CEO Primary Matters – 28 July 2021

COVID-19 Update

I would like to thank all our primary care providers who have assisted in the latest COVID-19 outbreak and those continuing to provide vaccinations.

The last two weeks of lockdown have not been easy. Many people have been caring for children who are home schooling and some have been missing families and friends. We know the impact social isolation can have on members of our community. With lockdown ending today and some restrictions still in place, please reach out and check on each other and your patients.

HeadtoHelp is a terrific service which supports Victorians of all ages. If you have a patient needing mental health support because of the current pandemic, please direct them to Head to Help here.

Thank you again for all your hard work and stay safe.

National Pain Week

This week is National Pain Week (26 July – 1 August) with the theme “Connection”, which aims to remind friends, family and professionals that connection is key to addressing the social isolation that pain can create.

WVPHN recently concluded its Project ECHO Persistent Pain program, which was set up, in partnership with TAC and WorkSafe Victoria from February 2020 to June 2021, to assist primary care clinicians in western Victoria to better manage and support patients with persistent pain.

The program consisted of three series and 30 sessions and received excellent feedback from participants. Find out more about outcomes of the program on our website.

DonateLife Week

This week is also DonateLife Week (25 July – 1 August) to raise awareness around organ and tissue donation.

In 2020, there was a decrease in donation and transplantation activity due to COVID-19, so it’s important to speak to your patients, family and friends to encourage them to register as organ and tissue donors.

National Farm Safety Week

I would also like to recognise National Farm Safety Week last week (18 – 24 July), which runs each year in the third week of July, to raise awareness of farm safety issues in rural communities across Australia.

This year’s aim was to raise awareness of safety issues as they span the life of a farmer, from child safety right through to ageing on farm, including young workers, and physical and mental health issues.

From WVPHN’s research and data we know that farmers and farming communities have a range of high-risk health factors. Farmers are also especially prone to other unique injuries and conditions associated with life and work in agriculture.

In 2019, WVPHN developed the first ‘Rural Health’ chapter of HealthPathways in Australia to support and improve the health of agricultural communities and farmers and to provide clinicians with clear pathways for health care management and referral of issues specific to rural and farming regions.

Access the HealthPathways Rural Health pages here.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer