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LMC Weekly Update 6 March 2020

GP contract Roadshows (England)
The GPC England executive team have been presenting GP contract details for 2020-21 to GPs and LMCs, at a series of contract roadshow events across England. Thanks to those of you who have hosted us in the last few days. The list of upcoming events is available here. A number of LMCs have also arranged some local events.  However it may be necessary to cancel events because of the developing COVID-19 situation and we will be guided by local organisers about that, so please do check with them when booking.  The roadshow presentation, with a commentary from me, is now available on the contract page of our website.


PCN scenarios (England)

Over the next few days we’ll be releasing some real-life PCN scenarios, covering income, workforce, services and workload impact showing how PCNs are/can operate with the contract changes. The first of these can be found on the GP Contract page (PCN section)

Letter to CCGs on financial impact of GP contract and ARRS funding (England)
NHS England has published a letter to CCGs which sets out the financial implications of the GP contract, which includes details about how the ARRS funding will work.

LES/LIS investment (England)
Concerns were raised with us regarding a letter (predating the GP contract agreement) which states that local LES funding will be used to assist with CCG deficits, conflicting with the new contract agreement in England that local investment must be reinvested by the CCG into primary medical care. NHS England has confirmed that ‘where the Network Contract DES delivers services that were previously funded through LIS/LES arrangements, the deal describes how funding must be reinvested by the CCG into primary medical care’, as stated in their contract update letter

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, has now been published and is available here (under the ‘Conference’ tab). The event will be webcast and available on the day via this link

GPC UK meeting 19 March cancelled
Please note that we have decided to cancel the next GPC UK meeting on 19th March in Cardiff, after careful consideration due to the developing situation with Covid-19 and now that NHSE/I have upgraded to emergency level 4. We will though continue to hold the planned policy group meetings but these will now be done through video conference.

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 official UK agencies, including a link to the PHE guidance for primary care and the Standard Operating Procedures for primary care.  Other updates include a GMC statement on regulation in light of Covid-19, clarification of what cleaning equipment to use, and updated guidance to include 111 online tool.

NHS England sent a letter on preparedness to all practices in England yesterday, which confirms that practices will be sent an initial stock of PPE, including aprons, examination gloves and face masks next week. In addition, practices are being advised to change face-to-face appointments booked online to triage appointments via telephone or video, and have published commissioning guidance on the process for managing GP practice requests to suspend online bookings of appointments which has been identified as a possible mitigating action to manage infection risk of COVID-19.  More information is available here


The Government COVID 19 action plan was published this week. The action plan features, in the event of a major outbreak, the possibility of cancelling non-urgent operations and asking retired doctors to return to work. Read the BMA statement in response to the action plan here.

CQC has emailed all providers with a statement that they will be reviewing inspection plans on an ongoing basis during the outbreak. Whilst this was a general letter to all providers we understand that for general practice CQC are likely to be significantly reducing inspections and will be working closely with practices to identify the most appropriate approach based on a risk assessment on a case by case basis. 

On 5 March 2020, a statutory instrument was made into law that adds COVID-19 to the list of notifiable diseases and SARS-COV-2 to the list of notifiable causative agents. This change in law requires practices in England to report all cases of COVID-19 to Public Health England. Read more here.

If BMA members have any specific concerns or issues about COVID-19 we advised them to contact our First Point of Contact advisors on 0300 123 1233 and support@bma.org.uk.

BMA council chair, Chaand Nagpaul, was interviewed by Sky News (49mins in), and LBC, as well as several BBC regional interviews (BBC Radio Berkshire from 1hr10). Helena McKeown, Chair of BMA’s Representative Body, was interviewed by ITV GMB (from 1h49), BBC NewsnightChannel 4 NewsBBC News (from 3mins50). I have done interviews for ITV news, BBC Look North and BBC Radio York and thanks to the many other GPs who have helped do a large number of TV and radio interviews over the last few days.  

International Women’s Day – 8 March
Sunday 8 March marks International Women's Day, when people around the world will celebrate female empowerment and women's rights. The 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual (see some examples here). Read the blog by the BMA’s Chair of the Representative body, Helena McKeown.

NHSmail for locums in England
We are pleased to announce that NHSmail for locums in England will be launched after lengthy lobbying by the GPs Committee. GP locums will be able to apply via a link that will be released on Monday 9 March 2020.

Practice registration – PCSE Online
Please be reminded that practices are required to register a nominated administrator to be able to action performers’ list requests that require practice validation. While practices will already have administrators registered with PCSE Online for purposes such as supplies and medical records, additional registration is required for the performers’ list role. PCSE have sent letters with registration codes and details via recorded delivery to all CQC registered practice managers. Practices that have not yet registered are encouraged to check with the relevant practice manager to obtain the details and if needed can request a new registration letter by contacting PCSE

DDRB submission
The BMA’s submission to the DDRB is now available on the BMA website. The DDRB process is again delayed this year, with oral evidence being given in the coming week. This means that they are unlikely to produce a recommendation until the summer.

Commonwealth Fund Survey of primary care physicians
The Health Foundation has published their Commonwealth Fund Survey of primary care physicians today, which showed that UK GPs were the least satisfied with amount of time they have with patients. Read more here

BMA’s Physician assisted dying survey
The BMA’s survey on physician-assisted dying closed on 27 February. We received over 29,000 responses, working out at a response rate of 20.1% - making this one of the largest ever surveys of medical opinion on this issue. Thank you to everybody who took part. The results will be produced for the ARM in June. You can find out more at www.bma.org.uk/PAD.
 
Medicine supply update - Emerade 150mcg patient level recall
The Department of Health and Social Care has issued a patient level recall for all unexpired batches of Emerade 150 microgram auto-injectors from patients due to an error in one component of the auto-injector believed to cause some pens to fail to activate and deliver adrenaline. Read more here

NHS England webinar: delivering digital transformation in primary care
The NHS has made a commitment that every patient in England will have access to digital GP services and the right to digital first primary care by March 2024, giving patients the choice to access virtual services. NHSE/I is hosting a free interactive webinar on Wednesday 8 April from 3-4pm which will include a brief introduction to digital first and online consultations, with a focus on the funding and support available to PCNs and commissioners.  Register for the webinar here. If you have any queries please email england.digitalfirstprimarycare@nhs.net

UK Annual Social Prescribing Link Worker Success Conference
The National Association of Link Workers are holding their 2nd UK Annual Social Prescribing Link Worker Success Conference at ExCel London on 20h April 2020. It coincides with Link Worker Day, a day to showcase and celebrate the impact of Social Prescribing Link Workers. Speakers include Baroness Barran MBE and Dr Nikki Kanani (Medical Director of Primary Care NHS E/I)

GPC UK Regional elections
Please be reminded that elections for the following regions will close at noon, 16 March:

  • Gloucestershire and Avon
  • Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire

To submit your vote please go to: https://elections.bma.org.uk/. If you have any queries, please contact elections@bma.org.uk 

LMC UK Conference 2020
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

See the last GPC bulletin here

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