GP bulletin – 24 December 2020

This has been an unprecedented year, with a seismic shift in the way we have worked since March. The hard work, changing pace and delivery model and working throughout holiday periods and recent start to COVID-19 vaccination has been a tremendous response, but has also left us all tired. The numbers and picture for COVID-19 is unfortunately surging again. The acute hospitals are shutting down their elective activity in order to cope with rising numbers of cases.

We would like the thank you in general practice and primary care in Barnet for your extraordinary efforts and wish you a very Happy Christmas, and healthy 2021, where we will be part of the solution to COVID-19 through our vaccination programme.

Here is this week’s bulletin:

 Clinical news

 Pharmacy opening times for Christmas and New Year 2020/21 in Barnet

There may be additional pharmacies opening which are not listed. If the pharmacy you would like to visit is not listed here, then you can check their opening hours by searching at 

Pharmacy Name



Telephone Number

Christmas Day 25.12.20

Boxing Day Substitute

New Year’s Day 01.1.20

Fairview Pharmacy

Finchley Memorial Hospital, Granville Road

N12 0JE

020 8346 0707




Gimmack Chemist

177 Cricklewood Lane, Cricklewood


020 8452 2418




Greenfield Pharmacy

16 Greenhill Parade, New Barnet


020 8449 0708




Royal Free phlebotomy services

The Royal Free phlebotomy services (Royal Free Hospital, Barnet Hospital and Edgware Community Hospital sites) have informed us that 10% of patients are not attending their blood appointments. Please reassure patients that services are safe, social distancing and PPE is in place, and to make sure that they do attend appointments – particularly given pressures on capacity.

Royal Free Trust: Pausing all planned procedures and out-patient appointments

In response to the on-going COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the increasing need to care for patients requiring urgent, emergency or COVID-19 care, the Royal Free Trust has taken the difficult decision to temporarily pause all non-urgent, time critical planned procedures/operations and out-patient services. Further details, including FAQs, can be found here on the Trust’s website.

Healthwise physical activity referral scheme update

Please see the latest information and updates attached regarding the Healthwise physical activity service, which include the following:

More information can be found on the GP intranet.

Protecting colleagues: Masks and social distancing
It is obviously vital that we do as much as we can to avoid COVID-19 transmissions between staff in our practices. We all share offices and space with each other as we go about our day and we need to stay safe while we do this. Please don’t take off your mask unless you are on your own and remember to maintain a two metre distance from colleagues where possible, even whilst wearing a mask. Don’t forget to take breaks, but don’t eat and drink together. By doing this, you can protect yourself, your colleagues, your patients and your families. If you have any symptoms that are Covid-19 related, you must self-isolate and get a test immediately. Thank you for your continued hard work under very difficult circumstances.

GP supporting mentors’ scheme

If you are an experienced GP working in NCL and interested in becoming a mentor to support the GP SPIN Fellowship programme, please complete the application form. More information can be found on the GP intranet.

Staying safe this winter with eConsult

Letting your patients know that they can do more than book appointments online can help towards keeping them safe this winter. We encourage you to inform older or frailer patients about ordering repeat prescriptions online through eConsult, as well as doing a review for conditions like high blood pressure or asthma, so they don’t have to leave the house. Text message templates to send to older and/or frailer patients alongside content for your websites and social media are available here.

Remote vs face-to-face: which to use and when?
RCGP has published a brief and concise guide to support clinicians when choosing a consultation modality during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to access the full guide and links to other key resources.

Online Consultations and accuRx Survey – Your feedback is important

NCL would like your feedback on using Online Consultation and accuRx products to help inform the upcoming CCG decision for the procurement of Online/Video Consultation services. The deadline for completing the short survey is Friday 8 January 2021. Microsoft Forms.

Notice fraud newsletter- December 2020

Please find the final fraud newsletter for 2020 which looks at holiday scams, counterfeit goods and how to report any concerns that you may have.


 Positive patient communications during the pandemic webinar
This webinar discusses how style and tone of messaging play an important role in effective engagement with patients through online communications. It looks at ‘Why’, ‘Who’, ‘When’, ‘What’ and ‘How’ to use online communications with patients and the knock-on positive impact this has on both practice workload and patient experience. Click here to view the webinar recording. Links to useful resources to help practices with patient communications can be found on the GP intranet.

Webinar slides: NCL CYP mental health overview for GPs

Slides are now available from Thursday 10 December’s weekly NCL practice webinar presentation on children and young people’s mental services in NCL. Contact details for local CYP MH support. For more information, please contact:

 CAMHS support for children and young people

The webinar will focus on how to support children, young people, and families through COVID-19.

To join the session, please click here

When: 20 January 2021

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

General practice nurse cancer community of practice – forthcoming dates

You can register for this event and more information is available on the flyer. If you have any questions contact Sandra Dyer – Primary Care Lead Nurse Transforming Cancer Services Team for London:
When: 14 Jan, 11 Feb, 18 March

Time: 12:45 -14:00

UCL annual GP tutors’ conference

This conference is titled ‘Teaching and Learning with Patients’ – simple in its name, but complex in its nature. The conference aims to provide an insight into ways of optimising teaching for patients, students and educators via Royal College of Physicians online platform. To view the full programme, please visit the GP Tutors’ Conference webpage.

When: 12 March 2021

NCL COVID-19 information

North Central London COVID-19 GP website and cancer pages
For the latest information on COVID -19, primary care staff are asked to regularly check the North Central London COVID-19 GP website. If you or a colleague would like to subscribe or submit content to the twice-weekly NCL GP newsletter, please email: Launched to improve how we communicate the fast-changing and large amount of guidance and information being shared, we hope you find them helpful. Barnet’s GP intranet will continue to be updated with local information.

Also remember to use the NCL COVID-19 GP Intranet Cancer Pages for all COVID-19 related Cancer Updates. This information is not listed on local borough intranets, so please use the above link.

Kind regards,


Charlotte and Clare


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