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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 29th September 2023

Date sent: Friday 29 September 2023

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

Rebuilding General Practice Press Release: Dr Justin Geddes Medical Director of the Somerset LMC commented…
‘We welcome this survey. General Practices in Somerset continue to adapt to overwhelming pressures every day to provide the very best service we can. We want to be able to give and receive the best care possible. We recognise the value we bring when we can do our job and want our doctors to be central to leading healthcare in our communities’.

Sexual Safety in Healthcare – Organisational Charter: I’m sure you will all have seen the recent headlines in relation to incidents of sexual harassment and assault on female surgeons. This is in addition to the report by the BMJ and the Guardian earlier this year which found that NHS trusts were not protecting staff and patients from sexual harassment. NHSE has created a sexual safety in healthcare charter which you may wish to adapt and use within your practice.

Somerset’s New Lipid Service: Dr Alex Bickerton has led the development of this new lipid service. He will be offering a variety of education options including a session within November’s Fresh Looks. For more information please see link, and in particular we would like to highlight the national guidance lipid-management-pathway-v6.pdf ( and Somerset’s Triglyceridaemia pathway PowerPoint Presentation ( Lipid Advice and Guidance has gone live this month, with currently capacity for good response times. Please continue to refer directly to the clinics for cases that definitely need to be seen, such as a family member of an index case of FH or definite FH with a Welsh Lipid Clinic score >5 or an extremely high Triglyceride.

Connecting the Dots (previously known as PC-SC Collaboration Forum): These monthly meetings on the last Tuesday of the month started up again via Teams, on 26th Sept with a catchier name. If you haven’t been before, please try and tune into it as the greater the breadth of the audience the more successful it will be. The idea is that it gives us a chance to share projects that concern PC and SC working together, but we also have an informal 30 mins when anyone can raise any issues for discussion. On Tuesday there is a chance to hear about the pathway work going on for heart failure and a mobile liver cirrhosis screening service, before we open it up to general discussion.
Everyone is busy so feel free to log on and listen whilst catching up on those results, workflow etc. You may find some items catch your interest more than others.
I am looking to PCNs and practices to share some of the fantastic projects which are going on also (it’s a two-way thing) – please contact me andrea.trill@somersetft.nhs.ukClick here to join the meeting.

Nurse Career Plus (places available):  Career Plus is recruiting participants for our upcoming Nurse Career Plus courses. Participants can be any nurse who is not part of the new to practice fellowship scheme and is at least 5 years into working in general practice. Each course is 10 sessions long, usually taking place on alternate weeks. Sessions are remunerated for attendance, which can be claimed by practices as backfill, or individuals if self-employed. The groups are face-to-face at Monk’s Yard, Hortons Cross. Courses are facilitated by experienced facilitators. Up to 10 participants attend per group. Nurse Career Plus is a pilot course, following on from Somerset’s successful GP Career Plus. Nurse Career Plus is due to start Wednesday 4th October. For further information please click on the following links information and poster.

HR Support: Adrian Poole of APERS Ltd has offered his support to practices in Somerset needing assistance for some time . Not only does he deal with HR issues, but is a solicitor who was for 10 years a partner of a regional law firm, heading up their Employment and Regulatory division before going out on his own. He therefore has an indepth knowledge of HR, employment law and medical regulatory matters. He is also used to advising on partnership issues, drafting partnership agreements and is an accredited mediator. He has helped members of Somerset LMC for the last 20 years and is often to be found providing training or in-house HR and legal support for practices.
Should you have an employment, regulatory or partnership issue, he says he is more than happy to have a non-obligation chat, even just for a sanity-check. Having become disillusioned with how much lawyers charge, he provides advice and assistance for £98/hour. More information is available on his website ( Alternatively he can be contacted on 07419285214.
There are of course other service providers out there.

Somerset Vaccination Programme: Practices will be aware the Somerset Vaccination Programme is seasonal (Spring & Autumn) and as such there are quiet periods throughout the year. Colleagues supporting the programme are employed by Somerset Foundation Trust and an exercise is underway to identify alternative opportunities for colleagues during these periods. The current Autumn programme is due to end at the end of Jan (to be confirmed). Colleagues on the programme range from registered band 5/6 nurses, band 3 lay vaccinators and band 2/3 administrators. A range of full and part time hours are worked, and they are located across the county. If you are interested in exploring whether vaccination colleagues can support your practice during the quiet periods, please email Susie Freeman, Workforce Lead to arrange a call –

Primary Care Knowledge Services: Somerset is fortunate to have the Primary Care Library Services summarised in the Primary Care LibGuide. If you would like help tracking down evidence to support CPD, improvement projects, presentations, access journals or hire books then please contact Roxanne Hart, the knowledge and evidence based specialist, 07919 694340. To borrow books complete this registration form, select Taunton Musgrove Park Hospital from the first dropdown list and medical and dental from the staff category list. The books can be sent out and returned through internal post. Loans are for 4 weeks and can be renewed up to 3 times.

Parental Leave Webinar Autumn: We have once again joined Surrey and Sussex LMC and Gloucester LMC to deliver virtual workshops for both clinicians preparing to go on parental leave and those that are returning. To register for these informative sessions please see the flyer here.

Somerset Training Hub is delighted to announce a position for an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Training Hub Fellow. This 12-month Fellowship, starting in Autumn 2023, will provide an exciting opportunity for a motivated GP to develop their knowledge and skills in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion through leadership and education, alongside their existing clinical role. We welcome expressions of interest from all, encouraging those with lived experiences to apply also. It is essential that people expressing interest have familiarised themselves with the Equality Act 2010.

LMC/STH Lunchtime Webinar Hope and Resilience in General Practice Through Releasing Our Team's Potential: Would you like to be inspired and hear how your team’s potential can be released to provide hope in general practice? Dr Ben Allen is a GP partner in Birley Health Centre, Sheffield. Ben will be joining us to tell us about his work in a webinar hosted by Somerset Training Hub at 1pm on 8th November. By developing a culture of psychological safety and compassionate leadership over several years, Ben’s team have seen significant changes in staff retention, workplace happiness and patient feedback. The work Ben has initiated is pioneering in general practice and is gaining prominence. To book a place on this webinar and view further details please see here.

Kind regards


Jill Hellens

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

Tel: (01823) 331 428            
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