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Member Practice Update

18 April 2018

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:

Find out about local and national events and training here.

  • No Redditch and Bromsgrove specific news
  • No South Worcestershire specific news
  • No Wyre Forest specific news

IT access controls

Following a number of incidents of unauthorised access to IT Systems at GP Practices, can staff please be aware of the following guidance in relation to access controls to PC’s, laptops, clinical systems etc.

All staff should be made aware of the security requirements and procedures for protecting unattended equipment, as well as their responsibilities for implementing such protection. Staff should be advised to:

  • Do not leave PC's/laptops with access open when unattended. Secure from unauthorised use by a key lock or an equivalent control, e.g. password access, when not in use
  • Ensure inactive sessions should shut down after a defined period of inactivity. Recommend after five minutes of inactivity for network access
  • Ensure termination of active sessions when finished, unless they can be secured by an appropriate locking mechanism, e.g. a password protected screen saver
  • Do not share passwords/smartcards
  • Do not allow other users to access systems using your login details, including smart card access. All staff should use their own user ID and password
  • Clinic rooms, when not in use/unoccupied should be locked. Confidential and private information, including prescriptions are held securely.

Further, a member of staff, ideally the Practice Manager should undertake spot checks to ensure PC's and laptops are locked when unattended.

As part of the check ensure where a smartcard is being used that the user is the owner of that smartcard.

View best practice in relation to access controls and password management here.

For further advise, please contact Shaun Grayson, Local Security Management Specialist, shaun.grayson1@nhs.net

Pathology user survey

The pathology user survey is now open and can be accessed here.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide your feedback on the service.

Diabetes Prevention Week

As highlighted in last week's update, Diabetes Prevention Week is taking place this week (16-22 April).

To support the week, NHS England has produced the below documents.

If you're practice has planned any events for the week, let us know by emailing worcs.comms@nhs.net

More information about the programme can be found at https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/

Prescribing Top Tip

Changes to Descriptors for Thickened Fluids

Descriptors for thickened drinks are changing from three stages to four levels in line with the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) .This is in order to provide internationally standardised terminology for thickened fluids and will be extended by April 2019 to include “altered texture” foods.

Equivalencies to the current UK stages are given in the table below:

UK Descriptor

IDDS Descriptor

No equivalent

Level 1 (slightly thick)

Stage 1 (syrup)

Level 2 (mildly thick)

Stage 2 (custard)

Level 3 (moderately thick)

Stage 3 (pudding)

Level 4 (extremely thick)

Further information can be found in the British Dietetic Association/Royal College of Speech & Language Therapist FAQ document below:


The Area Prescribing Committee Thickener Prescribing Guide will be updated to reflect the new descriptors.

Thickener tins are in the process of being relabelled to incorporate the new IDDSI descriptors but the manufacturers will not be providing dual labelling during a transition phase; whilst the changeover is in process over the next few weeks patients/carers will therefore eventually receive supplies of tins that will be solely labelled with the new IDDSI descriptors.

Speech & Language Therapists (SLTs) across the Worcestershire health economy will help to manage the changeover by providing training and education, together with the thickener manufacturers.

It is thought that stocks of the preferred product Resource Thicken Up Clear® will be available with the new IDDSI labelling from May onwards.

The Acute Trust at this time has stocks of Nutilis Clear® thickener tins with the new IDDSI labelling. Acute Trust SLTs are therefore providing an explanatory leaflet for patients discharged on this thickener to explain the change and mitigate the risk of their receiving subsequent supplies of tins from pharmacies labelled with the UK descriptors and doses.

Practices are advised to:

  1. Follow SLT recommendations with regard to thickener choice & the new descriptors.
  2. Not initiate thickener switches for individual patients during this changeover without SLT input/recommendation/retraining. Patients in nursing/residential homes will continue to be rationalised to one thickener with SLT oversight, moving forward. 
  3. Liaise with local pharmacies with respect to availability of IDDSI compliant tins to ensure the changeover is managed safely.
  4. Repeat prescriptions for thickeners labelled with the UK descriptors should be amended to the equivalent IDDSI descriptors once the new tins are available. This is particularly pertinent for community patients no longer on the SLT caseload
  5. Note that a re-referral to SLT will not be needed in order to move to the appropriate IDDSI level.

If you have any suggestions for inclusion in the 'Top Tips' then please send them to akingham@nhs.net

Older Adult Mental Health Service Redesign

Sent on behalf of Emma Webber, Community Services Manager, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

The redesigned Older Adult Mental Health Service went live on 3 April 2018. Many of you will be aware of the changes to the service through our attendance at your GP meetings.

Important information for you:

  • We are continuing to be called an Older Adult CMHT and we will still have locality psychiatrists.
  • Referrals need to be sent through to the existing SPA for Adult Mental Health. The referral form has been updated (see below) after consultation with your GP leads.
  • We will have 3 pathways:
  • Mental Health Needs Pathway (functional)
  • Complex Dementia Care (dementia)
  • Dementia Assessment Support Team (diagnostic pathway including the former EIDS team)
  • These pathways will continue to consist of nurses, OTs, SWs, support workers and psychiatrists.
  • We will review the impact of service redesign and keep you updated through the CCG locality meetings.

Access the updated single point of access referral form here.

Many thanks for your continued support and we look forward to working with you within our new model.

21 March IQSP/PCE Study Event

We’d like to thank everyone who attended the event on 21 March and a special thanks to our secondary care colleagues who gave up their time to present and take part in the series of  breakout sessions during the afternoon.

The link to each of the presentations can be found on the IQSP page – please note we are in the process of synchronising the recorded voice over to each presentation, which captures audience questions and broader discussions. We’ll post these on the portal once they’ve been completed.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) training

The first-ever Royal College of GPs online training course for the diagnosis and treatment of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) has been developed.

It takes 30 minutes to complete, is free to register and 0.5 Continuing Professional Developments points will be awarded on successful completion.

Click here to access the course.

Whilst it is usually diagnosed in secondary care, the Royal College states that GPs need to be aware of APS in order to make appropriate referrals in those who meet the clinical diagnostic criteria.

The charity, APS Support UK, has a list of APS consultants throughout the UK: www.aps-support.org.uk

Joint Examination and Injection Masterclass

You're invited to attend the Joint Examination and Injection Masterclass, on one of the below dates:

  • Thursday 21 June, 9.30am - 3.30pm
  • Thursday 27 September, 9.30am - 3.30pm

Both are taking place at Worcester Warriors, Hindlip Suite, Sixways Stadium, Worcester

Admission is free but places are limited.

More information is available here.

To book a place, please contact Deb Gregory on 07710 094024 or by email deb.gregory@spirehealthcare.com