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NHS Health Check Data return for quarter 3
Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will not require local authorities to return quarter 3 (Q3) NHS Health Check data by the 3 February 2022. Local authorities that have NHS Health Check Q3 data available and are in a position to submit will still be able to do so through the data portal as planned. Local authorities that are unable to provide the Q3 data by the 3 February will be able to return this data along with the quarter 4 (Q4) data return which is scheduled to take place between 05 April 2022 – 19 May 2022. This change to the data collection scheduling will mean that Q3 data will now be published on Fingertips with Q4 data on the 5 July 2022.
General practice workload prioritisation guide
The Royal College of General Practitioners and British Medical Association published a workload prioritisation guide for general practice (GP) during the accelerated booster vaccination campaign. The document is intended as short-term guidance to inform GP planning whilst delivering the booster programme. The RCGP highlight that is it important to recognise that pressures directly linked to Omicron are not being uniformly felt across regions or systems. Therefore, the guidance recommends that final decisions about what to stop or delay should take place locally in consultation with Local Medical Committees and in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups, but ultimately it is for practices to determine how they best meet the needs of their patients. The guidance suggests that, in the short-term, GPs consider the NHS Health Check programme as one area of work that could be deprioritised.
Acceleration of the COVID booster programme
On the 13 of December NHSE/I published further guidance to Integrated Care Systems and Strategic Transformation Programme leads on the acceleration of the COVID booster programme. This advice: • recognises the change in the alert level from 3 to 4 and asks local authorities to support the NHS with prioritising the booster programme, this includes redeploying administrative and clinical staff to support delivery; • sets out that general practice should pause routine and non-urgent care and redeploy staff to support the booster programme; and • confirms changes to payment schemes to support systems to accelerate action on the booster programme. More detailed operational advice from NHSE/I, Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association is to follow.
NHS Health Check Quarter 2 data published
The NHS Health Check 2021-22 Quarter 2 data has been published. The data shows that the total number of NHS Health Checks offered and completed during Q2 2021-22 is about 40% of activity reported pre-COVID. However, this was the second successive quarter showing a steady improvement in activity. 136 local authorities reported some level of activity indicating that the majority of areas are beginning to recover the programme.
Evidence-based review of the NHS Health Check programme
The evidence-based review of the NHS Health Check programme has now concluded. The final report was published on 7 December 2021. The report recognises the value of the NHS Health Check and sets out six recommendations to Government on how the programme could go further in preventing non-communicable disease and helping to reduce health inequalities. The recommendations present an exciting opportunity for the programme to realise its full potential. Find out more
NHSE/I prioritisation and next steps guidance in response to the emergence of the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant.
Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination, NHSE/I have released guidance detailing a number of measures to support all Primary Care Network-led local vaccination service. These will allow wherever possible practices and PCNs to continue to pursue the clinical ambitions underlying the Quality Outcomes Framework and Investment and Impact Fund while releasing capacity to support the increased vaccine effort. The letter highlights the core services in the GP contract that can be de-prioritised where necessary, this includes health checks for people over the age of 75. At this time there is no advice that locally commissioned services should be deprioritised. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities continue to encourage the recovery of the NHS Health Check Programme where it is appropriate to do so. Responsibility for the NHS Health Check programme lies with local authorities and recovery planning should be taken at a local level, based on clinical judgement and informed by a shared understanding of the response level faced in local areas in conjunction with demands for delivering the booster programme.
Invitation to the ‘Realist review of the NHS Health Check programme’ final stakeholder meeting
PHE London webinar: Bringing NHS Health Checks into the community
Public Health England’s London region are hosting a webinar focusing on bringing NHS Health Checks into the community on Wednesday 6th October 2021, 11:00 -12:30. The aim of the webinar is to provide information on what NHS Health Checks are, how Community Champions can help with promoting them, why this is important, and having a discussion about what is needed to upskill Community Champions to promote NHS Health Checks. The webinar is aimed at NHS Health Check and Community Champion Leads, local providers, and key stakeholders.
UPDATE: Becton Dickinson blood specimen collection - supply disruption
NHSE/I have released an update in relation to the supply disruption to Becton Dickinson’s (BD) blood specimen collection portfolio. The supply chain is no longer as constrained as it was previously, however it has not been completely resolved. While supply remains constrained NHSE/I advice is to optimise the use of blood tubes and to ensure that testing does not exceed levels recorded during June and July 2021. Primary care and community providers can resume testing, stock permitting, and should follow NHSE/Is current guidance.
Update: Becton Dickinson blood specimen collection supply disruption
NHSE/I have published a letter to provide further clarity on how to safely reduce demand of all tubes. The guidance states that all primary care and community testing must be halted until 17 September 2021, except for clinically urgent testing. Colleagues should continue to direction from NHSE/I guidance.