Bulletin 04.11.2014

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Bulletin 04.11.2014

Christmas and New Year Opening 2014
As the holiday season fast approaches it is only a matter of time before practices receive a message from NHS England with regard to opening hours. Please note that the Area Team is mandated by NHS England to collect information with regard to practice opening. Practices wishing to close early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve should act in accordance with the BMA guidance which details contractual requirements and suggests actions practices might consider to ensure patient’s reasonable needs are met.

Summary Table of QOF Changes 2015/16 and QOF Business Rules v30.0
This full summary table outlines the agreed QOF changes for 15-16. Additionally, v30.0 of the QOF Business Rules have now been published on the HSCIC website.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
The GPC has issued this guidance covering Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). It should be noted that there is no statutory requirement for the Registrar of Births and Deaths to refer the deaths of those who are subject to DoLs authorisation to the coroner. However, there is a common law duty which applies to everyone, to refer deaths to the coroner where there is reasonable cause to suspect that the person died a violent, unnatural or sudden death, the cause of which is unknown, or where a person has died in prison or policy custody. In the event that a person in their care should die whilst subject to a DoLs authorisation, care homes and hospitals who are managing authorities need to know how to contact the relevant coroner’s office. If in doubt, it is always preferable to report the death. The action taken by the coroner will vary and could include the commissioning of a post-mortem examination or the opening of an inquest (with or without a jury). Equally the coroner could decide that no further action is necessary. Until the coroner has made a decision on whether to undertake a further investigation, a doctor should not issue a medical certificate of cause of death.

Fluenz Tetra Read Code
The Read Code for Fluenx Tetra has now been added to the seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccination programme information.

Patient Online Toolkit and Local Contacts
NHS England’s Patient Online Programme has developed an interactive Support and Resources Guide to help practices get started with records access, identity verification, coercion and proxy process. The aim of the materials is to help practices fulfil the IT requirements of the 14/15 GP contract by March 2015 i.e. online booking of appointments, online ordering of repeat prescriptions and online access to summary information held in patients’ records. The guide includes materials developed by the RCGP. For further information please contact england.patient-online@nhs.net. Please note that the toolkit is work in progress, with updates to the guidance and more resources to be added through 2014/15, therefore, the guidance and suggested actions for practices are subject to change. Locally, Fiona McDonald, who is working as a Digital Clinical Champion, and Kay Renwick, who is the Implementation Lead, are working to offer clinical support with this change. Additionally, throughout the Northern Region there are two other Digital Clinical Champions (Rose Curry and Taz Alawoud), and one other Implementation Lead (Pam Jenkins) working on the programme.  Kay has extended the offer to attend Practice manager or CCG meeting (individual practice meetings are not manageable at this time) to discuss the work further and ensure practices have the required support and information to meet contractual requirements.  If you feel that this support would be helpful in order to implement the programme please email your request via Kay Renwick (Kay.renwick@nhs.net), who will make the necessary arrangements.

Friends and Family Test Materials
NHS England has published a range of materials relating to the Friends and Family Test to assist practices in publicising the scheme. The Friends and Family Test becomes a contractual requirement fir practices from 1 December 2014 and this joint GPC, NHS England and NHS Employers guidance may assist practices with implementation.

Care.data Pathfinder Stage
The CCG areas for the care.data pathfinder have been confirmed (no north east CCGs) to trial, test, evaluate and refine the data collection process, including communications to patients. The care.data Advisory group is inviting participation in their third public discussion on the work they are doing in relation to care.data. The session will examine some of the proposed responses to issues raised by staff, patients and public. The meeting is to be held on 26 November 2014 (6pm – 8pm) in central Manchester and those interested can register here.

Department of Transport Guidance for Healthcare Professionals on Drug Driving
This guidance provides an explanation of the new drug driving offence including the statutory ‘medical defence’ available to patients who have taken their medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and the information contained on the  leaflet accompanying the medicine. It also reiterates existing advice that healthcare professional would normally consider giving to patients about taking medicines that could impair their driving.

Payment of NHS Pension Scheme Contribution
During recent months a number of practices have not met the deadline for payment of pension contributions for their staff in the Scheme. From 1 April 2014, NHS Pension Scheme regulations changed authorising NHS pensions to charge interest at a rate of 4.7% APR and an administration charge of £75 to employers who pay late. An amount is deemed late where contributions do not reach the NHS pensions bank account by the 19th of the month, following the month in which the earnings were paid to the member. In order to inadvertently avoid paying late when using the GPI payment processing method, please note the following:

  • Ensure you submit the payment request with sufficient time for the payment to clear. The GP1 submission initiates a Direct Debit payment from your bank account that requires two to five working days (the excludes weekends and bank holidays). Payments submitted by the recommended processing date and time will ensure payment is received on time.
  • Ensure you press the ‘submit’ button on the GP1 at the bottom of the screen. A small number of employers have missed making a payment because they have printed the input screen when processing the GP1 without finalising the action. A screen message will confirm your payment has been submitted.

To assist employers in ensuring they meet the payment deadline, this GP1 payment processing schedule details the deadline dates for the remaining months of the 2014-15 financial year. If you have any questions please email nhsbsa.pensionsfinance@nhs.net. Further information regarding the introduction of the changes to the Scheme Regulations can be found in the March Employers Newsletter.

Maternity Pay for GP Trainees
The GPC understand there may be some confusion for area teams regarding the payment of maternity leave to GP trainees. To clarify, each new post on a rotation that a GP trainee undertakes does not constitute a break in service and there has been no change in policy to the contrary. Where practices have followed the provisions in the GP trainees framework contract on maternity pay, which are consistent with the Directions to the Health Education England (GP Registrars) 2013 and the NHS Litigation Authority (GP Registrars) 2013, the GP trainee is entitled to receive ordinary maternity pay (OMP) and should be fully reimbursed in accordance with the Directions. Paragraph 15.3(b)(iii) of the SFE 2013 (page 58) confirms that NHS England should reimburse maternity pay if ‘the performer on leave is entitled to that leave under…a contract of employment’.

Doctors in Training Contract Negotiations
Unreasonable demands from the Government have resulted in the year of negotiations on a new contract for doctors in training coming to a halt with no agreement. The BMA entered discussion to fight for positive changes covering a range of complex issues including unsociable hours, leave and business and travel costs. However, one sticking point appears to have been the training supplement. Given the Government’s stated aim of increasing the number of GP trainees it seems at odds that the supplement which was introduced for recruitment and retention purposes and is of vital importance appears to be one of the key sticking points in the negotiations. The DoH has now instructed the DDRB to make recommendations on a number of points. Full details are available here. The BMA has been given a deadline of 31 December 2014 and it is anticipated the DDRB will report in July 2015.

BMA 2015 Research Grants
The 2015 BMA Research Grants are available for application from 9 December 2015. The deadline is 9 March 2015 and applications are invited from medical practitioners and/or research scientists for research in progress or retrospective research. Alerts or further information can be requested via info.sciencegrants@bma.org.uk or 0207 383 6755.

Bulletin 241

CQC Guidance Notes
You may find it helpful to be aware of this CQC Guidance covering accessing medical recordsdispensing practices signing prescriptionsGillick competency and Fraser guidelines, and GPs and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty safeguards may prove helpful in preparing for the new round of CQC inspections.

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