Dear colleagues

You have received flu vaccination guidance from PHW suggesting first and second choice vaccines for different age groups.

We suspect that this is “balanced” to avoid PHW being accused of promoting one company over another.

The “CHOICE” is really yours as a clinician.

No vaccine is blacklisted so you are free to choose the vaccine that best suits your practice.

Whilst GPCW cannot encourage anyone to use the enhanced vaccine that is twice the price of the others (and we have been given no evidence of clinical scenarios where it might prove preferable), there is considerable evidence in support of cellular vaccine.

It is quadrivalent
Virtually all strains of flu virus can be covered
It has minimal antigenic shift
It is relatively easy to quickly produce in bulk.
It contains no egg.
It is effective from age 9 upwards

As we have always encouraged practices to spread their orders over two suppliers, we would leave that choice to you, but note that the egg cultured quadrivalent vaccine covers four strains and has effectiveness under the age of 65.

The majority of children from 2 – 11 will receive the live intranasal quadrivalent vaccine – Fluenz, directly supplied by WG.

Under 2’s at risk and those children unable to receive live vaccine the egg based Quadrivalent vaccine may be used.

Best Wishes
Phil White
Vaccination and Immunisation Lead GPCW

 

Dear colleague

Further to our previous email we would like to update you regarding the Wales National Workforce reporting System and GMPI.

We understand the frustrations of the timescale for the requested upload of data onto the WNWRS and would like to note that during our discussions we had advised the need for at least a 4 week window to enable practices to upload data given the pressures practices are facing every day - this unfortunately was not taken on board with one reason given that practices were clamouring to use the tool! 

Please also note that we have received confirmation from SSP that all practice staff will be covered under GMPI who work in connection with the provision of a relevant function which include:

(a) arranging for the provision of services for the purposes of the health service;

(b) providing services for the purposes of the health service;

(c) exercising functions in relation to the health service;

(d) providing primary medical services

We believe this means all staff should be included in this as all are involved with patient issues / data under a GMS contract.

If you do not wish to be covered by the state backed GMPI scheme then you need to advise SSP of this AND ensure that you source comprehensive indemnity cover for all the practice team. In addition please note GSUM has been taken by WG from every Welsh practice to provide this cover but obviously it is a practice decision as to what you decide to do.

Should you have any queries please direct to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dulaine Mulcahy 
Committee executive officer (GPC Wales)/Swyddog gweithredol pwyllgorau


BMA Cymru Wales 

Dear Colleague 

Wales National Workforce Reporting System and GMPI

Your practice will have received a communication from NWSSP this week which asks you to provide workforce data by 14 June. I’m writing to advise on how you might engage with the data collection tool, and what to bear in mind when doing so.

Firstly, Welsh Government has decided to unilaterally implement completion of a workforce webtool as a requirement for the ongoing provision of the state backed indemnity to practice teams. Frustratingly, this is despite the mandatory completion of the tool remaining part of the ongoing formal contract negotiations for 19/20.

We understand that practices will view this as needing to be completed, given the need for their practice teams to be covered by indemnity. We completely understand and concur with this concern (despite our unhappiness at this being sent out before reaching the end of contract negotiations). 

Whilst Welsh Government cannot mandate practices to provide this data under the indemnity regulations, we don’t think that it would be helpful to refuse it - given that at a practice level it could be useful for workforce planning. However, how this information is provided does not necessarily require completion of the workforce webtool itself, or indeed all parts of it.

When providing the information please give due consideration to the following: 

  • Practices only have to fill in the mandatory fields, and none of the optional ones - as some of the optional ones would be classed as protected characteristics and we feel are not relevant to wider workforce planning. For clarity the mandatory fields will be marked on the toolkit page. For ease of reference the mandatory fields are noted at the bottom of this communication.
  • Practices need to complete it for all staff involved in clinical services e.g. this would include reception staff who process clinical information for the purposes of triage. 
  • Individual practice data will only be viewable by the practice and the Associate Medical Director of the Health Board - all others involved in workforce planning (e.g. at cluster / HB / WG level) will only have access to anonymised aggregated data, which will be held by NHS Digital.
  • Is there a risk to practices of being found responsible in the event of a data breach?

Welsh Government has said this risk is negligible as all information is anonymised. We have asked several times to have this assurance in writing – however this has yet to be suppled.

GPC Wales was promised a specific GDPR compliance information guidance sheet for practice managers and staff but we are disappointed that this was not supplied alongside the communication.

Furthermore, the issue of obtaining individual consent to sharing this data is obviously something we believe is good practice and essential for the confidence staff and practices might have in the process – however ,we have been advised by the NWIS Data Protection Officer, who in turn cites the ICO statement that consent needs to be specific and freely given, hence  Public Authorities and employees being in a position of power may not be seen to obtain consent freely. It is the DPO’s advice that personalised data may be released by the data controller under clauses in article 6 & 4 in GDPR and clauses such as "Processing data to satisfy a condition for processing necessary for performance of a task or contract" would be a better fit for this purpose. Again, GPC Wales has asked for sight of this and that it be covered in a guidance briefing for practices. This is still outstanding.

In light of the above we would strongly advise practices to contact the DPO (data protection officer) or the Health Board to request this assurance / guidance prior to completion of the workforce tool (explaining not refusing to complete dataset but require this assurance prior to sharing sensitive personalised information).

Finally, please remember that the provision of the dataset required for the purposes of cover under the scheme could be completed in other ways e.g. utilising the previous spreadsheet used by many HBs in annual returns. If, as a practice, you decide that you do not wish to utilise the tool, you could offer to supply the information in an alternative format as before - we would recommend you inform your LMC at the time you advise the Health Board of this. 

Mandatory fields

 

Staff record- Basic Information

Date of Birth

Staff Group

Staff Role

 

Contract

Contracted Hours (per week)

Date Joined *

Termination Date *

Reason for Leaving

 

Absence Data

Start Date *

On-going

End Date

 

Locum usage

Forename/Surname

Registration Number

Q x date Hours (number of hours)

 

Vacancy Overview

Vacancy Start *

Staff Group 

Staff Role

 

*We have queried why these are noted as mandatory

If you have any questions about the above please direct them to ourselves at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to your LMC. 

Dulaine Mulcahy 
Committee executive officer (GPC Wales)/Swyddog gweithredol pwyllgorau


BMA Cymru Wales 

Y Gymdeithas Feddygol Brydeinig/British Medical Association 
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BMA Cymru Wales responds to new access standards for GP practices

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the BMA’s Welsh GPs committee said:

“GPs in Wales work extremely hard – often to the detriment of their own health - to ensure that patients are seen in a timely manner and this is reflected in the still very high satisfaction ratings. 

“Whilst we accept, welcome and strive for better access for patients recognising the challenges patients face, the way to address this is to support GP practices to release capacity for patients who need their care. This can be achieved through improving recruitment of GPs, practice nurses and ensuring the wider multi-disciplinary primary and community care workforce are in place. It can be achieved through ensuring patients are empowered to self-care when appropriate. It can be achieved through resourcing supporting infrastructure for practices to take forward different ways of providing access; through properly supporting practices and enhancing the partnership model so that we have sustainable services available to patients. Imposing standards on an already overstretched workforce is not the best way to achieve the shared aim of improving access. 

“We will continue to work with the Welsh Government to ensure that patients are seen in a way that is most suitable and appropriate for their need. This work needs to also include robust support for practices so that they have the resources they need to address the challenges they face on a day to day basis, where they are fire-fighting to meet ever increasing demand and thus enable them to have capacity to develop their access arrangements for patients.” 

New standards for GP practices to raise and improve level of service for patients in Wales
A new set of standards, which will raise and improve the level of service for patients in Wales from their GP practices, have been launched today (20 March) by Health Minister Vaughan Gething.
The recent National Survey results showed a decline in satisfaction with GP services from 90% being satisfied in 2016-17 to 86% in 2017-18 and 42% of participants found it difficult to make an appointment at their practice an increase from 38% in the previous year.
People in Wales should know what to expect when they need advice on their health and wellbeing, when they need to consult a GP or other healthcare professional and what other options are available to them. 
To support this, the new standards announced today are as follows:
  • People receive a prompt response to their contact with a GP practice via telephone. 
  • Practices have the appropriate telephony systems in place to support the needs of people avoiding the need to call back multiple times and will check that they are handling calls in this way.
  • People receive bilingual information on local and emergency services when contacting a practice.
  • People are able to access information on how to get help and advice.
  • People receive the right care at the right time in a joined up way which is based on their needs.
  • People can use a range of options to contact their GP practice.
  • People are able to email a practice to request a non-urgent consultation or a call back.
 
The Welsh Government expects all GP practices in Wales, supported by their Local Health Boards, to meet these standards by March 2021. Financial support, which will be announced in due course, will be made available to GP practices to strive towards meeting these standards and ensuring patients across Wales know what to expect from their practice.
Vaughan Gething said: “I know GPs and their practice teams are under pressure to meet demand but I also know people’s expectations on GP access are not currently being met.
“Today’s announcement is not about putting additional pressure on our GP services, it is about them delivering a level of service patients in Wales should expect as a minimum. For many practices across Wales, the standards I’ve announced today will already be in place, but for others this will be a journey of improvement. Over time I would like to see these standards developed further so that services are continually improving for the citizens of Wales.”