Bulletin 21.07.2009

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Bulletin 21.07.2009

Pandemic Flu Update

Liquid Tamiflu/Oseltamivir Solution – This solution must be limited for use in children under 1

There are reports from all across the country that GPs are authorising the use of oseltamivir solution for adults and children who are not able to swallow capsules. This is causing an unprecedented demand for the solution and if GPs continue to use this strategy, we will run out of solution for babies under 1. GPs should be advising the emptying of the appropriate strength capsules onto something palatable and NOT prescribing the solution. PCTs have been provided with templates for labels and these clearly state that the contents of the capsules can be emptied into a sweet, sugary solution.
GANFYD/Doctors Notes – We do not provide ‘Fit Notes’ in relation to swine flu
GPs are getting a number of requests from patients requesting ‘fit notes’ to say they are free from infection and fit for work. Added to this 2 of the major airlines (Virgin and BA) are now requesting GANFYDs to the effect that patients are fit to fly . GPs should refuse to provide these notes – they are worthless, a precious waste of time and detract from GPs real work. The GPC is tackling this nationally (with the airlines). Follow the  link here for a template letter that you may like to provide to your patients to pass on to employers who make a request for a ‘free from swine flu’ note.
Please keep the LMC updated of any problems/issues you are encountering.

Hep C

The LMC have been asked for comments about whether or not practices should be involved in testing for Hep C. Whilst there is no clear answer, I suggest that if a person attends and has a reason to be tested, including an appropriate contact with a Hep C person, then testing would be part of the Essential Services. My advice to the PCT which raised this question, is that screening is not part of Essential Services and would normally only be carried out as part of an Enhanced Service. If you have any questions or queries, please ask for advice.
John Canning,Secretary, Cleveland LMC

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

The GPC has provided the LMC with a number of CD-ROMs regarding Practice Based Commissioning and the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. The Department of Health has provided this CD-ROM, which contains a number of documents about how the IAPT programme works, as well as a business case for those interested in commissioning the service. The disk contains useful information about how to use practice based commissioning to maximise the potential benefit of the IAPT programme and strong evidence of the effectiveness of the service in treating people with long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms, as well as in treating the common mental health conditions of depression and anxiety disorders. The involvement of general practitioners is central to the development of the new services.

The GPC, together with other primary care organisations including the RCGP, signed a consensus statement supporting the drive to improve access to psychological therapies for our patients. This statement reflected the findings of the Joint Scoping Document from the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Psychiatry on psychological therapies. Previously access to such psychological therapies has been limited, and characterised by very long waiting times. In 2007, the Department of Health announced new funding rising to £170m by 2011 to train 3,600 new therapists to provide an improved service.

If you would like to receive a copy of this CD-Rom please contact the LMC office (please note there is not enough for every practice so first come basis!). For further information please visit the IAPT website www.iapt.nhs.uk

Somebody Else’s Child, Everybody’s Responsibility

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) has launched a new campaign which is aimed at health care professionals. The campaign is called Somebody Else’s Child and is concerned with private fostering. This is an arrangement for 28 day or more, which is when children are cared for by someone other than a close relative. By law, parents and carers must notify their local authority before entering into these arrangements. But sadly many don’t.

There are an estimated 10,000 children living in private fostering arrangements in England and Wales, but last year only just over 1,500 notifications made with local authorities. While most of these children will be safe, others may be at risk of abuse and neglect at the hands of their private foster carers. Without social services intervention, this could go on for years.

Although the legal responsibility lies with the parent and the carer, the campaign is urging anyone who works with children to play their part. If you know of a child living with someone who isn’t a direct relative, for 28 days or more then, please don’t ignore it. You should either speak to the child’s carer, if appropriate, or inform your local social services. Keeping children safe is the responsibility of the whole community.

For more information visit the campaign website http://www.privatefostering.org.uk

BMA Employer Advisory Service

The BMA Employer Advisory Service provides practices with free comprehensive, impartial and authoritative advice on a huge range of employer-related matters.

The team of specially trained and experienced advisers is ready and able to deal with queries on issues such as recruiting and employing staff, contracts and terms and conditions of service, appraisals and performance management, disciplinary procedures and dismissals. They are also well versed in current employment legislation, discrimination, the development of appropriate HR policies, and how to implement best practice.

The advisers are not only experts in their field but understand general practice and employer matters relating to doctors:

  • employment law

  • grievance and disciplinary issues

  • managing absence

  • recruitment

  • appraisal

  • discrimination

  • HR policies

  • best HR practice

They also have excellent knowledge of local issues and well-established contacts with local and strategic health authorities and primary care trusts.

For free comprehensive, impartial, authoritative advice you can trust call the BMA Employer Advisory Service on 0300 123 123 3 anytime between 8.30am and 6pm (Monday to Friday, except UK-wide bank holidays) and you’ll be connected directly to one of our expert advisers. Or you can email your query to support@bma.org.uk.

To access the service at least one partner needs to be a BMA member although we would recommend all doctors are members of the BMA.

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