MESSAGE FROM DR NICOLA JONES: Latest coronavirus information

Update from Dr Nicola Jones,
Chair of the South West London Primary Care Cell

3rd April 2020

Dear colleagues,

This bulletin includes important information which will support you in managing your patients in this challenging period. So far it has been unclear what practices should be doing to identify people at high risk of COVID19 complications, but this is now starting to be clarified – see the attached information. There is also an update on cancer pathways which I know will be welcome as GPs are concerned about patients who have other conditions that require our attention.

Thank you all for another week of dedicated service. You deserved the round of applause that you got on Thursday from our grateful public.

Best wishes,
Dr Nicola Jones
Clinical Lead, SWL Primary Care

Identifying, Contacting and Supporting Highest Risk & Vulnerable People

We have previously included updates on the national process for identifying and contacting the highest risk patients and separately, on the need to prioritise advance care planning for groups of vulnerable patients.

The attached letter for GP practices from Dr Jenny Harries and Dr Nikita Kanani has now been published, to provide information to practices on where things are now with the national process. FAQs for practices have also been published.

We are aware that some patients who should have been categorised as one of the highest risk patients have not received the relevant letter. If that is the case, due to delays in this being resolved nationally the advice in SWL is that practices can now send their patients a personalised copy of the national highest risk patient letter if they have not already received it – ie if they have not been flagged on your IT system as such a patient or if they contact you to say they have not received it.

Situation Reports

We have previously highlighted the Situation Report online form which is being sent to practices every day for completion before 10am. Completing this report is really important as it will be used by the team for early identification of testing prioritisation, PPE supply needs and workforce support needs. If you have an urgent issue that needs to be resolved, please also continue to raise this with your local borough lead for resolution.

Cancer Pathways

Please find attached:

  • GP update on cancer – key messages on cancer pathway changes and actions for primary care from NHS South West London CCG, NHS North West London Collaboration of CCGs and RM Partners West London Cancer Alliance.
  • Supporting attachments:
    • Pan London FIT pathway
    • London cancer comms (links to resources/guidance doc)


New guidance

NHS England updated their guidance on PPE yesterday. There is also a poster outlining recommended PPE for primary and community care settings. Key points to note are:

Direct patient care for possible/confirmed cases:

    • Gloves (change between patients)
    • Apron (change between patients)
    • Fluid-resistant (IIR) surgical mask (1 per session)
  • Eye/face protection (1 per session)

Reception/communal area with possible/confirmed cases when distancing by 2m is impractical:

  • Fluid-resistant (IIR) surgical mask

Local delivery of PPE this week

We have arranged for a pack of PPE (masks, aprons, hand sanitiser) to be supplied for each GP Practice and each GP Federation across South West London. This pack is based on previous guidance but from next week orders will be aligned to the new guidance. Packs will be delivered from today to your practice. We will deliver these to you and your local primary care team will manage delivery arrangements.

New process for ordering PPE

From the week beginning 6 April we are anticipating there will be a new national process for ordering of PPE including eye protection and we will share this with you as soon as possible.

GP Team Net

We will shortly be launching a SWL GP Team Net portal where you will be able to find, in one place, latest COVID-19 guidance and information as well as these updates. We will send details and instructions to you once this is ready. Existing GP Team Net users will be able to access the portal using their existing logins. New users will receive instructions on how to register on the portal. Full details will follow early next week.

IT Update

Please find the attached update from our IT Team.

Coronavirus Act – excess death provisions

NHS guidance on death certification and cremation forms has been published following the Coronavirus Act gaining Royal Assent on 25 March 2020. It covers:

  • Medical certificate of cause of death
  • Registration
  • Referral / Notification to Coroners
  • Burial
  • Cremation

Optometry Services

This update on optometry services confirms that:

  • All routine optical services are suspended
  • Urgent and essential eye care should be delivered from a limited number of optical practices only


  1. Shielding Letter NHS
  2. COVID-19 Cancer All GP Practice Comms.
  3. Pan London FIT for all high and low colorectal 2ww
  4. London Cancer communications pack cover note
  5. IT Update 03.04.2020

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