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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 25th September 2015

Date sent: Monday 1 January 0001

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers

Outcome Based Commissioning (OBC) – Developments to date
Although so far the CCG has only approved the principles that will inform  the business case for possible future adoption of OBC, we are aware that many Practices have been discussing this topic. One question that keeps cropping is 'What would this mean for us in practical terms?'. The answer is that we do not yet know.  Although OBC comes up in many documents, and also in  discussions you will have with CCG members and officers,  it is by no means a fait accompli or  something that General Practice will be forced into adopting.  General Practice participation will be voluntary,  and any  decision on whether or not  to engage can only be based on fuller  information  that will be available when further details have been  worked through.  You will see from their  recent newsletter that the CCG  will be running workshops at which  you will have an opportunity to influence  the  options  that will be offered to General Practices, who may then decide to take part  after consideration of the finer details.  However, retaining your core  GMS contract will always be an option. 

For now we would urge Practices to wait for more information. The LMC position was laid out in a recent Special Newsletter, but in essence it can be sumamrised as :

“OBC is a good idea in theory, but we cannot recommend that practices sign up to anything until  they know exactly what is involved.”

Flu News

Who is Providing the vaccination for Children in Somerset
To see how the school programme will work and what practices are able to claim for please see the LMC webpage

EMIS Pop up for Flu
The LMC have been advised that all patients with a BMI 40+ will appear as eligible for this seasons flu jab within EMIS, may we remind practices that the JCVI has also advised that morbidly obese people (defined as BMI 40+) could also benefit from a flu vaccination. This has not been included as part of the GP contract in the 2015/16 DES. Many in this patient group will already be eligible due to complications of obesity that place them in another risk category. Practices will need to use clinical judgement to decide whether to vaccinate this group of patients, but vaccinations for morbidly obese patients with no other recognised risk factor will not attract a payment under the DES in 2015/16. The inclusion of this patient group into the flu programme from 2016/17 is currently under consideration.

Annual flu plan page 39 (Appendix C Groups eligible for the flu vaccination

Flu Immunisation in Community Pharmacy
As you will probably be aware, the national pharmacy NHS flu service launched late last week and pharmacies across the county have begun to vaccinate patients. It is the responsibility of the immunising pharmacy to notify the patient’s GP that a ‘flu jab has been given, and normally this will be done by fax, hand delivery, or post.

However, “PharmOutcomes”, the electronic communication and notification system  used in community pharmacies, can do this by email to a practice specific address.  Practices that have such an address currently listed on PharmOutcomes have already been notified of this, but if you have such an address  (note that addresses are not eligible) and would like to use it to receive email notifications of flu jabs, please can you send the details to Matt Harvey, Chief officer of Somerset  LPC, at

Previous experience suggests that problems with pharmacy immunisations are few and far between, but as the scheme has been expanded this year, please continue to report any specific concerns via Datix.

Dementia Prevalence Data Extraction - Important Note
Practices have received a series of communications from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on a forthcoming GP extract entitled ‘Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Subset Extract for Dementia Prevalence 15/16’ (also known as SoS Dementia). The HSCIC confirmed that practices were required to participate in this extract through the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) by 31 August, and that they are legally required to comply under Section 259(5) of the Health and Social Care Act (HSCA).

This extract is unrelated to QOF, despite being labelled a QOF subset. It was given this name because the data closely matches a subset of QOF indicators. GPC has asked the HSCIC to use different terminology in future to avoid any confusion.

HSCIC has written to practices who have not yet enabled this collection through CQRS to request they accept do so  by the end of Thursday 29 September 2015.  GPC recommends that practices comply with this request, which is a legal requirement under the HSCA.

The collection is of non-identifiable, aggregated data specifying the number of people at each practice with a diagnosis of dementia, broken down by age and gender, as well as the number of the practice’s total registered population. This is non-identifiable data and therefore not subject to the fair processing provisions of the Data Protection Act. There is therefore no requirement to inform patients. Further information is provided within the Data Provision Notice sent to practices.

The 2015/16 collection follows a similar collection from practices in 2014/15, published on the HSCIC website. The HSCIC intends to publish 2015/16 data on its website from October.

Update on Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and pH testing
You may recall that some months ago Southwest Pathology (covering YDH and  MPH catchments) advised us that they proposed to stop  doing routine  testing for BV on  vaginal swabs and suggested that GPs only request this be done  if indicated by vaginal pH testing.  Whilst the guidance on this is national and still stands, the lab has confirmed that BV testing will now be available if requested on order comms without the requirement for GPs to invest in  and use pH strips unless they should wish to do so.

The only action  needed from  GPs is to specifically request BV testing, if required,  when the sample is submitted . A letter will come out from the Microbiology service  shortly regarding this  change which is to be implemented in early October.

CQC Meet the Team
Come and ask questions on the process, dispel some Myths and meet the designated Somerset Team of inspectors for future inspections in Somerset at Taunton Racecourse 6th October (9.30 - 11.30), book online

LMCS Buying group News: Bigger discount now available on magazine subscription packages
Practices can now save hundreds of pounds every year with permanent discounts of up to 70% off cover prices when ordering your magazines through DLT Magazines, the largest supplier of magazines to medical practices in the UK. Ordering is simple and your magazines will arrive every month in one easy to manage pack. Delivery is free of charge by secure carrier. LMCs Buying Group

Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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