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Somerset LMC weekly Update Friday 15th April 2016

Date sent: Friday 15 April 2016

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

New LMC Chairman Dr Sue Roberts came to the end of her four year term as LMC Chairman yesterday and after an election at the main committee meeting yesterday Dr Nick Bray (former vice chair) has been elected to this role, with Dr Karen Sylvester appointed as Vice Chairman. Nick will write to all practices in the coming week, and I'm sure you will like to thank Sue for steering the ship so well over the last four years, she remains a full committee member, and LMC representative for the Bridgwater Bay area.

PSU GP options Documents We have now received the first set of legal and financial documents developed for the PSU, 110 pages in total, named GP options These are on a restricted area of the LMC website for the federations that have signed up to the PSU, Firstly and most importantly you will need to log in to the website to see them, the restriction is by federation, so members will be recognised if they are part of the PSU and will be able to view the documents, Please note if your federation has not signed up you will be denied access.

The original area with the LMC commissioned documents is still open to all PSU

Firearms guidance update Since the new firearms process went live from 1st April, the BMA has received a very large number of complaints from GPs regarding fees payable for responding to the initial letter received from the police. We will therefore be issuing amended guidance (see below) on our website which clearly states that it is up to the GP to decide whether to undertake the work with or without charging a fee.  

We are also looking to publicise our position within the trade press and BMA News.

Fees for responding to the Police letter regarding firearms Following the introduction of the new firearms licensing process GPs have already raised considerable concerns to us over the process and whether or not they can charge a fee for responding to the letter from the Police, indicating whether they have any concerns and have placed a code on the patient’s medical record.

In our discussions with the Home Office, Police and shooting representatives we have faced continual challenges that have been particularly difficult to resolve, however we have made it clear throughout that this work is not part of a GP’s contract and therefore GPs are able to charge a fee. Our original proposal to improve the process was rejected by ministers and so we are having to deal with what has now been implemented, which although has its own problems, is far better than the existing process. Our initial guidance was cautious in our advice in order to gain feedback from members and allow the new process to unfold.  However there has been a clear message from our members that there are concerns and we have now raised these with the Home Office and Scottish Government. We will continue to seek further resolutions to the process.

BMA revised guidance on fees

The response to the Police’s letter indicating whether there are any concerns and that a code on the patient’s medical record as been added is not part of a GP’s contract. It is therefore up to the GP to assess how best to proceed taking on board the following factors and guidance:

1.      The work involved in responding to the letter is minimal and therefore can be undertaken easily without delay and without a fee.

2.      The work involved in responding to the letter requires time and resources from the practice that necessitate a fee to be charged to the      patient (the Police should not be charged). We would advise GPs to seek confirmation from the patient that they are in agreement to pay a fee before undertaking the work so not to cause additional confusion or delay. If there is a delay owing to this and you are unable to respond to the letter within the 21 days, please notify the police of this.

3.      No one in the practice is available (e.g. on holiday or off sick) to complete the work within 21 days. Please notify the police without delay.

4.      The practice does not have the capacity to undertake the work within the 21 days. Please notify the police without delay.

5.      That the GP has a conscientious objection to gun ownership and no other GP in the practice is available or able to undertake the work.   Please notify the police without delay.

GP+ Networking pilot group  You will soon receive an e mail asking you to be part of a pilot for GP networking this is a website on a national platform developed by somerset's own Dr Cathryn Dillon  supported by many including the RCGP and LMC. It aims to showcase what a career in General Practice can offer those who want a little more than pure generalist practice, and will become part of a wider attraction campaign which is being developed, further details , please do give this your support.

Locum ees & ers payment via BACS We have had a lot of contact from practices on the new process and have now been sent the following and from PCSE services and a letter with Address details

Appraisal Toolkits May we remind you that GPs are entitled to use whichever appraisal toolkit they wish to. NHSE have expressed a preference for all GPs to use MAG forms which are free and are easily uploaded onto the revalidation toolkit used by NHSE to make revalidation and performance decisions. Other tool kits which have to be paid for, in particular fourteenfish (previously myLMC) and clarity (clarity and RCGP combined) may have additional benefits that are worth looking at in particular the colleague and patient feedback.

It is important to remember that anything that is written on the MAG form is available for the revalidation and performance teams to read, you are free to discus confidential matters with your appraiser and ask them not to be documented but be aware that if the appraiser has concerns that your health or performance might be causing patient safety concerns they will need to feed this back to the performance team as recommended by the GMC in"good medical Practice"

Kind Regards



Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561


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