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Joint communication to support our local City and Hackney practitioners

Friday 20th August 2021 

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In this bulletin:

  • Information for GPs

  • Service Updates

  • Updates for all Practitioners

Potent synthetic opioids implicated in increase in drug overdoses

In past 2 weeks there has been  an unprecedented number of overdoses (some deaths) in drug users, primarily of heroin, in some parts of country. Testing in 3 cases indicate adulteration with isotonitazene, a potent synthetic opioid. This Alert contains urgent actions for providers:

Action for practices

The NPSA alert has the following actions to be completed no later than 20 August 2021.
All Practices were staff may encounter people who use drugs should ensure those staff are:
  • Made aware of the risk of severe toxicity resulting from adulteration of heroin with potent synthetic opioids such as isotonitazene
  • Made aware the potency and toxicity of isotonitazene is perhaps similar to, or more than, fentanyl, which is about 100x morphine
  • Alert to the symptoms of opioid overdose in known and suspected heroin users
  • communicate risks to heroin users during any contacts
  • ensure people who use heroin and others who might encounter an opioid overdose have naloxone available (Widening the availability of naloxone)
A Press release has been circulated also
For further advice if needed, call the National Poisons Information Service 24-hour telephone service on 0344 892 0111

NEL OC System Procurement Update

A webinar was held for practice leaderships teams to understand more about the upcoming procurement process for OC consultation systems in NEL. You can access the recording here
All Practices are asked to complete this 3 minute survey by 24th August to help the procurement team understand potential demand for different systems and negotiate effectively with OC suppliers.
If you have any questions please contact:
If you’d like to discuss receiving support to improve how your practice uses its OC system, how to better signpost to external services, and how to understand and manage your demand, please contact

GP Patient Transport provided by Oncue – Primary Care locations only

This is a reminder that the Oncue Patient transport service should only be used for patients to attend long term condition monitoring within primary care or to attend a vaccination appointment for patients that meet the following criteria:

  • extremely clinically vulnerable (i.e. shielding)
  • have an impairment requiring assistance with mobility
  • have an additional clinical reason for needing transport e.g. SMI/LD

This is not a service for patients to attend hospital appointments. Hospital Transport is covered via hospital transport services or London Ambulance. Using Oncue is causing additional expense to the City and Hackney primary care budgets and means we are effectively paying twice.
For more information of the service and how to refer please see:
If you have any questions, please contact Jake Chambers on

Upcoming Education Events

CCG education webinars can be viewed on the education calendar here. You can start registering for these events now - more will be added in due course. Our next education event is this Friday, an accredited session on Maternity.

Friday 10th September - ADHD Training for Primary Care Webinar (Accredited)
Friday 17th September - Suicide Prevention Webinar (Accredited)

Information for Patients: Hackney's Health and Wellbeing Resident engagement 

Hackney's  Health and Wellbeing Strategy resident engagement (peer research and a wider resident survey) and stakeholder engagement has now started. This engagement phase will run from now until 14th September 2021. We will be delivering a series of workshops with stakeholders over the next 6 weeks and our peer researchers have already started going out to speak to their friends, families and neighbors about what they feel our strategy priorities should be.

Survey for those who live, study or work in Hackney: 

Talk Changes launches a digital CBT for IBS

Talk Changes launches a digital CBT for IBS treatment evaluation in partnership with Mahana Therapeutics and the Health Psychology Section at Guys Hospital.

Talk Changes, the IAPT Service for City and Hackney launches an evaluation-in-practice of Digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in partnership with Mahana Therapeutics and the Health Psychology section at Guys Hospital.

Read: Press release

Download: Flyer | Patient Information Leaflet

UCLH Emergency Department discharge summaries - further improvements 

We are further improving the process of sharing Emergency Department discharge summaries with GPs.

Emergency Department discharge summaries will usually be sent to the GP as soon as the patient is discharged from the department.  If for any reason a summary does not get shared with the GP practice on the day of discharge from the Emergency Department, our electronic health record will send it out automatically at 72 hours after discharge. The summary will clearly state at the top that it has been automatically generated and will include key information such as time and reason of the visit, any investigations, results and details of any planned follow-up.

As we start to implement this new function, you may receive some Emergency Department discharge summaries from earlier in the year. You will not receive any duplicate summaries, only those that have not been shared previously.

If you have any comments about this improvement to our service, please contact us through GP Liaison email:

New Hackney walks from Hackney Walking Together Announced

Walkingtogether is a program of walks run by health walk leaders and first aiders from different locations across the London Borough of Hackney. Walking is an excellent activity to participate in, it’s a safe activity which helps to improve health as well as:
  • Making you feel good
  • Increases bone density
  • Giving you more energy
  • Reducing stress
  • Helping to manage weight
  • Helping you to sleep better
  • Helping to reduce blood pressure
The ‘walkingtogether’ program offers a range of walks which take place in parks within the London Borough of Hackney. The group walks are a great way to socialise, meet new people, and reap the health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors and active. The health walks are suitable for all ages and vary in difficulty. We would encourage our GPs to share this opportunity with patients and other residents, and of course if you live locally you may be interested in attending yourself!

For more information:
Walking Together Poster
Hackney Wellbeing Walks

Respiratory Illnesses in Children

We have made resources and support available on the ELHCP website for parents and health and care professionals. The webpage includes leaflets on where to access local emergency services for children and young people, how to manage bronchitis and how to check for serious symptoms in babies.

Vaccine clinics - August/Sept leaflets and pop up clinics

Download: Posters to display in your waiting areas
  • August clinic information (where and when clinics are open)
  • Pop up clinics over August and September
  • OJ community pop up clinic on 18 and 19 August on Clapton Common

Group B Strep in Pregnancy Webinar - 25th August 2021

Do you want to improve your clinical knowledge on Group B Strep in pregnancy?

Are you or your partner pregnant? Are you planning to become pregnant in the future?

Join the Group B Strep in Pregnancy webinar on Wednesday 25th August, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30pm on Zoom where you can learn more about Group B Strep, its impact on pregnancy and support available.

Group B Strep (GBS) is one of the many bacteria that normally live in our bodies and which usually cause no harm. Testing for GBS is not routinely offered to all pregnant women in the UK. If you carry GBS, most of the time your baby will be born safely and will not develop an infection. However, it can rarely cause serious infection such as sepsis, pneumonia or meningitis. Most early-onset GBS infections (those developing in the first week of life) are preventable.

This webinar will include subject matter experts including Alison Herron (SRO for North east London Local Medical System and Associate Director of Midwifery for Royal London Hospital), Elizabeth Egbase (Consultant Obstetrician, Royal London Hospital) and Jane Plumb (Co-Founder of Group B Strep Support & Vice Chair for Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Women’s Network).

You are able to email your questions to to form part of the Q&A segment.

#AskAboutAsthma 2021 

As part of #AskAboutAsthma 2021 Healthy London Partnership are hosting daily webinars from 20 – 24th September focused on children and young people’s asthma care. These events are designed for stakeholders across the spectrum of CYP asthma systems in London. Details of these sessions and how to register can be found below.

Ask The Expert CYP and Families webinar (Monday 20 September 12.30 – 13.30)
This webinar is primarily for patients, families and carers as well as health care professionals and will focus on responding to children and young people's asthma questions.

Nursing webinar (Tuesday 21 September: 12.30–13.30)
The webinar for London stakeholders will highlight best practice and innovation within CYP asthma (individual and organisational), with a specific focus on nursing.

Pharmacy webinar (Tuesday 21 September 19:30 –20:30)
This webinar for London stakeholders is primarily for system leaders, community teams, pharmacists and colleagues who work in a pharmacy setting and highlights best practice and innovation within CYP asthma (individual and organisational), with a specific focus on pharmacy.

Air quality and asthma webinar (Wednesday 22 September: 14.00–15.00)
This webinar for London stakeholders will draw attention to the impact of air quality on asthma and lung health more widely, triggers and strategies to mitigate the risk.

Primary care webinar (Friday 24 September: 12.30–13.30)
This webinar for London stakeholders will highlight best practice within CYP asthma, with a specific focus on primary care.

Please register here for the main virtual conference on Thursday 23rd September.

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