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Wessex LMCs December update part 2

Date sent: Monday 18 December 2017

Some useful information has been circulated by the GPC over the weekend and I am aware that many GPs do not receive these emails and I do not believe they are sent to practice managers - so for those who have already received this information I apologies and for those who do not I hope this is helpful.


1. GP appointments

2. General Data Protection Regulations

3. Primary care workforce

4. Update on CHP and NHSPS

5. GP Coaching

6. Freedom to speak up in primary care

7. Newsletters


1. GP appointments

NHS England, are concerned about NHS pressures over the Christmas and New Year period.

This has been demonstrated though their advertising campaign launched this week.

Each page on you practice entry on NHS Choices will identify whether weekday evening or weekend appointments are offered, either by the practice or through local arrangements e.g. extended hours DES or through other CCG commissioned services. The message advises patients to contact the practice for more details about the practice services and also local extended hours services.  NHS Enland may want practices to post more detailed information on their website and although you are not obliged to do this, you may find it more helpful that patients read your website rather than phoning your practice for information.


2. General Data Protection Regulations

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force on 25 May 2018, practices, the LMC and the GPC are concerned about the implications for practices of the regulations. Practices should already have data protection policies and procedures in place; under the GPDR they will need to be able to show that they are written down and accessible to staff and that staff are aware these policies are in place.

Practices should already know what personal data they hold, who can access them (and why), with whom the data is shared (and the legal basis for this), and what security measures are in place for storing and sharing; under the GPDR it will be a requirement to have an audit/record to state the above, which can be provided to the ICO upon request (e.g. if there is a complaint from a patient about a breach or non-compliance).

Practices should already have ‘fair processing’ or ‘privacy notices’ displayed in the practice and on the practice website. These notices should explain to patients how their data might be used, when they might be shared and with whom and any rights of objection.

Practices need to be able to demonstrate their compliance with the regulations upon request – at present they just need to be compliant; under GPDR they will need to be able to demonstrate that they have all policies and procedures in place, as well as a record of the above. Essentially if the ICO turns up at a practice, they need to be able to provide them with a document showing all of the above.

Penalties for data breaches, including not being compliant and not being able to demonstrate compliance are much higher under the GDPR, and have lower thresholds (i.e. you can be fined more for a lesser offence).

Practices will no longer be able to charge a fee for patients to access their own information.

Practices which are already compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 will be in a strong position for the introduction of the GDPR. 


3. Primary care workforce

In the Health and Care Workforce Strategy consultation document published by Health Education England last week, it was openly acknowledged that the headcount number of GPs working in general practice has now fallen below 2012 levels. These numbers were confirmed in a report by NHS Digital in September 2017.

This increasing decline in the GP workforce confirms the urgent actions highlighted in the GPC’s publication Saving General Practice. In this document, the GPC have set out the precise steps government must take to establish a long-term workforce strategy that is recurrently funded and promotes genuine expansion of the workforce team that works both in and around practices.

These actions include:

By taking these and the many other steps the GPC outlined in their report will be able to address the unsustainable and unsafe workload pressures faced by many practices and GPs. To read more about the GPC's workforce actions in ‘Saving General practice’ please click here .

click here. To read the HEE consultation, please


4. Update on CHP and NHSPS

The GPC also want to highlight that they are aware that practices may receive a letter (again) demanding payment of outstanding invoices. If you receive this letter and continue to have concerns over the basis and level of the service charges incurred, we would recommend that you respond asking NHSPS to provide some fundamental and indeed reasonable details, namely:

The email we sent to practices has been attached for your information. 

I am sorry if you have already received this but as it is such an important topic and one where we probably receive the most questions.


5. GP Coaching

NHS England are offering fully funded one-to-one tailored coaching for GPs that will offer three 90-minute confidential sessions by highly experienced and qualified coaches to help you think through where you are and where you want to be in today’s changing environment.

This programme is aimed to help you identify goals for the next steps that can give you satisfaction and fulfillment, and support you to make them happen. The individual coaching will look to support you by meeting the following objectives:

Availability is limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis by 31 January 2018.

To register, please click here .

(The official flyer has been attached for your information)


6. Freedom to speak up in primary care

NHS England has published guidance for primary care providers on supporting whistleblowing in the NHS. This guidance is for all providers of NHS primary care services (GP practices, dentists, opticians and community pharmacists). It details the principles and actions to apply in primary care to support the raising of concerns by staff about the delivery of services to patients and the management of matters raised.

One of the priorities of the National Guardian’s Office next year is to assist NHS England as freedom to speak up is rolled-out in primary care. In addition it will also be working with the CQC to develop guidance for inspectors of primary care services on freedom to speak up. Further supporting information is expected to be published by NHS England in the near future.

The LMC's advice is that before practices make any decisions wait for more detailed national guidance.


7. Newsletters

GP Trainee Newsletter

To read the latest GP trainee newsletter, please click here .

Sessional GP Newsletter

To read the latest GP trainee newsletter, please click here .

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: Letter to practices 14 December 2017.docx

Attached file: GP Coaching flier 200118.pdf

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Updated on 18 December 2017 1449 views