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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 26th February 2016

Date sent: Friday 26 February 2016

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers      This and previous updates can be located here

Health Protection Reports Public Health England periodically  publish a brief digest of interesting public health information that is  usually well worth a look. The Edition published on 19th February  is just one page, but it contains a report on  the current prevalence of Strep A infection,  a successful way of  reducing high GP antibiotic prescribing,  and  evidence that  antivirals are of use in treating influenza.   You can subscribe to  this and other PHE reports at Subscriber Preferences Page.

Effective support for children and families in Somerset County Council Guidance Document to make  Thresholds of Need clearer for professionals

“Embedding Early Help” is one of the nine priorities that  have been identified for the improvement of Children’s Services in the county , and part of implementing  this  is to help ensure that  when children and families might need support can ensure they are directed to the right service, in the right place, at the right time.

This slightly wordy but very accessible document  contains a lot of useful information but  it’s main purpose is to describe  the sorts of concerns or problems that should trigger involvement of the different levels of social care  intervention  available. It’s worth a read. Referral should continue to be made to  Children’s Social Care via  Somerset Direct as before.

Pertussis in Pregnancy There have been reports that some pregnant women have been told by health professionals that they only need Pertussis vaccination during their first pregnancy and not for any subsequent pregnancies. It is unclear where this confusion comes from but we thought we should send something out widely to ensure there is clarity:

The purpose of the pertussis vaccination programme is to boost immunity in women in late pregnancy so that pertussis antibodies are passed from mother to baby to passively protect infants in the first months of life before they reach the age of routine infant vaccination. This is achieved by vaccinating pregnant women from 28 weeks of gestation in order to maximise the transplacental transfer of pertussis antibodies. Therefore, it is important for all women to be offered the pertussis vaccine during each pregnancy (see pg 6 of attached guidance).  

Practices will need to ensure that systems accurately update the target population and record the estimated due date (EDD) so it is known when they are eligible for vaccination to make contact.

If you have any queries on this please contact: sara Dove Tel: 01138247330|Mob: 07900715103

Men B Vaccine shortage  Following the very sad news about the death of a two year old from MenB disease on February 14th, and the petition calling to make the vaccine more widely available  the result  has been a lot of concerned parents asking where they can get the MenB vaccine privately. Practices should be aware that there is still a national shortage of the vaccine and more information which can be shared is available on the meningitis research foundation website

Images on Websites and Publications We have once again been contacted by a practice that are being pursued in excess of £700.00 for using an image subject to license on their website, this really serves as a reminder never to upload any images which may require a licence.  If you do download an image from a free image website please check the usage restrictions and print off and file any documentation before using it. 

The web is still probably the best for free images. is a good resource for free images.    Just make sure you download from the free images section (not the iStockphoto section) and that it says ‘Standard restrictions apply’ and have a quick look at the image license in the link.  Create an account to download the full size image. Once downloaded print off the details sheet. There’s also lots of free icon sites, just Google ‘free icons’ and once you've found a site and icon follow the procedure as above.  As websites are archived it’s a good idea to keep the image details sheet forever.

Front desk Funding is now centrally funded with immediate effect in England under the GPSoC Lot 1 framework.Any practices who place orders for FrontDesk on GPSoC by 31 March 2016 will have their refund backdated to 1 January 2016. Practices who do not place orders by 31 March 2016 will only be refunded from the date at which their order is accepted by GPSoC.Further info here


Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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