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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 28th January 2022

Date sent: Friday 28 January 2022

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

Respiratory Protective Equipment, Risk Assessments, and Provision of Respirators: Omicron is more transmissible than previous variants of COVID-19 which increase the risk of general practice workforce contacting the disease. To reduce this risk BMA Occupational Medicine Committee is drafting guidance for workplaces to advise that employers should carry out risk assessments and provide mitigations to reduce risk of contracting COVID. This guidance will be published in full shortly.
In the meantime an abbreviated guideline has been developed by GPC England for GP practices to use, which includes a template letter to CCGs requesting support with getting RPE supply.

We continue to call for GPs to either have access to or reimbursement of associated costs of appropriate RPE and have urged NHSE/I to provide FFP2 masks as a default for all practices, and for availability for FFP3 and fit testing where appropriate.

ERS Referral to Weston Hospital: Please note that all respiratory referrals (urgent and routine and Lung 2WW) to Weston General Hospital have been suspended for 3 months. Patients will have a choice of Southmead, BRI, Taunton or Bath instead.

Death Certificates: Amended regulations (The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Regulations 2021 SI 2021 No. 1436) have been published which, if passed, mean that even after (or if?) the Coronavirus Act has been repealed, there will still be no requirement (for the Registrar) to report to the Coroner patients seen within 28 days prior to (or after) death. This is instead of the “14-day rule” that existed prior to the pandemic.

New CCG Contact for C the Signs: Tanisha Greenwood shall shortly be starting her maternity leave and we would now like to introduce you to Tanisha’s maternity cover, Jennie Russell who can be contacted at  Jennie will be managing and leading on the C the Signs pilot, effective immediately.
We have absolutely valued your feedback, suggestions and concerns to date and we continue to log all feedback so that we can sure the C the Signs tool is fit for Somerset and continues to evolve to meet our system needs. Please do email Jennie with any feedback that you might have so that we can ensure we continue to keep these important lines of communication open.
C the Signs and changes to the Cancer Pathways
The LMC is working closely with the CCG and C the Signs to address a number of concerns that have been bought to our attention from across the county. Some of the issues are related to C the Signs being embedded into practices, and some are related to changes to Cancer pathways such as changes to the mandatory bloods. We had a promising meeting yesterday and hope that our concerns will be addressed soon. In the interim, C the signs is also keen to hear individual feedback through

Perfect Weekend?: Across the South West this weekend there will be a “perfect weekend” exercise focussing on the flow of patients through the acute trusts. With our Somerset system currently in OPEL 4 you will all be aware of increased pressures across both community and hospital services as you struggle to keep up with on the day demands this creates. The “perfection” of the exercise will mean discharges at the weekend are done properly with 28 days’ medications, TEP forms and care plans to minimise the effect on community services. From a practice perspective making sure that just in case medicines are available for those who might need them will help make OOH’s weekend perfect too.

National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021: Members and practices have been asking if the implementation of the National Standard of Healthcare Cleanliness is mandatory in Primary Care. NHSEI have confirmed that, while contractors must have regard to NHSEI guidance, it is not a mandatory requirement.
CQC acknowledge in their advice on Infection prevention and control in General Practice that it will continue to regulate in line with its own regulations and the existing Code of Practice.

Educational Facilitation Skills Course for Primary and Community Care Educators – Managing Groups and Presentation Skills: Lead Organisers Dr Steve Holmes and Dr Jill Wilson Co-facilitator from Training Programme Director team in south west Please note short closing date to apply 7.2.22, booking form included in detail document below.
Please find details for the regional educational facilitation skills course for primary and community care educators which is funded by the Primary Care Academy, please share with those who need to facilitate groups for education.
The course is “blended” which will combine a half day virtual learning experience (mainly provision of the core knowledge, evidence and some tips on managing a group of learners and presentation skills followed by a whole day regional supportive educational experience with a mix of groups to put theory and learning into practice with a chance to facilitate, present and learn with colleagues with more feedback and tips on developing educational skills.
This is a skilled base course designed for those working in primary care who need to facilitate small (and larger) groups for education. It will cover the challenges of multi-professional small group facilitation - and single session as well as regular small groups.  Please direct any questions to Project Manager.

An Afternoon with Dr Lucy Pollock: Consultant Geriatrician and great friend to general practice in Somerset is giving her well-received presentation in aid of Age UK Somerset again this time at the Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare on Friday 11th Feb, between 2-4pm. Tea will be provided. Dr Pollock says that it is firmly aimed at older people, their families and anyone who works in care, but health care professionals seem to like it too.  Tickets available via the Age UK Somerset website

"Would You Like Support in Your Job to Thrive Not Just Survive": The GP Career Plus Scheme is a series of twelve facilitated and financially supported (£300 per session) peer support meetings over 6 months - please download the flyer  for more info.  The intention is to start the next set of GP Plus sessions on 10 May 2022.   These two and a half hour sessions will take place on a Tuesday morning at approximately 2 week intervals.  The setup for the sessions will be a mix of face-to-face and Teams meetings.  If you are interested in attending or want to attend a future course, please contact Thelma Gotsell on .

POSTPONED! Training Hub Workforce Webinar: Advanced Clinical Practice in Primary Care – follow on webinar Thursday 3rd February 13:00-14:00 This has been postponed as Health Education England are running a Faculty of Advancing Practice Scoping Webinar on Friday 4th February 9am-10am to discuss applications for annual funding support for Advanced Practice training in 2022-23. Many of the queries will be raised nationally and we can then provide a more informed update. The webinar will be about the imminent HEE Annual Demand Scoping Survey due to run from 1st February to 15th March where practices can apply for funding for Advanced Practice training (L7 ). You will already have received notification and we have already received several expressions of interest. Detailed information about how to apply for funding will be sent to all Practices via the LMC Weekly update and SGPET Bulletin as soon as the survey is released. Watch this space!
If you can join the Webinar on 4th February please do. Please see attached information poster and the option to sign up is HERE. It will be recorded to catch-up later and the Training Hub will be working on FAQs which will be on the SGPET site. For enquiries:

And Finally…

There was an excellent letter to the BMJ last week, arguing that e-consultations are increasing the workload of general practitioners. It says “E-consultations are a good solution to the wrong problem. They are a solution to GP access problems. Unfortunately, however, UK general practice does not have access problems. It has capacity problems. An access problem would mean a surgery list full of empty slots, unfilled because people were unable to contact the practice to book them. I doubt that any such access problem arises anywhere in NHS general practice. A capacity problem means that the surgery list is fully booked and still people are contacting the practice seeking medical advice. As a profession we need to respond to demands that we “improve access” by pointing out that access is not a problem—capacity is the problem. Only by defining the problem correctly can we hope for improvement.”

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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