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Member Practice Update

6 March 2020 

Welcome to the Member Practice Update

This weekly Member Practice Update is produced by NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove, NHS South Worcestershire and NHS Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Groups for circulation in your practice, to provide you with essential guidance, information and useful support.

Your views and feedback are very much appreciated. If you have any comments, suggestions or contributions for inclusion in the Member Practice Bulletin, please e-mail the communications team.

In this issue:

  1. Coronavirus Update
  2. Thursday 19 March - MSK & Chronic Pain Update Course
  3. PCE End of Life Annual Audit 
  4. GP Payments Transformation
  5. EMIS Update
  6. QOF FY 2019/20
  7. Herefordshire and Worcestershire Primary Care Awards 2020
  8. December 2019 Workforce Survey Summary
  9. Prescribing Top Tip
  10. ICS: Health and Wellbeing Newsletter
  11. Newly Qualified GP Fellowship Induction & Welcome Event
  12. Time for Care
  13. Smart Medical Devices Survey
  14. Assessing the Impact of Stammering
  15. Fuel Poverty - Free Training
  16. Salaried GP Advert 

Find out about local and national events and training here

Redditch and Bromsgrove

South Worcestershire

Wyre Forest 


  • No Redditch & Bromsgrove news 
  • No South Worcestershire News 

  • No Wyre Forest news
  • No Herefordshire news

Coronavirus Update

Sent on behalf of Jo-Anne Alner, Accountable Emergency Officer 

Please find below important information and guidance to support you managing COVID-19 at this preset time. There are a number of actions below which will also require your attention.

Risk Level: The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. We remain in the identify, isolate and contain phase. 

Cases: As of 9am on 6 March 2020, 20,338 people have been tested in the UK, of which 20,175 were confirmed negative and 163 were confirmed as positive. One patient who tested positive for COVID-19 has died.

It is important that you are kept safe and informed during this period. You can find the latest guidance for keeping yourself safe and well here.

Please Read:

Briefing for primary care, including useful wording for communicating with the public

Please read the letter which was published on the 5th March 2020.

Action Required:

  1. Standard operating procedures for primary care have been published: Please can you read through these and take the actions requested.
  2. Communication: Urgent messages: Central Alerting System: For urgent patient safety communications, you will be contacted through the Central Alerting System (CAS). Please ensure you have registered to receive CAS alerts directly from the MHRAPlease use a generic practice email account, not a personal one. For continuity of access, ideally use an nhs.net email account – it’s more secure. Please register a mobile phone number for emergency communications. At less urgent times there will be a commissioner’s cascade: Please share a dedicated nhs.net COVID-19 generic practice email with the CCG to receive communications and also share this email with your local medical committee. In the event of user absence, practices should ensure auto forward for emails to an alternative nhs.net account and designated deputy. Please send these details to the CCG email address by Noon on Wednesday 11th March 2020.

  3. Business Continuity Plans: We would like to encourage all practices to check their business continuity plans (BCPs) and identify specific roles and actions that could support practices with managing local demand. Ensuring your BCPs are common with your neighbours (primary care network, neighbourhood or CCG) will allow additional support if needed. Please contact the CCG if you would like some support in doing this.
  4. Changes to online booking: To mitigate any risk that potentially infected patients book appointments online and attend the practice when they should be receiving advice to self-isolate or go through testing, all practices are now being advised to change face-to-face appointments booked online to triage appointments via telephone or video. You can read more on this website
  5. Prescriptions: Practices should not change their repeat prescription durations or support patients trying to stockpile: these actions may put a strain on the supply chain and exacerbate any potential shortages. Practices should consider putting all suitable patients on electronic repeat dispensing as soon as possible. The whole repeatable prescription can be valid for a year but each repeat should be for no longer than the patient has now. For example, if the patient has prescriptions for a month’s supply now then the repeat dispensing should be set up as 13 x 28 days’ supply.
  6. You can download the latest materials to display to the public from this website: This will soon include posters for GP practices that need to close for cleaning. On the same link you can also find new wording for practice websites and other communications channels.

Be advised: An initial stock of protective kit (PPE) for each practice, including 400 general use aprons, 300 pairs of examination gloves and 300 fluid repellent face masks will be issued early next week to all practices. Larger surgeries will receive repeat deliveries to ensure they have sufficient amounts.

Be aware: At Risk Countries.

Currently, if COVID-19 infection is seen in the UK, it is most likely to occur in travellers who have recently returned from specified countries and areas. Therefore, an accurate travel history is an important part of identifying potential risk. See Public Heath England’s (PHE’s) guidance for assessing possible cases.

Apart from a number of towns in Northern Italy which remains category one, it is important to note that the whole of Italy is now Category 2. See below what this means for returning travelers.

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve traveled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms:


Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve traveled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild:

  • Mainland China outside of Hubei province
  • Italy outside of the lockdown areas
  • South Korea outside of the special care zones
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Local Services Available and Where:

  1. Patients who self-present, book in by telephone or online to primary care (in or out of hours) who meet the case definition should be directed to NHS 111. Once assessed and considered at risk by NHS 111,  patients should  be directed to one of the following local services:
  2. Clinical Assessment Pods: Both Worcester Acute Worcester Royal and Alex Hospital Sites (NB. Worcester Royal service currently at the Working Well Centre and moving to the hospital site early next week) and Hereford County Hospital. As the numbers of patients requiring testing rise, a “drive thru” model of delivery is being set up and will be located away from the Hospital sites. During their normal opening hours all MIUs in Worcester can also receive patients.
  3. Community swabbing service is now available in both counties, NHS 111 will determine which is the most suitable service for each patient and we have been asked to plan to deliver 150 swabs a day.
  4. WMAS will be soon operating as the co-ordination center and will be notifying patients of negative results, coordinating patient transport and swabbing. PHE will notify patients and services of positive results. 

As ever please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

Jo-anne Alner
Accountable Emergency Officer
NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCGs.

Thursday 19 March – MSK & Chronic Pain Update Course

This is an IQSP Education Event, in Conjunction with Red Whale. 


The Bank House Hotel 

Registration 1:30 session will commence 2:00pm – 6:00pm

This is a free entry event for one GP from each Herefordshire and Worcestershire practice (standard fee for the day’s course is £225 per head)

Please note for Worcestershire GPs this is one of the IQSP/PCE Study Events so backfill funding has already been paid for one GP from each practice to attend. Once the free tickets have been allocated a number of spare tickets will be available at a subsidised fee of £80.

Please follow the link to book your tickets (allocated ticket and additional tickets) or use the link on the flyer.

Course Flyer

PCE End of Life Annual Audit

As you know, the PCE contract require practices to complete an End of Life audit annually. To make this as easy as possible for practices, and as in 2018/19, we will be circulating an End of Life Audit template within the next week. The template is currently being updated to accommodate SNOMED codes.

Given this late circulation, practices will have until the end of April to complete the audit.

GP Payments Transformation

Sent on behalf of Matt James, Primary Care Finance Lead, NHS England and NHS Improvement 

Implementation of the new GP Payments and Pension system has been delayed until 22nd June 2020. Further information to follow once received. 

EMIS Update

Potential Seasonal Flu coding issues – Action: please check your Flu coding / QOF flu indicators

It has been brought to our attention that EMIS have made some changes in version 44 of the QOF coding lists resulting in the removal of a small number of previously acceptable flu codes. 

The codes that have been removed were ‘EMIS codes’ (not ‘READ V2’) present in previous versions of QOF coding lists relating to ‘….Given seasonal influenza vaccine’ that appear in CHD007 / COPD007 / DM018 / STIA009.

Unfortunately, these codes would appear to still be available in the EMIS library template for Influenza that ‘launches’ from the Alert/QOF box message for ‘Seasonal Flu vacc recommended’.

A communication regarding ‘Action Required - Coding for Seasonal Flu 2019/20’ was disseminated via the MPU back in September of last year and if you have used these codes or other READ V2/SNOMED codes alongside any of the removed EMIS codes then your QOF searches should be ok, however we would recommend importing and running the EMIS SNOMED searches to identify any potential issues with patients and allow you to add to/ adjust your Seasonal Flu coding as appropriate.

If you have any queries regarding the attached searches then please contact Worcestershire Primary Care

QOF FY 2019/20

NHS Digital have recently collected Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) v44 data for January 2020, which you should now be able to view viathe Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS). This is the version of QOF that will be used in the collection of data on the 1st April 2020. We would like to inform practices of a change to the SNOMED code cluster for Heart Failure that was introduced in QOF v44. As a result, some practices may have noticed a reduction in their Heart Failure register.

Read more 

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Primary Care Awards 2020

We would like to announce our inaugural Herefordshire and Worcestershire Primary Care Awards for 2020. Our focus for this year is innovation, we know you have all been working in new and innovative ways and we would like to take this opportunity to recognise your hard work. There will be four categories this year, they are:

  • Practice Nursing Team Development and Innovation 2020 – a special award to celebrate the Year of the Nurse 2020
  • PPG - Development and Innovation 2020
  • Quality Improvement and Innovation Award
  • Sharing Best Practice Award

To nominate a team or organisation for one of these awards click here. This will take you to a Survey Monkey form which will allow you to complete up to 4 nominations at one time. The guidance for each category can be found here.  Nominations will be open until 5pm on the 25th of March. Nominations will then be shortlisted by a panel comprised of CCG, LMC and Training Hub members. Shortlisted nominees will then be released for voting and awards will be presented at the General Practice Workforce Celebration Event on 29th of April 2020 at the Bank House Hotel.

This is a great opportunity to highlight the fantastic work you have been doing. Get your nominations in quickly and let’s celebrate the Year of the Nurse by recognising all the innovation they bring to general practice.

December 2019 Workforce Survey Summary

Thank you to all 83 practices across Herefordshire and Worcestershire for completing the December Quarterly Workforce Survey. The survey continues to support the work of the Primary Care Workforce Team and we continue to work with practices who request our support.  Thank you to Denise Horton and Ray Giles in the Primary Care Team for compiling and analysing the data.

Key Headlines from National and Local data from December 2019

The national data from the same time period suggests a headcount increase of 27 GPs since September 2019, which equates to 10 WTE.

Locally, there is a decrease of RGNs since September, but over a 12-month period we’ve seen an increase in Nurse headcount and WTE.

The number of practices with 4 or fewer GPs continues to decrease from 20 last quarter to 17 this quarter.

  • Additional role numbers are gently increasing with the exception of Pharmacists where there is a slight decrease of -0.75 FTE
  • Emerging Role numbers continue to gradually increase
  • Admin apprenticeships continue to increase, there are no instances of HCA apprenticeships to date
  • Vacancies continue to show a decrease

Since the last report the following local and national programmes have been put in place or are in the process of being implemented to support our GP workforce, details of these programmes and more can be found in the report:

  • Fellowships for Newly Qualified GPs and Nurses
  • GP Medical Education Academy
  • Portfolio grants for GPs and Nurses
  • Workforce showcase and Celebration event to be held 29th April 2020

The local programmes of work have been developed based on feedback received from staff at various events and interactions across the STP. This information has been fed into the Workforce Implementation Group. The team made up of GPs, Lead Nurses, LMC, members of NHSE, the CCGs, the Training Hub and HEE work through the feedback provided to develop and implement the programmes which are deemed to be most likely to have a positive impact on the workforce. The following programmes are currently with the team for future consideration:

  • Phoenix programme for mid-career GPs
  • Pre-retirement forums for GPs considering retirement
  • Local Welcome back to Work scheme to support GPs returning to work after a period of absence
  • Primary and Secondary Care Interface model


For more information, please get in touch with the Workforce Team

Workforce Summary Data December 2019

Prescribing Top Tip 

This week's Prescribing Top Tip is regarding the Patient Level Class 2 Recall - Emerade 150mcg

ICS: Health and Wellbeing Newsletter

ICS Health & Wellbeing have been delivering the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme across Herefordshire & Worcestershire since June 2018. We have received over 5,700 referrals, completed over 3,800 initial assessments and have delivered over 180 groups. We wanted to update you with all the things we have achieved since the beginning of delivery and share some of our success stories.

Read more

Newly Qualified GP Fellowship Induction & Welcome Event

26 March 2020
Malvern View Room
Bank House Hotel

All GPs who have recently qualified since November 2018 and are working in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area (must be substantively employed by a GP practice or Federation) are invited to join the local GP Fellowship Programme.

The GP Fellowship programme is a nationally funded two-year programme of support, with year one focusing on Induction, Mentorship and Peer Support.

The programme will commence with a 1-day event in March, where you will meet other Fellows and start your journey. The remaining programme will be delivered through a variety of online and face-to-face sessions in partnership with the University of Worcester.

Backfill funding will be provided to your GP practice for each session you attend, this funding will be paid by the Primary Care Training Hub and they will liaise with your practice directly.

The first 1-day event will be where you can hear more information about the Fellowship programme, find out key local information from the LMC, workforce and training leads, first five clinical lead, local appraisal & revalidation lead, and some senior experienced GPs.

To book onto the event please register via here.


Time for Care 

General Practice Improvement Leads Programme (GPIL) May 2020

Applications are now open for the General Practice Improvement Leaders programme.

There is a cohort for Midlands and East of England regions starting on 6th May 2020.

Information for the Spring cohort is on the NHS England website

Here is the programme flyer and it would be much appreciated if this could share with general practice colleagues in your area. 

The email contact for applicant queries is england.icbd@nhs.net.

Smart Medical Devices Survey 

Just a reminder that if you haven’t already done so can you please complete the Smart Medical Devices Survey by 23rd of March 2020.

A smart medical device links outputs from key medical equipment into your clinical system and more information on this can be found on the webpage: Integrated medical devices

If you have already completed the survey thank you for your response.

Assessing the Impact of Stammering

Sent on behalf of Dr Vaughan Parsons (PhD), Research Manager and Research Fellow, St Thomas' Hospital 

Are you an NHS employee who stammers?

At present there is a gap in our understanding of the impact of stammering within the NHS workforce and of the advice or support needs staff or their managers may require. Researchers in the Occupational Health Service at Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust are conducting a national online survey to assess the impact of stammering in the NHS workforce. NHS employees who stammer are invited to complete the survey via this link.

The online questionnaire will be live until 31st May 2020.

paper version of the questionnaire is available for your information along with an information sheet.

Fuel Poverty - Free Training 

Additional Date - 20th March 2020

Sent on behalf of Angela Eason, Energy Adviser, Act on Energy 

Act on Energy are providing free training for front line practitioners who come into regular contact with vulnerable consumers.  Following the training practitioners will be able to:

  • Identify the causes of fuel poverty and know how this can affect people
  • Spot the signs of fuel poverty
  • Support people in practical ways to save energy and money

Frontline practitioners who would benefit from this training include those from housing and health, neighbourhood teams, Age UK, CAB, those working with Care Leavers, District Council staff, Social/Welfare staff, Age UK, librarians, contractors and others.

The Big Energy Saving Network is an assisted action project made up of local community groups and charities across the United Kingdom. The aim is to provide advice on energy saving in the home, switching energy suppliers, different energy tariffs and available support to help vulnerable households stay warm and lower energy bills.

Act on Energy who are delivering the training on behalf of BESN have been providing energy saving advice and support to vulnerable people in the West Midlands for over 20 years.

If you have any queries or need further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Book here

Salaried GP Advert 

We are looking for a salaried GP to work 4 sessions. We are a 4 Partner dispensing Practice with around 10,450 patients located in a beautiful market town. We need someone to work on Mondays and Fridays each week.

Read more

Primary Care Job Vacancies - Please visit the Primary Care Training Hub

GP Mentoring – The service can be used by any GP who would like to explore ways to develop themselves. This could be personally, professionally or within their career. The aim is to provide mentors to support GPs in fulfilling their potential, whether this is in practice or in other leadership positions. If you’d like a mentor, please email the Workforce Team

GP Support Team –The CCGs and LMC have a well-established GP Support Team in place, whose main focus is to respond to and empower practices to make operational and team changes that directly and indirectly address challenges they are facing in the short to medium term. The GP Support Team can be accessed via the LMC or Sally Everton at the CCGs.