Latest updates from your local medical community
NHS England and the GPC England have agreed on a non-mandatory, high level data sharing template for use by PCN's. To make things easier for practices, the BMA has also produced a version of the agreed template which expands on a number of areas with greater detail, along with guidance on the document. This provides practices with a better idea of how they might like to populate the template agreement, including proposed best practice when sharing and transferring data between partners within the network. Further information and a link to the BMA resources are available on the BMA website.
Following further discussions on some of the finer definitions of the scope of CNSGP in England, it has been agreed with DHSC and NHS Resolution that the compiling of safeguarding reports for NHS patients will now be including within the scope. It was initially thought that as these reports can be chargeable under collaborative fees arrangements they should be deemed to be private work and therefore out of scope. However, the case was made that these are statutory reports which should be reimbursed by the system rather than as a private service to patients.
Pulse has just reported on the NICE consultation on their draft guidance on prescribing medicinal cannabis. It proposes to introduce shared care agreements, in which the initial prescriber is a specialist doctor and then the subsequent prescriber could be healthcare professionals, including GPs. We are aware that this is a new and specialist area of treatment and prescribing and therefore requires specialist teams to be involved in properly assessing, and then if appropriate, treating and monitoring relevant patients. This would be the case for any very specialist drug and much remains to be seen as we move forward. The way to improve access to this assessment and treatment will be to properly resource specialist services and enable hospital services to access electronic prescribing systems. The GPC and BMA will be responding to the consultation.
The NHS England consultation process on Digital First is open for comments until 31st August 2019 and we would encourage you all to respond. GPC England has now submitted a response. The paper sets out proposed changes to patient registration, funding and contracting rules and makes suggestions for tackling workforce shortages, particularly in under-doctored and deprived communities. The GPC England response makes clear the out of area regulations should be withdrawn as they allow digital providers to profit by prioritising largely healthy patients and short-term care rather than delivering a comprehensive service for patients with more healthcare needs and providing continuity of care for all in a local population.
The Government has announced a number of proposed changes to improve the NHS Pension scheme, including a consultation on pension flexibility, a commitment to review the impact of the Annual Allowance taper and guidance to employers setting out how existing flexibilities can be used to ensure doctors do not lose out. The BMA has led the change against damaging tax legislation and in response to the announcement, Chaand Nagpaul, BMA Council Chair, said: "We acknowledge this step forward by the Government." However, he went on to say: "The new proposed flexibilities will provide short-term relief for many doctors, but they themselves do not tackle the core and underlying problem."
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