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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 4th March 2022

Date sent: Friday 4 March 2022

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

General Practice Contract Arrangements 2022/23: NHSEI set out on Tuesday its plans for the next financial year. It did so without any reference to the BMA GPC which was expecting to negotiate this annual adjustment to the 2019 five-year deal. There are some sensible minor adjustments in the document, most obviously some revisions schedules made by JCVI, the continuation for funding in lieu of payment for SARs and the modernisation of registration procedures. Other aspects are mixed blessings like the end of sending deceased patients’ printed records to PCSE but with the diversion of Access to Medical Health Record requests to practices. Another is the increase in the PCN ARRS budget without any further rise than that agreed in the Global Sum and in CD funding without any mention of separate leadership or management money this year. Yet other areas have caused frank concern like the requirements for online booking of some appointments without triage and NHS111 being able to book directly into unused slots. But, without doubt, the main focus will be on the requirement for each PCN to agree an enhanced access plan to provide inter alia full services 9-5 on Saturdays and 6.30-8pm on weekdays (‘Network Standard Hours’) for 60 minutes per 1000 ‘adjusted patients’ per week from October. We await national developments but it is possible that this will cause some practices to reconsider their participation in the PCN DES. (The undated resignation letters submitted last year were for the April withdrawal deadline, now expired.) As always we are discussing local arrangements with our CCG colleagues where we hope common sense will prevail.

Cyber Security: With the current Russian war on the Ukraine it is expected that there will be a significant increase in the various forms of cyber-attacks. Even the smallest organisations are vulnerable to an attack. The CCG IT team will be deploying extra security measures in the background on all systems. Please be extra vigilant with emails and other forms of communication on your devices at work and at home. Please do not open links in suspicious emails or texts: if you are unsure please leave them alone – and never click on links you have doubts about.

Two Week Wait Breast Service Delays at SFT: Patients referred to the Breast Service at SFT will face an average 31 days for an appointment for both 2 week wait suspected cancer referrals and breast symptomatic referrals. An increase in referrals since September of 23% and a staff member leaving just before Christmas are the main reasons. When referring patients please tell them of the potential delay in receiving their first appointment and reassure them that the service is doing everything it can to resolve its challenges.

No Jab No Job Policy Abandoned: To absolutely no surprise it has been confirmed that compulsory Covid vaccination will no longer be a condition of employment from March 15th. An estimated 40,000 workers care workers lost their jobs when legislation over being fully vaccinated came into effect in November. Mr Javid said that it had been the “right policy when the original decision was taken”. But he added that things had changed following “clinical evidence regarding the current Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is intrinsically less severe than Delta, and the high rate of vaccination across the population”.

Reimbursable Vaccines and Eligible Cohorts for the 2022/23 NHS Seasonal Influenza (flu) Vaccination Programme Guidance: Practices need to be aware Cohorts that were eligible in the 2021/22 season but that are not included in the cohorts for 2022/23 are: those aged 50 to 64 years.

Check your NHS Pension Scheme Protection: If you have maintained enhanced protection under the 1995 or 2008 sections, be aware this will be lost when you transition to the 2015 scheme on 1 April 2022. Members should consider opting out of the NHS pension if they want to retain the enhanced or fixed protection and do so by 31 March 2022 – it is important that you ensure that PCSE effects this promptly. Read more

New Documents on PSU Area of LMC Website: We have recently commissioned Porter Dodson to update the following documents:

You will need to be logged into the website to view these.

Reporting Problems to the LMC: When telling the LMC about problems with secondary or community care services, especially if you are asking us to investigate, please remember to include NHS number(s) and date(s) of the incident. It really makes all the difference when we take up the cudgel on your behalf.

EMIS Email Issue: Some GP practice users who have been upgraded to Office 365 are experiencing an issue when trying to email documents from within a patient’s record in EMIS Web. Some users are finding EMIS Web either Crashes and closes without displaying any error or crashes and displays a KD error. Please find a workaround guide here.

Save the Date - South West Primary Care Academy Practice Managers Conference on 27th April 2022: Title: "The changing face of General Practice" from:8.30-4.30pm. Location: Engineers House Bristol. No cost to delegates.  Full programme and registration details to follow.

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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