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Somerset LMC weekly Update Friday 11th August 2017

Date sent: Friday 11 August 2017

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers    This and previous updates can be found here and on the LMC App

Resilience and the Somerset Practice Support Unit  With chill winds blowing from all directions almost every practice has concerns about the future. It’s not clear what general practice is going to look like in ten years, though we can be pretty confident that (a) there will still be GPs and (b) primary care will be being provided at a larger scale. For now, probably the best thing to do is keep your options open whilst making sure that your practice is as well organised and resilient as it can be.

There are a number of assessment tools around that you can use to do a quick “health check” on your practice. None of them are perfect, but we think the easiest to use is the Wessex LMCs Resilience tool  which has a generally well balanced set of questions. They have also put this into a  a lunch and learn which Somerset practices are free to use.  Devon LMC produced something similar that has been modified by the local NHSE office (link)  (Technical Notes) which is slightly more process focused but may help you triangulate a problem. The simple SWOT analysis drawn up by Adrian Pool at Porter Dodson (is a useful alternative way of looking at things.

If you score yourselves as red or amber using one of the tools then please do consider contacting the LMC office. We have a range of practical help available through the PSU ranging from expert technical assistance with GPES, Open Exeter and claims through to a workforce analysis and skill mix recommendation.

And don’t forget that we have template documents covering a range of matters to do with joint working if you are considering establishing a formal relationship with other practices in your federation in the PSU area of the website

Whistleblowing following the information shared in last weeks update we have asked the CCG if they have considered who the Freedom to speak up guardian will be and await their reply.  Adrian Poole from Porter Dodson is in the process of updating the staff handbook to incorporate this legislation and this will be shared with all practices and posted onto the PSU area as soon as the work is completed.

New LMC Members Needed to represent South Somerset constituency and Sessional GPs Because of changes within the current committee , the LMC needs to appoint a Sessional GP representative and co-opt a constituency member from South Somerset for the rest of the current term until the next election I the spring of 2018.

The sessional GP appointment is open to any GP working in Somerset who is neither an employee nor a practice partner. The South Somerset Constituency co-option is open to GPs of the Performers List who either work in any capacity in a South Somerset practice, or who are resident within the LMC South Somerset constituency boundary.

The basic commitment is to attend county LMC meetings which take place in Taunton every two months, usually on the second Thursday. Meetings start with a light lunch and run from 2.00 to An attendance allowance and mileage expenses are paid. Members are encouraged to develop any relevant special interests and to represent the LMC on other local NHS committees, but this is not a requirement.

Both of these jobs offer an opportunity for someone to sample LMC work for a few months ( three formal meetings) before deciding whether to stand for election for a full term of four years. Maintaining a strong LMC is particularly important in these troubled times and we hope that colleagues will come forward to take up these two roles.

If you are interested or would like to talk about the time commitment, please contact or ring 07796267510

Updating Your Training Record with SDUC Colleagues working for the Vocare SDUC service will have been getting emails from them about any gaps in training portfolios. This follows some criticism by the CQC during the SDUC inspection earlier in the year that their training records were not always up to date. Please can you make sure that you reply to the emails so SDUC can start to deal with this by identifying where there are apparent gaps.

You may then get a phone call from one of the SDUC team to see whether you have some form of alternative evidence that can be used to meet the requirement or whether you do indeed have a learning need and should undertake further training. Much of this can be done online so we hope that completing the portfolio will not be too burdensome.

GP Survey-Pharmacists working in General Practice Current developments in primary care across the UK have resulted in a significant increase in the numbers of clinical pharmacists working in general practice. The pharmacist defence union have recently surveyed hundreds of these pharmacists and are now keen to get the views of GP practices.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association supports pharmacists in their legal, practice and employment needs and has over 26000 members, many of whom work in general practice. The results from this survey will be used to inform our ongoing work in supporting pharmacists in general practice, and ensure the benefits of having a pharmacist are maximised to the advantage of GPs and their patients.

The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and they would be very grateful for your support if you have time

Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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