Mword Issue 54 – Dr Michelle Drage’s latest update for GPs and practice teams on Covid-19
9 April 2020
Today, we are bringing you the first revision of our Londonwide Covid-19 Living Guide. This replaces the version sent to you last week, and whilst much of the information remains intact, there is a significant amount of new material, and we urge all clinicians and practice managers in London to familiarise yourselves with its structure and content. We know that each day you are facing torrents of information from different sources, national and local, but we urge you to use our guide as your companion, along with its links on our website to our other resources here to support you and your practice teams.
And so the two key things I am covering today are:
To reiterate, please see and use this as your constant companion, from the GP clinically-led expert teams at Londonwide LMCs, working just for you. The revised guide covers a wide range of areas, including advice and guidance on: home visits; operating a safe practice policy; PPE guidance including on donning and doffing; an oximetry guide; links to guidance on managing pneumonia and on palliative care; advice and links to support on remote examination techniques; updates on pan-London suspected-cancer referral pathways; the latest updates on processes concerning death; information on caring for ourselves and colleagues; an expenses tracker; HR guidance and FAQs; a practice cleaning guide; and the current position on medicine shortages.
The full contents are on page two of the guide. Please remember that this is a Living Guide, which means the contents and links are under constant review as we want you to have the most up to date support we can provide. Please keep an eye out for our updates, but most importantly, please keep using the rich information and resources within.
2. Good Friday and Easter Monday opening – UPDATE
NHS Englan has now announced details of payments in the Primary Care Bulletin of 8 April 2020:
Good Friday and Easter Monday reimbursement rates
Where it is determined that a practice must open on Good Friday or Easter Monday, practices can seek reimbursement for additional staffing costs incurred on these days, in line with the respective rates as set out below. That includes:
Sessional GPs: up to a maximum of £250 a session or £500 per day;
Overtime for salaried GPs in line with the individual’s contractual arrangements;
Additional capacity from GP Partners to recognise up to two additional sessions on each of Good Friday and Easter Monday at a rate of £289 per session plus applicable employer National Insurance and pension costs;
Overtime for non-GP practice staff in line with the individual’s contractual arrangements.
Practices should discuss with their local commissioner the level of service required on bank holidays and agree in advance what additional staffing costs will be reimbursed.
Given that Easter is tomorrow, that London is ahead of the national situation, and that as per my MWord 53 on Tuesday there are patients who have problems other than Covid-19 who may not yet have presented for remote triaging and care, but who will need it, the line we are taking is for now, this is it. We are clinicians first and foremost, and our duty is to care for our patients. In the meantime, we continue to advise you that it is important to keep a clear account of all additional costs associated with these Bank Holidays of normal opening, albeit with no guarantee that these will ever be fully recovered.
And once this is all over, we will push the powers that be for all necessary expenses to be reimbursed, and that the lost Bank Holidays be reinstated on other dates.
As ever I welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, and know that my team of experts and leaders here at Londonwide LMCs will always be by your side. And in case no one else does, on behalf of your Londonwide LMCs teams, our very best wishes for this Easter/ Passover week.