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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 13th May 2022

Date sent: Friday 13 May 2022

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

Protocol Update from South West Pathology Services Re Abnormal Results: In line with the Royal College of Pathology recommendation, SW Pathology have raised their threshold for calling GPs with abnormal results to that of ‘life threatening’ or of ‘immediate clinical significance’. The laboratory has limited access to individual patient’s clinical information and therefore some results which do require urgent action do not meet the criteria will not be telephoned. The ordering clinician has the ultimate responsibility for promptly reviewing and acting upon these results. Troponins are discouraged in the primary care setting, but if done, a call will be made based on new reference ranges. Males 19.8 ng/L, Females 11.6 ng/L (previously both 17.5 ng/L).

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Supply: There are ongoing insufficient supplies of Oestrogel in the UK caused by the increased demand. To support the careful management of HRT supply, prescribers are encouraged to check availability of HRT products before prescribing. For further information, see the British Menopause Society supply update and the NICE HRT guidance.

Tier 2 Sponsorship: The recruitment fair held on Wednesday was a great success and it is quite clear after talking to a number of GP trainees many of them are keen to stay in Somerset but will require Tier 2 sponsorship to do so. There are currently 10 practices that do offer this, and some others in the process of applying, however this is worth considering for all practices. The CCG have confirmed that they are able to help with the costs on an individual basis where it can be shown to help with resilience, further detail can be found here and the process for supporting trainees is here.

Is your Practice Agreement Up to Date? It's always worth repeating that it is essential to make sure your Practice Agreement (technically known as a Partnership Deed) is regularly reviewed and kept up to date. Gone are the days when this could be signed and dumped in a desk drawer for 30 years. With the pace of change in the environment, relationships and work patterns of general practice you need to have a look at it every couple of years and consider updating it no less often than every five. Although all this seems expensive, a comprehensive Deed, drafted by lawyers experienced in general practice, is invaluable if things go wrong, as sometimes, inevitably, they do. Partnership disputes can range far beyond the initial points of contention. For example, at a recent partnership dispute learning session it was noted that any communication -including personal email, text and WhatsApp messages, could be produced in any legal meetings requiring open disclosure.

Ukrainian Translated GMS1 Registration Form: A welcome pack for Ukraine refugees is under discussion, in the meantime practices may wish to print off some off the supporting documentation from the LMC website this includes a guide on how the NHS works translated into Russian and Ukrainian. An area of information has also been created by the CCG on Teamnet.

GPFR Pilot: A new pilot is starting in May to trial a replacement to the existing GPFR (General Practice Factual Reports – also known as DS1500 or the PIP form), which GPs are asked to complete to support patients’ claims for Personal Independence Payment. The new form is designed to be quicker and easier for GPs to complete, whilst still capturing the information needed. The trial will run for six months and DWP hope that GPs will engage with it and provide any helpful feedback and comments they may have on the new form. During the pilot GPs may sometimes receive the existing GPFR and may sometimes receive the version being trialled.

LMC/STH Lunchtime Workforce Webinar - Growing Pharmacy Roles to Support Primary Care in Somerset 26th May 13.00-14.00: In recent times the number of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians supporting practices and PCNs across Somerset has grown significantly and is now a workforce of around 50 wte, delivering a wide range of high value clinical services supporting patients and the primary care team. Recruitment is challenging as there is a national and local shortage of skilled people for these roles - but there is increasing evidence that different ways of working can be attractive to individuals, beneficial for employers and good for patient care. This webinar will showcase examples of how primary care teams have benefitted from innovative pharmacy practice, and will share and discuss ideas about different approaches to securing pharmacy support in the future. This event is aimed at PCN CDs/managers interested in growing their pharmacy workforce, PCN/primary care pharmacy leads interested in sharing ideas about best practice for service and workforce development and any other pharmacy employers interested in developing collaborative models with primary care. Click here to book your place or view the agenda.

Greener Practice Bristol & Bath (GrPB): Greener Practice was created in Sheffield by a group of GPs who had become increasingly concerned about climate change and its impacts on health. The aim of Greener Practice is to help make primary care as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. Our nearest group is based in Bristol and Bath and they meet around every other month online. Anyone from further afield has been invited and no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. They are focusing helping GP practices to engage with the Green Impact for Health Toolkit, Planetary Health Education and Awareness, optimising sustainable respiratory prescribing and increasing Green Social prescribing. For more information on joining, please contact

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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