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Leanne 2019 westvic news

Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation 

With Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation taking effect from today (19 June 2019), it is essential all relevant health professionals be informed of their rights and responsibilities and those of their patients.

Western Victoria PHN is here to help you understand this important new legislation. We have already held a number of information sessions across the region with the next session to be held in Geelong on Monday, 24 June. There are still places available for this session and if we need to arrange further sessions, we will certainly do so.

The patient-doctor relationship is central in the discussions and planning around voluntary assisted dying. This professional support assists a person facing serious and terminal illness to make his or her own informed decisions and choices.

While health professionals are not required to participate in voluntary assisted dying or undertake the training, a person may make a request to any general practitioner.  Therefore, it is important you have in place an effective means for responding to these requests even if you choose not to participate.

Note, VAD must be voluntary and initiated by the person themselves. Only those who are already dying from an incurable, advanced and progressive disease, illness or medical condition will be able to access voluntary assisted dying.

More information on available resources are detailed in this newsletter below.

And, please if you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to contact our staff in any of our four offices.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Voluntary Assisted Dying Resources

New GP Resources: Assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Diabetes Victoria and National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Update

World Hepatitis Day

National Cancer Screening Register Update

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Reminder: Doc Ballarat directory deactivation

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Geelong Otway

Reminder: DocGeelong website and directories deactivation

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Great South Coast

Medical Practitioner Special Interest Group: Voluntary Assisted Dying 

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Wimmera Grampians

Voluntary Assisted Dying Information Session

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

General 

Voluntary Assisted Dying Resources

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A wide range of services and support remains available for clinicians and practices wanting to be informed about the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation which is effective from today, 19 June 2019.

In follow up to our information sessions in Ballarat, Horsham and Warrnambool, Western Victoria PHN is hosting a Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria – Are You Ready information session in Geelong next Monday, 24 June. This session is also available via webinar if you live outside the Geelong area or were unable to attend one of the previous sessions.  You can register here:

In addition, to also assist health practitioners to prepare, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Implementation Taskforce have developed a range of resources, which are available on the Department’s website.

The online voluntary assisted dying training for medical practitioners, along with five short training videos, can be accessed here.

Two statewide services have been established to support consumers and health practitioners who need information and guidance about voluntary assisted dying:

  • The Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Pharmacy Service will be responsible for dispensing and delivering all voluntary assisted dying medication across Victoria. The pharmacy service will provide expert advice and support for patients accessing, and health practitioners participating in, voluntary assisted dying. The service can be contacted via email VolAssistDyingPharmacy@alfred.org.au
  • The Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigator Service will support the implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation via direct support for patients, families, health practitioners and health services. The care navigators will also provide education and other resources as required. The service can be contacted via email vadcarenavigator@petermac.org.au.

And a reminder that the Victorian Health Association (VHA) is also available to help organisation plan their approach to participation in VAD.  VHA has also posted a number of resources on its website including a Model of Care Pathways for health services

New GP Resources: Assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition

Comcare recognises the critical role General Practitioners play in helping people with ill health or injury to recover and participate in work. To support this role, Comcare has produced a new resource for GPs on assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition.

Presented by consultant psychiatrist Dr Dielle Felman, the five-minute video provides better practice information and recommendations for treating health practitioners on how to practically assess capacity for work for patients with a psychological condition.

The resource is also useful for those supporting workers with a psychological condition, such as practice nurses, psychologists and physiotherapists, to understand how capacity has been assessed and certified.

For further information, please contact Angie Deegan on 03 9914 6358

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is making progress after finishing more than 60 community consultation sessions during April and May across 21 locations.

However, you don’t have to have attended a community consultation to have your say.

The Commission is asking to hear your views and ideas for change, whether you are living with mental illness, caring for a loved one, working in the sector or just have a general interest in mental health by making an online submission on the RCVMHS website.

Submissions are open until 5 July 2019. If you require assistance to make a submission, please call 1800 00 11 34 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or email contact@rcvhms.vic.gov.au

Public hearings will commence in July at Melbourne Town Hall. Details will become available soon.

Diabetes Victoria and National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Update

If you’re in need of fast and easy access to diabetes-related information and support, you can now download NDSS fact sheets, forms and other resources for free through the HealthShare FactSheet tool within your clinical management software.

For more information contact hello@healthshare.com.au or dial 1300 533 433.

You can also check out:

  • Other NDSS resources and order them by visiting the NDSS website 
  • NDSS programs, events and services for people with diabetes offered by Diabetes Victoria by visiting the website or contacting our Primary Care Engagement Coordinator, Claire Rickard at crickard@diabetesvic.org.au

World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is being held on 28 July and calls for all primary care providers to be proactive in their vital role in Viral Hepatitis elimination in Australia.

The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2019 is “Find the Missing Millions”, with a focus on finding people living with hepatitis who are undiagnosed and linking them to care.  

Close to half a million Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B or C, making it likely that someone attending your practice is living with hepatitis. It is vital for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test, and diagnose people living with hepatitis, to enable treatment to halt serious liver damage. You can access resources on the ASHM website

There are also new resources available to address hepatitis and liver cancer in Chinese, Filipino and Thai Communities, which have been developed by Cancer Council Victoria in partnership with the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health and St Vincent’s Hospital.  You can download the resources on the Cancer Council Victoria website.  

A public forum on hepatitis B will be also held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in October to share the latest advances in HBV research. View the flyer or register here.

National Cancer Screening Register Update

The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) is an integral part of the cervical screening pathway and plays a role in improving participation in the National Cervical Screening Program (the Program). The NCSR integrates with government data sets which, for the first time, enables the identification of never-screened eligible persons in Australia. 

The data received by the NCSR and received by sources such as Medicare, laboratories and healthcare providers is processed by complex algorithms that are based upon the Program’s clinical guidelines and place participants onto the appropriate clinical pathway. This automatically generates appropriate correspondence to participants and their nominated healthcare provider.

To support the Program to increase participation, the NCSR will begin to invite newly eligible people aged 25 years and people aged 25 to 30 years who have never screened. This correspondence will be distributed from June 2019. 

The Department of Health is currently planning a broader campaign for the dissemination of invitations to eligible never-screened and under-screened people over the age of 30 to assist the uptake of Cervical Screening Tests and maximise participation.  

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Bronwyn Morrish, Director, Cervical Screening on (02) 6289 9784 or at cancerscreeningengagement@health.gov.au

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Analgesia in Children with Acute Pain 

Reviewed Pages:

  • Breast Symptoms

  • Breast Pain (Mastalgia)

  • Lymphoedema Therapy

  • Kidneys and Diabetes

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.  

Ballarat Goldfields

Reminder: Doc Ballarat directory deactivation

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Western Victoria PHN advises the Doc Ballarat directory was deactivated on Friday, 14 June 2019. The Doc Geelong and Colac directories and docgeelong.com website have also been decommissioned.

After a review, it was determined this would avoid duplication and the possibility of out-of-date or inconsistent information being provided over the internet.

In the years since the directories and site were first developed and launched, new resources have become available that can provide more detailed, expansive and up-to-date information for the public on local health services. We recommend using the National Health Services directory.

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

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Western Victoria PHN, Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health and Southwest Healthcare are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. There will be a consultation in Ballarat with a date to be advised. 

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Geelong Otway

Reminder: DocGeelong website and directories deactivation

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Western Victoria PHN wishes to advise the Doc Geelong, Ballarat and Colac directories and the docgeelong.com website was deactivated on Friday, 14 June 2019. After a review, it was determined this would avoid duplication and the possibility of out-of-date or inconsistent information being provided over the internet.

In the years since the directories and site were first developed and launched, new resources have become available that can provide more detailed, expansive and up-to-date information for the public on local health services.

We recommend any links to the docgeelong.com website be redirected to the National Health Services directory.

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

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Western Victoria PHN, Barwon Health, Ballarat Health Services and Southwest Healthcare are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. The Geelong consultation will be held on Thursday 11 July from 1.00pm - 3.00pm at Western Victoria PHN Geelong Office, 131 Myers St, Geelong.  

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Great South Coast

Medical Practitioner Special Interest Group: Voluntary Assisted Dying 

South West Healthcare is facilitating a special interest group for any medical practitioner to attend on Monday, 1 July. 

The aim for the group is to allow medical practitioners the opportunity to discuss current issues and concerns and provide peer support regarding the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act. 

The session will be held at SWH Community Health Building, Koroit St, Warrnambool on Monday, 1 July from 4pm - 5pm.  

View the flyer here. 

Please RSVP by 27 June to: voluntaryassisteddying@swh.net.au 

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

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Western Victoria PHN, Southwest Healthcare, Ballarat Health Services and Barwon Health are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. There will be a consultation in Warrnambool with a date to be advised. 

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Wimmera Grampians

Voluntary Assisted Dying Information Session

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More than 40 primary health professionals from the Wimmera Grampians region attended a Voluntary Assisted Dying information session held in Horsham on 4 June 2019.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) will take effect in Victoria from 19 June 2019. The education session facilitated by Dr Greg Mewett, highlighted the major features of the legislation and its likely implications for GPs and other health professionals in their day to day work.

Dr Mewett has developed a special interest in clinical ethics particularly as related to end-of-life care and decision-making. He is a member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Taskforce appointed by the state Minister of Health and DHHS to oversee the introduction of the VAD legislation in Victoria.  

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

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Western Victoria PHN, Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health and Southwest Healthcare are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. The Horsham consultation will be held on Wednesday 3 July from 1.00pm- 3.00pm at Horsham Business Centre.

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Leanne 2019 westvic news

An investment in health is an investment in the future

Next week, we once again celebrate International Men’s Health Week (10 – 16 June) and this year’s theme is Keeping Boys and Men Healthy.  It’s an important reminder that when we consider our region’s health, we need to engage with all generations. Men’s Health Week was established because, historically, men have generally suffered worse health than women and many are less likely to seek help from their GP. Now is the time to instill in our younger generations why we have to break that cycle. We need to make our boys and young men understand the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices while giving them the skills and confidence to identify when they need to approach their GP or other health professionals for help.

Among the events being held in western Victoria for the week is a Men’s Health Night in Ballarat on Thursday, 13 June. Western Victoria PHN will be well-represented. We will have an information table at the event while our Senior Manager Michael Struth will be part of a Q&A panel as part of the evening’s presentations.

Over the past week, the Federal Government has announced a $5 million investment for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. Of this funding, $3.67 million is for the InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders at Sydney University to build a monitoring system to better understand how the health system identifies and supports people with eating disorders. Western Victoria PHN has been one of two PHNs who worked with InsideOut to support their application for funding research into treatment for eating disorders.

There are important opportunities to support primary care providers, including GPs, as they care for people in our region who live with eating disorders. As you know the Government has tasked PHNs with commissioning primary mental health services. As part of this process, we have undertaken needs assessments of our region, developed a stepped model for services that provides appropriate and integrated primary mental health care, procured services, and established service linkages and clinical governance arrangements.

This recently announced funding – which also includes $1.34 million for Deakin University to investigate how digital technology can be used to reduce the rates and severity of eating disorders – is another welcome investment in managing and maintaining our population’s health for both now and the future.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Western Victoria PHN develops new Melanoma HealthPathways pages

Nurses Transition to Practice Program

RACGP eHealth Webinar Series

Implementation and Healthcare Improvement Masterclass

GP Wellbeing Survey

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Clinical Skills Workshop

APNA's Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic Project - applications open 

Women's Health Update 2019 

Geelong Otway

2019 Victorian Practice Manager of the Year

Reminder: Clozapine Annual Tests

Presentation: Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria - Will you be ready?

Great South Coast

What's News in Infertility? 

Wimmera Grampians

Connecting2community launches in Horsham 

APNA's Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic Project - applications open 

General 

Western Victoria PHN develops new Melanoma HealthPathways pages

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A new suite of melanoma HealthPathways pages are now available for GPs. The new pages have been led and developed by Western Victoria PHN’s Optimal Care Pathways project team. 

General practices are at the front line of skin cancer detection for most Australians with the knowledge and skills needed to perform skin checks and minor procedures, discuss skin cancer risk and provide advice. 

Survival rates remain low for skin cancer diagnosed at an advanced stage. This means there is a key role for GPs in earlier diagnosis and treatment of melanoma and in the delivery of prevention messages. For this reason, all Victorian PHNs including the Western Victoria PHN are focusing on building awareness of the melanoma Optimal Care Pathway this year. 

 The new HealthPathways pages are:

  • Suspected Melanoma
  • Established Melanoma
  • Melanoma Follow-up
  • Skin Lesion Excision

The implementation of Optimal Care Pathways into primary health is supported by the Victorian Government.

Nurses Transition to Practice Program

 

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association's (APNA) Transition to Practice Program is a 12-month education, support and mentoring program for nurses new to primary health care.

APNA are looking for:

  • Nurses, whether recently graduated or experienced nurses, who have transitioned into primary health care
  • Experienced primary health care nurses to be mentors

Applications close Friday 28 June. Find out more on the APNA website or view the flyer.

The Transition to Practice Program has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

RACGP eHealth Webinar Series

The RACGP eHealth webinar series delivers monthly webinars on eHealth topics related to general practice. The webinars are developed and delivered by members of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management and other health experts.

Webinars are accredited for two category 2 RACGP Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development points for the 2017-19 triennium. All webinars are free for participants.

Upcoming topics are:

  • June - Improving health record quality in general practice
  • July - Technology in general practice
  • August – Privacy and managing health information in general practice
  • September – Telehealth video consultations in general practice
  • October – Secondary use of general practice data

To register or for further details, visit the RACGP website

Implementation and Healthcare Improvement Masterclass

The Implementation and Healthcare Improvement Masterclass (Managing Change for Direct Health Impact) is being held on 3 & 4 July at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

The course will provide an overview of the Australian health services context, implementation science approaches, evidence synthesis, stakeholder engagement and co-design of implementation projects with service users.

This two-day masterclass is aimed at health professionals, researchers, policy makers and front-line clinicians who seek guidance and inspiration on healthcare improvement. It will be facilitated by experts in the field who will guide participants seeking to initiate their own implementation projects and support those currently involved in healthcare improvement projects. 

Register here or view the flyer.

GP Wellbeing Survey 

The RACGP has launched the first GP wellbeing survey designed to gain insight and opinions on GP wellbeing in Australian general practice.

GPs and general practice registrars currently practising in Australia are invited to have their say and contribute. Your experience and insights will assist the RACGP in understanding the supports that are currently accessed, where future investment is needed, and the barriers and challenges faced by GPs regarding their own wellbeing and mental health.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous.

The survey closes on 30 June. Click here to access the survey.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Analgesia in Children with Acute Pain

Reviewed Pages:

  • Medication Options for Acute Pain
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Skin Lesion Excision
  • Suspected Melanoma
  • Established Malignant Melanoma
  • Melanoma Follow-up

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.  

Ballarat Goldfields

Clinical Skills Workshop

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Western Victoria PHN, in collaboration with the Ballarat Health Services Emergency Medicine Education & Training (EMET) team, held a Clinical Skills Workshop in Maryborough on Thursday 23 May. 

The event was attended by 16 participants including GP’s, nurse practitioners and registered nurses from Maryborough, but also as far as Goroke and Beaufort. The skills stations included:

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Eye emergencies
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Musculoskeletal emergencies, plastering and burns.

The facilitators were Ballarat Health Services Emergency Physicians (FACEM), an emergency registrar, emergency clinical nurse burns specialist, emergency nurse advanced life support trainer and a plaster technician. 

The workshop was a great success with all participants upskilling their clinical skills in rural emergency medicine.

  

APNA's Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic Project - applications open 

The Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic project will support four general practices to establish nurse clinics focused on health prevention and healthy lifestyles. With funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to deliver the project from July 2019 to June 2020, successful organisations will receive $10,000 grant funding.

Risk screening and health coaching will be key components delivered by the lead nurse, in supporting patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Risk screening will focus on risk factors related to: diabetes, heart, stroke, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

General practices within the Ballarat Goldfields and Wimmera Grampians regions of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network are invited to apply. 

For further information and to apply, please click here

Women's Health Update 2019 

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Ballarat Health Service and its GP Liaison Unit, in partnership with the Western Victoria PHN, are hosting a Women's Health Update on Tuesday 18 June and Tuesday 25 June. 

The sessions will cover the below topics: 

  • The First 12 Weeks
  • Perinatal Mental Health 
  • Medications in Pregnancy 
  • Management of Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
  • Vaginal Prolapse: The Mesh Saga
  • Perimenopause
  • Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis 
  • Menopause & MHT 

Participants will hear from the below speakers:

  • Dr Michael Bardsley - Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Ballarat
  • Dr Michael Carter - Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Ballarat
  • Dr Anoop Raveendran Nair Lalitha - Psychiatrist  Ballarat 
  • Dr Harish Kalra - Psychiatrist  Ballarat
  • Dr Natasha Frawley - Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Ballarat Health Services
  • Dr Deepika Monga - Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Ballarat
  • Dr Sonia Davison - Jean Hailes & The Australasian Menopause Society

The Women's Health Update will be held at the Mercure Convention Centre, Main Road, Ballarat. The cost for both nights and supper is $110 per person, or the early bird special is $80 if you pay by 11 June. For individual nights, the cost is $60 each night per person. 

Register here or view the flyer for the full program. 

Geelong Otway

2019 Victorian Practice Manager of the Year

Congratulations to Jen Flakemore from Newtown Medical Centre (pictured bottom left) who was recently awarded the 2019 Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) Victorian Practice Manager of the Year.

Congratulations also to Kylie Harrington from Surf Coast Home Doctor (pictured bottom right) who was also a finalist for this award.

Jen is now a finalist for the National Practice Manager of the Year Award, which will be announced at the National AAPM Conference in Brisbane later this year.

  

Reminder: Clozapine Annual Tests

Barwon Health is reminding GPs that annual tests are due for all people prescribed Clozapine: Serum clozapine level, HS Troponin I, CRP, Fasting blood glucose, Fasting Blood Lipids & ECG.

Please CC: University Hospital Geelong (UHG) on pathology slips.

Recommended Echo schedule is within 10 days of first dose, week 12, year 1, year 2, year 5 and then 5 yearly.

A Clozapine Echo Clinic has commenced at the Barwon Health cardiology department. Please include 'Routine Clozapine Echo' in reason for referral to be included in Clozapine clinic. This Echo is bulk-billed.

Presentation: Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria - Will you be ready?

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Associate Professor Charlie Corke (Intensive Care Specialist and Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Deputy Chair), Dr Deb Harley (General Practitioner) and Jill Mann (Advance Care Planning and VAD Project Coordinator – Barwon Health) will be in Geelong this month to present information on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) that takes effect in Victoria on the 19 June 2019.

The information session will be held on 24 June at the Western Victoria PHN Geelong office and is open to GP's & GP Registrars, Practice Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Allied Health Professionals.

Topics are:
• Guidance for health professionals, including GPs, nurses and allied health professionals
• Eligibility criteria for patients
• Available training for GPs
• Impact on Health Services

The presentation will also be available as a webinar.

For more information, go to our Events page.

Great South Coast

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What's News in Infertility? 

Join Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Moses Abe, and Scientific Director of Monash IVF, Jayne Mullen, for the 'What's News in Infertility?' training session on Thursday 20 June in Warrnambool. 

The session will cover the following topics:

  • Scientific advances in fertility preservation
  • Cost effective and proven alternatives to IVF
  • Role of the GP, nurses and administrative staff
  • The holistic approach

This session is open to GPs, GP Registrars, Practice Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Gynaecologists and Obstetricians. 

This event is available in person or via webinar on Thursday 20 June from 6.15pm to 7.30pm at Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, Level 1, 24-36 Fairy Street, Warrnambool. 

For further information, view the event flyer or register here.

Wimmera Grampians

Connecting2community launches in Horsham

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The Connecting2community psychosocial support service launched in Horsham on Wednesday 29 May. The program will support people living with mental illness who are not part of the NDIS or public mental health services and is being delivered by Ballarat Community Health in partnership with Grampians Community Health.

Connecting2community pairs participants up with a peer-worker who has lived experience with a mental health issue who will help the participant to identify and achieve goals. 

The program is available for people aged 18-65. 

Read more about the program here

APNA's Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic Project - applications open 

The Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic project will support four general practices to establish nurse clinics focused on health prevention and healthy lifestyles. With funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to deliver the project from July 2019 to June 2020, successful organisations will receive $10,000 grant funding.

Risk screening and health coaching will be key components delivered by the lead nurse, in supporting patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Risk screening will focus on risk factors related to: diabetes, heart, stroke, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

General practices within the Ballarat Goldfields and Wimmera Grampians regions of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network are invited to apply. 

For further information and to apply, please click here

Leanne 2019 westvic news

Supporting general practice to improve patient care

General practices are reminded to register for the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive, which will be available to PIP registered general practices from 1 August 2019. 

PIP was established to support general practice activities that encourage continuing improvements, quality care, enhancing capacity and improving access and health outcomes for patients.

From 1 August, funding for four of the existing PIP incentives will cease and will be consolidated into the PIP QI Incentive payment. They are:

  • Asthma Incentive
  • Quality Prescribing Incentive
  • Cervical Screening Incentive
  • Diabetes Incentive

The seven PIP Incentives that will remain unchanged are:

  • eHealth Incentive;
  • After Hours Incentive;
  • Rural Loading Incentive;
  • Teaching Payment;
  • General Practice Aged Care Access Incentive;  
  • Indigenous Health Incentive; and
  • Procedural General Practitioner Payment.

The QI Incentive aims to recognise and support practices that commit to improving the care provided to their patients and to assist them to utilise information to develop innovative strategies to drive improvement.  

Practices will also share a minimum set of aggregated data with the Western Victoria PHN, such as the number of patients who are diabetic, the percent who smoke, the cardiovascular risk and weight profile. This information will be collated at the local level by the PHN to assist in supporting primary care quality improvement and understanding local health needs.

We have restructured our model of practice support, increasing staff resources and programs in addition to developing a suite of resources and tools to assist practices through accreditation and quality improvement processes.  We are very much looking forward to working with you on this expanded incentive program.

For further information on PIP QI and how to register, please click here.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Wanted: Doctors in Secondary Schools

Updated Asthma Guidelines for Health Professionals 

General Practice Audit of Preoperative Anaemia

SafeScript GP Clinical Advisory Service commences 

Have your say on the Indigenous Health Incentive 

eHealth Literacy Study 

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

City of Ballarat’s immunisation service changes

National Interoperability Consultation - Ballarat Workshop

Learn Suicide Intervention Skills

Geelong Otway

GP Symposium Series 2019

Great South Coast

What's News in Infertility 

Wimmera Grampians

Optimal Care Pathways – Primary Health Care Nurse Input

National Interoperability Consultation - Horsham Workshop

General 

Wanted: Doctors in Secondary Schools

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General Practitioner positions have opened up for the Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) program in Camperdown and Ballarat. 

The Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) has partnered with the Victorian Government in the delivery of its Doctors in Secondary Schools program to make sure young people receive the health support, advice and treatment they need to reach their full potential.

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program provides funding for 100 Victorian Government secondary schools to have an adolescent health-trained GP attend up to once a week to provide medical advice and health care to its students. All secondary school students who are enrolled in the participating school will be able to access the GP, subject to providing the requisite consent for the services. Participating schools, students and their parents/guardians/carers will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses for consultations with the GP.

To apply or for more information, please click here.

Updated Asthma Guidelines for Health Professionals 

Asthma Australia (AA) has updated  the Australian Asthma Handbook by the National Asthma Council Australia, which sets the best practice guidelines for primary healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage asthma.

The updated Handbook includes a major update of evidence and advice on managing asthma in children; acute asthma; management challenges (previously known as troubleshooting); and primary prevention. It also includes updates on latest treatment options for patients with severe asthma and advice on inhaler technique for people with asthma or COPD. This update is a step towards achieving a more comprehensive model of care for 2.7 million Australians with asthma. You can view a summary of the revisions here.

For more information about how Asthma Australia can support you to better manage patients with asthma, please see below: 

  • COACH Program: A confidential, free health coaching service delivered over the phone by Asthma Coaches to help people with asthma, or those who care for someone with asthma, to learn about how to take better care of their health. To refer, simply download a template, add the patient details, and send via secure message. An asthma coach will call your patient within a week of receiving the referral. A summary report of the call will be sent to the patient, referrer and their GP. Access the templates and read more about our Patient Education Referral Service or click here to refer now
  • Be Winter well with asthma: Many people experience an increase in asthma symptoms and find their asthma harder to control during Winter. Asthma Australia has developed a range of resources to help people with asthma to be Winter well, including a checklist to better manage asthma during this season.
  • Asthma Connect: For ongoing asthma management information, patient education strategy, resources and research, sign up to Asthma Connect to receive the Asthma Link e-newsletter and regular updates keeping you informed about asthma research, conference and training opportunities, new resources and tools.
  • Asthma HealthPathways: HealthPathways provides information of the assessment, management and referral options available in the Western Victoria PHN for asthma related concerns. 

General Practice Audit of Preoperative Anaemia

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This is a reminder to Western Victoria GPs to complete their reponses by Friday 31 May for an audit to assess primary health care uptake of iron deficiency screen and treatment for patients with planned elective major surgery. 

Approximately 30 per cent of the patients referred for major elective surgery will have preoperative anaemia. Australian data from over 12,000 patients found rates of assessment (4.4 per cent  vs 77.9 per cent) and management of anaemia (81.9 per cent vs 13.6 per cent) and iron deficiency (81.2 per cent vs 15.5 per cent) in general practice was low compared to the hospital setting.

The audit is being coordinated by the Australian Red Cross and Victorian Government's Blood Matters Program. By completing the audit and associated activities, GPs will be better equipped to identify, assess and manage preoperative patients with anaemia and iron deficiency. 

This audit is accredited for a total of 40 QI points in the RACGP QI&CPD 2017-2019 triennium.

Download the flyer or go to the health.vic website for more information.

SafeScript GP Clinical Advisory Service commences 

      

Victorian General Practitioners (GPs) can now access the General Practitioner Clinical Advisory Service (GPCAS), a peer-to-peer advice service for GPs to help them support patients with prescription medication concerns and complex needs.  Each of the six Primary Health Networks across the State have been assigned two GP Clinical Advisors who have received comprehensive training in the management of pain, anxiety, insomnia and associated addiction issues.

With funding from the State Government, the GPCAS will commence alongside the statewide roll-out of SafeScript, a clinical tool that provides doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists with access to patients’ prescription history for certain medicines to enable safer care for their patients.

To access the GPCAS, GPs can call 1800 812 804 (DACAS Victoria) and ask to be referred to the service.

For more information, refer to the media release, www.dacas.org.au, or email gpclinicaladvisors@turningpoint.org.au.

Have your say on the Indigenous Health Incentive 

You’re invited to have your say on how the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI) can better support high quality chronic disease care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Department of Health has been working with various stakeholders to listen to their views on the program. You can read the consultation paper and further details at consultations.health.gov.au

This is a great opportunity to share your views about how the program works in your clinic with your patients. Please share this information with your networks.

Submissions close on Monday 10 June 2019.

For details contact Anna Osland – Acting Director, Primary Health Care Policy and Programs, Indigenous health Division, Department of Health on: 02 6289 9659 or Anna.Osland@health.gov.au.

Read more at News for health professionals.

eHealth Literacy Study 

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A partnership involving Deakin University, The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and Western Victoria PHN saw consumers and clinicians within the City of Ballarat and five surrounding Local Government Areas participate in the largest eHealth literacy study in Australia. Using the Ophelia Approach, the Deakin research team surveyed 1000 consumers via telephone surveys, 50 consumers attended semi structured interviews and 30 consumers and 32 clinicians attended small group workshops to understand their eHealth literacy and identify existing effective local practices and potential innovative solutions to maximise the use of My Health Record and other digital technologies.  

While semi structured interviews did not have specific questions about My Health Record, several responses spontaneously offered concerns or support for My Health Record.

Western Victoria PHN will use these findings to guide out an approach to educating clinicians about My Health Record and other digital health technologies, including how to inform and educate their patients. Other key findings of the eHealth literacy study will be available in the following edition of Westvic News. 

Western Victoria PHN acknowledges the Australian Digital Health Agency as the study commissioner and Deakin University as the study author.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New pages:

  • Recurrent Staphylococcal Infection
  • Before Entering Residential Aged Care

Reviewed pages:

  • Immunisation – Influenza

  • Immunisation – Pregnancy

  • Wheeze in Children Aged 1-5 Years

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.  

Ballarat Goldfields

City of Ballarat’s immunisation service changes

The City of Ballarat has advised it has reviewed its Immunisation Program and will no longer provide flu immunisation services to adult residents and commercial businesses due to an expansion in service providers in Ballarat.

Adult flu vaccination services are now being provided from medical practices, private flu vaccine providers, community health, Indigenous health services, hospitals and pharmacies. 

The City of Ballarat do not offer childhood flu vaccination. Children aged six months to five years will continue to receive the vaccine free from their GP.

For further information, read the media release

Residents and businesses can find their nearest flu vaccine provider by visiting the below websites:

National Interoperability Consultation - Ballarat Workshop

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Don't forget! The Western Victoria Primary Health Network is hosting a workshop next week to hear your perspectives on the future of digital health in Australia and how it can best support delivery of modern person-centred health services and empower personal wellbeing.

The workshop is part of the Interoperability Program – Better connections: Your health, Your say  – a priority of the National Digital Health Strategy, which was approved in 2017 by all states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.

Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy describes interoperability as: At its simplest, the ability to move information easily between people, organisations and systems. It is imperative that when information is shared between people and systems, its meaning is preserved from one context to another so that information is interpreted in the same way.

The Ballarat Workshop on Tuesday, 28 May is open to both clinicians and the community to discuss:

  • What are Australia’s digital health aspirations? How can health learn from innovation in other industries?
  • Priority areas – what are the problems we are seeking to solve by making information more accessible? What’s important to you?
  • What does it mean for consumers to be in control of their own information?
  • What features would be important to maintain trust in systems that share people’s information between providers?
  • How do we ensure that no one is left behind, while at the same time allowing early adopters to exercise greater control?

For more information including details to RSVP, view the event flyer.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can have your say via the online survey.

Learn Suicide Intervention Skills

  

Lifeline and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (Asist) are running a training workshop in Ballarat for participants to learn and apply a suicide intervention model and help recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide.

Participants will hear presentations and guidance from two LivingWorks registered trainers. You will learn how to explore and connect with a person in ways that help you to understand and clarify the risk, increase their immediate safety and link them with further help. 

The workshop will be held in Training Room 3, Ballarat Group Training, 25-39 Barclay Street, Ballarat on Thursday 4 July and Friday 5 July from 8.45am - 5.00pm. 

Cost of the training is $330 (+$33 GST) and light refreshments will be provided. 

Please register by Tuesday 2 July 2019. For further details see the workshop flyer

Geelong Otway

GP Symposium Series 2019 

Precision Health Foundation is hosting an interactive educational symposium on Parkinson's, Scoliosis, Pain Management and more in Geelong on Monday 24 June. 

Neurosurgeon & Spinal Surgeon Professor Richard Bittar, Spine & Scoliosis Surgeon Mr Greg Etherington and Pain Specialist Dr Symon MacCallum will present on the following topics: 

  • Neurosurgery for Parkinson's, Tremor and Tourette's - Recent advances

  •  Adult Scoliosis - Investigation and Treatment. When is Surgery Indicated?

  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Neuropathic Pain 

  • Navigating TAC and Workcover for GPs

This activity has been submitted for accreditation of 4 category 2 points, as part of the RACGP QI & CPD in the 2017-2019 triennium.

The symposium will be held at the Empire Grill, 66 McKillop Street, Geelong on Monday 24 June from 6.30pm - 9.30pm. Please RSVP by Friday 21 June by returning this form.

Great South Coast

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What's News in Infertility? 

Join Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Moses Abe, and Scientific Director of Monash IVF, Jayne Mullen, for the 'What's News in Infertility?' training session on Thursday 20 June in Warrnambool. 

The session will cover the following topics:

  • Scientific advances in fertility preservation
  • Cost effective and proven alternatives to IVF
  • Role of the GP, nurses and administrative staff
  • The holistic approach

This session is open to GPs, GP Registrars, Practice Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Gynaecologists and Obstetricians. 

This event is available in person or via webinar on Thursday 20 June from 6.15pm to 7.30pm at Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, Level 1, 24-36 Fairy Street, Warrnambool. 

For further information, view the event flyer or register here.

Wimmera Grampians

Optimal Care Pathways – Primary Health Care Nurse Input

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The Western Victoria PHN is requiring input from Primary Health Care Nurses in the Wimmera/Grampians region on your understanding of the Optimal Care Pathways and the management of cancer patients within the region.

The survey takes approximately two minutes and your assistance is greatly appreciated. 

To access the survey, click here

National Interoperability Consultation - Horsham Workshop

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639  adha logo

Don't forget! The Western Victoria Primary Health Network is hosting a workshop next week to hear your perspectives on the future of digital health in Australia and how it can best support delivery of modern person-centred health services and empower personal wellbeing.

The workshop is part of the Interoperability Program – Better connections: Your health, Your say  – a priority of the National Digital Health Strategy, which was approved in 2017 by all states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.

Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy describes interoperability as: At its simplest, the ability to move information easily between people, organisations and systems. It is imperative that when information is shared between people and systems, its meaning is preserved from one context to another so that information is interpreted in the same way.

The Horsham Workshop on Wednesday, 29 May is open to both clinicians and the community to discuss:

  • What are Australia’s digital health aspirations? How can health learn from innovation in other industries?
  • Priority areas – what are the problems we are seeking to solve by making information more accessible? What’s important to you?
  • What does it mean for consumers to be in control of their own information?
  • What features would be important to maintain trust in systems that share people’s information between providers?
  • How do we ensure that no one is left behind, while at the same time allowing early adopters to exercise greater control?

For more information including details to RSVP, view the event flyer.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can have your say via the online survey.

Leanne 2019 westvic news

Let’s Talk Medicine Dependence Prevention

Medication Dependence Prevention Month is an annual event in May to raise awareness about preventing medication harms and finding community support.  At the moment, more Australians are dying due to the use of some pain and sedative medications than on our roads.

This is a health crisis we have the power to prevent.

Last October, Western Victoria PHN was the pilot site for SafeScript, the Victorian Government’s real time prescription monitoring program. This month the program was rolled out across the rest of the state.

In its first two months, SafeScript alerted doctors and pharmacists in western Victoria to almost 3,300 patients at risk of harm or overdose from visiting multiple clinics or pharmacies. More than 400 sites across the Western Victoria PHN region were part of SafeScript’s inaugural rollout.

The SafeScript program has proven to be very effective in starting conversations between doctors and their patients about high-risk medications and other possible treatments to address a range of symptoms for difficult conditions such as pain management.

We recently launched a series of consumer flyers on high-risk medications outlining possible questions patients can ask their doctors. Copies of these flyers are available for download and can be displayed in practices. Go to: https://www.westvicphn.com.au/community/safescript-community-information

All the face-to-face SafeScript training sessions for health practitioners in western Victoria were completed last year, but we will be holding four live-stream training sessions during May and June. Further details will be in the next edition of Westvic News

For more information on Prevention Month go to: www.scriptwise.org.au/prevention-month

For more information on SafeScript go to: https://vtphna.org.au/safescript-training-hub/

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

New and Updated Immunisation Resources

Buprenorphine and Naloxone Prescribing

Improving Cancer Screening Participation in People with Disabilities

Health Workforce Scholarship Program

National Cancer Screening Register

Emergency Response Planning Tool - Update

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Ballarat Women's Health Update - Last Chance for Early Bird Prices

Presentation: Precision, Personalised Paediatric Oncology- Are we there yet? 

Choosing Wisely - New Patient Resources

Geelong Otway

New Indigenous Project Officer Appointed 

Presentation: Living in Peace, Comfort and Dignity Until the End of Life 

Great South Coast

Presentation: Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria - Will you be ready?

Wimmera Grampians

Presentation: Neurological Potpourri 

General 

New and Updated Immunisation Resources

Department of Health Federal

The National Immunisation Program has released a list of seasonal influenza vaccine resources for vaccination providers. Meanwhile, the Australian Immunisation Handbook has been updated to improve access to information in the handbook.

The Department of Health has updated the immunisation section of its website with the following education and communication resources for vaccination providers:

The following consumer resources have also been released:

Hardcopy materials, accompanied by correspondence from the Chief Medical Officer, have been mailed to vaccination providers including GPs, Aboriginal Medical Services, and other providers in each state and territory. Additional copies of the resources can be ordered through the Department’s website.

Also, the following enhancements have been made to the Australian Immunisation Handbook

  • An improved printing function, especially for the tables, with the correct ‘date printed’
  • An improved search function
  • The ‘Back to Top’ function is now operational
  • The ‘Summary’ on the disease chapters being renamed as ‘Overview’
  • Links to product information and consumer medicine information sheets now being available on each vaccine page    

Buprenorphine and Naloxone Prescribing

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The Pharmacotherapy Area-based Networks are reminding medical practitioners that they may prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone for up to five patients without needing to complete Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD) training.  This also covers nurse practitioners with a notation for a category in which the prescribing of buprenorphine/naloxone is authorised.

However, all prescribers are still required to obtain a permit before prescribing this medication. Visit the health.vic website for more details. Further details on pharmacotherapy are also available.

SafeScript is also available to help identify patients who have a pharmaceutical drug dependence of which their prescriber was previously unaware. MATOD may be an appropriate treatment option for these patients. If this type of therapy is unfamiliar to you, the Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks can help.

The Pharmacotherapy Area-Based Networks (PABNs) are a Victorian Government initiative which support health professionals across the state to prevent, identify and manage opioid dependence and maximise safe prescribing. The PABNs offer a wide range of supports including:

  • Access to Addiction Medicine Specialists.
  • Clinical networks and peer based mentoring.
  • Professional development events and accredited training.
  • Whole-of-practice staff training.
  • e-Newsletters and communications delivering important updates.
  • Expert advice regarding best practice and up-to-date medical findings.
  • Support for health professionals to navigate the pharmacotherapy system (e.g. permits, MBS items, referral pathways).

For more information on PABN's, head to their website: www.pabn.org.au

Improving Cancer Screening Participation in People with Disabilities

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Cancer Council Victoria is seeking expressions of interest from practice nurses/general practices to undertake a quality improvement activity to improve cancer screening participation in people with disabilities.

This would involve piloting a Quality Improvement activity in the GP practice or community health service, focusing on areas of data collection, tailoring of invitation, recall and reminder messages and inclusion of a patient’s disability status in referral forms for assessment. It could also involve assessing the physical accessibility of each practice.

This is part of a broader project, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, Cancer Council Victoria and BreastScreen Victoria, to be completed by October 2019. Cancer Council Victoria will support the process by providing guidance and recommendations on cancer screening best-practice in people with disabilities

To apply or for more information, contact Sophie Thompson at Cancer Council Victoria via sophie.thompson@cancervic.org.au or 03 9514 6515.

Health Workforce Scholarship Program

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The Rural Workforce Agency Victoria advises that applications are now open for the Health Workforce Scholarship Program 2018-19.

The program provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in remote and rural Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. It is available to eligible medical, nursing and allied health professionals working in primary health care who are not employed by a relevant State Government and located in, or providing services to, areas categorised as MM 3-7 under the Modified Monash Model (MMM) Model. 

Applications close at 5pm, Friday 26 April.

Go to the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria website for more details.

National Cancer Screening Register

National Cancer Screening Register

The National Cancer Screening Register has issued an update on the expansion of the register to include the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The Register is a national electronic infrastructure for the collection, storage and reporting of data for the National Cervical Screening Program. From November 2019, the Register will begin supporting the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, creating one record per participant for the two programs. From 2020, the Register will also feature integration with practice management software and online participant and healthcare provider portals.

For more information on the project and the next steps, visit the National Cancer Screening Register website.

Emergency Response Planning Tool - Update

erpt cropped

The Department of Health and Human Services is reporting a strong uptake of its program to provide subsidised access to the RACGP's online emergency response planning tool (ERPT) but is encouraging more practices to make the most of the opportunity.

Rural and regional general practices in Victoria have had free access to the ERPT since mid January. To date, almost one third of allocated spaces have been taken and activated as part of a pilot program. However, the success of the pilot is dependent on attracting higher rates of participation and practices which are yet to sign up are urged to not miss out,

The tool also includes a cyber security module aligned to the RACGP guideline, Information security in general practice.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New pages:

  • Incidental Findings on Imaging

Reviewed pages:

  • Immunisation - Childhood

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.  

Ballarat Goldfields

Ballarat Women's Health Update - Last Chance for Early Bird Prices

Ballarat Health Services landscape

A reminder to book for the upcoming Women's Health Update in Ballarat with early bird prices for the two-night event ending soon.

Ballarat Health Services in conjunction with Western Victoria PHN is hosting the event on Tuesday, 18 June and Tuesday, 25 June covering the topic of Women's Health Active Learning Module.

Early bird tickets costing $80 per person for both days will end on Tuesday, 30 April. The cost to attend for both nights will then increase to $110. A single night ticket costs $60 per person.

For more information and registration details, go to our Events page.

Presentation: Precision, Personalised Paediatric Oncology- Are we there yet?

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The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is inviting medical professionals to attend a special lecture from internationally renowned Paediatric Oncology Researcher and Visiting John Turner Professor, Professor Jaroslav Sterba, from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.

The lecture will be held at St John Of God Hospital Ballarat on Wednesday, 1 May 2019 from 6pm.

Download the flyer for more details.

Choosing Wisely - New Patient Resources

choosing wisely

Choosing Wisely Australia has created a new '5 Questions' card for distribution to patients interested in better managing their health.

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of NPS MedicineWise and is supported by Better Care Victoria to help the healthcare community and patients start important conversations on eliminating the use of unnecessary and sometimes harmful tests, treatments, and procedures. The '5 Questions'  cards have been developed to aid collaborative patient focused decision making.

If you are interested in obtaining copies of the card for your patients, contact Hannah.Ryan-West@bhs.org.au

CW cards

Geelong Otway

New Indigenous Project Officer Appointed

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639   Barwon Health

Western Victoria PHN and Barwon Health have appointed Adam Muir as our new Indigenous Project Officer for the Geelong Otway region.

Adam has 20 years' experience in providing adminstrative support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including working with Deakin University, the City of Greater Geelong and Barwon Health.

In his new role, Adam will support both Western Victoria PHN and Barwon Health in our work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

Presentation: Living in Peace, Comfort and Dignity Until the End of Life

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The Birregurra Presentations of Interest Series will next month host a presentation from Palliative Medicine specialist Professor Jennifer Philip.

Professor Philip is Chair, Palliative Medicine, Centre for Cancer Research, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne; St Vincent's Hospital. She will discuss insights into current understanding and practice in palliative care.

The event will be held on Thursday, 16 May at Christ Church Anglican Church in Birregurra.

For more details, download the flyer

Great South Coast

Presentation: Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria - Will you be ready?

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A reminder that Palliative Care Physcian Dr Greg Mewett will be in Warrnambool next month to discuss the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) which will take effect in Victoria from 19 June 2019.

Dr Mewett is a member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Implementation Taskforce appointed by Victoria's Minister for Health and Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the introduction of the VAD legislation in Victoria.

He will be in Warrnambool on Tuesday,  21 May to discuss the major features of the legislation and its likely implications for GPs in their day to day work.

The presentation will also be available as a webinar.

For more information, go to our Events page.

Wimmera Grampians

Presentation: Neurological Potpourri

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Local health professionals are invited to hear from neurosurgeon Mr Paul Smith at a special presentation in Horsham next week.

Mr Smith provides brain and spine surgical services in Melbourne, rural Victoria and southern New South Wales. His presentation, titled Neurological Potpourri, will include:

  • An approach to common spinal neurosurgical presentations and
  • An appreciation of the cranial neurosurgical journey for patients.

The presentation will be held on Thursday, 2 May. For more details, go to  our Events page.

 

Leanne 2019 westvic news

Local voices for the Royal Commission

Last month Western Victoria PHN welcomed the Victorian government announcement of a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

The Commission will focus on identifying and solving system-wide issues across the mental health sector and the spectrum of treatment services including primary, secondary and tertiary care.

The Commission has made a commitment to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and promote more inclusive communities throughout Victoria.

Community consultation into Victoria's Mental Health Services commenced recently and will continue throughout April and May.

The Commissioners will hold three types of community consultation sessions in rural, regional and metropolitan communities. These will include:

  • community forums for the public, people living with mental illness, their family members, carers and those with an interest in mental health
  • sessions for people living with mental illness, their family members or carers who may prefer to attend a dedicated discussion
  • roundtables on local issues

There will be multiple ways and opportunities for individuals to share their experiences and ideas for change with the Commission. Regular updates will be provided on this website over the course of the Commission.

We strongly encourage local health care professionals to assist people living with mental illness to access these opportunities to share their experience with Commissioners. You could also consider attending one of these sessions yourself. We will be working with our colleagues across Victoria to advocate a strong message that local community based access to primary mental heath care and where necessary secondary and clinical services is critical.

It is very important for the Commission that local voices are captured in this process.

Further information regarding when and where the sessions will be held can be found here: https://rcvmhs.vic.gov.au/whats-happening-now

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

New Well Connected Mental Health Support Program Launched

After Hours Collaborative Innovation Grants 2019 Recipients Announced

Influenza and Pertussis Immunisation Updates 

Social Prescribing Survey

General Practice Audit of Preoperative Anaemia

Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program 2019

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Presentation: Clinical Sprints with Ruth

Grampians Regional Palliative Care Conference

Congratulations

Geelong Otway

Presentation: Demystifying Comestic Surgery for the Face 

Absolutely MABulous: Melanoma Care Approaching 2020

Great South Coast

Introducing Our New Pharmacotherapy Team 

Wimmera Grampians

 Horsham Practice Development Workshop

General 

New Well Connected Mental Health Support Program Launched

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Western Victoria PHN and Wellways yesterday launched the new Well Connected mental health program to support people and families who aren’t part of the NDIS or public mental health services.

Well Connected is a psychosocial support program for those aged 16-64 who experience mental illness or mental health concerns. The program will provide a range of community-based mental health supports including outreach, peer support, and group based programs for people living with mental illness in the community and families.

The program is funded by Western Victoria PHN and the Commonwealth Government under the  National Psychosocial Support Measure (NPS Measure). Services will be delivered by Wellways across the Geelong-Otways and Great South Coast regions, assisting some of the hardest to reach people in our community.

Well Connected is designed to help people who may struggle to engage with traditional services or who need essential mental health education and community support.

A comparable program, Connecting2community, is being delivered by Ballarat Community Health to the Wimmera-Grampians and Ballarat Goldfields regions.

Member for Corangamite and Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson   Western Victoria PHN CEO Dr Leanne Beagley and Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther

After Hours Collaborative Innovation Grants 2019 Recipients Announced

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Western Victoria PHN is pleased to announce four western Victorian health services will receive $20 thousand each to help deliver innovative and collaborative projects for improving patient access to after hours services.

The one-off grants will support projects for improving and streamlining out-of-hours health care for the community. All projects will need to be delivered by October 2019.

Congratulations to the following successful recipients:

  • Hepburn Health Service - which will expand their current allied health services to better service the Hepburn Shire community by providing more specialist in-reach allied health services at a time and place which best supports client accessibility and by incorporating a public/private service mix to support continuity of care for clients.
  • Lorne Community Hospital - which will design, test and document workforce alternatives, to better support rural GPs who are currently carrying the bulk of the on-call burden and provide a scalable model of care to address after hours health care challenges in rural and remote communities. The workforce alternatives will include Nurse Practitioners; Rural and Isolated Practice Endorsed Registered Nurses (RIPERN); and GP Registrars.
  • Otway Health - which will explore and develop a process and pathway for growing the Nurse Practitioner rural workforce, which has previously been identified an effective workforce solution within the region. The pathway will enable Registered Nurses with an interest in rural health to undertake a stepped program to grow their skills to become a Nurse Practitioner.
  • Wimmera Health Care Group - which will fund accredited emergency response training days for all relevant regional team members within the Wimmera Southern Mallee Health Alliance including Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital, Rural Northwest Health, West Wimmera Health Service and Wimmera Health Care Group. 

Collaborative models for after hours support are successfully practiced overseas, particularly in many parts of Europe. In the Netherlands, anywhere between 40 and 250 physicians can work together to reduce the after hours workload on GPs while improving patient satisfaction. We are looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this year's projects which are designed to relieve pressure on state-funded services such as hospital emergency departments for after hours care.    

Influenza and Pertussis Immunisation Updates

Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health Federal

The Department Health and Human Services is advising clinicians on the details of the 2019 government-supplied influenza vaccine including changes to the national immunisation program and virus strains included in this year's allocation.

The trivalent vaccine, Fluad for people aged 65 and over, has been pre-allocated to to GP clinics, Community Health Centres and Aboriginal Health Centres. It is important to confirm your clinic is included by reviewing the pre-allocation list on the Department's website. Once you have received your pre-allocation, influenza vaccine for other eligible groups can be ordered via the Government funded vaccine order form.  Providers who do not receive a pre-allocation can also order the vaccine via that order form.

Other age-specific vaccines available this year are:

  • FluQuadri Junior® (Sanofi Pasteur)
  • FluQuadri® (Sanofi Pasteur)
  • Fluarix® Tetra (GSK)
  • Afluria-Quad® (Seqirus)

As part of the 2019 program, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older are now able to receive free seasonal influenza vaccines through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).  Please review the processes in your clinic to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older are offered a NIP seasonal influenza vaccine from 2019.

Others eligible for the free vaccine include:

  •  All children aged six months to less than five years - Victorian government funded
  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • All people aged six months and over who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications; for example, severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy).

Influenza virus strains included in the 2019 seasonal influenza vaccines are:

  • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
  • A (H3N2): an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2) like virus (New in 2019)
  • B: a B/Colorado/06/2017 like virus (New in 2019) (not included in the TIVs)
  • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus.

In addition, clinicians are reminded that the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination is now also provided free to pregnant women via the National Immunisation Program. Research has shown the most important factor associated with the uptake of the influenza and pertussis vaccinations during pregrnancy is a healthcare provider recommenation.

Please note, evidence around the timing of the pertussis vaccination in pregnancy has been reviewed and the vaccine is now recommended as a single dose between 20 and 32 weeks in each pregnancy including pregnancies which are closely spaced to provide maximal protection to each infant. For more details, refer to the 2019 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines for Preganant Women flyer.

Social Prescribing Survey

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parkrun Australia is inviting primary healthcare providers to participate in its Social Prescribing Survey to better understand what types of social prescribing are currently taking place, whether health professionals are/would consider referring patients to parkrun where appropriate, and what more we could do as an organisation to support that process.

parkrun is a not-for-profit organisation that supports communities to deliver a free 5km event every Saturday.  parkruns are coordinated by volunteers and open to walkers, runners, volunteers and spectators of all ages to get involved however they choose. All events finish with a coffee/breakfast afterwards as the primary purpose is to foster social connections. 

In the UK, GPs are able to refer patients to parkrun as a form of social prescribing. 

You can access the survey here.

General Practice Audit of Preoperative Anaemia

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Western Victoria GPs are invited to participate in an audit to assess primary health care uptake of iron deficiency screen and treatment for patients with planned elective major surgery.

Approximately 30 per cent of the patients referred for major elective surgery will have preoperative anaemia. Australian data from over 12,000 patients found rates of assessment (4.4 per cent  vs 77.9 per cent) and management of anaemia (81.9 per cent vs 13.6 per cent) and iron deficiency (81.2 per cent vs 15.5 per cent) in general practice was low compared to the hospital setting.

The audit is being coordinated by the Australian Red Cross and Victorian Government's Blood Matters Program. By completing the audit and associated activities, GPs will be better equipped to identify, assess and manage preoperative patients with anaemia and iron deficiency. 

This audit is accredited for a total of 40 QI points in the RACGP QI&CPD 2017-2019 triennium.

Download the flyer or go to the health.vic website for more information.

Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program 2019

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Cancer Council Victoria is now accepting applications for the 2019 Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practic Program which offers tools and training to support skin cancer diagnosis.

This program is available for Victorian GP practices to apply for a chance to receive a fully subsidised Heine Delta 20T dermatoscope and enrolment to the Practical Dermoscopy course from the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

Successful applicants will receive one Heine Delta 20T dermatoscope (maximum of one per practice), and enrolment into the Australasian College of Dermatologists Practical Dermatology course for the period of June to August 2019 (approximately 30-50 hours of student effort during this time is required). This includes a full day face-to-face training to be held in Melbourne on Saturday 24 August 2019.

Applications close at 5pm Tuesday, 30 April 2019.

To apply, and for more information (including terms and conditions) visit sunsmart.com.au/dermoscopy

Past applicants to the program who were unsuccessful in past rounds may re-apply. For more information email dermoscopy@cancervic.org.au

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New pages:

  • Physical Assault and Injury Recording
  • Allocate Injury Type
  • Strangulation (Choking)
  • Rural Community Support During Adversity

Reviewed pages:

  • Immunisation - Childhood

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.  

Ballarat Goldfields

Presentation: Clinical Sprints with Ruth

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Ballarat region health practitioners are invited to a special 'Clinical Sprints' presentation with Dr Ruth Bollard next month.

Ruth is a General Surgeon and Specialist breast and oncoplastic surgeon, whose practice comprises mostly of breast work, encompassing the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of all benign and malignant conditions of the breast and surveillance and prophylactic surgery for high-risk groups. She works at Specialists on Drummond and offersTelehealth consultation services, which is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care.

She's keen to share her many special interest areas with her peers and has agreed to the Clinical Sprints style presentation to enable her to cover as many topics as possible including:

  • Magseed learning a new method of breast lesion localisation
  • Discussions on benefits of telehealth for patients GP and specialists
  • Discussions on the role of GP in Doctor Health - Wellness planning for general practitioners. This is a new area of interest for Ruth and something she is very passionate about.

A Q&A session will be held afterwards.

The event will be held from 6pm on Wednesday, 1 May. Registrations are essential.

More details are available from our events page.

Grampians Regional Palliative Care Conference

Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team

The Grampians Regional Palliative Care Conference next month will offer world-class keynote addresses and industry-led presentations, as well as extensive networking opportunities, creating an interactive platform for high-level clinical discussions.

This year's conference will be held at Creswick on 23 and 24 May with the theme,‘Play, Eat, Love’ – What are the things that keep us alive. It will include a unique opportunity to participate in an Immunotherapy and Drug Interactions in Palliative Care pre-conference workshop, with Medical Oncologist Dr Vishal Boolell leading the discussion on treatment options for patients with advanced cancer.

For more details, head to the conference website or download the flyer.

Congratulations

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Congratulations to Lake Bolac Bush Nursing Centre manager Jan Milliken who had her work featured at the recent Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association National Conference.

Jan's abstract submission on GoShare and Health Literacy was accepted for a poster presentation at the conference. Jan sees holistic healthcare as having a strong focus on appropriate, timely and user-friendly inforrmation for clients and patients. She wanted to highlight the benefits of tech-friendly sites such as GoShare Healthcare which allow nurses, at the touch of a button,  to access health information.

Geelong Otway

Presentation: Demystifying Comestic Surgery for the Face

St John of God Geelong Hospital

St John of God Hospital is inviting GPs to take the opportunity to hear from a panel of experts discussing what is new in modern day comestic procedures and what GPs and their patients need to know as part of a presentation in Geelong later this month.

Attendees wil learn to recognise the indications for corrective jaw surgery (face, airway and bite); recognise the indications for eyelid surgery and ptosis repair; and discuss nasal surgery and the interaction of form and function. The event will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 30 April and is accredited for 4 Category 2 CPD RACGP points.

Download the registration form for more details.

Absolutely MABulous: Melanoma Care Approaching 2020

Barwon Health

The Andrew Love Cancer Centre at Barwon Health is hosting a presentation on Monday, 6 May to discuss the treatment and management of melanoma.

Speakers will include Breast and Melanoma Surgeon, Mr Conrad Brandt, and Medical Oncologist Dr Anna Lomax,

Download the flyer or contact Donna Lever at Barwon Health - email dlever@barwonhealth.org.au - for more information.

Great South Coast

Introducing Our New Pharmacotherapy Team

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Western Victoria PHN has recently appointed two new staff members to oversee our pharmcotherapy services in the Barwon South West region.

Gabrielle Watt has been appointed as Pharmacotherapy Lead and Annie Henry is our new Pharmcotherapy Clinical Consultant. Both are based in our Warranambool office but will be travelling around the region to support GPs, pharmacists and other professionals working with clients who have opioid dependence including opioid replacement therapy.

Gabrielle and Annie look forward to meeting with clinicians throughout the Barwon South West and, in the meantime, can be contacted via our Warrnambool office on 03 5564 5888.

Wimmera Grampians

Horsham Practice Development Workshop

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Practice managers, practice nurses and administration assistants from around the Wimmera-Grampians region recently participated in a Practice Development Workshop in Horsham.

Speakers included Avant Mutual Risk Adviser Martin Botros whoc discussed a range of medico-legal topics including documentation and medical records, privacy principles and how to deal with emerging medico-legal threats in social media.

A webinar session was also delivered by AGPAL Surveyor Chris Brown. Chris talked about th changes between the 4th and 5th editions of the RACGP Standards. Group discussion centre around the intent of these changes and moving towards a focus on quality improvement.

Practice Development Workshop