I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as Chair of the Harrow LMC alongside our Vice Chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul. This is the first of what will be a regular series of newsletters. Everyone on the LMC recognises the increasing pressures that general practice is under as a result of the workforce crisis and continuing pandemic. We are committed to try and address some of the pressures by maximising the uptake of schemes and innovations to free up appointments and reduce health inequalities, and work with partners in the ICS to improve relationships and reduce inappropriate workload shift which is unsafe for both patients and practice staff.
Your current LMC members are (contact can be made via the Londonwide LMC team details at the end of this letter):
- Dr Meena Thakur, Chair, Honeypot Medical Centre/ Harrow East PCN
- Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Vice Chair, Honeypot Medical Centre/ Harrow East PCN
- Dr Azeem Nizamuddin, Shaftesbury Medical Centre/ Harrow Collaborative Network
- Dr Akash Gandhi Sessional GP/VTS representative, Pinn Medical Centre/ Healthsense PCN
- Ms Deborah Harvey Practice Manager representative, St Peters Medical Centre/ Sphere PCN
Harrow LMC’s local priorities include the need for services requiring input from general practice to be co-designed by GPs and practice teams. Services need to be funded and resourced appropriately for clinical and patient safety and equality of access. LMC members will continue to engage with stakeholders to campaign for this. General practice needs to speak with a unified voice to ensure that GPs’ (all NHS GPs and trainees), practices’, PCNs’ and patients’ needs are considered in planning services at a borough and North West London level.
Recent and current areas where LMC committee members are engaged at a borough level:
- Enhanced Access DES: the Harrow LMC meets bi-monthly with the Borough Team. The LMC has supported PCNs/practices and worked positively with the ICS at an overarching task and finish group to manage initial expectations that London ICSs would provide services over and above DES requirements. The LMC position is that any services in addition to the national DES should be contractualised and resourced separately. The Borough Team confirmed that any services above the national specification were an aspiration on their behalf and PCNs would not be obliged to provide them. They also confirmed that the national template for PCN DES plans -distributed by Londonwide- would be accepted.
- Chair Dr Thakur attends Primary/Secondary Care Interface Meetings – convened with London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust – to improve communication and relationships between clinicians, patient safety and the patient journey as well as reduce unnecessary bureaucracy, inequalities and inappropriate workload shift. Please send through any issues experienced with secondary care for raising at these meetings.
- Local Enhanced services – the LMC works with the Borough Team to negotiate development of services that are achievable by all practices. For example, the redesign of the ERM to remove unachievable KPIs and move from a quantitative to a quality approach. The Borough Team has also agreed to a lessons learned review at the end of a service.
- Autumn vaccination programme.
- Winter access proposals.
- We will be seeking to engage with Harrow’s Director of Public Health, to work together on public health issues relating to primary care.
At a North West London level
We also collaborate with our LMC colleagues across north west London to address issues including:
- The North West London Estates Review, seeking to ensure the needs of GPs and their practices are taken into account and ensure fit for purpose premises will be available in the future.
- North West London Enhanced Services Review: the LMC is working with the ICS team to equalize the provision of services across the 8 boroughs to reduce health inequalities.
- Harrow LMC members attend a monthly meeting with the NWL PCN-CD Group, to interact on issues of mutual concern.
- AccuRx. Londonwide LMC has highlighted that the central NWL ICS team has decided to end funding for AccruRx. Londonwide LMC campaigned for the NWL ICS to reverse this decision, due to the utility of the service to practices. This was highlighted in the Harrow Liaison meeting and other forums. The NWL ICS has now agreed to fund AccuRx at least until April 2023.
- Workforce Returns: it is part of the national contract that practices make monthly workforce returns, even when there have been no staff changes. This has been raised by NWL ICS and ultimately breach notices may be issued. Therefore we would remind all members to log in monthly and make a return. This will improve the system understanding of the General Practice workforce and workload crisis.
Harrow LMC would like to thank Dr Noreen Ryan, who recently stepped down as joint Co-Chair of the LMC after nearly ten years of hard work, dedication and passion for the Harrow GP community.
Harrow LMC is keen to recruit more GPs to its membership, particularly anyone who is interested and is working in Health Alliance PCN as this area is not represented currently. We look for representation from GP partners, salaried and locum GPs. We would also welcome representation from a Practice Nurse. We are looking for new members to contribute to the work of the committee and benefit from the insights it brings to the changing structure of general practice and primary care as north west London ICS develops integrated care working and implements the Fuller Stocktake Review. If you are looking for a new opportunity to be involved in the politics of general practice in Harrow, or want more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for those of you who contact LMC committee members about issues as they arise. We rely on you to know where support is needed and are grateful for your queries. LMC members are keen to hear from our local GPs and practice teams about any issues you are facing.
Dr Meena Thakur
Londonwide’s NWL LMC Team
- Amy Honor, Committee Liaison Executive, email@example.com
- Dr Asiya Yunus, LMC Secretary/Medical Director
- Lesley Williams, Assistant Director of Primary Care