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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 2nd December 2022

Date sent: Friday 2 December 2022

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

MD Soundbites!

Cold weather, heating bills, industrial action and rising demand all add to what can be seen as a depressing picture but it is not all doom and gloom so read on!

I was delighted this week to read that the Accelerated Citizen Access to GP records has been halted. The BMA need to be congratulated - we will be in a far better position for this being delayed until we can all be assured that it is safe. The most recent BMA position on this can be accessed from the link below and worth 5mins over a coffee. Positive collaborative meetings also took place this week between the LMC and other stakeholders on the primary care strategy. Our clinical and non-clinical leaders have answers to so many of our challenges. The passion for implementing collaborative change and working towards a better primary care for Somerset was infectious. Some of the key areas that were addressed were considering how we manage our populations health, acute presentations of undifferentiated systems, continuous care for long term conditions and co-ordination of complex care as we as well-being! There are significant opportunities for us.

As GPs we need no reminding of the value of co-ordinating complex care but some practices this week have faced the challenge of providing care for ‘Intermediate beds’. The LMC recognise that the provision of such care can put significant pressure on an individual practice - we have started negotiations with the ICB as to what this service really entails. We will be coming back with further updates but if this is affecting your practice please contact your committee representation or contact me directly. Hospital at Home (H@H) is also gathering momentum and the LMC position is that patients on this pathway must be managed as if they were in hospital, including all prescriptions. If this is adding to your workload we need to hear from you!

I had my appraisal this week and perhaps like many of you, find that appraisal leads to reflection on the year passed. One area that I have been reflecting on is the management of remote consultations and as someone who previously had responsibility for out of hours services where remote consultations are frequently used I read the following article with interest – How can remote consultations be safer?  

Take care everyone.

Medical Director

News from the GPC: 

GMS and PMS requirement to pass on DDRB recommended uplifts: Practices with a GMS contract, or with a post-2015 PMS contract, have a contractual requirement to “ only offer employment to a general medical practitioner on terms which are no less favourable than those contained in the document entitled “Model terms and conditions of service for a salaried general practitioner employed by a GMS practice” published by the British Medical Association “.

The Model Terms states under clause 6 “Your salary will be increased by annual increments on [incremental date] each year and in accordance with the Government’s decision on the pay of general practitioners following the recommendation of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body”

Practices who have salaried GP employed under the terms of the model contract should offer the DDRB recommended 4.5% pay uplift as a minimum.

GPCE has lobbied for global sum to be uplifted to accommodate this increase for salaried GPs and other practice staff and will continue to do so. Read the BMA’s statement about the DDRB.

CQC clinical searches – new survey: The CQC developed a suite of clinical searches, initially in response to the pandemic, which are now routinely used when carrying out inspections of GP practices. They were designed to focus on areas of clinical importance. The majority of the searches focus on safe prescribing, monitoring of higher risk drugs, management of long-term conditions and identification of potential missed diagnoses. CQC is undertaking a survey to identify how useful / easy to use these searches have been. Practices are encouraged to complete the anonymous survey here.

Accelerated Citizen Access to GP Records - Mass Roll-out Halted (England): For any of you who didn’t receive our urgent update on the announcement full detail can be found here.

qFIT Samples; A Plea from the Lab: They are still receiving samples that have not been ordered through t-quest, they do send these onto Southmead but the result then goes back to the lab instead of the practice, could practices please request qFIT in t-quest before sending the samples.

New Prehabilitation Service for Somerset’s Cancer Patients in January 2023: The ICB are excited to announce that that they will be launching a new Prehabilitation Service for Somerset’s cancer patients in January 2023. Initially the service will be a pilot focussing on three patient groups:

The pilot will support patients in three key areas in-line with the Macmillan Prehabilitation guidance and includes:

Patients will be referred to the service and contacted by navigators offering them to attend the Cancer Prehab Hub which is the gateway to the service. At the Cancer Prehab Hub patients will be asked to complete screening questionnaires to establish what support they would benefit from and then signposted or booked in to further clinics. They will be supporting patients with clinics across the county at several locations and offering digital remote clinics as well where appropriate.

After a physical capability assessment with a personal trainer, they will be offering either leisure centre membership at centres across the county, or for more vulnerable patients providing them with an exercise programme to carry out at home.

Alongside this a web-portal has been created to support patients with a wide range of tools and resources including webinars, pre-recorded content, leaflets and signposting which is hosted on the Somerset Foundation Trust website and can be found hereLeaflet and Poster

Somerset Emotional Logic Tier 1: This training is still available, and best completed at home in 15 minute chunks, shared with family members where appropriate. It's a good skillset to help understand and manage Loss and Change. Full detail.

Working at Scale: A Practical Leadership Skills Programme for Primary Care Network Managers 2023: The NHS Leadership Academy West are delighted to announce this programme providing support and development for PCN (Primary Care Network) Managers with a focus on their personal skills of leadership and collaboration to ‘work at scale’. It will consider the nature of the role and reflect on the rapid changes COVID has bought about to the way the PCN needs to work and move forward. It is designed to equip PCN Managers with the tools, skills, strategies and networks to lead, manage and influence change. It will create time to consider how PCNs and the Fuller Stocktake Report are shaping the way healthcare is delivered locally, regionally and nationally, and to support the voice of the PCN manager in the Integrated Care Systems. Click here to find out more.

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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