Hi Everyone, I’m keeping this month’s newsletter thin on the details, given quite a few of us are on holiday. If you are, I hope you're having a fantastic time, well deserved. Just flag this for now and read it when you get back as there's a reminder about pensions forms and a great offer from NB Medical to ease your way back into the work stuff.
So… Freedom Day has come and gone. We can all get back to normal – go nightclubbing, fling our masks in the bin and generally cavort about the streets of Yorkshire in a festivity of Bacchanalian hedonism. Right? Well not quite …
On the same day as Freedom Day, NHSE released C1354 Staff Isolation: Approach following updated Government Guidance which outlines guidance to providers “to allow essential staff to return to work following a negative PCR test if they have been asked to isolate due to potential contact with Covid 19”. So that’s alright then. Carry on cavorting everyone. So, if your app pings after that much planned train trip to see your family or the day after that meal out you've postponed for over a year, you can rest assured that every provider has a clear pathway to help you get that test ASAP… Well, not quite...
Most CCGs are playing catch up with this so, as yet, we haven’t got clarity on who you need to ask for the same day test. And of course, it’s more of a challenge for us as locums, if the test request has to come via a practice… but we have been here before, with Covid testing in the early days, so let’s hope test requests are simple.
For now, if you are in the unfortunate position of needing an urgent PCR test, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to facilitate it.
And at least we now can be reassured that mask wearing in a clinical setting remains the recommendation.
All this highlights the unavoidable fact that Covid-19 is here to stay. It's currently not a problem to be solved but a predicament we are in.
All predicaments are difficult, confusing or unpleasant. Unlike problems, which suggests solutions, a predicament can be something that is hard to solve and each of us have our own decisions to make, each answer raising more questions.
It’s tempting to think it might just be simpler to switch the app off than risk getting a ping … but, of course, we also have responsibilities.
So, this week’s meeting is going to encourage reflection and discussion about how Covid-19 has been a predicament for us. We will be focusing on workplace issues and professional duties, but the conversation is likely to wander into our personal experiences and our responsibilities to our communities.
I’m attaching a link to the GMC website that tables the ethical problems around Covid-19 and these headings will form the basis of our discussion:
In case you missed Andy’s email about your pension contributions here is the detail again. Have to say that Andy and Carole have worked extremely hard to get this set up in the face of the usual levels of competency we have come to appreciate in the superannuation labyrinth of PCSE. And thanks to those of you who have volunteered to trial the system. As far as I am aware this process is far simpler than the multiple steps independent locums will now need to be taking to submit their forms, another bonus of being a Chambers member.
This only applies to members who are contributing to the NHS pension scheme.
From August we intend to upload all members pension forms directly to PCSE, that will be for July’s Form B (which is for work done in June). This means all members (other than those who are participating in our guineapig run) should continue to upload their pension Form Bs up to June (work done in May) in the usual way.
The Process will be as follows:
Potential pitfalls to be aware of,
Please go onto PCSE online https://secure.pcse.england.nhs.uk/_forms/pcsssignin.aspx and login to check you have the right access, if not we can request this from PCSE (by right access I mean you should see two buttons – Performer’s list and GP Pensions and Payment.)
And finally, I’m reminding you again about this amazing offer from NB Medical, in case you missed it... I find the podcast really accessible as it is coffee break short and picks up topics that make a difference to our practice that are often overlooked. This week, Rob talked about antispasmodics in low back pain which seemed highly relevant to a friend of mine laid flat after shifting a sofa last week.
You will remember that back at the beginning of the year we told you about our new partnership with the NB Medical team. Well, I am delighted to share with you our exclusive offer from NB Medical (see attached documents for more details):
Hope you are all well.
Hester and the Chambers Team