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KEY MESSAGES: 15/05/2020

National Updates

For Information:

Annual Flu Letter 2020-21

Every year a tripartite annual flu letter is published which is the main communication about which groups will be eligible for flu vaccination in the coming flu season. This year, two letters will be issue. The first confirms eligibility for the flu vaccine and recommendations on which vaccines to offer to different patient groups. It reminds providers that they should start planning now for this coming autumn and to check whether they have ordered sufficient vaccine. A second letter will be published nearer the start of the vaccination programme, with further guidance as related to COVID-19. 

The letter, which can be accessed here, will be available from Thursday 14 May 2020.

FYI: Introduction of Latex Gloves

It is being predicted that within the next couple of months there will be a shortage of nitrile gloves.

In order to try and address this national colleagues are keen to explore whether it would be possible to distribute latex gloves instead and the questions below have been formulated with Keith Willett and are being sent directly to trusts as part of the national stocktake.

1.  Do you currently use latex gloves in your trust site(s)?

2. If YES: What percentage of your supply is latex?

3. If YES: For what service do you use Latex gloves?

a. Surgery

b. Direct Patient Contact

c. Estates and Facilities

d. Other 

4. If NO: Do you have an appropriate risk assessment for latex glove use within your trust?

Primary Care Bulletin Link


Clarification – NHS 111 referring into general practice

Earlier this week we wrote to advise that when practices receive a referral from 111 services, including the COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS), that they should assume clinical responsibility for the patient. We would like to clarify that by this we mean that practices should take ownership of the patient and onward decisions about the care they require, to ensure they are not passed back to 111 services. This does not mean that GPs will be liable for the assessment and decisions made by 111 services before the patient is referred to general practice.

NHSE Local Area Team Updates

PCN DES briefing: helping you make your mind up

We are now just over two weeks from the deadline when you will have to make your decision about your involvement in the Primary Care Network Direct Enhanced Services (DES) contract.

To assist you in making an informed decision, the PCN Network has produced a short briefing on the benefits and challenges follows:

A webinar is also available on Wednesday 27 May at 12.30pm:  https://www.nhsconfed.org/events/2020/05/pcn-des-discussion-for-the-undecided

WY&H Pharmacy Bank Holiday Opening Monday 25th May

As per the updates given through the Primary Care Bulletin and national webinars, it is anticipated that Monday 25th May will be treated as a normal Bank Holiday. This means that there would be no direction for all pharmacies to open and therefore is for individual pharmacies to open voluntarily.

We have contacted those pharmacies that had previously notified us of their intention to open on this date to confirm their opening hours.  Attached is the information we currently hold about planned opening hours across WY & Harrogate, based on information we have received from pharmacies.

We are however mindful that opening hours could change and would encourage the use of www.nhs.uk  and pharmacy websites, as well as contacting pharmacies to check for specific pharmacy opening times.

GPES Data for Pandemic Planning & Research (COVID-19) service

Please be aware of the following email circulated from CQRS.

FAO: GP Practices

Please accept this offer. In order to be included in the first extract, practices will need to participate by 6pm on Wednesday 27 May 2020.

GPES Data for Pandemic Planning & Research (COVID-19) has been centrally offered to GP Practices in CQRS and is available for practices to accept.

The purpose of the data collection is to respond to the intense demand for General Practice data to be shared in support of vital planning and research for COVID-19 purposes, including under the general legal notice issued by the Secretary of State under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI).

The England General Practitioners Committee (GPC England), of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) requested support from General Practitioners for these data collections. They have made the following statement:

The RCGP and BMA support this initiative. The collection set out in this DPN was designed by NHS Digital, with the support of NHSX in response to concerns raised by representatives of the GP profession regarding the current pressure on General Practice to respond to multiple requests to release data in support of COVID-19 planning and research.  

NHS Digital as the data controller for nationally extracted data will ensure that due diligence is carried out regarding any applications made to NHS Digital for access to the data that is being collected. NHSX will be responsible for a single point of contact (SPOC) COVID-19 request process that will triage and prioritise those applications that are applicable to this data set and pass those applications to NHS Digital who will be responsible for assessing and fulfilling the applications; these applications will only be successful if they pass the appropriate ethical, legal and Information Governance requirements to ensure that data is only shared where it is secure, lawful and appropriate to do so. NHS Digital will do this through the Data Access Request Service (DARS) with advice on requests for data from this collection from the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) along with consultation with profession representatives at RCGP and the BMA.  

Once this data collection has been established, all organisations, including CCGs and Integrated Care Services, are to be re-directed when requesting data from your GP practice for any COVID-19 non-direct care purposes, into the NHSX SPOC for COVID-19 requests process, thereby reducing your workload’. 

A Data Provision Notice had been issued directly to practices and can be found here.                                                                       

Kind regards

CQRS Feedback

NHS Digital


IM&T / THIS – NEW 15.05.2020

There have been a number of updates from IM&T and THIS, around remote working and accessing support which we have collated into this summary document. 

A reminder that staff are able to access support to work from home using their own laptops/PCs.

Mental Health Listening Line for children and young people

A download link follows for information and a poster about a new service called the Listening Line from Time Out launching on Wednesday 20th May, 1-4pm.

The Listening Line will help to support services by providing support and advice to young people during the lockdown uncertainty.

Open Minds Calderdale – all ages

As a reminder, information and links for all ages for mental and emotional health services are now located on the Open Minds website to make it easier for professionals and patients to remember when we are signposting.


Vita Health Group – IAPT Talking Therapies

Vita Health Group are the new Provider for IAPT Talking Therapies in Calderdale (replacing Insight Healthcare). This provides a broader range of services than previously available.

From 1 May 2020 you will be able to contact VHG on 0333 015 3494 or email iapt.calderdale@vhg.co.uk or visit the Calderdale page below for more info:


Vulnerable People FAQ

Message from Andy Irvine | Public Health Registrar | Andy.Irvine@calderdale.gov.uk | 01422 266187

We’ve recently undertaken some work in partnership with Disability Partnership Calderdale to produce some FAQs for vulnerable people to provide some clarity around vulnerability and access to support. This was done as a response to concerns that the national guidance around vulnerability and support was confusing and didn’t seem to cover many of those identifying as vulnerable.

Essentially the message in the FAQs is that vulnerability goes beyond the clinical vulnerability criteria for Shielding and that anyone who feels like they need help can contact the council. We’ve been able to disseminate through voluntary sector partners and incorporate into our website but I’m conscious that we haven’t yet managed to disseminate through healthcare settings. This is aimed at primary care colleagues to hopefully provide a bit of clarity to those in need of support who may not currently be accessing it.

WY&H UEC – April 2020 Update

Message from Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale – request for action

Many thanks to those practices that have contacted their registered patients who are known to be smokers reminding them that support to stop smoking is still available during the Covid-19 outbreak.  We have had a welcomed increase in the number of people self-referring into our service in recent weeks, some of whom have told us that they were responding to a text message from their GP practice; so we know that the actions you have taken have worked to increase referrals. Thank you.

Evidence is showing that smokers in hospital who have coronavirus are at higher risk of severe illness than non-smokers; and a YouGov survey has shown that Covid-19 is significantly increasing smokers’ motivation to quit.

In light of this evidence, we would greatly appreciate it if practices who have not yet done so would consider sending the following text message to their patients who are known to be smokers.

The team have provided the following suggested text but we are aware a number of practices also provide their own stop smoking service, so please also include details of your own services too:

“Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs. Evidence shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system. Smokers with COVID-19 are more likely to develop severe disease. In light of this there has never been a better time to quit. Call Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale for phone support today on 01422 262373.  (Or alternatively, contact ***** practices stop smoking support on *******)

If any practice would like to add some information to their website to encourage patients to make a quit attempt, the text in the following document can be used.

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