Hope everyone OK.
Just wanted to let you know that Primary Care across South Tyneside is planning for potential escalation requirements, should practices not be able to function independently due to staff absence and sickness in the current environment.
We have graded levels called OPEL Levels 1 – 4. One being where practices are now, mostly telephone and video consultations and 4 being where practices across all three PCNs work as one “unit”.
We are planning to test OPEL level three next week, which could mean for a short period of time, prescriptions may be issued by GPs for patients not registered at their own practice. There is a lot of technology and operational stuff to sort to run this test, but it is currently planned for Wednesday 23rd April. Subject to operational resources available, it may be that OPEL 3 continues during the current pandemic until further notice, or that it is stood back down to level 1 or 2.
I will keep you posted, but just wanted to let you know so that you can advise your pharmacy members of this activity in advance.