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DAILY COVID-19 BRIEFING DDLMC 26.3.2020

KEY MESSAGES FOR TODAY

JOINT DDLMC/ GPA / GPTF / DCHS COVID RESPONSE TEAM

The team are working hard on a coherent plan for adequate PPE across general practice and the wider health and social care system in Derbyshire. This is the absolute highest priority as we move towards the expected peak in cases over the next few weeks.

Staff Wellbeing. The long-term wellbeing of everyone in general practice is paramount and the Team have delivered a range of resources which are in the attached update. Most notably we have signed up for 2 support packages:

  • Employee Assistance Programme called “Well Online”.

This offers 24/7 helpline support to staff and family members over 16. All Well Online staff are clinically trained and there is a raft of other support available such as carer support, debt and finance counselling, legal advice (similar to Citizens Advice Bureau) and one to one telephone counselling for up to 6 sessions. Please cascade this to all your staff.

  • “Thrive” Mental Wellbeing is a clinically effective app for the prevention, screening and management of anxiety, depression and stress. This is free to access for all staff and the full details are attached using NHSDERBYS20 to access.

NATIONAL UPDATES

  • National Daily PM briefings. There was little new to add except they are hoping to roll out the testing (using the 3.5m kits they announced on Tuesday) “in a few days”. At the time of the conference 405,000 people had volunteered for the NHS Volunteers Scheme (over 500,000 is the latest reported figure).
  • PPE. The BMA/GPC issued a statement yesterday as this (along with HCW testing) is the highest priority at the moment.
  • Death Certification and Crematorium Forms. There are no fundamental changes to death certification from a GP perspective. If GP feels able to issue certificate, then they can do so. If COVID-19 is suspected to be cause of death, then GP cannot issue and must notify the coroner. If underlying health issue is cause of death but COVID-19 is suspected this is a notifiable condition so you can issue but must inform PHE. The Coronavirus Act 2020 does remove the need for a second confirmatory cremation certificate which will reduce the workload on GPs.

OTHER UPDATES

  • Financial Support. Practices are urged to keep records of any additional expenditure as a result of Coronavirus. The CCG are working with NHSE to develop an agile process, including the provision of emergency funding if practices are having serious cash flow problems. To reassure practices the Coronavirus Act 2020 (which gained Royal Assent yesterday) contains the following provision 86 “There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament (c) any other expenditure which is incurred by a Minister of the Crown, government department or other public authority in connection with the making of payments, or the giving of financial assistance to a person (whether directly or indirectly), as a result of coronavirus or coronavirus disease”.
  • GP Support and Training. There have been a number of initiatives to help GPs locally and nationally:
    • GPTF Buddying Scheme. A scheme for more senior (possibly returning retirees) to mentor more junior GPs has been launched and details are attached.
    • Top Tips. NB Medical have a free webinar available covering telephone triage skills, safe remote consultation remotely and how to safety net well.
    • Roth 8 Second Test Score. There is a useful YouTube video on The Roth 8 second test for dyspnoea.
  • Pharmacy Updates. There have been updated guidance on both NOACs and the Medicines Order Line and we hope to share these tomorrow. And a plea from the LPC on behalf of community pharmacies that if GPs can phase electronic signing on EPS through the day rather than in large batches this would really help their staff, who are of course also coping with a huge increase in workload. Their one-page update is attached.
  • Immunisations for New-born babies. RCGP have recommended that immunisations, six-week baby checks and Maternity PN check are combined in a single visit to the practice by just mum and baby (after telephone triage of course).
  • Subject Access Requests. We have received queries asking whether practices are still required to respond to SARs from patients. Unfortunately, the simple answer is Yes within the 30 day time limit. However, you have an absolute right to respond telling the data subject that there will be a 2 month extension and you might want to use the following wording. “Dear Data Subject, Thank you for your Subject Access Request (SAR) received by us on [date]. We acknowledge this as a valid SAR. We are responding within the 30 days required under GDPR. Due to the current emergency we are concentrating resources to providing frontline care. We will therefore require more than the usual time needed to prepare the data you request. Article 12(3) allows us to require an additional 2 months to fully comply with your request and therefore we will provide the data you request by no later than [insert date].
  • Medicals (HGV, PSV, Taxi, Firearms). There is pressure being applied to DVLA, Local Councils and the Home Office to either relax their requirements for medical reports or provide automatic extensions (in the same way as DVLA has for MOTs). While acknowledging these are not essential services we would ask that you look at the individual cases and take a view whether the request is to help facilitate to the national COVID-19 effort.

LOCAL ACTIONS/GUIDANCE FOR THE NEXT 24 hours

NHSE Webinar at 5pm today Use this link to connect.

KEY MESSAGES FOR THE PUBLIC

STAY AT HOME!

AND FINALLY

We are trying to keep these comms short so will not repeat or update information where there has been no change. But please be assured that the LMC/GPTF/GP Alliance team are working hard behind the scenes to support you and continue to apply pressure on the system to provide answers to the numerous issues we have already raised.

People are being asked to join in National Clap for Our Carers at 8pm tonight by going to a window/doorstep to show their appreciation for all NHS staff. I’m signing off now before making any inappropriate comments about the name they have chosen for this heartful and noble gesture.

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