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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 2nd March 2018

Date sent: Friday 2 March 2018

All Somerset GPs and Practice Managers

Last Man Standing” and Partnership Deeds Partners in small practices sometimes become understandable anxious that if colleagues leave and cannot be replaced the number of partners may shrink to the point at which the practice is no longer sustainable. There is there fore an understandable temptation as that point approaches for a GP to put in a pre-emptive resignation just to make sure that he or she is not the “last man standing” and so responsible for all the costs and hassle of winding up the practice.

The LMC suggests that practices should now all be deciding on the minimum number of partners required for the partnership to continue – generally that will be two or three – and amending their Partnership Deeds with a clause to the effect that if a resignation will take the number of partners below that threshold, the remaining partners have the right to dissolve the partnership rather than accepting the resignation. This should take away some of the incentive to steal a march on one’s partners by ensuring that all the partners share in the costs of closing down the practice, whilst still allowing one or more of the GPs to carry on if they want to.

PAG After discussions at the Performance Advisory Group colleagues are reminded that many care homes these days use a single supplier to deliver dispensing prescribed drugs. These are often not as flexible for providing urgently needed medication as one might hope. Significant delays have resulted sometimes with adverse outcomes for patients. Therefore it is good practice to make sure that care home staff understand the importance of the patient promptly starting treatment prescribed on a home visit or after a phone consultation if this is the case. It may also be necessary to make sure they understand that they have the responsibility to obtain the a prescription and getting it filled as this will probably be by a different method from the one they are used to. It is worth remembering as well that the electronic prescribing system is still not generally fit for the purpose of prescribing drugs that are needed acutely.”

Improved Access-appointment take up Practices will have received communication from Somerset CCG requesting a better understanding of appointment usage. While it is part of the specification to gain feedback on appointment take up the current request Is asking for retrospective information which wont be readily available for the majority of practices without considerable work at a busy time of year. The LMC discussed the options with the CCG yesterday and it has been agreed to re look at how best to capture the data in a less onerous way for practices for the 18/19 year, we will work with them on the templates and further detail will be circulated in the coming month, so please do not do any further work on this at the moment.

Somerset GP Board (SGPB) and your top 5 list (deadline extended to 9th March) A quick reminder if you haven't already sent in your suggestions for the top 5 things that could  make a difference to your working day please do so as soon as possible (letter)

GDPR Colleagues fortunate enough to be at Porter Dodson’s Adrian Poole’s study day on the General Data Protection Regulations on Wednesday 28th February will have learned a great deal about this updating of the much loved Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. As Adrian said, “the GDPR is designed to save us from multinationals misusing our personal data and commodifying it without proper consent.” The NHS may not be not selling data on but is not excluded. There are however important considerations for health and social care providers.

Essential facts include the need to have “privacy by design” in data holding and processing and to be able to justify decisions made about what reasonable care needed to be taken with the “special category data” that practices possess about patients and staff. Data collectors and processors will need to have taken reasonable steps to make sure that other agencies they deal with are compliant with the GDPR. Data protection impact assessments will be mandatory. Mr Poole advised us not to be scared but to “think data protection like you do health and safety now.”

The new DPA will not go before Parliament before the Autumn, DH guidance is still awaited and so the final situation is not yet clear. But we know, for example, that implied consent will no longer exist for matters concerning personal data. “Privacy notices” will have to be in “clear, concise, intelligible language” suited for the patient concerned. No one under 13 will be able to give consent. Furthermore, in future, patients whose personal data is subject to a breach will be able to sue practices directly for damages for material and nonmaterial losses (e.g. distress caused). Patients may also make requests to see or receive copies of their records via a “Subject Access Request” and practices will not be allowed to charge for this service. We can expect many lawyers and insurers to advise clients to make a direct approach for information in future. For more see (link)

Breast Care Centre The Breast Care Nurses have recently been receiving an increasing number of telephone queries regarding routine Breast Screening. Although the screening service operates from within Musgrove Park Hospital the service is separate from the Breast Care Centre. Please could you kindly inform the staff within your practice and pass on the following numbers for advice.

For any queries relating to Breast Screening please contact 01823 343590/01823 343593

For any queries relating to diagnosed cancers please contact the Breast Care Nurses on 01823 342454.


Well done to all of our amazing primary care colleagues who despite the conditions are coping well, stay safe.

Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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