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Welcome to the first of the new weekly updates, where we aim to keep you up to date with any important developments in a short and easy to read format.


Remote Intimate Clinical Assessments. NHSE have now produced a comprehensive guide (Attachment A) on “Key principles for intimate clinical assessments undertaken remotely in response to COVID-19”.

Shielded Patients. The previously published amendments to the guidance/regulations for shielded patients has now been confirmed (Attachment B) which is a relaxation from 6th July and a suspension of Shielding from 1st August, providing no significant worsening of infection rates. One point to note is that new registrations for support from the national shielding service will not be accepted after 17 July 2020.

Risk assessments for at-risk staff groups. As the end of shielding approaches (1st August), you will recall that NHSE published an update on the provision of OH support for the completion of these at risk staff groups. If practices need support with the completion of risk assessments in more complex cases, then the NHSE commissioned service in Derbyshire can be accessed through UHDB.  The full details are here .


GP Registrars. While the amendments to the Performers List Regulations due to coronavirus remain in force, it has been confirmed that this legislation exempts GPRs from the requirement to be included in the Performers List when performing primary medical services (Attachment B).


FIT Testing for PPE. In May we updated you on the guidance about the use of PPE if you need to conduct CPR/chest compressions on a patient in the practice. Dr Duncan Gooch has provided a further update:

‘Sourcing FIT testing for staff in General Practice has proved more challenging than expected. Whilst we remain hopeful for a Derbyshire solution, practices are able to arrange their own testing through private providers. This is a COVID-19 related expense. A source of accredited providers can be found on the HSE recommended site https://www.fit2fit.org

There are several important points to note

  • Approximately 25% of those tested fail
  • Not able to test those with facial hair (must be cleaned shaven)
  • Not able to test those with known loss of taste/smell
  • Caution in testing those with asthma etc due to the solution used’

The Derbyshire Nutrition and Hydration Pack for Care Homes. The nutrition and hydration pack (Attachment C) is a one stop pack for care homes and includes all the information of nutrition and hydration you could possibly hope for! The care home award (Attachment D) is available to all care homes in the north of the county. Further information from Kelly Robinson: kellyrobinson3@nhs.net or 01246 512173

Rotational Health & Social Care Apprenticeship. Joined Up Careers Derbyshire have announced a health and social care apprenticeship and details and applications can be found here .


As we settle into a new post COVID-19 world, the wider support available through GPTF to all elements of general practice is being revitalized. We will be publishing updates of future events and the first one is:

  • Mid-Career Virtual Workshop for GPs. 22nd September 14:00-16:00. Full details here .


RCGP Top Tips. To assist with staying on top of all the Coronavirus developments, RCGP Learning have produced a really useful 7-page summary (Attachment E).  


Christmas. In a break with the tradition of only notifying practices at the last minute, we have managed to confirm that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will be on Thursday 24th and 31st December respectively in 2020. Following the previous 2 years data gathering exercises (and thank you to those practices that responded) we wrote to the CCG in February to try reduce the bureaucracy required if practices wish to consider a revised way of delivering essential services after 13:00 on these 2 days.

The paper (Attachment F) provides all the details and includes a pro-forma that practices or PCNs are actively encouraged to complete and return to the CCG at the earliest opportunity. N.B. For GMS and PMS practices you are informing the CCG of your contractual right to subcontract the delivery of essential services (not asking for permission) and an early submission will allow the CCG to be assured that everything is in place. While DHU (OOH and NHS111) have been informed of this initiative, individual practices will need to ensure they have agreement if they wish to sub-contract DHU. This approach has worked for a number of years in Leicestershire so can I be first to wish you season’s greetings.


Trump Cardiomyopathy: A New Form of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. A great opportunity for some amusing CPD (attachment F).

I was reflecting this morning (as I got ready for my final day at work before 2 weeks leave) that there must be a lot of amazing people in general practice who have been working far harder than me since this all started in March. I am really feeling in need of a break and I’m sure many of you are also tired. I really hope you are all able to take some time out over the summer to recharge (and switch off the work e-mails).

Despite being tired, I was also reflecting how there are invariably good things to focus on (e.g. my large deerhound lurcher taking one look at the rain this morning when I opened the door to let him out and turning round and going back to his bed, which made me smile) but I then switched on the news. Is it just me or are we always being fed only the bad news? The huge package that the Chancellor announced yesterday (including eat out to help out) was just being criticised as it didn’t help out certain industries. The glass is always reported as being half empty and never half full. This unrelenting negative reporting cannot be good for our mental health and I’d encourage us all to try and focus on the positives. On this theme, I also firmly believe that the vast majority of people don’t get out of bed in the morning with the intention of going to work to do a bad job or make someone else’s day miserable – they too have their personal and professional stresses, pressures and other things going on.

You often get inspiration from the most unexpected places and I was listening to Pop master on Radio 2 this morning while working through some e-mails. A contestant who had just scored a maximum 39 points (amazing) was then asked if he wanted any “shout outs” (it’s what the young people say apparently) and instead of the usual “hello to everyone who knows me” he simply said “Let’s be kind to one another and take a rain check on all the divisiveness in the world”. Well said!

And since we’ve given you an update on Christmas is it just me that thinks it’s really funny that one of the weather reporters on East Midlands Today is called Sara Blizzard…..I hope that’s not an omen for my holiday in North Wales and see you all in a couple of weeks.   

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