Haringey LMC newsletter – February 2024

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Dear Haringey GPs,

What is the LMC and what do we do?

The Local Medical Committee (LMC) works on your behalf to represent the interest of all GPs in Haringey. We are here for partners, salaried GPs, locums and those working in non-traditional GP roles. If you have a difficult work-related issue then our GP support team may be able to help – they can be contacted at GPSupport@lmc.org.uk. This is the first of a regular newsletter to keep you updated on our work.

Primary/secondary care interface – how to reduce un-resourced work from secondary care

We know that many of you are frustrated when asked to carry out tasks on behalf of secondary care. LMC members attend interface meetings at all of the local hospitals, where we try to ensure that this does not happen. The primary/secondary care interface consensus document will be published later this month, and I will be in touch again with a link and to explain how you can best take advantage of it.

In the meantime, remember the overriding principle that everyone involved in patient care should do their own work. Consultants should not ask you to carry out blood tests or imaging on their behalf, even if it is more convenient for the patient – blood forms from any hospital in NCL can now be taken to any phlebotomy site in NCL. You should not be asked to chase the results of tests requested in secondary care, provide a fit note after surgery, carry out tests with an unreasonable timescale (e.g. daily renal function for a period of time after discharge), or refer onwards for a patient whose care needs to be transferred, or who is moving from paediatric to adult care. Any referral which is either related to the reason why they are seeing the patient, or is urgent, should be done directly.

If these principles are to become established, we need your help. Whenever you are asked to do one of the things mentioned above, please pass it back to the requesting clinician, rather than doing it yourself. You can do this via the GP liaison teams who are contactable on the email addresses below, and you might also want to cc your email to the department (where the email is given on the letter), and to the clinician in question, using the global address list option in nhs.net. We are keen to find out how much of this is going on, so please copy the email to sarah.ocran@lmc.org.uk.

You can use the text from the BMA template letters or write your own emails, and you might want to think about training some of your senior admin staff to return this work to secondary care without it ever coming to a GP.

If you are having any persistent problems with primary/secondary care interface issues, then we would like to hear about them and you can contact us on joni.wilson-kaye@lmc.org.uk.

Direct referral from opticians to ophthalmology

After much work by the LMC and the ICB, systems are in place for opticians to refer directly to ophthalmology rather than asking the GP to do it. This depends on opticians having an nhs.net email address – currently around two-thirds have one and this number is growing. If you are asked to do such a referral from an optician, please can you do it for now, so that patient care is not delayed as the system beds in. However, we would like to know the volume of such requests so please email us on sarah.ocran@lmc.org.uk with the name of the optician and the reason for the referral. We can then check that opticians who are able to refer directly are in fact doing so and find out where the gaps are.

Closure of ENT community services

ENT community services closed recently – we are aware that this means much longer waits for patients who need microsuction and some other services. The ICB is trying to arrange one service to cover all five boroughs in NCL – we will update you when this is in place. In the meantime, all referrals have to go to hospital ENT services.

Consider joining the LMC

If you’d like to get involved and effect change locally, consider joining the LMC – we have three vacancies and would be keen to hear from GPs in all types of roles and in all stages of their career from newly qualified onwards. Please email sarah.ocran@lmc.org.uk for more information and to arrange an informal chat.

Best wishes,

Dr Toni Hazell
Haringey LMC