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Face Mask Exemptions

Date published: Tuesday 12 January 2021

Following recent news coverage regarding supermarkets requiring 'medical exemption' from people not wearing a face covering in their stores, we'd like to remind practices that there is no need under the rules for people to seek proof of exemption from their GP. 

Government guidance on face masks states “you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.” Requests for such letters will only add to the heavy burden of work on practices and our advice is that such requests should be declined. 

The guidance clearly sets out situations when people are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask. If someone has an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a mask they do not need to show proof of exemption. However, some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. In these cases an exemption card or badge can be downloaded from the gov.uk website here

Our earlier advice to practices regarding requiring patients to wear face masks when attending appointments can be found here.  

ICS Consultation - LMC Response

Date published: Thursday 7 January 2021

Humberside LMCs have submitted a response to the consultation on Integrated Care Systems. ICS's will present a significant change to the way the NHS is organised in England, with NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, taking collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS care, and improving the health of the population they serve. 

As the professional voice of general practice in the Humber area we are keen to ensure that general practice is involved in the development of the proposals and the design of the consultation. We are concerned that the timing of the consultation and the proposed models do not address our concerns over what will be a hugely significant change for the delivery of primary care generally and for general practice in particular.

Read the LMC ICS consultation response

Our next steps:

• Receive and review consultation responses.

• Work with YORLMC and seek a meeting with HCV ICS leadership to state our case for primary care representation and set out the role of GPs, CDs and the LMC in this and how we might put this in place

• Attend Humber Partnership PCN development session to form opinions on how the system can work with PCNs.  All CDs are invited also.

• Raise the issue of ICS representation at the LMC meeting on 12th January.  Matt De Hoest has agreed to lead this item from his perspective on the Professional Board

We will keep you informed of developments with this. 

LMC Newsletter December 2020

Date published: Thursday 17 December 2020

The latest edition of our regular monthly newsletter is now available, containing all the latest updates and opportunities for general practice in the Humber area. Included in this month's issue:

  • Call for responses to the Integrated Care Systems consultation
  • Latest news on our support services, including webinars to improve wellbeing
  • Our wellbeing support packs, recently sent to every practice in the Humber region

Download the December 2020 newsletter

COVID Vaccination Programme - Update 11 December

Date published: Friday 11 December 2020

A number of key documents and updates have been published in relation to the COVID 19 vaccination programme over the last couple of days: 

The Standard Operating procedure: COVID-19 local vaccination services deployment in community settings has been published and describes the operating model and design requirements for the safe delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in the community.

View the document: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/standard-operating-procedure-covid-19-local-vaccination-services-deployment-in-community-settings/.

MHRA have issued further important guidance and advice about managing allergic reactions following COVID 19 vaccination with the Pfizer/ BionTech vaccine.  

This updated guidance and advice can be viewed in full at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmation-of-guidance-to-vaccination-centres-on-managing-allergic-reactions-following-covid-19-vaccination-with-the-pfizer-biontech-vaccine

The MHRA have also explicitly advised that a 15 minute observation period needs to be reinstated. NHSE has stated that they are considering the operational consequences of this for vaccination centres.

MHRA Confirmation of Guidance to vaccination centres on managing allergic reactions following COVID-19 vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmation-of-guidance-to-vaccination-centres-on-managing-allergic-reactions-following-covid-19-vaccination-with-the-pfizer-biontech-vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination: Governance, handling, and preparation of vaccines by GP led Local Vaccination Centres (PCN designated sites)

The chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Keith Ridge has written to CCG lead pharmacists and chief officers to set out the principles and expectations necessary to maintain integrity, and therefore safety, quality and effectiveness, of the COVID-19 vaccines. The novel characteristics of the first vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT 162b2) make it essential that very careful attention is given to its receipt, storage, movement / transportation, and preparation.

The letter sets out the legal basis and expectations of The Human Medicines Regulations 2012, Regulation 174 for temporary authorisation of the supply of vaccine products, and what this means for lead GPs, CCG lead pharmacists and other registered healthcare professionals in primary care teams.

It also provides a model NHS COVID-19 Primary Care Vaccine Handling and Management Policy which will support practices and primary care networks to implement good governance. All staff responsible for planning and managing the primary care COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2020/21, and all Pharmacy staff engaged in supporting and delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2020/21 should read the policy. The policy includes sections on legal framework and practice standards, roles and responsibilities, accountability and responsibility for vaccines, associated medicines and their supply chain, handling and management of vaccine and medicines in vaccination sites, staff authorisation to be supplied with and administer COVID-19 Vaccines, storage and transportation of vaccines and other important details.

Governance, handling, and preparation of vaccines by GP led Local Vaccination Centres (PCN designated sites): https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/governance-handling-and-preparation-of-vaccines-by-gp-led-local-vaccination-centres-pcn-designated-sites/

Local pharmacy teams are available to work with vaccination sites and lead GPs in regards to addressing the details of this policy and the LMC would encourage vaccination sites and lead GPs to take up this offer of support.

Supply Inventory List for primary care: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/12/C0914-Appendix-1_Supply-Inventory-List_Details_v2-7-December-2020.pdf

Standard operating procedure for the management of COVID-19 vaccination clinical incidents and enquiries:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/standard-operating-procedure-management-of-covid-19-vaccination-clinical-incidents-and-enquiries/

The NHSE documents can also be found on the NHSE website at https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination-programme/primary-care-guidance/

This continues to be a swiftly developing process; a number of documents are being updated so please follow the links to find the latest version available on respective websites.The LMC will be monitoring this closely and will publish further updates as soon as more information is available. If you have any queries please contact us at humberside.lmcgroup@nhs.net.

COVID Vaccination Programme Update 7 December

Date published: Monday 7 December 2020

Please check our COVID-19 Vaccination Programme page for links to the latest resources.

A letter from Dr Nikita Kanani and Ed Waller of NHSEI outlining the latest position on Wave 1 mobilisation of the Primary Care COVID-19 Vaccination Programme 2020/21 was published on 4 December. 

The Enhanced Service Specification has been re-published (4 December) to include modifications following discussion with MHRA and to ensure patients from non-participating practices can be provided vaccinations. 

The COVID-19 Vaccine Collaboration Agreement has also been updated (4 December).  This is designed to support the delivery of the CVP by setting out the responsibilities and relationships between collaborating practices.

Practices are asked to sign up to the Enhanced Service by 23:59 on Monday 7 December, and will be provided at least 10 days’ notice of the first vaccines becoming available.

NHSEI will be writing to sites identified as part of Wave 1 today (7 December), setting out full details of vaccine supply dates, delivery of other consumables and equipment to the site, and the process for assuring readiness before delivery of vaccines. This will include a delivery of IT equipment necessary to deliver the programme and a fridge for each site. Access to necessary training will be provided and sites will be given full support to mobilise within the timescale. 
Sir Simon Stevens said last week that around 1000 GP group sites had indicated their willingness to take part in the programme. Once the vaccine becomes more widely available these other community sites will be able to start vaccinating.  They will also be given at least 10 days’ notice of this. It is therefore important for practices not involved in the first wave to continue to review the enhanced service specification and indicate to their CCG as soon as possible their decision about involvement in the programme. 

Rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination is a swiftly developing process; the LMC is monitoring this closely and will publish updates as soon as more information is available. 

LMC Newsletter November 2020

Date published: Thursday 26 November 2020

The latest edition of our regular monthly newsletter is now available, containing all the latest updates and opportunities for general practice in the Humber area. Included in this month's issue:

  • Our new monthly 'Hot Topics' item which brings you up to date with the issues the LMC team have been working on to support local practices
  • New Coroners Referral Form for East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull
  • Information on how the LMC is now offering the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Service 

Download the LMC Newsletter November 2020

New Coroners Referral Form for East Riding and Hull

Date published: Tuesday 17 November 2020

The Coroner’s Office in the East Riding and Hull is currently progressing plans to move to a new version of the case management system used.  The transition is due to take place later this month and the Go Live date for the new system is currently set as 24th November.

The new version of the software includes a web based version of the reporting form used when referring a death to the coroner.  The new form will be accessed through the same link as the current form and so there will be no need for doctors to familiarise themselves with an alternative URL.  A link to the form will also be made available on the coroner’s web page.

The new form will look and feel different to the current form, although the information to be completed will not significantly change.  There will be the ability to provide a lot more information on the new form, so the form will look a lot more in depth , however not all questions will be mandatory to complete. Mandatory questions will be highlighted in red.  

Hospital doctors and registrars will use the same form.  Questions will differ depending on the referrer’s role and so one of the first new questions is to confirm your role i.e. GP or Hospital Doctor.  The use of drop down lists, including one for causes of death will hopefully make the form more user friendly and easier to complete.

At the end of the form the doctor will have a clear view of the information provided and the ability to edit any section to make changes.  When submitting the referral a confirmation will be displayed at the top of the screen to confirm it has been successfully submitted along with the option to print or save a copy of the form.  This will replace the confirmation by email.

The Coroner’s office have stated that they appreciate that now is not an ideal time to make changes, however given problems with IT servers that concern the current system they cannot delay the change any longer and hope that this change will not cause any inconvenience at this difficult time for everyone.

The Coroners Officers are contactable on 01482 613009 for support and to discuss referrals. More guidance including screen shots of the new form can be downloaded on this guidance note


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