Coronavirus Updates

Latest updates on Coronavirus. As the situation is quickly evolving, it is important to be provided with up-to-date information. We’ll be updating and adding to our information. So keep checking back.

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06th November 2020

GP Weekly Update (Last update: 06.11.20)

Download our GP Weekly Update here. It highlights the latest National Restrictions from 5 November, information on Swab Test available to GP and more!

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Alternatively, read the update here:

In this Bulletin:

  • COVID-19: New National Restrictions from 5 November
  • COVID-19: Supporting People Considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
  • COVID-19: COVID Swab Testing Available to General Practice
  • COVID-19: Supporting Specific Patient groups
  • COVID-19: General Practice Post-COVID-19
  • Flu: Accessing Government-Secured Flu Vaccines
  • Flu: Flu Vaccinations for Carers and People with a Learning Disability
  • Flu: Flu Vaccinations for Muslim Communities
  • CQC: No Change to CQC Fees Scheme

A) New National Restrictions from 5 November

Public Health England has provided the latest guidance on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced, and the financial support available. It includes specific information about protecting people more at risk from coronavirus, including those who are over 60 or clinically vulnerable.

NHS England has confirmed that ‘during the period of tighter restrictions all primary care services (GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies and optometry providers) will remain open to treat patients in line with their standard operating procedures, offering care which is safe, necessary and clinically prioritised.’

B) Supporting People Considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

NHSE and NHSI wrote to Practices this week with an update on guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) individuals and actions for GPs following the introduction of the new national restrictions.

Clinicians are urged to complete the process of reviewing (and, where appropriate) removing children and young people from the Shielded Patient List (SPL) as quickly as possible, and note that two additional groups of people should now be considered as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19:

  • Adults with stage 5 chronic kidney disease
    • If not already done so by the renal units
  • Add a high-risk flag for these CEV Patients
  • Notify them of their status and the advice they should follow
  • Adults with Down’s syndrome
    • Urgently identify, contact, and flag adults with Down’s syndrome
    • You may also want to take the opportunity to ensure they receive a flu vaccine and to schedule an annual health check if these are needed

The Government will be releasing new guidance when it is published (expected by 4 November) for those who are CEV and will be writing to people on the SPL explaining the new advice.

C) COVID Swab Testing Available to General Practice

NHS Test and Trace will be making COVID swab testing available to general practices in England. The service will be available to all Practices on a voluntary, opt-in basis and swabs are intended to be self-administered. Tests will also be available for symptomatic GPs, Practice staff and their symptomatic household members. Further information will be published soon.

D) Supporting Specific Patient Groups

It can sometimes be challenging to manage Patients in specific Patient groups, especially throughout the COVID-19 period, so the RCGP has provided useful information with resources offering advice and support to Patients, carers and healthcare professionals for the following Patient groups:

  • Learning disabilities and autism
  • LGBT health
  • Paediatrics and child health
  • Pregnancy and sexual health
  • Menopause

E) General Practice Post-COVID-19

Although everything is now focused on a second lockdown from 5 November for four weeks, the RCGP published a General practice in the post Covid world report in July about the challenges and opportunities for General Practice. The RCGP said, 'GPs will be at the forefront of helping patients cope with the lingering and difficult legacy left by COVID-19 and must be appropriately supported to care for patients in its aftermath. That’s why we have launched a new campaign calling on Government to support General Practice.' It outlined some key features that they want the government to commit to, including:

  • New ways of working enabled by digital technology
  • Reducing workload by eliminating unnecessary contractual and regulatory compliance activities
  • Developing the public/community health function of General Practice

If you want to see support for GPs to care for Patients in the community, you can sign up to the RCGP's campaign online #RecoverGP

F) Flu – Accessing Government-Secured Flu Vaccines

As you know, the Department of Health and Social Care secured the excess supply of influenza vaccines earlier this year after the pandemic started, with the aim of issuing them later in the flu season to top up local supplies once they run low, to support an expanded vaccination programme. They have now published guidance for NHS providers in England on accessing DHSC centrally-supplied flu vaccines, although guidance for GP Practices was issued separately on 9 October 2020 and highlighted in the GP Weekly Update on 16 October.

G) Flu Vaccinations for Carers and People with a Learning Disability

Resources, including videos and an easy read poster, are available to encourage people with a learning disability to be vaccinated against flu.

H) Flu Vaccinations for Muslim Communities

Operation Vaccination is a campaign by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) to increase awareness in Muslim communities about the importance of getting a flu vaccination this winter.

I) No Change to CQC Fees Scheme

The CQC fees scheme, which covers registration, monitoring and inspection costs, will not change next year. Since the fees scheme will remain the same in 2021/22 as in the last two years, here is the fees scheme, guidance and calculator.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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