Panoramic Clinical Trial

You may be aware of a recent announcement by the UK Governmentabout the use of new antiviral treatments across the four UK nations within the Panoramic Clinical Trial to treat certain patient cohorts in thecommunity with confirmed COVID-19. This is a priority study for the UK which is supported by the four ChiefMedical Officers; the support of primary care contractors in NorthernIreland is vital to ensure patients most likely to benefit from COVID-19antivirals can gain access to them. On...

UPDATED POLICY FOR MANAGEMENT OF SELF-ISOLATION OF CLOSE CONTACTS OF COVID-19 CASES – ADDITIONAL SAFEGUARDS FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE STAFF -HSS(MD)91/2021

The purpose of this letter is to:   1. Provide updated guidance on the management of health and social care workers identified as close contacts of COVID-19. 2. Provide updated guidance on isolation requirements for health and social care workers who are confirmed cases of COVID-19.   This CMO letter circular replaces HSS (MD) 85/2021 with immediate effect (from Thursday 30 December). The guidance in this letter is applicable to all health and social care settings including all Trust...

HSS(MD) 89/2021 – JCVI UPDATE ON ADVICE FOR COVID-19 VACCINATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE (Primary vaccination of 5-11 year olds & Booster Vaccination in persons aged 12 to 17 years)

JCVI has now issued updated advice in relation to COVID-19 vaccination of children and young people. The full JCVI statement can be found here at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jcvi-update-on-advice-for-covid-19-vaccination-of-children-and-young-people/jcvi-statement-on-covid-19- vaccination-of-children-and-young-people-22-december-2021 Primary vaccination in children aged 5 to 11 years JCVI have now recommended that children aged five to 11 years in a clinical risk group (as...

Advice for patients with an Urgent Dental Need

Patients who are registered with a dental practice Patients should be advised to contact their dentist for advice. Dental practices have arrangements in place for triage during specific hours seven days a week including bankholidays. Patients who are not currently registered with a dental practice Patients should be advised to contact any dentist in their area. Dentists have agreed, under the terms of their financial support scheme, to treat unregistered patients in need of urgent care...

COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption – Clinician Guidance

COVID-19 certificates can be used to demonstrate an individual’s vaccine status and may be required as a condition of entry to specified venues. While the majority of individuals are able to safely receive COVID-19 vaccination, there are a very small number of individualswho have conditions which mean that vaccination may not be possible or in their best interests. These individuals, who are medically exempt from vaccination, need an alternative method of gaining COVID-19 certification so...

Pharmacy First: Winter Conditions

The Pharmacy First Service for Winter Conditions will operate in community pharmacies from 8th November 2021 until 31st March 2022; a summary ofthe service is provided in Appendix 1. All patients registered with a GP in Northern Ireland are eligible to avail of this service with the exception of patients living in nursing or residential care homes. It is anticipated that the vast majority of pharmacies will be providing the service and a list of participating pharmacies will be available on...

INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 TREATMENTS – NEUTRALISING MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES (nMAB) OR ANTIVIRALS FOR NON-HOSPITALISED PATIENTS WITH COVID-19.

The highest risk cohorts are as defined in the Interim Clinical Policy developed by the Rapid C-19 policy expert group. A list of the cohort categories is attached to this letter for ease of reference. Access to these treatments will be directly through Trust-provided, Outpatient COVID-19 Treatment Services (OCTs). Patients who do not have a positive COVID diagnosis but who make contact regarding access to treatment.Advice should be that the treatments are available only to those patients...

Covid-19 IPC Guidance Update Omicron

The UK COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) Cell, having reviewed further information regarding the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, remains of the view that the current COVID-19 IPC guidance remains otherwise fit for purpose. There remains the need for rigorous implementation of all IPC measures, based on a dynamic risk assessment based on ·        Person ·       place and ·       environment, using a hierarchy of controls approach. There should be an emphasis on the optimised...

CHANGES TO REQUIREMENT FOR FIT NOTES TO EVIDENCE CLAIMS FOR STATUTORY SICK PAY AND ACCESS TO BENEFITS (EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE AND UNIVERSAL CREDIT).

With effect from the 17 December 2021. These will be time limited and last up to, and including, 26 January 2022: The self-certification period for Statutory Sick Pay will be extended to 28 days (from its current 7) There will be easements within the benefits system to enable claimants to access benefits without the need for a fit note. The extension of the self-certification period will be widely publicised andupdated information will be available on NIDirect in relation to this....

SUSPENSION OF THE 15 MINUTE WITH MRNA VACCINE FOR COVID 19

The four Chief Medical Officers of the UK and lead DCMOs for vaccines have considered whether, in the light of the very considerable need to speed up vaccination and boosting in the light of the omicron variant the 15 minute wait for some mRNA Covid-19 vaccines should be temporally suspended. [divi_wpfd_single_file file_params="{%22selected_file_id%22:34088,%22selected_category_id%22:113,%22selected_file_name%22:%22HSS MD 82 2021 Suspension of the 15 minute with MRNA Vaccine for COVID...

GPNI have brought together a large multi-disciplinary working group to generate and collate the most up to date and relevant information for Northern Ireland Primary Care.  Below you will find important updates regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic along with primary care specific guidance.  This is a developing resource which will be updated as new information and guidelines become available.

If you would like to contribute to GPNI you can email our editorial team on [email protected] we are a multi-disciplinary team and welcome contributions from all elements of primary care.