Bulletin 04.08.2015

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Bulletin 04.08.2015

PGD and PSD, Updated GPC Guidance
The GPC’s guidance on Patient Group Directions (PGD) and Patient Specific Directions (PSD) in General Practice has been updated to clarify the rules surrounding private PGDs.

Focus on Subject Access Requests for Insurance Purposes
The GPC has provided this updated guidance covering Subject Access Requests for Insurance Purposes.

Practice Support Needed for All Practices, GPC Letter to NHS England
Following the health secretary’s announcement of a £10m programme of support for struggling practices last month, Chaand Nagpaul, GPC Chairman, has written to NHS England proposing it funds a national proactive programme to identify and support all practices that are vulnerable or at risk of becoming so. This would be voluntary for practices, and must be done in a non-threatening and non-judgemental way, given that many of these pressures are a result of a reduction in resources, escalating workload, recruitment problems and understaffing. This would be followed by local, targeted support, resourced via a practice-stabilisation fund. Practices would be supported by transitional funding or a local healthcare resilience task force, which could, for example, host a pool of GPs, nurses and managers to work proactively with affected practices to enable stability, as well as being called on at short notice in response to a practice crisis. The GPC have also called for an organisational development fund to resource the development of GP networks to create a locus for peer support, practice collaboration and increased resilience. GPC believe that failure to act now is likely to result in much greater costs to the NHS and risks to the wider health economy, given the impact and domino effect of practice closures, re-tendering and service reduction.

Creating Teams for Tomorrow Report, Primary Care Workforce Commission
The primary care workforce commission, headed by Professor Martin Roland has published a report, Creating Teams for Tomorrow on the primary care workforce. This work was specifically requested by health secretary Jeremy Hunt and vindicates the GPC view that there are ‘unprecedented pressures’ in general practice arising from gross under-investment, escalating workload and poor workforce planning, and in turn, resulting in a significant reduction in the GP numbers as a proportion of NHS doctors, and fewer GPs per head than in 2009. The review speaks of the need for ‘significant additional investment’ and a range of measures to support practices, from using technology, the use of skill-mix, through to collaborative working between practices. The report also challenges political assumptions of recruiting thousands more GPs, even stating that GP workforce numbers are first likely to become worse. The clear message from this report commissioned by the Government is the need to act swiftly and decisively in providing resources to support general practice through tangible measures today, while planning for expansion in the GP workforce tomorrow.

Pharmacists Delivering Flu Vaccinations
It has been announced that from September 2015, adult at-risk patients will be able to access seasonal flu vaccinations in participating community pharmacies. Pharmacy staff will be expected to identify eligible patients and encourage them to be vaccinated. There will be a payment of £7.64 per vaccination administered, with an additional £1.50 payment in recognition of costs incurred such as training, revalidation and disposal of clinical waste. The GPC will request that the fee for this service for GPs is now reviewed given that pharmacists do not have responsibilities for record keeping or call/recall procedures that GPs have. More information about this is available here.

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