April 2022

  • Published On 12th July 2022

Issue 169                                           

Newsletter April 2022

BEST Events – Held @ Shaw Lane Sports Club, Barnsley

For further information the BEST Portal Website can be accessed at http://best.barnsleyccg.nhs.uk/

Medicines Management

Shared care and Amber-G guidelines can be found at the following link: http://best.barnsleyccg.nhs.uk/clinical-support/medicines/shared-care-guidelines/  An overview of Shared Care guidelines, including the Principles of Shared Care is available to read here.

Prescribers (including secondary care clinicians) are encouraged to report any problems they experience with shared care or other medicines related issue, particularly where guidelines are not being complied with, to the following email address: BarnsleyAPCReport@nhs.net.

With secondary care opening up activity and undertaking remote consultations, it has been reported that there has been increased pressure in primary care to undertake things they wouldn’t normally.  Due to this, the APC reporting has been temporarily expanded to capture any issues and these can be fed into the APC.  The hospitals need this information so that issues can be addressed.

Practices can now report any interface issues they have, as much as possible, via Barnsley LMC, which will then be submitted to the hospitals.

A list of Prescribing Guidelines is available to view here.

The Barnsley Area Joint Formulary is available to view here.

Medicines Management monthly Newsletters are available to view here.

Workload Shift

Barnsley LMC would like to remind all practices it is important that we receive examples of any workload shift.  Please provide examples of workload shift to barnsley.lmc@nhs.net in order that these can be taken to the meeting with Secondary Care.

Rebuild General Practice Campaign

The GP campaign, Rebuild General Practice, launched this week with a clear call to action for UK and devolved Governments: rebuild general practice or put patient safety at increasing risk.

On Monday an ‘emergency press conference’ was held. Dr Kieran Sharrock was joined by Dr Brian McGregor, Dr Rachel Ward and Jeremy Hunt MP, raising patient safety concerns and setting out a 3-point plan for a general practice rebuild.

The launch successfully shone a light onto the issues of General Practice, with 40+ pieces of coverage across national and regional publications, 45k profile views on Twitter, and articles in many publications that we seek to change the narrative with. Here’s a snapshot of some of the news:

We are counting on your support.

The Rebuild General Practice campaign was created by GPs for GPs. Your support to amplify these messages will help us to raise the alarm and ultimately secure a better working environment for both GPs and patients.

As campaign reps, your support to spread this message far and wide means everything.

Download and share the campaign material:

You will need a Google sign in to access it. Note: we recommend to download PDFs, rather than ‘Open in Google Docs’


GPDF Latest Newsletter

We are pleased to share the link to the GPDF latest Newsletter https://www.gpdf.org.uk/gpdf-newsletter-communique-march-2022/

In this edition you will find details of…

  • GPDF Strategy and priorities
  • The Review of Representative Structures currently underway
  • The ‘REBUILD GENERAL PRACTICE’ campaign which launched last week
  • The consultation regarding a National Association of LMCs
  • Importance of Nominees (if your LMC does not have a Nominee)

There is also a link in the newsletter to the leaflet ‘What does the GPDF actually do for LMCs and general practice? should you find it useful, if you are ever asked that question.

Contact details of the management team are also shown in the Newsletter.

Living with COVID-19 and an end to free testing

From today (1 April) Free COVID-19 testing for the general public ends as part of the Living with Covid plan. Although COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations have risen in recent weeks, over 55% of those in hospital that have tested positive are not there with COVID-19 as their primary diagnosis.

Current rates in the community in South Yorkshire remain high. Based on ONS data (to 19 March) 5 per cent of the population (1 in 20 people) would test positive for the virus at the moment locally. This is the highest rate we have seen since the Omicron peak in January. However numbers of patients in ITU remains low and stable as do the number of deaths.

Covid infections remain high in schools, with high rates in pupils and staff, although the Easter holidays will provide some respite in household-household transmission, but we need to prepare for an increase in cases again once schools return

Thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and access to antivirals, alongside natural immunity and increased scientific and public understanding about how to manage risk, the population now has much stronger protection against COVID-19 than at any other point in the pandemic. This is enabling the country to begin to manage the virus like other respiratory infections.

Updated guidance will advise people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, to try stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature. Until 1 April individuals should continue to follow the current guidance.

Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result will be advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious

Advice will be provided for individuals who need to leave their home when they have symptoms or have tested positive, including avoiding close contact with people with a weakened immune system, wearing a face-covering and avoiding crowded places.

A letter to NHS leaders has been sent this week, which outlines how the NHS should manage patient and staff testing going forwards.


Nationwide more than 600,000 people will be invited for their COVID jab this week, as the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme spring booster campaign ramps up.

Since rolling out spring boosters last week, more than 470,000 people have come forward for a jab.

The 620,000 being invited next week will bring the total called forward to almost 1.3 million with invites being sent by post, text and email depending on patients’ preferences.

As part of the biggest and most successful vaccination drive in NHS history, around 5.5 million people aged over 75 or immunosuppressed will be eligible for a spring booster over the coming weeks and months.

The NHS is asking people to wait to be invited before trying to book, with the JCVI recommending that eligible people get their vaccine six months after their initial booster for maximum effectiveness.

Vaccinations are also currently offered to healthy 5-11 year olds. However, there an issue with this group receiving the vaccine at the moment as many currently have or have recently had Covid and the vaccine can only be given 12 weeks after someone has had Covid.

Accountable Officer for Sheffield CCG

Lesley Smith, Accountable Officer for Sheffield CCG is this week leaving the CCG to take up her new post as Independent Chair and Chief Scrutineer for Safeguarding in Sheffield.

CCGs must have an Accountable Officer at all times and NHS England have appointed Gavin Boyle as Sheffield’s Interim Accountable Officer from 1 April 2022 until July, when they transition to the new Integrated Care Board (ICB), pending legislation.

Gavin will continue to concentrate on ICB system development, and Sheffield CCG’s Executive Directors will continue to lead Sheffield’s place development and the day-to-day management of the CCG.

Getting the most out of a Fit Note – Guidance for GPs

Guidance for GPs about how to complete each section of the fit note, including the reassessment box, comments section and return-to-work tick boxes.

The guidance is based on research evidence and feedback from doctors, patients and employers. It is designed to help doctors make the best use of the fit note to support their patients, using case studies to illustrate different situations.

This updates previous guidance, covers computer-generated fit notes and has a section with instructions for gaining further support.

You can also use the guidance for Continuing Professional Development and revalidation purposes.  For more information please follow the link below.

Fit note: guidance for GPs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

GP A&E referral letter warns practices ‘can’t get through’ to specialists

An LMC has created a template letter for GPs to send patients to A&E when they are ‘unable to get through’ to a specialist.

Lincolnshire LMC guidance said that it is ‘best practice’ to discuss referrals for hospital admission with an ‘appropriate specialist’, but that this has recently ‘become more difficult’ as there are now ‘multiple pathways’ to admit patients.

GPs trying to contact a specialist can spend ‘hours’ waiting for the switchboard to answer and then ‘further hours’ for a specialist to answer their pager, to then be told to ‘send the patient to A&E’, it added.

It said: ‘What is even more frustrating is that GPs then get criticised for misusing A&E.’

The guidance added that the LMC has developed a form to ‘counteract’ this that ‘highlights why the patient is in A&E rather than an admissions unit’.

The template letter should be used to ‘indicate why you are sending the patient to A&E rather than admitting through another pathway’ so that ‘the patient gets seen by the appropriate specialist as quickly as possible’, it said.

It lists three options for why GPs are sending patients to A&E:

  • The patient has ‘had an accident or is an emergency’, making this the ‘appropriate pathway’;
  • The GP has ‘tried to speak to specialist/admissions unit to refer but was unable to get through’;
  • The GP has spoken to the specialist or admissions unit but was told to send the patient to A&E.

It also includes space for information on patients’ history of the current issue including symptom duration, medical history, medications and allergies.

The form can also be used to send patients to an urgent treatment centre (UTC), it said.

The LMC added: ‘Please continue to try to make the appropriate specialist referral but if you are unable to get hold of a specialist or they advise you to send the patient to A&E, then please use this form so that the patient gets seen by the appropriate specialist as quickly as possible.

LMC Buying Group                                                                                 

Barnsley LMC has been a member of the LMC Buying Groups Federation since 2013. This means that practices can access the discounts the Buying Group has negotiated on a wide range of products and services.  If you’re not sure what the Buying Group is all about then this short video explains what they do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FekMwFI5ILg.

By registering with the Buying Group:  www.lmcbuyinggroups.co.uk/members/, you can view all the suppliers’ pricing, contact details and request quotes. The Buying Group also offers any member practice a free cost analysis which demonstrates how much money your practice could save just by swapping to buying group suppliers.  Tel: 0115 979 6910  Email: info@lmcbuyinggroups.co.uk   Website: www.lmcbuyinggroups.co.uk