A message from the LMC’s Chief Executive Dr Brian Balmer
You will be aware that there has been a significant incident at MSE Trust which involves the misdirection of thousands of patient letters which should have been sent to general practices. This is due to an IT problem within the Trust and appears to go back several years. We have been informed that around 52,000 patients are involved.
This is clearly a serious risk to patients and the management of the problem requires a system wide approach. This must be led by the Trust, assisted by the ICB. The LMC has had limited influence and consultation on current plans to manage this risk and practices should therefore be aware of the following:
- This problem arises in the Trust and all communication must be clear on this point.
- Practices will want to assist but must be aware that accepting any responsibility for a solution must be done within an agreed, system-wide, governance programme.
- At present practices are being asked to accept delayed letters without any knowledge of the support available from the Trust.
- Practices should be allowed to choose how much involvement they wish to have in managing this risk, but making that assessment is impossible and potentially dangerous in the absence of information about Trust plans.
The LMC is ready to review and advise upon any communications received by practices around this incident, and Trust/ICS requests for actions. Practices may also want to use the BMA fees calculator in assessing the additional resources they will need in order to perform the work they decide to contribute. BMA members will need to sign in to the BMA website to access the fees calculator: https://www.bma.org.uk/pay-and-contracts/fees/fees-calculator/bma-fees-calculator
Remuneration for this work (determined by the practice) and a claims process must be confirmed in writing by the Trust / ICB before committing to take on the work.