Scottish LMC conference
I attended the Scottish LMC conference in Glasgow today. Thank you to Teresa Cannavina, chair of conference, and the agenda committee for their welcome. Debates focused on important issues impacting GPs in Scotland, not least the implementation of the first phase of contract changes and consideration of phase 2. The conference also heard from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP, who announced agreement on details of the premises scheme.
You can read the speech given by Andrew Buist, SGPC chair, at the opening of conference, here
LMC England Conference
You can also access the conference resolutions and my full speech here.
The conference was reported on by Pulse, BMJ (medicine shortages), Pulse and GP Online (PCNs); BMJ, GP Online and Pulse (fraud in the NHS); BMJ and GP Online (Daphne Romney’s report); GP online and Pulse (hospital contract workload transfer); Chemist and Druggist (drug shortages), Pulse (improved access scheme), and pharmafield (NHSPS service charges)
There was widespread reporting in the national and local media about the vote demanding that home visits should be removed from the core contract, and that a separate service should be commissioned instead. The story was covered by the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Mirror, Sun, Express, Independent, Times, GP Online, Pulse, BMJ, BBC News Online, New Statesman, and I was interviewed by BBC News, BBC News Channel, Sky News and BBC Radio 4. You can listen to my interview with Radio 4 here (from around 14 minutes) and with BBC Radio York here (from 10mins in). GPC England member and deputy chair of the LMC England Conference, Shaba Nabi, also spoke with LBC on the topic.
Northern Ireland LMC Conference 2019 report
The Northern Ireland LMC conference 2019 took place in Belfast on 16 November, with the theme “General Practice in Northern Ireland – are we turning a corner”. Alan Stout, the NI GPC chair, has written a blog about what was discussed and the motions that were passed at the conference. You can also read his conference speech here.
Workforce data (England)
NHS Digital published the workforce data for this quarter, which showed a significant shortfall in GPs as well as doctor vacancies remaining high. According to the statistics, there were 9,319 medical vacancies in England in the second quarter of 2019/20, while there were more than 1,000 fewer full-time equivalent, fully-trained GPs in England than there were in September 2015 when the Government pledged to recruit 5,000 more. In response to this, I said: "The long-term picture is damning, with hundreds fewer full-time equivalent, fully-qualified family doctors than we had this time last year. GP partner numbers are falling at an even faster rate, owing to the additional stresses of owning and running practices. Recent weeks have seen pledges from politicians about increasing GP numbers, but given that we’ve lost 1,000 GPs since we were promised 5,000 more back in 2015, much more needs to be done to make this happen." Read the BMA press release here. This was reported by i Paper, theTelegraph, MailOnline, Pulse, GP Online and LBC radio.
GPs as specialists in General Practice
We have previously agreed a joint statement with the Royal College of GPs and the General Medical Council, which stated that GPs should be considered as expert medical generalists, and as such are specialists in general practice, and that therefore the GP and Specialist Registers should be merged. This week our position has been supported by the Academy of Royal Colleges. Read their statement here.
Performers List to be moved to PCSE online (England)
In December 2019 the management of the performers list will be switched to PCSE online. This will mean that rather than applying for changes to the performers list using paper forms, it will all be processed online. This is intended to provide better transparency of changes to the performer list and provide a more efficient service. Practices will already have received notification to the CQC registered manager to enable approved practice staff to administer practice-based changes to the performer list.
Registration of individuals leaving the secure residential estate (England)
In June 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement issued information reminding CCGs and GPs of a contractual change in the NHS England Standard General Medical Services (GMS) Contract 2017/18 (see page 64), which means that people can now register with a GP practice prior to their release from the secure residential estate (such as prisons, young offender institutions, immigration removal centres and secure training centres).
The aim of this is to help these individuals maintain continuity of care, avoid unplanned emergency admissions to hospital, and support their rehabilitation. Such individuals can also be initially reluctant to register with their GP practice post-release. Practices should be updating their procedures, as set out here.
NHS England has been advised by healthcare providers working within the secure residential estate, that not all GP practices are aware of this, which has resulted in a number of issues with registering individuals with a community GP practice prior to their release. To help prevent this from happening, and support the registration of these patients, practices are encouraged to familiarise themselves with this process. If you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
PCN organisational data service (ODS) codes published (England)
NHS Digital has published organisational data service codes for Primary Care Networks this week, which will provide the PCN name, ODS code, affiliated practices, and ‘lead’ CCG for each PCN. You can access the ODS codes for PCNs here.
The MHRA has issued a number of CAS alerts.
Ranitidine - Tablets, effervescent tablets, oral solutions and ranitidine injection are all expected to shortly be out of stock with no date for resupply until further notice. Read more here.
Theophylline (Slo-phyllin) - Manufacture of this product has ceased, and is anticipated to be out of stock by the end of November. Read more here
Emerade adrenaline auto-injector devices (150/300/500 microgram) - will be unavailable for the foreseeable future. Read more here
Read the latest GPC newsletter here.