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Guidance update 15 July: Fit notes, firearms licensing, salaried GP pay

A round-up of key guidance updates for GP practices.

Nurse taking a patient's blood pressure
Nurses and physiotherapists are now able to sign fit notes if they have the skills and experience (Picture: Getty Images)

Fit note rules change

The government has produced new guidance on the change in rules that allow nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists to sign fit notes. The guidance is aimed at healthcare professionals and their employers and sets out what employers should consider if they intend to let other professionals take on this role.

It also includes links to a new training module on e-learning for healthcare to support healthcare professionals to take on this role.

New firearms marker on patient records

A new standardised digital firearms marker is being rolled out and it will be added to patient records in England when the individual has a firearms license.

It will be rolled out across GP IT suppliers starting in July and suppliers will be issuing guidance and advice on using the marker system.

NHS England said that the marker will match 'relevant medical conditions against a firearms code, triggering an automatic flag to the doctor'.

The BMA said the move was a positive step. However, Dr Peter Holden, BMA lead for firearms licensing policy, added: 'The public should be under no illusion that this will be an overnight solution. This new scheme will apply only to new applicants or people renewing their licences, so it will take up to five years before all licensed gun owners are included within this framework.'

New illustrative pay scales for salaried GPs

The BMA has produced new illustrative pay ranges for salaried GPs, saying the current salaries recommended by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) are flawed. You can find more information on this on GP Business here.

COVID-19 guidance tracker

Don't forget that our COVID-19 GP guidance tracker provides a list of guidance relating to the pandemic relevant to GP practices in an easy-to-search format. The tracker is regularly updated and you can find it here.

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