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LMC Christmas email update

Date sent: Thursday 25 December 2014

Email sent by Wessex LMCs, on Thursday 25th Dec 2014

By the time you read this, hopefully you will have had a great Christmas with your family and friends and as is traditional around this time, you are   looking forward to the New Year in a spirit of hope and optimism. (well you can always dream!)

Before you think I have gone completely mad, I am all to aware of the great difficulties we have been facing generally over the last few years and specifically over the last few months, but we are moving from a time where there appeared to be no end to the downward spiral and definately no solutions to a number of options becoming available.

The issue for many GPs are the options available do not seem  include more funding for providing the same service as GPs provide now.

Our choice is do we lead or do we wait for something to be imposed?

Solutions will not be imposed on us we need to develop them and work with the CCGs to ensure we attract the new funding that is becoming available.


1. Things will get better, not quickly, but they will improve

2. Changes to the LMC

3. Personal Independence Payments

4. Payment of the NHS Pension Scheme contribution

5. Sessional GPs monthly e-newsletter

6. Mental Health and Children

7.  CQC Mythbusters

1. Things will get better, not quickly, but they will improve

The NHS is experiencing an expected increase in workload that occurs around this time of year.

The media coverage is usually all about hospitals and Accident and Emergency Departments. This year for the first time there are stories in the national media that have covered the pressure that is being experience by general practice.

It was interesting to see the queues forming at 7am at a surgery in Surrey reported in the Daily Mail with pictures, but with little of the sympathy that busy A/E Departments receive.

Over the last year the LMC has been successful in getting a number of articles and letters published in the local media and we are developing a more concerted campaign for the New Year to promote many of the positive aspects of local general practice.

Did your practice or locality receive any winter pressures money?

If not, you need to think about next winter and work together to develop a bid that is ready before the end of the summer.

We will ask the CCGs for their evaluation of what has worked this year, and share this information.


Although I remain optimistic about our medium and long-term future no one can be in any doubt of the real challenges we face now.

In the short term, the media and the Government recognise the pressure that we are facing.


Below is a paragraph take from NHS England’s NHS Plan.

“The foundation of NHS care will remain list-based primary care. Given the pressures they are under, we need a ‘new deal’ for GPs.

Over the next five years the NHS will invest more in primary care, while stabilising core funding for general practice nationally over the next two years. GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups will have the option of more control over the wider NHS budget, enabling a shift in investment from acute to primary and community services. The number of GPs in training needs to be increased as fast as possible, with new options to encourage retention.”

This needs to be considered alongside the submission to the Doctor and Dentists Pay Review Body (DDRB) from the Department of Health


The conclusion in the section relating to general practice states:

“5.20 The Government recognises the key role General Medical Practitioners play in understanding, and planning for, the needs of their local populations. With the NHS facing unprecedented financial pressures against a backdrop of increasing demand general practice will be central in managing those pressures.

5.30 However the Government needs to secure financial stability across the NHS. Budget 2013 announced public sector pay awards for 2015/6 of up to 1%. This follows two years of public sector pay freeze. Therefore the Government would expect the recommendation for General Medical Practitioners will be taken in this context.”

Click here for the DDRB report

Figures published by the RCGP stated that the % of the NHS budget spent on general practice fell from 10.3% in 2005 to 8.4% in 2013.

So what does all this mean to you and I?


The Chancellor’s Autumn statement announced an additional £2bn for the NHS with £1.2bn for primary care – so does that mean we will all be ok?

Because they recognised the pressure we face, they value us, they acknowledge we have been underfunded but unlike us,  in other sectors such as A/E they have repeatedly been given extra resource to deliver the core service!

In the last few days NHS England has published their planning guidance for 2015/6.  This states:


“Delivering a better deal for Primary Care"

Primary care is essential to the new population-based model of health care models described in the Forward View – insert link but general practice is under a great deal of pressure. … Those CCGs that take on co-commissioning responsibilities will have greater freedom to take local action. In addition to the actions and investments in this plan, an extra £100m has been available to improve access to general practice through the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.

A core component of this plan is an additional £1bn over four years, to improve premises and infrastructure.”

“In deploying additional funding NHS England is seeking to:

Create momentum in the implementation of the Forward View   by providing a £200m investment fund to promote transformation in local health economies, with a particular focus on investment in new models of care;

Deliver on the promise of a new deal for primary care, ensuring the overall total level of funding growth  for primary care is in line with that provided for other local service.

To me this all means that additional funding will be made available for general practice and primary care (defined as general practice and community services) but this will be targeted at transformation and a move to new models of care.

If you read my emails (and if you don't you should!!) I have been talking about the agenda of personalised population based care. This means we must retain all the strength of the registered list and where appropriate maintain continuity of care.

The working at scale means practices working together and developing new structures to deliver out of hospital care to a larger population.

One of the new models described – Multi specialty Community Provider (MCP).  This would allow groups of GPs to combine with nurses, other community health services, hospital specialist, and perhaps mental health and social care to create an integrated out-of-hospital organisation.

This model, if adequately resources should ensure that many of the strengths of general practice can be retained and would attract new resources.

What is clear 2015 is going to prove to be an interesting year with significant change.


The LMC will be working hard on your behalf to ensure that the many problems we face are addressed and general practice gets the opportunities it deserves.


The LMC aims to lead, inform, communicate and support GPs, Practices and the profession of general practice.


Remember to get the next generation of GPs to join us and to look after us and our families when we retire we need to make general practice a better place to work.


2. Changes to the LMC

New Post of Deputy Chief Executive

I am please to announce that Dr Gareth Bryant, who is one of the LMC’s Medical Directors AND will from the 1st January 2015 become the  Deputy Chief Executive of Wessex LMCs.

Gareth is a GP in Wiltshire and was for many years the Chairman of Wiltshire LMC.

Gareth is an expert in many areas and has lead on many issues for the LMC including PMS reviews and is the LMC's Treasurer.


New Post of Assistant Director of Primary Care

The workload in the LMC has increased significantly over the last couple of years and this reflects the demands that you all face in your practices. The GPs and Practices of Bath and NE Somerset joined Wessex LMCs in April 2014.The additional funding this has created has allowed us to expand our team and I am pleased to announce that Michelle Lombardi joined our team on 1st November 2014.

Michelle has been a Practice Manager and also worked for a PCT, CCG and Area Team therefore her considerable experience will strengthens our team.


3. Personal Independence Payments

From 26 January 2015 DWP will extend the areas in which existing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants will start to be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).


From 26 January DWP will further extend the rollout of PIP natural reassessment to some DLA claimants living in the postcode areas beginning G (Glasgow), NE (Newcastle), WA (Warrington), WN (Wigan), DH (Durham), SR (Sunderland) and IV (Inverness) where:

The DWP had said it would take a controlled approach to the introduction of PIP, including the reassessment of existing DLA claimants. In the areas chosen to extend the natural reassessment rollout, the DWP reports the assessment provider has sufficient local capacity to handle the increased volumes.

The DWP will continue to monitor progress before making any decisions on extending natural reassessment further.

Existing DLA claimants who have a lifetime or indefinite DLA award will not be affected until at least October 2015, unless DWP receive information about a change in their condition that would affect their rate of payment or if they reach the age of 16.


4. Payment of NHS Pension Scheme contribution

Employers who do not pay NHS Pension contributions on time, may be charged interest at a rate of 4.7% pa and an administration charge of £75.00.

Please see the employer newsletter for further details and a recommended processing schedule for the remainder of 2014/15.

If you have any enquiries please email in the first instance.



5. Sessional GPs monthly e-newsletter

The second monthly e-newsletter for sessional GPs was sent out last Thursday. It focuses on the recent BMA Conference for sessional GPs, initial findings from our survey on sessional GP experiences of appraisal and revalidation and working as a GP appraiser.

You can view this newsletter on the BMA website.

This is worth looking at – the article on appraisals and revalidation is written by our own Dr Fliss Shaw who in her past life was a Medical Director at Wessex LMCs.


6. Mental Health and Children

Many GPs complain to the LMC about the state of Children's Mental Health Services

Dr Chris Jacobs, GP registrar (ST2) in Taunton is asking GPs for 10 min of your time to fill in a survey - There is evidence that there is an unmet need for mental health interventions for children of a primary school age. Children are generally unable to seek help for themselves and as such are dependent on adults recognising their difficulties and seeking help for them.

There are currently no published studies in the United Kingdom evaluating GPs’ ability to detect mental health problems in primary school age children.  I am investigating GPs' perceptions of children's mental health problems, in collaboration with Dr Maria Loades, Clinical Psychologist from the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. Please read the attached PDF detailing the study, which also provides the researchers’ contact details should you wish to seek any further clarification. We really appreciate a few minutes of your time spent filling in this questionnaire.

Please follow this link to complete this survey.


7. CQC Mythbusters

I know how you are all great supporters of all that CQC do,  but there is a recently published section of their website that I think is helpful - 
Mythbusters and tips for GPs and out-of-hours services.

This covers a number of commonly asked questions including:

GP Mythbuster 1: Agreed principles for defibrillators, oxygen and oximeters

GP Mythbuster 2: Who should have a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check

GP Mythbuster 3: Significant Event Analysis (SEA)

GP Mythbuster 4:Clinical audits

GP Mythbuster 5: Carpets in GP practices

GP Mythbuster 6: Guidance about curtains

GP Mythbuster 7: Hand washing signs

GP Mythbuster 8: Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines

GP Mythbuster 9: Emergency drugs for GP practices

GP Mythbuster 10: GPs and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

GP Mythbuster 11: Prescriptions in dispensing practices

GP Mythbuster 12: Accessing medical records during inspections of GP practices

GP Mythbuster 13: Who can diagnose death?

GP Mythbuster 14: How to show outstanding practice in minor surgery

GP Mythbuster 15: Chaperones

GP Mythbuster 16: The Friends and Family Test

GP Mythbuster 17: Vaccine storage and fridges in GP practices

GP Mythbuster 18: Registration and partnerships

GP Mythbuster 19: Patient Group Directions (PGDs) / Patient Specific Directions (PSDs)

GP Mythbuster 20: Translation and interpretation services

I am in the process of applying to become my Practice's Registered Manager, so found these "Mythbusters" helpful.


May I wish you and your family all the best for the festive season.

Best wishes


Dr Nigel Watson

Chief Executive

Wessex LMCs

Churchill House, 122-124 Hursley Rd

Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh

Hants. SO53 1JB (Registered Office)

Tel: 02380253874

Mobile: 07825173326


Attached file: GP-MH-Literacy-Info-Sheet-V3.pdf

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Updated on 29 December 2014 1981 views