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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22nd March 2021

GP Weekly Update (Last update: 19.03.21)

Download this week's GP Weekly Update here which features the following: 

  • Reminder to Place an Order of Lateral Flow Devices
  • Routine Immunisations and Vaccinations
  • Updates to QOF
  • National Workforce Reporting System
  • GP Websites and Online Presence
  • Partnership Payment Scheme
  • Reviewing Coding of Down’s Syndrome Patients
  • DNACPR and People with a Learning Disability and/or Autism
  • New Online DS1500 form – End of Life Benefits

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Reminder to Place an Order of Lateral Flow Devices

NHSE&I have issued a reminder that you should place your order for lateral flow devices (LFDs) on the PCSE online portal by Sunday 21 March to receive a delivery as soon as possible in the following weeks. This order is to re-supply primary care staff with a new box of 25 tests, which will enable them to test for another 12 weeks.

More information on how to order tests can be found on the PCSE website, and QCS customers can find out more about lateral flow testing and reporting in our COVID-19 Testing Policy and Procedure.

Routine Immunisations and Vaccinations

From 1 April there will be changes to the provision of routine vaccination and

immunisation in general practice, including:

  • Immunisations and vaccinations will become an essential service for all routine NHS-funded vaccinations except for:
    1. Childhood and adult seasonal influenza, which will continue as enhanced services
    2. COVID-19 vaccination
  • Five core contractual standards will be introduced as follows:
  1. A named lead for the vaccination service.
  2. Provision of sufficient convenient appointments.
  3. Standards for call/recall programmes and opportunistic vaccination offers.
  4. Participation in national agreed catch-up campaigns.
  5. Standards for record keeping and reporting.
  • A single item of service (IOS) fee will be fully funded through the GMS contract
  • The Childhood Immunisation Target DES will be retired on 31 March 2021 and a new vaccination and immunisation domain in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) will be introduced for 2021/22

Updates to QOF

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) will be reinstated from 1 April 2021, with very limited changes to QOF for 2021/22 to provide Practice stability and support recovery. An updated version of the 2021/22 QOF guidance has been published.

National Workforce Reporting System

NHS Digital plans to improve the National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS) in the coming months with a new system that will be easier to use. You can book to attend a webinar to learn more about the improved NWRS.

NHS Digital will extract the latest general practice and PCN workforce data from NWRS on Wednesday 31 March, covering changes between 1 January and 31 March. It is a contractual requirement so Practices and PCNs must review staff records and make any updates, including recording GP locums (in Practices) or new ARRS staff (in PCNs), before then.

GP Websites and Online Presence

Due to increased joint working in Practice networks, including the COVID-19 vaccination programme, it is useful for patients to know which network their GP Practice is part of. Therefore, Practices should include information on their websites and other patient-facing communications, such as social media, about which Primary Care Network (PCN) they are part of, and the details of the Practices that make up the PCN. New guidance to help you make the most of your website will be published by NHSE&I soon.

Partnership Payment Scheme

From 1 March 2021 Physician Associates are now included in the list of health care professionals eligible to apply to the New to Partnership Payment scheme, which offers up to £3,000 as a training fund to support healthcare professionals to make the transition into a partnership role, coupled with a financial payment of up to £20,000. Applications can be made via the Primary Care Workforce portal.

Talks are still ongoing about Practice Managers being included in this.

Reviewing Coding of Down’s Syndrome Patients

There have been some anomalies around the coding of Down’s Syndrome. This error occurred when a woman carrying a fetus with Down’s Syndrome had been incorrectly coded as having Down’s Syndrome in her own record instead of a code that relates to the fetus she is carrying.

Practices should check that Down’s Syndrome has been correctly coded by carrying out a search and reviewing all patients with this code. Advice on the clinical coding of Down’s Syndrome can be found on the NHS Digital website.

DNACPR and People with a Learning Disability and/or Autism

The key principle of applying Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) is that each person is an individual whose needs and preferences must be taken into account individually.

The NHS is clear that people must not have a DNACPR on their record just because they have a learning disability, autism, or both. This is unacceptable. The terms “learning disability” and “Down’s Syndrome” should never be a reason for issuing a DNACPR order or be used to describe the underlying or only cause of death. Learning disabilities are not fatal conditions.

New Online DS1500 form – End of Life Benefits

The DS1500 form is now available online by signing-in to the NHS Spine portal, using an NHS Smartcard to access the form, and download a copy for your patients’ records. If you experience issues accessing the DS1500 link, ask your NHS IT provider to add it as a ‘Trusted site’. For more information, contact the DS1500 team on dwp.digitalds1500@dwp.gov.uk

*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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