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COVID-19 UPDATE BRIEFING DDLMC – 16.06.2020

NATIONAL UPDATES

Face Coverings. We still await the specific NHSE guidance for face coverings in GP practices but we have reports of patients asking for letters from their GP, so they don’t have to wear a face covering on public transport.

The legislation states that: No person may, without reasonable excuse, use a public transport service without wearing a face covering. The only reasonable excuses for medical purposes for not wearing masks are if someone cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering—

  • because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010), or
  • without severe distress;

At no point does the legislation or any other regulation require GPs to provide any confirmation of these conditions and we therefore recommend that practices politely decline such requests.

LOCAL UPDATES

Dedicated Healthcare Professional phone lines for community pharmacies who provide the Palliative Care/EOL service. The Derbyshire LPC have asked us to share:

26 pharmacies in Derbyshire provide the Palliative Care/EOL service where they hold stocks of medicines. We know that GPs, EOL teams, Care Homes and other healthcare professionals often want to contact the pharmacies to either:

  • Confirm the pharmacy have stock of a particular medicine
  • Let the pharmacist know an EPS prescription has been sent for EOL medicines

To facilitate this, the pharmacies have been provided with a dedicated mobile phone for this purpose. Please note these numbers are only to be used by healthcare professionals and not shared with members of the public. The phones will be answered during the opening hours of the pharmacies (it is not an out-of-hours service).

Please find attached details of the numbers. Dedicated phones are in place in 14 of the 26 pharmacies now and another batch will follow. I have included the ‘regular’ phone number for all 26 pharmacies (Attachment 1) and will send an update once the second batch of dedicated numbers are in place

We hope that healthcare professionals will find this useful. Please send any feedback to jackie.buxton@derbyshirelpc.org

Change to LFT Requesting. To all UHDB facing GPs and biochem requesters (no changes to CRH facing requesters):

  • ​​GammaGT has a limited clinical utility and from June 22nd 2020 it will no longer be automatically included in the LFT profile
  • However, when ALP is elevated it will be automatically added in the laboratory to help you know whether the ALP is of liver or bony origin
  • Isolated raised gammaGT is of no clinical significance and does not require referral at any level
  • If you think that your patient is drinking XS alcohol, then ask them! (and look for a raised MCV)

As usual, any questions, please don't hesitate to contact one of us: Penny Blackwell ( penelopeblackwell@nhs.net ) Helen Seddon ( helen.seddon1@nhs.net ) Julia Forsyth ( julia.forsyth1@nhs.net )

Pulse Oximetry and Remote Monitoring. NHSE/I have provided pulse oximeters to some care homes for remote monitoring and have now produced associated guidance (Attachment 2 and 3). In Derbyshire this guidance can also be implemented via the Remote Vital Signs Service.

Temporary changes to immunisation training for nurses. In order to maintain competencies and meet immunisation training and PGD requirements, NHSE/I have introduced temporary measures for training. (Attachment 4). These are extant until training recommences or further guidance is issued. Any queries to: ENGLAND.SCRIMMS@nhs.net

OTHER UPDATES

NHS staff convalescent plasma donation. NHS staff who have recovered from COVID-19 are being prioritised for convalescent plasma donation. Convalescent plasma is the antibody-rich plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19, which can be transfused into people who are still ill. If you are interested call 0300 123 23 23 or contact www.nhsbt.nhs.uk. 

NHS People App. NHSE have developed an NHS People App and are looking for NHS staff to download and comment on it. Take a look at the attached slides (Attachment 5) or watch this short animation . You can download from your app store – Google Play or Apple . The NHS People App is GDPR compliant. Find out more about how your data is processed here.

PUBLIC MESSAGES

Learning Disability Week 15-21 June. If you want to get involved with this worthy initiative NHS Ability have published further details (Attachments 6 and 7)

AND FINALLY…

I’m not sure I can really find anything to say. The abhorrent murder of George Floyd, the need to encase the statue of Winston Churchill, people queuing for 4 hours to go into IKEA and the blatant disregard for social distancing in order to buy a pair of Nike trainers means I’m not sure I’ve got anything witty or thought provoking to add.

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