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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26th June 2020

GP Weekly Update (Last update 25.06.20)

Download this week GP update here, it includes the face-covering rule for people with physical and mental health conditions, antibody testing and more!

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Alternatively, you can read the update here: 

In this Bulletin:

  • Face coverings – people with physical or mental health conditions
  • Issues faced by BAME members of staff – blog and survey
  • COVID-19 antibody testing – indemnity arrangements
  • Microsoft Office 365 update
  • Mental health services resume
  • NICE non-COVID-19 guidance to resume

A) Face Coverings for People with Physical or Mental Health Conditions

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. If you have asked patients to wear face coverings before entering the surgery or dispensary, for these patients, other measures should be considered, for example timed appointments or being seen immediately on arrival. No patient should be denied access to care, and for further information on the use of face coverings in primary care please refer to the current guidance.

B) Issues Faced by BAME Members of Staff

NHS England has produced a blog to discuss recent events and share what they are doing to address issues faced by BAME members of staff. There is also a short survey, created by NHSE and NHSI, for anyone who works in primary care (clinical and non-clinical, commissioner, provider and support teams) and belongs to the BAME community to complete, to bring into focus the support and priority areas for BAME primary care workforce and to shape the agenda.

C) COVID-19 Antibody Testing – Indemnity Arrangements

To ensure that the NHS can support the Government’s antibody testing programme, where clinicians are not covered for this activity under their existing indemnity/insurance arrangements, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus (CNSC) will provide clinical negligence indemnity cover. This cover is for primary care staff who take blood samples from any NHS primary care contractor’s staff, including colleagues, or other NHS employees for the purpose of a COVID-19 antibody test.

D) Microsoft Office 365

NHSX and NHS Digital have negotiated a new three-year Microsoft Office 365 licensing deal which will give staff access to robust, modern tools and capabilities including MS Teams and strengthen NHS defences against cyber-attacks. The deal includes individual NHS organisations such as general practice.

F) Mental Health Services

Mental health services are in the process of restoring back to full capacity. Services will be supported to expand in line with new planned NHS Long Term Plan investment and in anticipation of greater demand relating to the pandemic. The GP SOP (latest Version 3.3) states that “patients should be referred as usual to mental health services”.

G) Phased Restart of non-COVID-19 NICE Guidance

NICE has begun to publish non-COVID-19 guidance as the NHS and wider health and care system start to return to normal arrangements.

*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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