Waltham Forest LMC newsletter – July 2022

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Dear colleagues,

Here is the news from this month’s Waltham Forest LMC meeting.

Long Covid

Dr Mike Grenville, the LMC Chair, is participating in a Long Covid working group. The form to access treatment has been greatly reduced, and should be available in the practice clinical software system. The LMC will continue to work on remaining issues with the investigations required before referral, and the service in Waltham Forest.

Enhanced Access

The new EA contract seems set to reduce the number of appointments available compared to previous arrangements. This is likely to lead to overflow demand reaching other urgent care provision, 111 and A&E. The LMC flagged this issue to Integrated Care System colleagues, who said they would make plans when PCN EA plans are submitted.

Some PCNs are preparing to provide the appointments themselves; others are partnering with the Federation to provide some appointments. There is some flexibility for local needs about when and how EA appointments are provided – the System will want to see evidence of how patients have been engaged to make the case. The System has launched a patient survey but practices are not required to use it – they can conduct their own patient engagement.

NHS Property Services charges

Many practices have large bills for charges from NHS Property Services, with disputes and queries dating back potentially several years. There are reportedly significant doubts about the basis for some of the charges and resolution processes may be necessary, but the resolution is unlikely to result in zero to pay, so practices should make provision even while challenging their bills. The BMA brought a court case but has recently been partly ruled against. The System has recently written to practices advising about some reimbursable charges that they will cover to save practices paying and then claiming back. Practices are advised to contact Londonwide LMCs’ GP Support team for advice, via GPSupport@lmc.org.uk.

Key Performance Indicators

LMC members have asked the System to retain KPI agreements worth £11.69 per patient. These cover elements like reception hours, consultation hours, patient experience and quality improvements and are designed to support practices financially. The proposal had been to replace them with SNSs worth up to £25 per patient, but the ask is to retain the existing £11.69 and add £13.31 worth of new SNSs. A meeting is scheduled later in July, including LMC representatives and System managers.

The LMC heard advice and asks from Public Health including:

  • If patients are concerned about monkey pox, they can be referred for vaccine if they are in a high-risk group (men who have sex with men, sex venue users)
  • Please ensure that practices are using up to date lists to invite patients for covid vaccination or other services, to avoid contacting the families of deceased patients

The LMC continues to lobby on other issues including childhood immunisations, GP representation in borough and North East London NHS governance, and issues with secondary care such as access to services, workload being assigned to GPs by acute services, and test results coming to GPs without explanation.

Best wishes

Dr Mike Grenville
Waltham Forest LMC