1) COVID-19: the Coronavirus pandemic has transformed the provision of GP services across the country – all non-essential services have had to be stopped or postponed & the majority of our consultations are taking place remotely, i.e. by telephone or video – locally, we developed COVID-19 hot sites; ‘red’ sites for seeing potential Coronavirus cases & ‘amber’ sites for seeing other unwell patients, alongside a visiting service for seeing patients who require home visits – we expect the visiting service to continue until at least March 2021; this has released extra capacity in the surgery for GPs to deal with more patients & to have longer appointments – we are less convinced of the benefits of remote consultations but we suspect there will be pressure for these to continue in the longer-term

2) North Southport Primary Care Network (PCN): four out of five of the member practices, including The Corner Surgery, have pulled out of the PCN – there are a number of reasons for this but ultimately, we were expecting PCNs to be allowed to develop from the ground-up, according to local needs & priorities – instead, we were being asked to sign a rather onerous, top-down contract & we were worried about this having an adverse effect on our core services – thankfully, our decision should not have an adverse effect on our patients because Southport & Formby CCG now has to commission the ‘network services’ from another provider – we hope that this will be the local GP Federation, who already provide the 7-Day GP & Community Cardiology Services, & have provided the recent COVID-19 hot sites & visiting service

3) Network Projects: even though the PCN is being disbanded, our successful PCN projects will continue – the low carb diet project has been hugely popular & even featured in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), so we will be holding low carb patient group consultations at our surgery on behalf of all 5 practices, once it is deemed safe to do so – we hope to be able to fund a co-ordinated flu vaccination service for housebound patients for all 5 practices again this year – the clinical pharmacy hub will continue, which helps us to manage medication supply problems, discharge summary medicine reconciliations & structured medication reviews – and the social prescribing service continues too, with a focus on supporting vulnerable patients who are experiencing social difficulties due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures

4) Other Changes: we have advertised for an Advanced Nurse Practitioner & we hope to have somebody in position by September 2020 – patients are now able to submit an eConsult via our practice website or the NHS App, to request non-urgent medical advice from the GPs or help from our administrative team – the majority of our paper records have now been scanned into the computer system, allowing GPs to access the information during a consultation & reducing the risk of future loss/damage – the practice is being asked to vote on a merger of the North Mersey CCGs (Liverpool, Knowsley, South Sefton & Southport/Formby); there are pros & cons to this but we hope that the North Mersey option will retain enough local control over NHS decisions made for Southport & Formby patients