Mword Issue 67 – Dr Michelle Drage’s latest update for GPs and practice teams

  • Mword
Mword Heading - Issue 67
9 July 2020

Dear Colleague

The Chancellor’s summer statement came and went yesterday with little to no benefit for primary care or health providers generally. The deafening silence about, and lack of support for, general practice ignores the fact that the effort to protect people from coronavirus has been a joint endeavour by every single person delivering NHS care. This isn’t an issue of denying further funding for hospitals, but a basic matter of covering costs, dealing with a backlog of complex and late presenting illnesses, and preparing for the next stages of managing the new and debilitating long-term effects of Covid-19. The coronavirus pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on GPs, practice teams and patients alike, we have seen London general practice at its innovative best in the face of this challenge. We continue to press for full and speedy reimbursement, and an end to the inequity of expecting GPs and practice staff having to pay for treating patients out of their own pockets.

In addition, here’s half a dozen short items to take you through to the weekend:

  1. Referrals, transfer of work and changing the conversation.
  2. Londonwide LMCs research.
  3. Incentive to take on a partner?
  4. Online and social media – strategy, risk management, understanding and managing feedback.
  5. Help with Covid-19 plasma donation.
  6. The Londonwide LMCs Covid-19 Living Guide version 13.

1. Referrals, transfer of work and changing the conversation.

The limitations of general practice teams operating with a significantly reduced capacity continue to hit home, whilst the interface with colleagues in acute settings seems to be getting worse in some parts of London. Rather than continuing to play pass the parcel with patients, many or whom are getting sicker and more frail as time goes by, we believe it is important that clinicians in every setting work together to work out a more effective and equitable approach to patient care planning, rather than the current byzantine system. About which, more below. To help us, please do continue to report issues to us via our Beam App so that we can work to find solutions to help you tackle workload issues at the primary/secondary care interface.

2. Londonwide LMCs research.

I mentioned last week that we are planning to conduct a piece of research exploring the perspective of staff and patients on the core principles of general practice, and on the practise of general practice both now, and in the future. Thank you if you have already dropped me a line volunteering your precious time. It means an awful lot. And if you haven’t but you would be interesting in talking to our independent research team about the pace of change in the primary/secondary care interface, please reply to me. All comments and reference will be anonymous.

3. Incentive to take on a partner?

In case you missed it, the Government has decided that the new £20,000 incentive scheme for partners entering into partnerships after 1 April 2020 will launch on 1 July. This incentive followed the government GP partnership review from what feels like a different world in 2018/9, was agreed as part of the 2020/21 GP contract, but rollout was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. With national and London practices reporting significant increases in the number of partner vacancies for years, time will tell whether this is an attractive enough carrot to bring in new partners. Please let me know what you think.

4. Online and social media – strategy, risk management, understanding and managing feedback.

The agility and speed with which practices have adapted to using technology during the coronavirus pandemic has shown how innovative we can be when empowered to do what is best for your patients, but the strain on practice capacity has made good communications with patients more important than ever. To support you with this, and help navigate the pros and cons of social media and online reviews, we are running a free new course for practice managers – Online and social media – strategy, risk management, understanding and managing feedback.

Delivered via Zoom across three Wednesdays 5, 12 and 19 August, I encourage you to get your PM or another suitable member of staff signed up for the training.

5. Help with Covid-19 plasma donation.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) are responsible for running the national Covid-19 convalescent plasma collection programme and treatment trial, which has six Covid-19 convalescent plasma donor centres in London. They have asked for help in reaching out to GP and practice staff for convalescent plasma donation. The acknowledged higher infection rates amongst GPs and NHS staff has led NHSBT to identify you and your team as key donors, as well as routes to share information on donation with patients.

NHSBT is taking donations at its donor centres and collaborating with the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP trials – more details here. If you wish to donate, please call 0300 123 23 23 – say you work for the NHS and you will be prioritised. You might also wish to add text and a link to your practice website: “If you’ve had coronavirus or the symptoms, you can donate plasma for a trial which could save the lives of people who are still ill, click here to offer to donateFurther details can be seen here.” There is also an information card which can be used as a leaflet.

6. The Londonwide LMCs Covid-19 Living Guide version 13.

And finally, we continue to update our guide to the guidance that is the Londonwide LMCs Living Guide to Covid-19 safe practice. This week we have updated our guidance on shielding and essential non-acute care, and included new links on resuscitation and care home guidance. Read all about it here. And if you are in a locally locked down area, or are aware of nearby issues such as Hillingdon Hospital which was closed this week due to a reported 70 positive cases among staff, please do refresh your familiarity with our essential guide.

As ever, I welcome your feedback at And remember that all of us at Londonwide LMCs are here by your side to support you.

Keep well. Stay safe.

With best wishes

Dr Michelle Drage MBBS FRCGP
CEO, Londonwide LMCs


Last updated : 13 Jul 2020