GP contract Roadshows (England)
The GPC England executive team we will be presenting the GP contract details for 2020-21 to GPs and LMCs, at a series of contract roadshow events across England over the coming month. Thanks to those of you who have hosted us in the last few days. The current list of events is available here. A number of LMCs have also arranged some local events. We are in the process of drafting guidance about the contract changes which will be available shortly.
GMS ready reckoner
NHS England has updated their GMS ready reckoner. This should help individual practices see what happens to their baseline. This is an update to the one from last year.
Special Conference of English LMCs
The Agenda for the special conference of English LMCs in London on 11 March, to discuss the outcome of negotiations and the contract agreement, will be published next week.
LMC UK Conference 2020
The deadline to submit motions for this year’s annual LMC UK conference (held on 6-7 May 2020 at York Barbican) has now passed. The Conference Agenda Committee will now start working on the Agenda. The deadline to register to attend the conference and dinner, should be done by no later than Friday 27 March, using this link: https://events.bma.org.uk/uk-lmc-conference-2020/registration
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
The containment of COVID-19 remains of major concern and we are monitoring the situation and will continue to disseminate information as it becomes available.
Our webpage is regularly updated with guidance and links to information from Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland, Public Health Wales and Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), and the Department of Health and Social Care. Our webpage includes a link to the PHE guidance for primary care which was updated last week.
NHS England has published four Standard Operating Procedures for primary care: general practice, optical practice, community pharmacy, primary dental care.
We are aware that there are several issues that are not dealt with in the document (for general practice) and are liaising with NHSE/I to ensure they are resolved.
The standard operating procedure, other documents and guidance are also available on the NHS England Emergency Preparedness COVID-19 webpage.
The Telegraph reported on travel insurers asking for GP notes to pay out for cancelled trips, to which I commented: "It is completely inappropriate for insurers and travel agents to be asking their customers to approach family doctors with such requests. GPs are not in a position to advise whether patients are fit to travel in this situation and it is not their responsibility to do this.” This was also reported (again) by the Telegraph and Express Informer
Peter Holden was interviewed by BBC Derby (listen herefrom around 36 mins). Pulse reported about our concerns over lack of PPE for practices, and about the updated PHE guidance advising GPs to wear PPE if in contact with a suspected case (read Pulse article here). The Telegraph andPulse reported about PHE guidance calling patients who have recently travelled from Italy to self-isolate.
COVID-19 – attending BMA Conferences (message from BMA’s acting directors of policy)
At the time of increasing concern about the outbreak of COVID-19, we would advise that if you meet the case definition (current case definition can be found here) you should follow Public Health England’s advice and not attend meetings or conferences at BMA House, no matter if your symptoms are mild (or if you are asymptomatic and fall under category 1). The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
VC facilities should be available for meetings and generally conferences will be live streamed. Expenses will be reimbursed for cancelled travel and accommodation.
As you will all be very well aware, all respiratory viruses are spread by coughs, sneezes and on your hands; as such, you should aim to catch coughs or sneezes in a clean tissue and place it in the bin immediately after use (catch it, bin it, kill it) and regularly wash or decontaminate your hands. The BMA will be increasing the provision of alcohol hand gel, tissues and bins for people to use if needed.
Please do let the relevant committee secretariat know if you are unable to attend a meeting or conference as soon as possible.
Joint letter calling for pension tax changes
The BMA continues to lobby for pension tax reform ahead of an anticipated announcement in the forthcoming Budget 2020, and has written a joint letter together with several other health bodies to the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, calling for a solution to the pension taxation crisis.
The letter states that “It is essential that such a reform of pension taxation policies is implemented as soon as possible. This change is supported by the signatories of this letter and the tens of thousands of doctors our organisations represent.”
Friends and Family Test – April 2020 (England)
In advance of the revisions to the Friends and Family Test guidance effective from April 2020 which apply across the NHS, NHSE/I have published additional guidance on the submission of data in General Practice along with the submission dates for 2020/21. FAQsare also available setting out the changes made to the standard questions and advice for implementation.
Medicine supply updates
Please see attached the medicine supply update from the Department of Health and Social Care, for February. In addition, a diamorphine injection supply disruption alert (SDA) has been issued via CAS.
GPC UK Regional elections
Please be reminded that elections for the following regions are open and will close at noon, 16 March:
Gloucestershire and Avon
Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire
See the last GPC bulletin here