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Email sent by Wessex LMCs, on Sunday, 19th Jun 2016

Date sent: Sunday 19 June 2016

Email sent by Wessex LMCs, on Sunday, 19th Jun 2016

I would normally only send you an email update every 3-4 weeks, so I am sorry to fill your inbox with 2 emails in the space of a week. Having sent the email update a few days ago two important issues came to my attention after this was sent and I thought rather than wait I would share this information with you.

One issue relates to some positive news about the management of cancer and the role GPs in Wessex have played in improving the early diagnosis and secondly a wealth of resources that has become available to support practices, produced by the GPC with contributions made by Wessex LMCs, GPs and Practices in our LMC area and the Vanguards locally.

Improved outcomes for cancer - a Wessex view

At a recent national conference related to cancer a paper was presented entitled “Survival Impact due to Early Diagnosis and Treatment for Strategic Clinical Networks (SCN)”.

From this analysis  the authors have identify which SCNs in England have the best stage distribution and which have the best survival by stage for different cancer types. This indicates which areas have better early diagnosis and which provide more optimal treatment.

Wessex was the best strategic clinical network (SCN) for early diagnosis and did particularly well for the early diagnosis of colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

This reflects the hard work that has been undertaken by our cancer SCN and also reflects on the hard work undertaken by every single GP in Wessex.

Well done to one and all.

The LMC has been working closely with the Cancer SCN over the last few years.

The LMC has so far  organised 3 Cancer Conferences, the most recent one in March 2016.  These have been very well attended with over 400 GPs having attended so far.

The focus of these has been on the common cancers that we see as GPs, with a particular emphasis on improving survival by early diagnosis and  better understanding of prevalence, commonly missed symptoms and signs, appropriate investigations, improved screening uptake, better use of the 2 week wait system and gaining a better understanding of specific treatment options.

I would hope in a small way the LMC has played a part in helping to improve the early diagnosis of cancer – and make us the best in the country!! Well we do have the best GPs so it is no great surprise.

I would like to particularly that Richard Roope, a GP in Hampshire and the Clinical Lead for the RCGP and Cancer Research UK, Mr Matt Hayes, Consultant Urologist, Southampton General Hospital and the Clinical Chair for the Wessex Cancer SCN and Michelle Chester GP, ex LMC Committee member and GP Cancer Lead Wessex Senate and Strategic Clinical Network.

Richard, Matt and Michelle have been a great friends and allies to general practice locally, understanding the critical role played by GPs in terms of cancer.  

The focus for cancer is often place at the level of the oncologist and the work that is undertaken once a cancer has been diagnosed but Matt and others not only understand but have put considerable effort into, the equally important stage of discovering these patients early enough in the disease process whereby the outcome can be improved.

For more information:

1. Presentations from the first LMC Cancer Conference - click here

2. An open letter written by the LMC in 2014 related to the proposed naming and shaming of GPs - click here

3. The presentations from the Cancer Conference in 2016 - click here


Measures to control workload

The GPC has been discussing potential models to help manage workload in general practice, including the concept of locality hubs to add capacity to a locality and enable services to de delivered at scale.  These issues are described in GPC’s recent paper ‘Responsive, safe and sustainable: our urgent prescription for general practice’ outlining the urgent actions needed to alleviate the current significant pressures. For access to the document please click here.For practical ways in which practices can manage workload to deliver safe care, the BMA has launched a Quality First Web Portal, please click here.

This provides a single portal, including ‘how to’ guides, with real case examples of positive change. click here for more details.

They cover areas including:

The GPC hope to keep adding to and evolving this resource as per feedback and new examples that we receive from around the country. The original template pack has been updated and also converted to Word, with additional SystmOne, EMIS and Vision web templates ready to be exported into practice systems with ease. This should enable automated letters to push back on inappropriate workload, and should ideally be implemented via coordinated local strategies involving LMCs and CCGs.

In time, this is intended to become a dynamic noticeboard of LMC and practice views and ideas - part of creating a sense of empowerment and resilience for GPs and practices at a local and national level. It would be very helpful if practices and  GPs could share any examples of effective workload management by emailing, so that these can add to the resources available.  Please copy the LMC into these emails -

Some of these initiatives can link into the General Practice Forward View’s ‘releasing time for patients’ programme, which looks at ideas, support and funding to release time for care and to lessen workload.

You can also share your experience via Connecting Doctors (formerly ‘BMA Communities’) and you can join the conversation on twitter via #GPworkload which is the hashtag we will be using to promote this work and engage GPs around the country. Your feedback is valuable, will be listened to and taken on board, so do take the time to send your thoughts in to

I would like to thank Dr Robert Greville-Heygate a GP in Wiltshire who worked with the LMC and the GPC to produce the SystmOne template. You may notice that some of the examples that are detailed within the Quality First Web Portal are development that have occurred in the Vanguards within Wessex for example the "One Team"  developing an integrated community team with general practice.


DWP guidance on providing medical reports 

The DWP has updated the guidance for Healthcare professionals on providing medical reports to DWP and is available online.  Click here for more details.  


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


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Updated on 20 June 2016 1392 views