referral to other health care professionals is made where appropriate.

How to refer.  Please complete the attached referral form  with patient summary and covering letter or telephone  01823 342933/344234    

Fit For Work scheme now available in the South West

This new DWP initiative offers guidance for GPs and employers  to help patients who have been off work for longer than 4 weeks to get back into their jobs.  You can get expert advice by phone or from the website, and patients can be referred for an Occupational Health assessment if appropriate.

Information about the guidance available  and training  opportunities  can be found here. The GP leaflet is well written and helpful.

Communication between Somerset NHS 111/OOH Service & GP  Practices

Since 1st July  the EPaCCS End of Life register has been provided by  SDUC.  Immediately after the transition several Practices reported problems with the receipt of Post Event Messages (PEMS) about their  patients.  The CSU undertook a survey on behalf of the CCG which suggested that  several of these  problems were due to surgeries receiving PEMS directly into their  electronic workflow system rather than being transcribed from a fax.  There was  also a perceived lack of communication about this change of service provider, and with future IM&T projects affecting Primary Care in Somerset the CCG recognises  it would be prudent to ensure that all Practices confirm that they are aware of any change.  Communications  should  be open, inclusive  and give  sufficient time for  concerns to  be addressed before  “go live”.  It was also recognised that  where GP Practices are involved, their individual working practices have to be taken into account to help ensure  potential risks can be mitigated early.

A list of FAQs relating to this episode is available - Link to FAQs

Temporary EPaCCS Template

A template has been adapted by SDUC which will  be loaded into Adastra as soon as it has been signed off  by the CCG End of Life team (anticipated on 21st August 2015). Fields will be available to record relevant  patient information currently not shown in the basic information section. This is a temporary measure until the system is replaced with VISO.  An initial meeting to discuss this has been arranged for 27th August and GP practice representatives are welcome to be involved in this  development.  Contact

GP Clincial Champions Programme - 6 month contract

Public Health England is currently extending its pilot programme to recruit  ‘GP Clinical Champions’ to promote physical activity.  This provides peer-to-peer training by a GP with a specialist interest in physical activity through one-off education and development sessions. The job is described thus:

“The GP Clinical Champion role is a 6 month fixed term opportunity for a practising GP who recognises the potential of physical activity for clinical impact and is experienced with incorporating physical activity into patient care to strengthen regional clinical capacity and appetite to support adult physical activity behaviour change.”

For more details or to apply see NHS Jobs 

For an informal discussion about the post, contact Dr Justin Varney, National Lead for Adult Health and Wellbeing:  the closing date is 30th August

Somerset LMC Roadshows Practice Collaboration-From Theory to Practice 

Even since the LMC published its papers on  Collaborative Working at the beginning of the summer, the pace of change in the NHS  has quickened. Collaboration  is just one of the new ways of working we will need to embrace to make general practice sustainable in to the next decade, and as  workforce, demand and cost pressures continue to rise, practices  need to take individual  and collective action now.

This series of  roadshows will look at some of the options and introduce you to the help and resources  available from the LMC, SPH, Porter Dodson and Lentells  who will be working together as a provider support unit (PSU). The PSU is there to help practices develop  the necessary business models, management processes  and  professional resources you will need to formalise joint working.

How we do that  will be determined by what practices want, so these sessions are for communication both ways. We look forward to seeing you at one of the roadshows.


Kind Regards

Somerset LMC


TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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