Bulletin 08.09.2015

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Bulletin 08.09.2015

Meningitis B Vaccination Update
As from 1 September 2015 the Men B vaccination has been added to the Childhood Immunisation Programme in England. The programme is for all infants born on or after 1 July 2015, and consists of three doses at 2, 4 and 12 to 13 months, with a catch-up element for children born on or after 1 May 2015, who can be vaccinated up to 2 years on an opportunistic basis. JCVI has recommended three doses of prophylactic paracetamol (2.5ml of infant paracetamol 120mg/5ml suspension) following the vaccinations at 2 and 4 months. 5 ml sachets and dosing syringes are available to order via ImmForm. We are aware that many practices have been asked by parents to provide this vaccine privately to children outside the cohort. Although practices would be able to offer this on private script they would not be able to claim the cost of the vaccine, nor would they be able to charge the patient for providing it (as per Schedule 5 of GMS Regulations 2004 which lists the limited circumstances in which GPs may charge fees for providing treatment to their NHS patients). We would recommend that practices advise their patients requesting this to attend another practice, who are then able to charge for providing the vaccine. Further information about the meningococcal vaccine, including a protocol for healthcare professionals for Men B and paracetamol use is available on the Public Health England website. Full details are included in the service specification and Vaccine Update also has some useful information, including a parent information leaflet.

Overseas Visitors & Registration Requirements
GPC is aware of concerns about the lack of clear advice from NHS England about the obligations of practices with regard to registration and are taking urgent steps to ensure NHS England produces clear and definitive guidance to resolve this uncertainty. GPC have been consulted on guidance which they have insisted should be published as soon as possible. In the interim practices are reminded that people applying for registration cannot be turned down for reasons relating to the applicant’s race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition. Practices should not refuse registration on the grounds that a patient is unable to produce evidence of identity or immigration status or proof of address; there is no contractual duty to seek such evidence. Anyone who is in England is entitled receive NHS primary medical services at a GP practice.

New Insurance & Indemnity Requirements
It’s now a statutory requirement for doctors to have appropriate insurance or professional indemnity covering the full scope of their practice when working in the UK.  Good medical practice already places a professional duty on all doctors to have appropriate insurance or indemnity, but these changes reinforce the importance of having this in place.

These new regulations mean:

  • The GMC can check that any doctor practising in the UK has the appropriate insurance or indemnity in place, when they have concerns that this might not be the case.
  • If the GMC learn that a doctor doesn’t have appropriate insurance or indemnity in place or if they fail to give the GMC the information they ask for, the GMC could remove a doctor’s licence to practise.
  • The GMC can refuse to grant a licence to a doctor if they can’t assure the GMC that they’ll have the appropriate insurance or indemnity in place by the time they start practising in the UK.

It’s important to review your insurance and indemnity regularly, to make sure that it continues to provide sufficient cover for all your medical work. The GMC have published some new guidance on insurance, indemnity and medico-legal support which you may find helpful. It sets out different scenarios and important factors to check when assessing if you are fully covered. If you’re still not sure whether you need insurance or indemnity, or the level of indemnity you need, you should speak to your medical defence organisation or any other professional indemnity or insurance provider. They should be able to give you advice that’s tailored to your circumstances.

Nurse Revalidation
From April 1st 2016, all Nurses and Midwives on the NMC register will be required to Revalidate every 3 years as part of their confirmation as being fit to practice. This includes Practice Nurses and Registered Nurses working in General Practice who will need to ensure they are prepared for this new process, which builds upon their existing requirements to confirm their fitness to practice. Please take a moment to read this letter from NHS E which outlines the requirements and some local implementation support.

NICE Antibiotic Prescribing Guidance
NICE have published new guidance on antimicrobial stewardship. It covers the effective use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), aiming to change prescribing practice to help slow the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and ensure that antimicrobials remain an effective treatment for infection.

GP Intending Trainers Course
Health Education North East are looking to increase the number of GP Trainers with the next course running in February 2016 and FAQ document contain useful information for all interested.

NHS Flu Fighters Free Resources
The Free Resources page on the NHS Employers website contains a number of free resources for the NHS Flu fighter campaign, such as free letters that you can send to staff to encourage them to have the flu vaccine, induction slides for new starters, and a comprehensive communications toolkit that you can use to support your local flu campaign.

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