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Greater Manchester Primary Care COVID-19 Response Briefings

These briefing notes are being produced by both commissioner and provider leads to share current information for primary care which may also be able to support some local considerations. The aim of these briefings is to supplement the nationally issued guidance.


Several potential vaccines for COVID-19 are in the later stages of phase III trials. If one or more are authorised for use, the NHS needs to be ready to start immediate vaccination.

Our plans for deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine build on the tried-and-tested rollout plans for influenza vaccine, which we deploy every autumn. Given the uncertainty over whether, and when, a vaccine may be approved, we are planning to be ready from any date from December with mass vaccination more likely in the New Year.

Enabling Safe Certification of Deaths in the Community Service

Following a change in legislation (The Coronavirus Act 2020), the ‘Enabling Safe Certification of Deaths in the Community Service’ (ESCDCS) was established with the intention of increasing capacity to support rising demand to attend, verify and certify expected and reasonably foreseeable natural deaths in the community.

The ESCDC service will stand down with effect from 30th June 2020 and GM will be moving back to original arrangements.

  • Deaths will continue to be monitored with a view to enact the service if the need arises.
  • Monday to Friday 08:00-18:30 (in hours): Practices will deal with attendance, verification and certification of deaths for registered patients. ESCDC service will be available to offer advice and support practices.
  • Monday to Friday 18:30 – 08:00 and weekends: Out Of Hours services will deal with deaths.

The ESCDC phone line will remain in place until Friday 10th July. Please contact 0161 763 8296 (08:00-16:30 Monday to Friday).

To find out more about the service, please see the frequently asked questions below:


  • GP Dementia COVID-19 Guidance this is a quick guide to coping with the complex problems that people living with dementia and their families are facing during COVID-19. It was developed by Dr Helen Martin (GP and Dementia United’s Clinical Lead) in conjunction with Dementia United. The focus is on dealing with challenging behaviour and supporting people at home, planning ahead and acute management including recognising atypical presentations and managing delirium.
  • The Greater Manchester (GM) Community Delirium Toolkit this toolkit has the objective of providing clinicians working in the community with the resources to assess, diagnose, manage and treat delirium.

Greater Manchester Guidance and Information for Community Pharmacies

COVID-19 Primary Care bulletin

Dr Nikki Kanani and Ed Waller at NHS England and NHS Improvement are publishing a frequent bulletin for primary care covering all guidance and information published for general practice, pharmacy, dental and optical. Sign up to receive a copy straight to your inbox. Previous issues can be found here:

COVID-19 Primary Care Knowledge Boost Podcasts

A special series of dedicated COVID-19 Primary Care Knowledge Boost Podcasts are currently available to support local primary care clinicians, with topics including Managing COVID-19 patients in general practice and shielding vulnerable patients. These podcasts can be found at

RCGP COVID-19 resources, guidance and FAQs