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Coronavirus primary care 3pm briefing

Information/links correct at 2.45pm on Wednesday 2 September 2020

As more and more services return to normal, or at least a version of it, we’re inviting colleagues to tell us about their work and how they can help practices and patients. This week, Simon Miller has kindly provided an update on the extended access physiotherapy service.

The extended access physio team has been operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The main role of the team is to be the first point of contact for all musculoskeletal problems in primary care, providing access to expert assessment, advice and education to wide ranging patient groups aged 13 onwards.  The team also links with the pharmacy and healthy minds teams to ensure the patient gets the best possible care for both physical and mental wellbeing.

The process is very simple for the patient. They contact the GP practice or complete the practice’s e-reception. The patient is then given a time slot for the appointment. The physio contacts the patient and discusses the current problem, goals and onward management. Follow up appointments are made within an agreed time scale. Up until the last few weeks of holidays, many patients were able to access our service either on the day on with a few days.

We have been able to offer face to face consultations throughout the pandemic. Initially this was only done for those patients who presented with conditions that required urgent assessment to prevent potential long term harm (such as cauda equine syndrome and cervical myelopathy).

As the weeks have progressed, we have been able to offer increased face to face appointments at two different venues. This was achieved though discussion with each of the practices to ensure the current government guidelines were being adhered too and any local requirements were being met. The appointment times were staggered with other professionals to reduce the number of patients in the socially distanced waiting rooms at one time.

All patients were screened prior to being booked from a waiting list. The patients were contacted and offered an appointment slot based on those in the lower risk categories being seen first and those who were shielding being assessed when this had finished. These were nearly all done by an advanced physiotherapy practitioner to ensure consistency.

During the pandemic the telephone triage service has continued to expand with more daytime, evening, weekend and bank holiday appointments available.  At the time of writing, we have close to 500 new patient phone appointments in the week, excluding follow ups and face to face consultations. To ensure that patients are receiving a more meaningful contact we have taken the decision to increase the appointment time for both face to face and virtual appointments, as many people have more complex presentations due to them not seeking help sooner.

The extended access team is continuing to expand to be able to continue to meet the ongoing increasing demands from GP practices with in this new health climate.

Simon Miller
Clinical Lead, Extended Access Physio Service

View all previous daily briefings
TARGET September

We are looking forward to our first online TARGET event next week on Thursday 10 September. We are putting the finishing touches on the new pre-recorded materials, and the programme complete with links to online content, will be published in Friday’s briefing.

Launch of a new urgent eye service in Leeds

The local NHS has teamed up with the Leeds Local Optical Committee, to launch a new service called CUES, which stands for Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service.

CUES is free to access and is for all patients. The service will predominately be delivered over the phone or a video consultation. However, depending on the severity of the individuals eye problem they may need to be seen face to face by a clinician, this could be in the community or at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. 

Find out how the service will be delivered by watching this short video clip from Paul Appleson, an optometrist in Leeds

Communication materials


Flu updates and actions for practices/PCNs

Flu assurance plan - for completion
We know practices and PCNs have been working hard to deliver the significant flu programme for this year and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the work you are doing to protect our vulnerable patients from flu. 

A template flu assurance plan has previously been circulated, thank you to all of those practices or PCNs that have submitted their flu assurance plan. 

Please can we ask if you have not submitted a plan that you complete this assurance plan as soon as possible.  Where possible, we would like to encourage a PCN wide plan however where flu delivery is being delivered solely as a practice then submit on behalf of your practice. 

As part of the plan, we are asking for confirmation of expected non-recurrent costs that will be incurred due to the need to deliver the programme in the context of Covid 19 and social distancing – please can you ensure this information is completed so that we can provide confirmation of funding as soon as possible. 

Please email completed plans to For further queries please contact Lindsey or Kirsty

As part of the plan, we are asking for confirmation of expected non-recurrent costs that will be incurred due to the need to deliver the programme in the context of Covid 19 and social distancing – please can you ensure this information is completed so that we can provide confirmation of funding as soon as possible. 

Update from CQC regarding notification of off-site vaccination clinics
CQC would like to remind practices that if their model of delivery for this year’s flu campaign includes any off-site clinics a CQC notification needs to be made. Please see a link to the latest CQC guidance on flu clinics and which types of clinics require notification. If you are planning on using an off-site venue or community location please ensure that the premises and staff have undergone risk assessments for public safety, infection control, employment law, health and safety and clinical governance risk assessment and that you have written a protocol for patients and staff. If you require any support with this please contact the Primary Care Team.

Flu FAQs from PHE Yorkshire and Humber Region
Please see the latest version of the FAQs being compiled by colleagues at the Regional Public Health England team.  This document may answer some of the questions that have been raised through local operations groups.

Flu jab for 50-64s
Please find below nationally approved copy for practice websites or to answer patient enquiries. It’s designed to clarify the position when 50-64 year olds approach requesting their flu jab.

Please note that people in the 50-64-year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.  If you are 50-64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier.

We’re currently working with Leeds City Council on local flu vaccine communications resources and will share these as soon as possible. The national campaign will start in October.

Clinical / practice updates

Sexual health / access to contraception
As lockdown eases, some patients may not be aware that contraception and sexual health support is available, believing such services are non-essential or carry unnecessary risk. Failure to obtain timely care can lead to avoidable unplanned pregnancies and undiagnosed STIs. We’re urging all services to contact their patients to ensure that everyone who needs contraception, abortion and other types of sexual and reproductive healthcare are clear on where it can be accessed.

Where opportunities arise, patients should be informed that:

  • Contraception is still available for free and long acting methods can now be fitted at many GP practices as well as Leeds Sexual Health.
  • Emergency contraception is available free from GP practices, local sexual health pharmacies and Leeds Sexual Health.
  • Abortion care is available free in Leeds from Marie Stopes International or BPAS – both can be contacted directly.
  • Victims of sexual assault will receive care as a matter of priority.

For information on sexual health services in Leeds, other than those provided by primary care visit

BSL and language interpretation services – reminder of new provider
As mentioned in the briefing on 1 September, Language Empire took over the provision of BSL and language interpretation and translation services for practices.

Further details are in this briefing note.
Microsoft Teams update
A number of colleagues have been in touch to let us know that they have received an email from NHS Digital saying that your dial licence will expire on 29 September. Please note you do not need to take any action.
We are in the process of purchasing licences for everyone with an existing licence, this will include additional licences so that we have extra cover in place. We expect the new licences to be in place by 14 September.
This is part of our long-term plan to roll-out Office365 to all CCG colleagues and GP practices, this will be an N365+ licence. If you need more information please email Ralph Moncrieff-Ross
NHS Mail refresh
NHS Mail with be refreshing over the next two months, to give more functionality for N365. This briefing has more information.

Virtual frailty ward going citywide

From 21 September the virtual frailty ward will offer citywide coverage. Find out more about the service, including referral criteria, in the updated service leaflet for health and care professionals.

Medicines updates
Drug safety alert 
  • Clozapine and other antipsychotics: monitoring blood concentrations for toxicity, Denosumab 60mg (Prolia): increased risk of multiple vertebral fractures after stopping or delaying ongoing treatment
  • Baricitinib (Olumiant): increased risk of diverticulitis, particularly in patients with risk factors
  • Isotretinoin (Roaccutane): reminder of important risks and precautions,
  • Emollients and risk of severe and fatal burns: new resources available
Full details are in the latest MHRA drug safety update
Learning, development and campaigns
World Suicide Prevention Day – join the campaign
This year’s theme is connection. Suicide Prevention Day Webinar
10 September, 2-3:30pm

The Leeds Mindful Employer Network is holding a special online event to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2020. Full details and joining instructions are in the network newsletter.
World Patient Safety Day – 17 September
The theme for this year’s World Patient Safety Day on 17 September is health worker safety. You can find out how to take part on the WHO WPSD 2020 campaign web pages.
Perinatal mental health
22 September, 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 4.30pm.
For further information about this webinar and how to book your place, please visit the following link
West Yorkshire and Harrogate suicide reduction campaign co-creation workshops
Reducing suicide by 10% across West Yorkshire and Harrogate by 2020/21 and achieving a 75% reduction in targeted areas by 2022 is one of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s 10 big ambitions.

To develop the most effective campaign, 2-hour virtual workshops will take place in order to learn from experts and experiences across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. This opportunity is open for all staff working at all levels in all organisations.

People with lived experience and/or affected by suicide  
  • Session option 1 (Max 8 attendees): 16.09.20 at 4pm – 6pm - RSVP
 Staff (especially those working in areas of high risk)
  • Session option 1 (Max 8 attendees): 22.09.20 at 10am – 12pm - RSVP
  • Session option 2 (Max 8 attendees): 23.09.20 at 3pm – 5pm - RSVP
Each session will include a specialist working in the field who will provide details of local support services should colleagues need them. Colleagues from the Samaritans will be also be available.
Social media message of the day

Know a young person nervous about returning to school? There’s support available if anyone is feeling anxious
Link of the day

The latest episode of ‘Can You Hear Me?’, the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s BAME Staff Network podcast, is now live at

Communications support

If you receive any media queries or need help with developing any patient-facing resources please contact our communications team. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35529 or

Frequently asked questions

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