CEO Primary Matters – 20 October

Western Victoria moving towards COVID normal

Firstly, congratulations to everyone involved in the regional roll-out of vaccines as we reach new milestones. Fifteen local government areas (LGAs) across the western Victoria region have now reached the 95% mark for first doses, with second dose levels following this positive trend.

Our attention now turns to living with COVID and preparing primary care for the inevitable growth in cases as restrictions ease. Through vaccination, people will be protected against serious disease and hospitalisation, however, infections will continue and a percentage of these will still become serious.

The Western Victoria PHN is currently working with primary care and health services to develop COVID care pathways that will provide support to COVID positive patients. Many of these patients will have a low-grade infection and are likely to be cared for at home. The COVID care pathways will ensure that COVID positive patients are regularly monitored at home so that any deterioration in their condition can be appropriately managed and their care level escalated if required.

While the pandemic has generated unprecedented challenges, the ongoing commitment of our health professionals in managing COVID and the strong vaccination rates across our region, are igniting a renewed sense of hope as we move towards COVID normal.

Thanking our allied health professionals

Last Thursday we celebrated Allied Health Professionals Day (AHPD), acknowledging the significant and diverse contribution of allied health professionals in our community. Allied health professionals are an integral part of our workforce, playing an important role in primary care and assisting those in our community to live full lives. This year’s AHPD theme was ‘Stronger Together’, and this sentiment has been truly demonstrated over the past 18 months with allied health’s tremendous response to the challenges of COVID-19. The WVPHN extends our sincere gratitude to the many allied health professionals across our region for the outstanding care they provide to people of western Victoria.

Your invitation to the Statewide PHN Immunisation Forum

The Victorian PHNs are pleased to invite healthcare providers to attend the inaugural Statewide PHN Immunisation Forum next month. The two-part Forum will provide updates on the National and Victorian Immunisation program, vaccine catch-up doses, and the COVID-19 vaccination program, including addressing vaccine hesitancy in primary care, needle distress and medicolegal considerations. For more information and to register, visit the event page here.

AGM Reminder

Lastly, a reminder that WVPHN’s virtual 2021 Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 28 October. The agenda of the meeting includes formal AGM with the appointment of a new Board Director. We are also pleased to be joined by our special guest speaker, Dr. Rob Grenfell, Health Director of the Health and Biosecurity Unit at the CSIRO and Public Health Physician Specialist with the Grampians Public Health Unit. Please register your attendance for the AGM here.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer