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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 17th February 2023

Date sent: Friday 17 February 2023

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

MD Soundbites!

Sometimes people are not well meaning… be aware of ‘Fraudulent GP Contacts’. I would like to thanks Dr Joanne Nicholl, Designated Doctor Safeguarding Children and a GP in Somerset for the following information. ‘Over the last week it has come to light that there have been several hoax contacts through GP Practice’s electronic consulting systems. The person concerned claims to be a child or mother with children who have serious mental health and safeguarding concerns, who are new to the area and so not registered. They also mention that they are fleeing or currently in a domestic abusive relationship. They cannot be found on the NHS spine and when there are attempts to gain further contact details, they stop engaging. This leaves the practice concerned that there may be children at risk whom they cannot contact. It appears that these may be down to one individual who is known to the police and health system for making repeated hoax claims. If you have a similar case in your practice and are not able to gain assurance that either the patient is safe or it is definitely a hoax consultation, then you should contact the police on 999 or 101. The Police can trace the source of the consultation using the IP address of the person’s email. Please ask the Police to advise you of the correct details for the patient so that you can contact their registered GP (traced through the NHS spine) and alert them about this call. The GP surgery caring for this particular patient is aware of the huge amount of time and stress this is causing to an already overstretched system’. So, if you have such concerns please contact the police.

Overstretched but surviving this Winter…. The pressure continues and as Winter moves to Spring I think we would all recognise that demand remains high. The GPAS data continues to show that General Practice remains at Opel 4. The ICB will be writing to practices this week to share the final details of the Winter Resilience Plans. It will finalise the position that there will be £1 per weighted patient and this will be paid in February. Importantly, there is also the recognition that the commissioned level of Enhanced Access (60 mins per 1000 patients) can move to core hours. The LMC has also received contacts from some practices about 111 direct booking and while practices are encouraged to maintain these slots they may be triage slots before being booked to a face to face appointment. These negotiations have not been easy as the ICB have been constrained by the national team but the additional level of funding equates to £616k for Somerset. All parties recognise that Winter planning for 2023 needs to start now!

Viewing a body after death… Previously HMC has allowed a body to be viewed via video. The government guidance however, states that if a body needs to be seen after death that this is in person and NOT by video. Therefore HMC would like all GPs to revert to seeing the deceased in person after death. We have received an apology that this has changed again but this is the government guidance.

Inspiration from others….When having a coffee this week I was speaking with a clinical pharmacist on the management of a patient whose HbA1c had dropped despite the patient not taking their metformin (due to being intolerant) but having unintendedly lost some weight. This led to questions about which medication to use next and how their work as a clinical pharmacist augmented the management of long term conditions. They were a fountain of knowledge and make me reflect just how fortunate the practice were to have this skill set on their armoury. See Employing clinical pharmacists in General Practice to find out more and here for a diabetes refresher.

Have a good weekend.

The Somerset Integrated Digital e-Record (SIDeR) is our Somerset Shared Care Record Initiative: Access to the full SIDeR Shared Care Record is now LIVE from a button within EMIS. Attached is a step-by-step user guide showing how to access SIDeR including the Shared Forms/ Care Plans such as EPaCCS and the Community and Mental Health Service Forms. SIDeR is to be used for direct patient care ONLY (including on behalf of a clinician for medical secretary users). SIDeR includes information from YDH, Somerset FT Acute, Community and Mental Health, Adult Social Care and St Margaret’s Hospice. Children’s social care and education data will also be included in the coming weeks.

Many thanks all for your patience in this initiative, please can you cascade this information to all clinical and medical secretary users in your practice or PCN. Please contact if you have any issues with accessing SIDeR via EMIS and contact if you have any questions or would like a demonstration.

Chronic Pain: Fortunately services and resources for managing chronic pain is developing locally and nationally. Last month the LMC shared details of the new opiate-reducing service. There is also an advice and guidance service provided by the Somerset Community Pain Management Service which can be accessed via the email address Alongside this, Ten Footsteps programme - Live Well with Pain is a national resource that can be shared with patients. It is also available as a Personalised Care Institute approved training program for health workers and social prescribers.

GP Career Plus: We are looking to start our next course of GP Career Plus on the morning of 11th May 2023. This is a facilitated peer support group for GPs, over 12 remunerated sessions on alternate weeks. The course is for any GP, other than those currently on the new to practice fellowship. It is designed to support you to develop new skills and ways of thinking about the challenges we all face, focus on your wellbeing and the opportunity to build lasting friendships. If you would like to find out more or consider joining, please email We are also looking for a new facilitator to join our team. Whether you have experience of facilitating or not we would be happy to hear from you and support you to develop your skills. Again, please email us on the above email address.

Secondary Care-General Practice Collaboration Forum: It was great to see so many people at the first meeting of this new group. A big thank you to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing you again. It’s an informal meeting that we hope will help us put faces to names, have easier conversations and build communication. It was suggested that we should try to make a podcast (!!) for those who might like to catch up on news while in the car, out for a run etc – so we are just sorting out how to do that. Coming to you soon! 
The next meeting is on 28th February (1-2pm) and the same Teams link will work as previously Click here to join the meeting. The first half will be dedicated to Diabetes and a New Integrated High Risk/Remote Monitoring Programme, so for anyone who has an interest in diabetes especially practice nurses out there, it would be great to have you along. We have extended the second section, the open forum to 30 minutes as this felt very useful last time. You can raise anything you like but we do plan to have a dedicated meeting around referrals within the next 2 months that will look at forms/letters, onward referrals, GPTeamNet etc so you may want to save those ideas to that one. Look forward to seeing you there.
Andrea Trill - Medical Director, Neighborhood Integration Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Examiners required for Bristol OSCE's & PMS ISCE's Years 3 & 4 - June & July 2023: Please find specific Medical School information from Jessica Skinner, Undergraduate Lead – Bristol Medical School & Charlotte Perry, Undergraduate Lead – Peninsula Medical School.
Exam Dates: 
Year 3 Bristol OSCE Day 1: Thursday 8 June 2023 (09:00 – 12:30) & (13:00 – 16:30)
Year 3 Bristol OSCE Day 2: Friday 9 June 2023 (09:00 – 12:30) & (13:00 – 16:30)
Year 4 Plymouth ISCE Day 1: Tuesday 20 June 2023 (08:00 – 12:30) & (13:00 – 17:30)
Year 4 Plymouth ISCE Day 2: Thursday 22 June 2023 (08:00 – 12:30) & (13:00 – 17:30)
Year 4 Bristol OSCE Day 1: Tuesday 4 July 2023 (09:00 – 12:30) & (13:00 – 16:30)
Year 4 Bristol OSCE Day 2: Wednesday 5 July 2023 (09:00 – 12:30) & (13:00 – 16:30)
All marking will be done electronically on iPad’s for both types of assessment, with a full briefing prior to the start of each session. If you are interested in taking part, please complete the online reply form.
Venue: Musgrove Park Academy, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, TA1 5DA
Examiner preparation: Examiners will be provided with the requisite material to enable them to prepare for examining
If you have any questions or encounter any difficulty in accessing or completing the online form, please respond to this email at as soon as possible.

Optimising Document Workflow - Free Training: Many practices have implemented document flow successfully resulting in a reduction of paperwork reaching their GPs thereby saving a large amount of GP time. We have organised another free two hour online training session with EPI on 23rd March (1.30-3.30pm) for those practices who either did not attend past training or who wish to attend as a refresher to enable them to implement a safe and effective system of correspondence management. Please book online here.

Keeping Somerset Stronger 4 Longer – Free Webinar: Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) and Age UK Somerset are excited to host their first Stronger 4 Longer webinar for Somerset on Tuesday 7th March 2-3:00pm on Zoom. Aimed at anyone having regular conversations with adults over the age of 50yrs, including health and social care services, fitness and leisure teams and the voluntary and community sector, SASP and Age UK Somerset will be sharing all the latest on their Stronger 4 Longer campaign in Somerset, with speakers from Somerset County Council’s Public Health team, the Community Rehabilitation Service, wonderful campaign Ambassadors and a GP specialising in Geriatrics. For further details regarding the event and how to register, please visit: Keeping Somerset Stronger 4 Longer

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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