Page last updated: 31 March, 2021, 11:52am
Primary Care E-bulletin (Issue 129) – 26 March
Welcome to the latest edition of our e-briefing to support GP practices across mid and south Essex.
If you think these e-briefings could be improved, please use the ‘send feedback’ button (below) to share your thoughts.
Previous bulletins can be found on the MSE healthcare professional website.
There is also a search function (on top-right of the website) to help you find specific content.
In this Issue:
- Have your say on the Mid and South Essex Healthcare Professional Website
- IT update: Away from My Desk, iPlato & GP IT Systems
- Guide to local health services during the Easter 2021 Bank Holiday
- Pathology First GP newsletter
- REMINDER/ACTION REQUIRED: New AI-powered Teledermatology Service
- COVID-19 updates
- Learning Hub – Communication skills – a collection of resources to support health and care professionals adopt compassionate and effective communication during the pandemic
- Mid and South Essex Training Hub
- Essex Opportunities Portal launched to help people upskill and find employment
Have your say on the Mid and South Essex Healthcare Professional Website
Deadline: 16 April
During the initial COVID-19 pandemic, we set up a website to provide a central resource for professionals working in health and social care across mid and south Essex.
We are now looking to improve the temporary offer and develop a new website, but we’d like your views on how useful you find this resource and how we can improve the site for your use.
Help us to improve our website by completing a short survey that should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.
IT update: Away from My Desk, iPlato & GP IT Systems
Please find a link below to download an IT update focused on Away from My Desk, iPlato, GP IT systems and more.
If you have any questions please contact the Mid and South Essex IT Digital team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day to Day Support
Guide to local health services during the Easter 2021 Bank Holiday
The CCGs have developed guides to health services in mid and south Essex over the Easter 2021 Bank Holiday Weekend (including pharmacy opening details). The CCGs will be promoting the information via social media. Please feel free to share the guides as appropriate via your own networks too.
The posters which can be downloaded below include QR codes that take people to the online page where information relevant to their area can be found.
Pathology First GP newsletter
Please find a link below to download the Spring edition of Pathology First’s GP newsletter. This includes important information and updates as well as a breakdown of key contact details for the service.
Please note, Pathology First covers the following CCG areas:
- NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG
- NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG
- NHS Southend CCG
- NHS Thurrock CCG.
REMINDER/ACTION REQUIRED: New AI-powered Teledermatology Service
In early March we asked you to fill in a form to receive devices and training from the teledermatology provider Skin Analytics. Take up is still low we encourage you to fill in this form.
All Mid and South Essex GP practices will soon have access to an AI-powered teledermatology 12-month pilot service to support clinicians with triage of suspicious skin lesions. This follows on from the success of an initial pilot which is currently live across three PCNs across Mid and South Essex.
A recommendation for a treatment pathway is made using DERM, the Skin Analytics AI-powered medical device, which can assist a clinician to identify malignant, pre-malignant or benign lesions and support them to choose the most appropriate management plan. The initial AI review takes place within seconds, however if the lesion is identified by the DERM tool as benign a safety net review is undertaken by a Consultant Dermatologist who will review the lesion; an outcome report will then be circulated to the practice within two working days.
We have attended one or two of your practice catch ups and will be available at more practice meetings to demonstrate the pathway, but the first practices will go live from late March.
In the meantime, we would appreciate if all practice managers could please fill out the following google form before the end of March: Practice details form.
REMINDER: COVID-19 Respiratory Hub referral criteria
Please note, we have received reports that in some areas, the number of people referred to the COVID Hubs inappropriately has been rising.
The referral criteria, which must be used, is below:
- Patient has symptoms that suggests they are currently COVID-19 positive AND
- Patient requires a face-to-face appointment (for either COVID-19 or non-COVID-19 reasons that the practice is unable to offer (a reason must be specified).
Supporting equitable uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination in people with Severe Mental Illness
People with Severe Mental Illness (SMI), who face reduced life expectancy of 15-20 years when compared to the general population are included in priority group six to access the COVID-19 vaccination from 14 February.
Some people with SMI may not know if they are eligible. Therefore, in line with the JCVI green book, it is vital that we take an inclusive approach to ensure people with bipolar, schizophrenia and any other illness that would impair functional impairment can access their COVID-19 vaccination. This could include people with an eating disorder (either a high or low BMI) or people with a diagnosis of personality disorder.
We also know that people with SMI have lower utilisation of primary care services and may find it difficult to attend vaccination appointments. There is a suite of resources available to support equitable uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination:
- Tailored invitation letter
- Tips for engaging people with SMI in healthcare services
- A guide for people with SMI on what to expect from the COVID-19 vaccination programme
- Re-think mental illness COVID-19 vaccination resources for people with SMI
Women’s safety and domestic abuse during COVID-19: a reminder of advice for NHS staff
In the last few weeks, many women are coming forward to speak about the experiences they face of harassment, intimidation, assault and abuse. This letter is to remind everyone of the key signs of domestic abuse and the services that are available for women.
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Call for Evidence
The VAWG call for evidence has been reopened, reflecting the current public discussions about Violence Against Women and Girls.
Information on supporting clinically extremely vulnerable staff
The government has now confirmed that, from 1 April 2021, shielding advice will be paused nationally. This letter from Prerana Issar, NHS Chief People Officer, and Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director for Primary Care, outlines shielding advice for clinically extremely vulnerable staff. The Shielded Patient List will continue to be kept current in case of a future need.
In summary, the new advice from 1 April is to continue to work from home where possible and if individuals cannot work from home, employers should undertake a comprehensive, individual, workplace risk assessment reflecting the current working context (i.e. improved testing, vaccination and relationship with transmission).
Education and Training
Learning Hub – Communication skills – a collection of resources to support health and care professionals adopt compassionate and effective communication during the pandemic
The Learning Hub is a digital platform that provides easy access to a wide range of education and training resources for the health and care workforce.
Professionals have had to adapt the way their communicate during COVID-19. Several resources focusing on effective communication skills have been added to the Learning Hub. These resources support difficult conversations remotely with relatives and within a clinical setting both with patients and in relaying key transfer information to other colleagues.
Mid and South Essex Training Hub
For the latest initiatives from the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership Training Hub, please visit the Training Hub section of our website.
Essex Opportunities Portal launched to help people upskill and find employment
Essex County Council has launched the Essex Opportunities Portal, a virtual One Stop Shop to provide the local community and businesses with information and advice around skills, careers, training, and employment opportunities. Please feel free to share information about this service as appropriate via your networks and as a potential offer for any social prescribers who work as part of your practice.
NHSE Primary Care COVID-19 Bulletin
For the latest advice and guidance around coronavirus for clinicians, please visit the NHS England website.