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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 1st July 2022

Date sent: Friday 1 July 2022

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

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group: As many colleagues will be aware as of today Friday 1st July Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group has been replaced by the Somerset Integrated Care Board. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our CCG colleagues for their hard work and efforts on behalf of practices in Somerset and we look forward to continue working with the reformed primary care team, and are reassured many if not most of the team will remain in position. 

Dr Karen Sylvester, LMC chairman.

Update to fit note guidance: This guidance from NHS Employers follows a government announcement that a wider range of professions will be able to sign a fit note from Friday 1 July.

GP Appraisal Changes: A new national appraisal format has been agreed that builds on the benefits that were identified in the 2020 version. It will provide the necessary appraisal details for your revalidation.
The focus remains on supporting doctors, ensuring their wellbeing, and helping GPs’ to develop by reflecting on learning and reviewing their practice. Preparation time should be reduced to around 1-2 hours, especially if you keep a brief note of any learning or quality improvement you do during the year that changes your practice.
The main change from the 2020 format is the inclusion of a brief commentary on the impact your learning, quality improvement and feedback have had on your practice. There is no counting of CPD credits.
You’ll need to use an appraisal toolkit as the template is not sufficient on its own. Fourteen Fish and Clarity have already been updated to the new format. When you first logon you will be asked if you want to switch- doing so will not lose any information you have already entered. You are encouraged to use the new format unless your appraisal is in the next few weeks and you have already completed the documentation. However, there will be flexibility this year and the 2020 format will still be accepted for appraisals until 31/3/2023.
The MAG form is not being be updated and will not be accepted from 1/4/2023. Any GPs still using it should change to an electronic toolkit. The new format and supporting information can be found here.

Fees calculator: Doctors have undercharged for private and non-NHS fee-based work for years, In response to this issue the BMA have recently launched the Fees calculator and to date the feedback has been extremely positive. The Fees calculator helps decide how much to charge for services based on your own circumstances. It uses your overheads to calculate a fee range for the time it takes to complete a piece of work. The calculations are specific to you, and you can see what rates you would need to charge to make sure your costs are covered.

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death: It is increasingly difficult to use frailty of old age as a cause of death. The new guidance below reminds us of documenting the frailty score to support this cause.
5. If Frailty of Old Age / Old Age is being offered in 1a, the Coroner will require this to be supported by a history of decline (whether acute or chronic) and will expect full and accurate information to be provided, such as:

(a) Did the deceased have a frailty index score? If so, what was the score?
(b) Was the deceased bedbound, or had limited mobility and how long had they been like this?
(c) Was the deceased refusing food and/or drink?

Access to patient records through the NHS APP: Patients will have access from November 2022 to their current health records and can apply for their historic (pre 2022 )health record through the NHS APP, but they will not have access to view administrative tasks or communications between practice staff. Full Detail here. Please do not however that whilst patient tasks cannot be accessed via the digital record apps they remain an auditable part of the patient record and may need to be accessed during a complaints process.

Emotional Logic: There are 400 places available for any Primary Care Staff - we are all dealing with personal loss and change on a daily basis - Emotional Logic is a skillset that enables conversations to help us reconnect with what we have lost, and reconnect with joy

Employee Assistance Programme: As part of the ongoing Somerset Colleague Health and Wellbeing Programme all Primary Care staff now have access to the EAP until the end of 2022. For more information please see flyer and if you have any further queries please contact

Somerset Independent Plus: Additional support for patients with hoarding disorder has been commissioned through Somerset County Council. Once referred they maintain contact to achieve desired outcomes which may include decluttering, repairs, and hospital admissions prevention aiming for clients to live safely and independently within their own home. Somerset Independence Plus - Hoarding Disorder


Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
Fax: (01823) 338 561
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