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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 24th June 2022

Date sent: Friday 24 June 2022

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

Fit Notes: From 1 July, new legislation will be enacted which will allow nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists to legally certify fit notes, in addition to doctors who are currently the only profession able to do so. Non-statutory guidance has been developed to help individuals identify if this task is within their scope of practice as well as a new training module which should be completed before taking up this task. These new products will be available from 1 July. There will be a rollout period from this date where GP IT systems will be updated to reflect the change.

Accelerated Access to Patient Records: This new service was due to go live at the end of 2021 but was delayed due to concerns from the profession. The Secretary of State has now confirmed a launch date of 1 November 2022. The GP Committee’s IT Policy Group has been having weekly calls with NHS England and has participated in several workshops looking at clinical safety issues, redaction and guidance documents. They have worked with system suppliers and with safeguarding leads and hope mitigations will be in place to address any ongoing safety concerns. They are awaiting feedback from early adopter sites. There are several steps that practices need to take between now and the launch date and the GPC will provide guidance on this shortly.

Annual Health Checks to Patients Aged 14 Years or Over on the Learning Disabilities Register: Under the LDHC (Learning Disability Health Check Scheme) DES, GP practices are required to offer an annual health check to each patient aged 14 years or over on the learning disabilities register. The requirements are set out in the DES Directions 2022. During the pandemic, NHSE/I advised GP practices that the LDHC could be undertaken with a blend of remote and in person appointments. However, recent feedback of patient experience gathered by NHSE/I has indicated a preference to return to face-to-face checks, NHSE/I request that GP practices ensure at least part of the check is face to face unless there is a strong clinical and/or patient preference for not doing so. Where the LDHC has already been delivered virtually this financial year, this will still be counted. More information can be found here.

A huge well done to our Somerset practices on achieving 77% overall, (National target is 70% and Regional achievement also 70%).

Sleepstation is back which is great news. According to NICE, insomnia affects up to 50% of adults in the UK, often leading to reduced health and general well-being. Cognitive behavioural therapy insomnia (CBTi) is the gold standard treatment for insomnia. Sleepstation delivers CBTi via it’s website and follows people up through telephone contact. Anyone registered at a Somerset practice can now self-refer to Sleepstation. Health workers can also make referrals via this referral form. Sleep well. Patient Pathway.

QOF Payments Relating to Childhood Immunisations and Vaccinations: As an update the CCG are working on financial modelling which is being supported by regional colleagues, we are therefore hopeful that a local solution will be found.

QOF Achievement Adjustment from PCSE: There was a miscalculation when PCSE processed the 21/22 QOF Achievement payment. To rectify this, a correction payment will be processed alongside Achievement payments due on 30 June. This adjustment will appear on your June statement labelled 'Achievement Adjustment'.

Tier 2 Sponsorship:  We are getting increasing enquiries from GP trainees some of whom qualify in August 2022, that will need to be sponsored to remain practicing in the UK. If practices have or are likely to have GP vacancies in the future obtaining a sponsorship licence can help maximise opportunities to recruit in these roles, we have added guidance to the sponsorship page on the website. If your practice is already licensed or is applying to be a sponsor could you please let the office know 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.

Somerset New to Practice General Practice Fellowship Programme for Newly Qualified GPs: Are you or do you know a GP that has qualified since May 2021 and is/will be working in Somerset? If so this funded fellowship programme may be of interest. It is a 2 year programme designed to provide personalised support to newly qualified GPs to help gain confidence and to develop enjoyable, fulfilling and sustainable careers in general practice. NHSEI is aiming for a 100% uptake and nearly all of our Somerset GPs have joined. We started in April 21 and currently have 24 fellows, so you may already have one of our them working in your practice! We have had great feedback, and one of the highlights is the benefit of the mentoring, appreciation of paid time (£10,000 pro rata per annum) to undertake chosen CPD or interests and the online monthly Thursday lunchtime 30 minutes session with various speakers. Example topics include: knowing about appraisals; PCN overview; lifestyle medicine; managing difficult blood results on a Friday afternoon and time management. It is also wonderful to see the development of peer groups forming throughout Somerset and I really hope this continues beyond fellowship. This programme continues to evolve according to the needs and aspirations of our fellows. Our next cohort will start in October (closing date 21st July) and the April 2023 cohort closing date is 28th February 2023. See programme, application form and needs analysis for more information. If you would like to find out more or apply, please contact Dr Catherine Ievers

BP@Home to Case Find Hypertension - Updated Survey Link: As part of this NHSE initiative, Somerset County Council are offering 2500 BP machines to practices and PCNs for BP monitoring. If you would like to register your practice or PCN please complete this survey by 1/8/22.

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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