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Wednesday, 14 December 2022

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YOUR bulletin this week is packed with:

• Intro from Dr. Stephanie Coughlin
• Information for GP Practice Staff
• Service Updates
• Updates for all Practitioners

A word from Dr. Stephanie Coughlin
City & Hackney System Clinical Lead
Thank you for your continued efforts and hard work in keeping services running effectively during a time of massive demand, workforce pressures and snow added in for good measure! In the practice, we have not seen the waiting room this busy for a very long time. With large numbers of febrile children and understandably concerned parents needing face-to-face assessments to treat and reassure. We all hope the school Christmas holidays will bring a much-needed break for the circulating childhood illnesses and give some time to think about how we can increase capacity in January if things continue as they have been once schools restart.

There are quite a number of guidances around Group A Streptococcus that has been produced and circulated through the usual networks. The North Thames Paediatric Network information leaflet for parents and families is a particularly good one and can be found here.
A big thanks to those working over Christmas and New Year and in particular those working over the bank holidays to make sure patients and residents are still able to access urgent care services. I do hope that you and your families have chance for a bit of a break over the festive period. It has been another very busy, challenging and every changing year.
We will meet again in January for the practitioner forum. The forum will be on Thursday 12 January 2023, where we already have a packed agenda that will include some important updates around death certification and the medical examiner process that will start in April 2023. You can find the link the meeting here.
For those of you celebrating, wishing you a Merry Christmas and wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

Group A Strep / Scarlet Fever 

Please see full information on Group A streptococcus (GAS) or Group A Strep, which can lead to serious infections, such as invasive group A strep (iGAS) and scarlet fever: Please see a list of resources here, as well as the communications pack developed by UKHSA that contains useful information and a series of links and advice from the Specialist Pharmacy Service below.

For any queries, please contact your ICB in the first instance who are working with the Regional team and partners across London.

Richmond Road Medical Centre receives finalist recognition

Richmond Road Medical Centre (RRMC) in Hackney was recognised as a finalist in the Clinical Improvement: Public Health & Prevention category in the General Practice Awards. This ceremony honours those in primary healthcare and the healthcare industry in the UK for their innovation, dedication and passion.

RRMC is no stranger to being acknowledged for its commitment to service. It has been recipients of wins and nominations at the GP Awards for the previous five years, as well:
  • 2021 – Best in the Country [Winner]
  • 2020 – Best Practice Team [Winner]
  • 2019 – Excellence in Primary Care [Nominee]
  • 2018 – Highly commended for GP of the Year [Winner]
  • 2017 – General Practice Team of the Year [Winner]
The 15th annual General Practice Awards was hosted by Cogora on Friday 9 December 2022 at Novotel London West. There were 94 finalists across 17 categories.

City & Hackney Long Covid Deep Dive Survey - GP Responses Needed 

The City & Hackney Covid Rehabilitation (CoRe) Service would like to know the experience of GPs who help C&H residents gain a better understanding of where further support may be needed to assist with their Long Covid symptoms. 

Please email CoRe at with the responses to the following questions:

1)      What has been your experience in managing patients who have reported Long Covid symptoms?  Think about the referral process for the Long Covid pathway in City & Hackney and what resources were available to you with regards to information on Long Covid, the Long Covid pathway and management of Long Covid patients. 
2)      Have you accessed or been made aware of the information videos on the Long Covid services across North East London and NEL Community of Practice Resources? 
If you have any questions, please email

Education events in December - Children safeguarding & CKD in Primary Care

Please see two educational events taking place this month:
1) Thursday 15 December 2022, 1-2.30pm. Children Level 3 Safeguarding, which will include instruction from local learning reviews and external speakers focussing on specific issues. 
2) Friday 16 December 2022, 1-2pm. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Primary Care, which will focus on early management of patients with CKD, focussing on the latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and London Kidney Network guidelines, including three key actions to be taken within three months.

Volunteers for London Ambulance needed on 21 December

A request has been issued asking for clinical staff to be released from ICBs to support the London Ambulance Service (LAS) on the Unison strike day of Wednesday 21 December 2022. This is an urgent request due to the level of expected strike action by Unison staff. LAS have requested mutual aid on the 21 December between the hours of 12pm-12am to be able to minimise risk to patient safety on the day of the strike.  
NEL Screening & Vaccination Clinical Lead

The Vaccination, Immunisation and Screening Clinical Lead will play an instrumental part in supporting NEL ICB with service improvement and pathway redesign.
The core functions of the NEL ICB clinical or care professional leadership roles will be to contribute to the leadership of specific transformation programmes by providing advice, recommendations, and challenge, grounded in clinical and/ or care expertise.

Full job description
Deadline: Thursday 5 January 2023

London update - Paediatric pressures

Please see an updated communication from the NEL Primary Care Central Team with resources available to assist during this period of sustained pressure.

Two years of Covid-19 vaccinations in NEL - THANK YOU!

Thursday 8 December 2022 marked two years since North East London started vaccinating our communities against Covid-19.

Please find this letter of thanks from Zina Etheridge, Chief Executive Officer, NHS North East London and Diane Jones, Chief Nursing Officer, NHS North East London.

Access Improvement Programme: Phase V

The National Transforming Primary Care team is extending the opportunity to sign up for the Phase V / January 2023 cohort of the Access Improvement Programme with an additional two webinars being held on Wednesday 14 December at 12pm and Thursday 15 December at 4pm. 
The introductory webinars cover the following information:
  • Content of the programme and what support is offered
  • Time commitment required from the practice
  • Other support e.g., engagement fee available to practices
  • Opportunity to commit to the programme
  • Experience from a previous participant 

REMINDER: NHS OpenAthens for evidence-based resources

We included this notice in the 30 November edition of the Practitioner Bulletin, but have been asked to send a reminder, because if this resource is not well used, NEL Primary Care may lose its subscription. Please see the advert below, that includes a flyer that can be shared:

NHS OpenAthens is the single username and password system that is used in the NHS to support clinical and non-clinical staff to access high quality online resources (including ebooks, ejournals, study aids, databases of clinical management and social policy information and more). Find out about Why register for NHS OpenAthens?
All Primary Care staff in North East London are eligible for an NHS OpenAthens account. It is quick and easy to register and shouldn't take up more than three minutes of your time. Visit Primary Care Library & Knowledge Services to find step-by-step instructions to sign up for an OpenAthens account.
Contact NEL Primary Care Knowledge Specialist and NHS OpenAthens Administrator, Sherin Francis for help with your account.

London Pharmacy opening hours for Christmas and New Year bank holidays 2022-2023

Bank holidays can affect the opening hours of local pharmacies. This document provides the operating hours for pharmacies in London, which have been asked to open over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays (2022-2023).

Prescriptions for reimbursement

It has been identified that, following the launch of Primary Care Support England (PCSE) online, a number of practices are submitting claims for drug reimbursement using a pooled list code. The ability to use a pooled list code was a historical work-around and drug reimbursement claims should always be submitted using the GP prescriber number.  Please see the additional letter for further information.

Miscarriage Association to offer free resources to GPs

The Miscarriage Association is the UK charity that offers support and information to anyone affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.  Their aim is to inform GPs - with this letter - about the services they are able to offer patients in need of further help, support and assistance.  Their leaflets on pregnancy after loss and second trimester loss are completely free of charge should any GP practices wish to order them. This leaflet about the charity can be shared with colleagues.

Medicine supply notifications for two products

Please see medicine supply notifications for the following:
DHSC and NHSE/I have launched an online Medicines Supply Tool, which provides up to date information about medicine supply issues. The contents of this MSN can now be viewed on the Tool.
The Tool also details any changes to resupply dates and updates to the entries. To access the Tool, please register with the SPS website.  For any queries, please contact:

Quality and Outcomes Framework guidance for 2022/23 version 2

Please find this updated version of the Quality and Outcomes Framework guidance for 2022/23. This will be published on the website here  and will replace the previous version.

Virtual chronic kidney disease (CKD) clinic - no attachements

The virtual chronic kidney disease (CKD) service asks to include referral details only in the main message on EMIS, instead of attaching letters. Barts colleagues sometimes are not able to open the attachments through their EMIS access and this should be quicker and easier for referrers, too.

Fit 4 Health Exercise after Stroke Scheme

Homerton Hospital is accepting referrals for the Fit 4 Health Exercise after Stroke Scheme. To be eligible, clients must be a Hackney resident or are registered to a City & Hackney based GP surgery. There is no upper age limit for referrals but the minimum age is 18 and participants must be health professionally referred.

Health Professionals can refer online. Alternatively, referrals can be completed via the paper referral form, which can be returned by email or post. 

Sexual and reproductive health essentials training day

The GP Confederation has organised an SRH Essentials training day on Tuesday 10 January 2023 for all primary care staff: GPs, Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Physician Associates and Pharmacists.
It will take place 8.45am-4.30pm in the First Floor Large Meeting room, The Lawson Practice, 85 Nuttall Street, London, N1 5HZ. It is an interactive day with scenario-based learning, presentations, time for discussion, questions and role play.

For more information and to register, visit Eventbrite.
City & Hackney COVID Rehabilitation (CoRe) Service is asking those who have been suffering with Long Covid symptoms for weeks or months to complete a survey.  Responses will provide valuable information to help understand where there is a need for further support and plan better health services for all residents living in City & Hackney.  As a token of thanks, CoRe will offer entry into a prize draw for the chance to win a £50, £25 or £10 store voucher. 

For those who require support to complete the survey, please email or call 0207 683 4336.

Please share the flyer with your network.

CHSCP: Intra-Familial Child Sexual Abuse - January 2023

City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP) will host a one-day training course entitled, "Intra-familial child sexual abuse," that will improve understanding of child sexual abuse within the family environment and help to better identify signs and indicators and respond effectively to protect children.  Please view the flyer for more details.

The training will take place on Tuesday 24 January 2023, 10am-4.30pm, via Teams.

Places on this external multi-agency course are on a first come, first served basis with spots being offered to several other boroughs simultaneously. Interested parties should either book places on Phew or contact CHSCP directly. 

St. Joseph's Hospice recruitment fair in January 2023

St. Joseph’s Hospice, based in Mare Street, has over 600 volunteers who are helping either in the Hospice or in the local communities of Hackney, City, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The large majority of their volunteers are Hackney residents supporting Hackney residents.  However, the number of referrals received via their community projects means that more volunteers are required.

To boost the number of volunteers, there will be a recruitment fair on Wednesday 18 January 2023 from 3pm-6pm and then Saturday 21 January 2023 from 11am to 2pm.

Please see the flyer below that can be shared.
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