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Leanne 2019 westvic news

Why suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility

This week, we are acknowledging both World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and RUOK? Day (12 September).

According to the International Association of Suicide Prevention, more than 800 thousand people die by suicide each year. That represents one person every 40 seconds. Sadly, no community is immune, and suicide is also a significant cause of death within western Victoria.

This year Western Victoria Primary Health Network is investing more than $15m in programs to address mental ill health and support those living with mental illness in the community. This includes access to psychological therapy services and headspace services for young people at risk. These are available across all parts of western Victoria. 

In further recognition of the importance of tackling mental health needs, we are currently leading two Place-based Suicide Prevention Trials: one in Ballarat and the other in the Great South Coast region. Funded by the Victorian State Government, both trials bring together an impressive range of individuals and organisations to identify how they can collaboratively work to reduce the rate of deaths by suicide in their communities. These are critically important projects investigating existing services and support along with gaps in what is currently offered. Moreover, they are genuine, community-based efforts to integrate approaches and strengthen the collective impact to deliver real change.

While projects such as these are essential, they can only succeed if - as health professionals, individuals and a community – we recognise suicide prevention is a shared goal.  We all have responsibility to be mindful of our personal actions, responses and words.  Whether we are talking with patients, family, friends or work colleagues or posting on social media, we must be aware of how our comments can impact others.

At the same time, we must look to others and offer support if needed or requested. We should not judge. Likewise, if we ourselves are hurting, remember there are people around us we can turn to.  Finding the right person to talk with can make a real difference and people seeking help from their doctor is an important first step. 

The Suicide and Self Harm pages on HealthPathways are a valuable resource for doctors to use, which includes red flags, a hierarchy of screening questions and other steps to consider if a patient presents as high risk.

World Suicide Prevention Day and RUOK? Day are important opportunities for shining the light on mental health and suicide prevention and I encourage you to find out more. However, we must not forget that every day is suicide prevention day and every one of us has responsibility to help in whatever way we can.

I also encourage you to watch the video of Dr Amy Litras on our Facebook page. Dr Litras speaks about the first steps for supporting a loved one in distress and encourages the community to talk to their GP for important advice and support. 

- Lifeline 13 11 14

- beyondblue 1300 224 636

- Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

New Rural Health Chapter of HealthPathways

STI Testing Week

Thunderstorm Asthma Update 

Melbourne Children’s GP Paediatric Update

Food and Mood Centre Workshop

TransfusEd Workshop for GPs: Anaemia in Primary Care

HealthPathways

Ballarat Goldfields 

Rural and Regional Emergency Skills Workshop

After Hours Telehealth Pilot Launches at Hepburn Health Service

Geelong Otway

Call for Applications: 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Family Violence Referral Pathways Forum for Health Workers

New Treatment Trial for Bipolar Depression

Great South Coast

Nurse Ambassador Program

Warrnambool Health and Safety Month Conference 2019

Wimmera Grampians 

Tulku Wan Winnin (Health To You) Van Launches in Wimmera Grampians Region

General 

New Rural Health Chapter of HealthPathways

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) celebrated the launch of the first Rural Health chapter of HealthPathways in Australia at a networking evening at Baa 3400 Restaurant in Horsham on Wednesday 28 August.

The Growing Rural Health event was an opportunity for guests to learn more about what is available to help local farmers, to meet and network with other clinicians and health professionals and hear from special guest speaker, The Naked Farmer founder and St Helens Plains wheat grower, Ben Brooksby.  

Western Victoria PHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Leanne Beagley, said the first ‘Rural Health’ chapter of HealthPathways in Australia had been developed by the Western Victoria PHN to support and improve the health of agricultural communities and farmer and provide clinicians with clear pathways for health care management and referral of issues specific to rural and farming regions. 

The new pathways include medical resources and advice to treat: 

  • Animal-related Injury and Illness
  • Chemical Exposure and Toxicity
  • Hay Fever
  • Heat Related Illness
  • Rural and Agricultural Health Assessment
  • Rural Community Support during Adversity
  • Snake and spider bites
  • Zoonoses

For further information, read the media release on our website.

STI Testing Week

This STI Testing Week, 8-14 September 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all Victorians to continue talking about STIs, to get tested and seek treatment. 

The last decade has seen record increases in STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, here in Victoria and across Australia. For the first time since 2004, congenital syphilis has re-emerged in Victoria with two cases reported in 2017 and two cases reported in 2018, which included two foetal deaths

STI Testing Week – with the theme Talk, Test, Treat – is a timely reminder for anyone who is sexually active to take action to look after their own sexual health and help stop the spread of STIs.

Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers play a vital role in improving sexual health literacy and normalising STI testing in the community, including encouraging patients to look after their sexual health leading up to and during pregnancy. Healthcare workers can also support patients to notify sexual partners of possible exposures to an STI, if needed, through the 'Let Them Know' and Drama Down Under websites.

You can encourage your patients to speak honestly about their sexual history and behaviours, and help them manage and reduce these risks. You can also determine which tests to conduct and how often.

There are a number of resources to help health professionals integrate STI prevention, testing and treatment into routine patient care and build workforce capacity to improve timely STI management. The Victorian HIV and Hepatitis Integrated Training And Learning (VHHITAL) training program includes training on the diagnosis, treatment and management of STIs, particularly in at-risk populations. Delivered across Victoria, the VHHITAL STI training program includes STI testing, results and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV, clinical health pathways and partner management.

Thunderstorm Asthma Update 

Grass pollen season brings a seasonal increase in asthma and hay fever. It also brings the chance of epidemic thunderstorm asthma, which is thought to be triggered by a unique combination of high grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm with strong winds, causing a large number of people to develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time.

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events don't happen every year but when they do, they happen during grass pollen season, which is normally from October through December. Data from thunderstorm asthma epidemics suggest that the risk of asthma triggered by the particular thunderstorm is highest in adults who are sensitised to grass pollen and have seasonal allergic rhinitis (with or without known asthma). The worst outcomes are seen in people with poorly controlled asthma.

The Victorian government has launched the 2019 public health campaign to ensure that all Victorians, and in particular people with asthma and/or hay fever, are as prepared as they can be should another epidemic thunderstorm asthma event occur. Community information is available on the Better Health Channel  or on the health.vic website and resources, including posters and brochures, are available here.

Doctors and pharmacists will see an increase in those with asthma or hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) making appointments to review their current medication, update their asthma action plan/hay fever treatment plan and learn asthma first aid.

The Australian Asthma Handbook and a dedicated information paper on thunderstorm asthma is available from the National Asthma Council website. In addition, the RACGP, ACRRM, APNA and Pharmacy Guild have relevant educational materials available on each of their websites.

The epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecast will be issued throughout the grass pollen season from 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019. You can access the forecast via the VicEmergency website or app, the Health.Vic website or the Melbourne Pollen website or app.

If you have further questions on thunderstorm asthma please call 1300 761 874 or email etsa@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Melbourne Children’s GP Paediatric Update

The Melbourne Children's GP Paediatric Update (GPPU) will be held at The Royal Children’s Hospital on Saturday 12 October.

The GPPU program comprises interactive presentations and workshops from paediatric experts designed to update GPs on a number of paediatric issues relevant to general practice. For example, there will be updates on behaviour and development, enuresis and an expert panel to discuss allergies, eczema and anaphylaxis. The GPPU is run and coordinated by the Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne. 

Early Bird prices are $220.54 for GPs and $174.24 for Trainees, Nurses, Allied Health and Practice Managers until 15 September. Full price is $255.19 GP and $208.99 Trainee.

Register here. For enquiries, please contact gp-pu@unimelb.edu.au

Food and Mood Centre Workshop

The Food & Mood Centre is running a one-day workshop to provide foundational knowledge and skills in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry and address what is known regarding the links between diet, gut health, and mental and brain health on 3 October in Melbourne.

The Food & Mood Centre is part of Deakin University’s School of Medicine in Australia and is the only research centre of its kind worldwide focusing on Nutritional Psychiatry research which investigates how what we eat influences brain, mood and mental health. It comprises a large team of leading researchers and clinicians working to identify new dietary prevention strategies and treatments for mental disorders.

Intended for health practitioners, including general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, allied health practitioners, but also of interest to members of the public, this workshop will upskill practitioners in incorporating nutrition into the prevention and treatment mental and brain disorders.

This workshop is accredited through the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, and will provide its members 30 PRDP PDP points.

The workshop will be held on Thursday 3 October from 9.00am – 4.30pm at Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne. For more information or to register visit Eventbrite here.

TransfusEd Workshop for GPs: Anaemia in Primary Care

Australian Red Cross Blood Service is running the TranfusEd Workshop on 12 October in Melbourne which aims to provide general practitioners and practice nurses with an update on anaemia and iron deficiency in primary care.

Participants will be provided with tools to enable them to:

  • identify patients with iron deficiency and anaemia and determine underlying pathology;
  • interpret laboratory investigations to diagnose iron deficiency and anaemia;
  • apply the principles of prescribing and administering iron therapy in practice with a focus on patient blood management; and
  • incorporate the use of practical tools such as algorithms for anaemia and patient handouts to guide treatment for iron deficiency and anaemia.

The workshop will be interactive with case studies, expert input, clinical tools and more.

This activity (162212) has been accredited for 40 Category 1 points in the RACGP QI&CPD 2017–2019 Triennium. This activity (162220) has been accredited for 12 Category 2 points in the RACGP QI&CPD 2017–2019 Triennium.

Cost is $150. Register online here or see the full program here. Registrations close 30 September.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages

  •  Marfan Syndrome

Reviewed Pages

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Kidneys and Diabetes
  • Non-acute Vascular Surgery Assessment (>24 hours)
  • Carotid Artery Stenosis
  • Stroke
  • Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)

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

In other HealthPathways news, Western Victoria PHN is delighted to announce the appointment of Cara Miller as the new HealthPathways Program Lead.

Cara is an existing and respected member of the Western Victoria PHN HealthPathways team along with the wider HealthPathways community.

Over past weeks, Cara has been the Acting Program Lead. In that time, she has shown great skill in guiding a number of significant HealthPathways projects, including the first Rural Health chapter of HealthPathways in Australia

Ballarat Goldfields

Rural and Regional Emergency Skills Workshop

Western Victoria PHN, in collaboration with the Department of Health’s Emergency Medicine Education training (EMET) program, held a Rural and Regional Emergency Skills Workshop in Ballarat on Saturday 31 August.

The day brought together 29 doctors, nurses and registrars among others for a series of six workshops aimed at refreshing skills that may have only been used sparingly since university. 

Dealing with Paediatric emergencies, musculoskeletal injuries, burns and eye emergencies are a daily task for physicians at Ballarat Health Services. But for those doctors and registered nurses living in rural communities, it’s not something they are likely to see every day.

EMET Clinical Nurse Education and Project Support Officer, Mel White, said the workshop was based around giving practitioners that work in urgent care a chance to go through general skills, which they already have, but in a more comfortable environment. The workshop was hands-on and focused on participants getting up and practicing.

The six workshops included plastering, ophthalmology, burns, musculoskeletal injuries and minor fracture management, paediatric emergencies and basic life support.

The next workshop will be held in Stawell on Saturday 26 October and registrations are open. For further information please click here

After Hours Telehealth Pilot Launches at Hepburn Health Service

Specialist emergency doctors will now be available at Hepburn Health Service during the after hours period, thanks to a new telehealth pilot being delivered by Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) and My Emergency Dr (MED).

The new After Hours Telehealth Pilot has been launched across several Urgent Care Centre’s (UCC) in the Western Victoria PHN region. The pilot at Hepburn Health Service’s UCC commenced on Monday 2 September 2019 and will run until 28 August 2020.

The video-call based service will be used by Urgent Care Centre medical staff in the after hours period via the MED App on a smart phone or tablet, which gives immediate access to a team of Emergency Specialists who can remotely access, diagnose and arrange treatment for patients.

Hepburn Health Service has also commenced its After Hours Sub Regional Engagement Project. This involves coordination of sponsored Rural and Isolated Practice Endorsed Registered Nurse (RIPERN) places within the Ballarat Goldfields region and increased access to education and support resources.

Read the full media release here.

Geelong Otway

Call for Applications: 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Western Victoria Primary Health Network, in conjunction with Hospice Foundation Geelong, is seeking applications from Geelong region general practitioners for the 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care.

The annual scholarship awards up to $5,000 to help Geelong region GPs attend national or international educational events related to palliative care.

Eligible applications are being sought from GPs or GP trainees working in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast, preferably with a long-term commitment to continuing their work in the region. Their current practice should include provision of care to people with palliative care needs.

The maximum scholarship payment to any individual doctor is $10,000 during any 10-year period.

For further information and to apply, visit the Western Victoria PHN website. Applications close Monday, 30 September 2019.

Family Violence Referral Pathways Forum for Health Workers

Dr Sally Cockburn (aka Dr Feelgood) will host a panel with representatives from local and regional support services at the Family Violence Referral Pathways Forum for Health Workers on Thursday 26 September in Geelong

The panel will explore a family violence case study from initial presentation at a health service through to accessing family violence support. There will be representatives from an array of services such as The Orange Door, Victoria Police, BCYF, Bethany and many more.

The forum will be held at Barwon Health on Thursday 26 September. Register here or view the flyer for further information.

Note: Completion of Module One: Family Violence: A Shared Understanding is recommended prior to attending the forum. Barwon Health staff please log in to Grow and complete Module One: Family Violence – A Shared Understanding. For non Barwon Health staff please copy and paste the link into YouTube through Google Chrome here.  

New Treatment Trial for Bipolar Depression

    

Do you have patients with Bipolar Disorder and are looking for something to add to their treatment?

Deakin University and Barwon Health are conducting a preliminary study of the effectiveness of the Mangosteen fruit extract for people with Bipolar Depression.

Participants will be required to take capsules that may or may not include the mangosteen fruit extract for a period of 24 weeks, in addition to continuing their usual treatment. The substance is not expected to have any unwanted side effects and will be received free of charge at each monthly visit.

For further details, please contact 0402 196 595, visit the website or view the poster here.

Great South Coast

Nurse Ambassador Program

Cancer Council Victoria's Nurse Ambassador Program is seeking practice nurses who are looking to broaden their scope of practice to include cancer screening and prevention activities across their whole organisation with the next workshop to be held in Warrnambool on 22 and 31 October 2019.

Nurses will be recognised as ‘Cancer Screening Ambassadors’ after completing a two-day practical and interactive workshop.

If you would like to attend the Warrnambool workshop in October, please complete the application form and email it to Sophie Thompson (Primary Care Coordinator) by Friday 11 October 2019.

For further information visit the website.

Please note: attendance at both days is required to become a Cancer Screening Ambassador. Successful applicants will be notified within a few days of submitting their form by receiving a registration email.

Warrnambool Health and Safety Month Conference 2019

Health and Safety Month is held in October each year and is the time to discuss safety in your workplace. WorkSafe is holding a Health & Safety Month Conference in Warrnambool on 3 October. 

Come along to the conference to hear the latest from the industry experts who lead the way in drugs and alcohol and mental health disciplines in the workforce.

Topics include:

  • Drugs and alcohol in the workplace
  • Preventing mental injury in the workplace

The conference will be held on Thursday 3 October from 9.30am – 1.00pm at Lighthouse Theatre Warrnambool Studio, Level 1, 185 Timor Street. Register here.

Wimmera Grampians

Tulku Wan Winnin (Health To You) Van Launches in Wimmera Grampians Region

Budja Budja Medical Clinic at the foothills of Gariwerd (the Grampians) has commenced health services from its Tulku Wan Winnin (Health To You) Van, in collaboration with Western Victoria PHN, which will travel and provide services to Ararat, Stawell, St Arnaud, Maryborough, Avoca and surrounds.

The van has a private examination area, seating for patients and staff, a fridge and a satellite dish for remote communications. The service is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of any age. 

Services are all free/bulk billed and include general health, chronic disease, and social and emotional wellbeing support. Allied health services are also involved and the van can visit patients in their homes, at schools or at community centres. It will also be available for community events.

This is a great initiative to make a difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community in a culturally safe environment.

Leanne 2019 westvic news

Western Victoria PHN Leads the Nation in Childhood Immunisation Rates

The Department of Health has released the updated March 2019 data on childhood immunisation coverage by Primary Health Network (PHN), revealing Western Victoria PHN is leading the nation in childhood immunisation rates.

Western Victoria PHN leads the Australian immunisation rates for children aged 12 to 15 months and 24 to 27 months with 96.08 per cent and 93.90 per cent respectively. We have also recorded the second highest immunisation rate in the country for children aged between 60 and 63 months with the rate of 97.11 per cent.

It’s great to have a high rate of childhood vaccinations recorded for the western Victoria region as we know a high number of our children are protected against serious diseases, which can be life threatening.

The high rate of immunisations in our region is a result of you as our hardworking healthcare providers, GPs and nurse immunisers, who have been supported by our immunisation consultants and practice facilitators.

As a PHN, we are proud to partner with immunisation providers, including primary care and local councils, to ensure timely vaccination of children and provide accurate and timely data to the Australian Immunisation Register.

Read the full media release here.

Also a reminder that next week is Women’s Health Week, running from 2-6 September.

Established in 2013 by national not-for-profit organisation, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, Women’s Health Week is held annually in the first week of September and celebrates improving the health of all women in Australia.

The campaign encourages women to make health a priority. Please be aware that the campaign may increase women visiting healthcare providers in the next few weeks for a check-up, preventative screening and vaccines. I encourage you to visit HealthPathways Western Victoria for a guide on Women’s Health.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Health Alert - Novel Human Parechovirus (HPeV) Strain in Victoria

Suboxone Fact Sheet

Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training and New Resources for GPs

Peripheral Venous Access Clinical Care Standard – Consultation Open

Online Survey – Nursing, Midwifery, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Allied Health

Helping people with Young Onset Dementia using Telehealth

HealthPathways 

Ballarat Goldfields 

GP Facilitator Role - Longitudinal Primary & Community Care Program

Inquiry into Assisted Reproductive Treatment in Victoria - Public Consultation

Geelong Otway

Call for Applications: 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Mental Health Skills for GPS

Practice Manager Networking Breakfast 

Great South Coast

High-sensitivity Troponin for Rural Clinicians

Wimmera Grampians

Practice Nurse/Manager Network Meeting

General 

Health Alert - Novel Human Parechovirus (HPeV) Strain in Victoria

Dr Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer, Victoria issued a health alert on Thursday 22 August relating to an uncommon strain of human parechovirus (HPeV type 5) that has been identified in Victoria. 

Key Messages:

  • Six cases of HPeV have been identified since February 2019. All cases have been in neonates. 
  • HPeV is usually spread from person-to-person through contact with respiratory droplets, saliva or faeces from an infected person.
  • HPeV occurs commonly in the general population, and usually causes a mild respiratory and gastrointestinal illness in young children.
  • Some strains can cause a severe sepsis-like and neurological illness in neonates and young infants.
  • HPeV is not currently detected using standard enterovirus tests used in most pathology services.
  • Parechovirus PCR should specifically be requested in cases of severe illness, and if not available from local pathology providers, can be accessed through the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL).
  • No specific therapy is available; treatment is aimed at symptom relief and supportive care.
  • Good hygiene practices are vital to protect against gastrointestinal illnesses, including HPeV infection.
  • No vaccine is available to prevent HPeV infection.

Read the full alert here.

Suboxone Fact Sheet

The Suboxone Fact Sheet sets out the current regulatory, funding and supply mechanisms for Suboxone to provide clarity around Suboxone and its off-label use.

The Commonwealth Department of Health has reviewed the fact sheet and is satisfied that it clearly articulates the issues with accessing the PBS subsidy for Suboxone.

The fact sheet will be also available online at the Medicines and Poisons Regulation website.

Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training and New Resources for GPs

GP providers of Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) are reminded to schedule an FPS continuing professional development (CPD) activity before Tuesday 31 December 2019. This is mandatory to maintain FPS eligibility with Medicare Australia in the 2017–19 triennium.

There are several activities available from RACGP below:

FPS ST CPD – A case-based Masterclass

This Masterclass consists of a series of thought-provoking, small-group, case-based discussion sessions facilitated by a GP with specialist experience in mental health and is accredited for 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points

Date: Selection of group based options, September – November 2019

Venue: Teleconference, format consisting of four two-hour, case-based discussion sessions

Cost: $295

Register here 

Focused Psychological Strategies Skills Training

Date: Wednesday 28 August – Sunday 1 December 2019

Venue: Online

Cost: $979

Register here

RACGP has also released a range of new resources for GPs including a new suite of videos on My Health Record, an eHealth webinar series, a pandemic flu kit, and a guide to information backup in general practice.

Access the resources here.

Peripheral Venous Access Clinical Care Standard – Consultation Open

 

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is inviting comments from the public on the draft Peripheral Venous Access Clinical Care Standard.

Comments are sought from healthcare professionals, peak healthcare and consumer organisations, consumers and any other interested parties.

The development of national clinical care standards is a priority area in the Commission’s  2018-21 work plan. A clinical care standard contains a small number of quality statements that describes the care a patient should be offered for a specific clinical condition or defined part of a clinical pathway. It supports:

  • People to know what care should be offered by their healthcare system, and to make informed treatment decisions in partnership with their clinicians;
  • Clinicians to make decisions about appropriate care; and
  • Health service organisations to examine the performance of their organisation and make improvement in the care they provide.

The draft Peripheral Venous Access Clinical Care Standard and instructions for submitting comments are available on the Commission’s website.

The consultation period will be open until 11:59 pm Sunday, 15 September 2019. If you have any questions about the clinical care standards or the consultation process, please phone 02 9126 3600 or email: CCS@safetyandquality.gov.au

Online Survey – Nursing, Midwifery, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Allied Health

KBC Australia has been appointed by the Department of Health to evaluate the Commonwealth-funded Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program. 

As part of this they are conducting an online survey targeting Nursing, Midwifery, Dentistry, Pharmacy and other Allied Health professionals across Australia. 

You will be contributing directly to increasing the evidence about the value of placements to health workforce training and graduates’ career pathways.

Please note the evaluation has ethics approval through Bond University Human Research Ethics Committee. Take the survey here.

Helping people with Young Onset Dementia using Telehealth

Young Onset Dementia is any form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65.

NorthWestern Mental Health has developed a project, funded by Better Care Victoria, called ‘Bridging Gaps in Health using Telepsychiatry and Telepsychology for Young Onset Dementia (BRIGHT-YOD Project)’.

The BRIGHT-YOD Project’s overarching aim is to improve access to diagnosis and ongoing care and support for people living with Young Onset Dementia (<65 years of age) in Victoria (particularly rural and remote areas) using telehealth/videoconferencing technology.

Telehealth can help people get assessment and ongoing specialist care that they may not be able to get to the Neuropsychiatry Unit due to issues such as:

  • being a long distance away
  • support issues
  • mobility issues
  • cognitive impairment

The service can be accessed via a GP or specialist service provider referral.

Find out further information here.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages

  • Rural and Agricultural Health Assessment
  • Chemical Exposure and Toxicity
  • Animal Related Injury and Illness
  • Zoonoses
  • Spider Bite

Reviewed Pages

  • Lateral Condylar Humeral Fracture in Children
  • Breast Imaging – Diagnostic
  • Recurrent Staphylococcal Infection
  • Increased Haemoglobin

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

Ballarat Goldfields

GP Facilitator Role - Longitudinal Primary and Community Care Program

Deakin University Clinical School at Ballarat Health Services is seeking a GP Facilitator for its Longitudinal Primary and Community Care Program (LPCC). The total time commitment for the GP Facilitator is 5 hours per month, and includes:

  • Meeting with 4 students every 4 weeks for 42 weeks to facilitate group discussion (3 hours per month)
  • Identifying and recruiting some patients who the students can visit
  • Providing ad hoc support to students via email/phone calls (up to 2 hours per month)
  • Training to be provided in late 2019

Deakin University's year 3 LPCC is very different to the 4th year general practice rotation and does not involve students in parallel consulting or watching a GP in clinic. Instead, it is a set of student-directed community experiences, involving:

  • Visiting patients in their homes or accommodation
  • Following patients with chronic diseases over time within the community and following patients discharged from the hospital back into the community
  • Visiting community settings and agencies from which patients obtain support in the community.

Fill out the attached form to register your interest and forward to lpccadmin@deakin.edu.au. If available, please attach brief CV/resume and LPCC will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Expression of interest forms are due by 5pm on Monday 2 September. 

Inquiry into Assisted Reproductive Treatment in Victoria - Public Consultation

As part of the Inquiry into Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) practices in Victoria, The Health Complaints Commissioner is holding a series of consultation sessions in September 2019, including in Ballarat. 

ART consumers and providers can hear more about the Inquiry and share their experiences (anonymously if they choose). These discussions will inform a report, which will be delivered to the Victorian Government at the conclusion of the Inquiry.

The Health Complaints Commissioner will be holding a public consultation session for consumers and interested parties in Ballarat on Friday, 13 September 2019 at 12.30 PM – 2.00pm.

Please express your interest to attend the public consultation here or view the Discussion Paper here. Registrations close 30 August. 

Geelong Otway

Call for Applications: 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Western Victoria Primary Health Network in conjunction with Hospice Foundation Geelong is seeking applications from Geelong region general practitioners for the 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care.

The annual scholarship awards up to $5,000 to help Geelong region GPs attend national or international educational events related to palliative care.

Eligible applications are being sought from GPs or GP trainees working in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast, preferably with a long-term commitment to continuing their work in the region. Their current practice should include provision of care to people with palliative care needs.

The maximum scholarship payment to any individual doctor is $10,000 during any 10-year period.

For further information and to apply, visit the Western Victoria PHN website. Applications close Monday, 30 September 2019.

Mental Health Skills for GPS

Complete your Mental Health Skills Training in one full day of expert training in Geelong on Saturday 12 October.   

  • Enhance your ability to diagnose and treat mental disorders efficiently
  • Interactive Case Based Discussions to consolidate your knowledge
  • Earn 40 CPD points
  • Claim Medicare items 2715 and 2717
  • Online training material for psychiatric interviewing

The course is free and will be delivered by Psych Scene at Rydges Geelong, Cnr Gheringhap & Myers Street, Geelong.  For contact the Western Victoria PHN CPD team or phone 5222 0804

Register here.

Practice Manager Networking Breakfast 

Are you a Practice Manager in the Geelong Otway region looking for the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas with other practice managers?

Come and join the Practice Manager Networking Breakfast on Wednesday 4 September from 8.00 - 9.00am at Winter's Cafe and enjoy an informal networking session over a cuppa and breakfast. 

This event attracts 2 CPD points for AAPM members. 

Registration is essential by Monday 2 September. Book via the link here

Great South Coast

High-sensitivity Troponin for Rural Clinicians

High-sensitivity troponin is a great assay in the lab but a confusing test in practice. Listen to this talk, by Associate Professor Tim Baker, MBBS (Hons), BMedSc (Hons), MClinEd, FACEM, in Warrnambool on Tuesday 10 September to keep your patients safe and make decisions quickly.

Learning outcomes include:
• Understand the difference between old and fancy troponin.
• Incorporate high-sensitivity troponin in a chest pain pathway.
• Identify how to use troponin in rural general practice.

The training is open to General Practitioners, GP Registrars, Practice Nurses and Nurse Practitioners and is also available via webinar. 

The training will be held at Western Victoria PHN, Level 1 (Next to ANZ) Bayside City Plaza, 24-36 Fairy St, Warrnambool, will be held on Tuesday 10 September from 6.15pm - 7.30pm and attracts 2 RACGP Category Two Points. 

Register here. For further information contact Joy Ticchi or phone (03) 5564 5830.  

Wimmera Grampians

Practice Nurse/Manager Network Meeting

Western Victoria PHN held a Practice Nurse / Practice Manager Network Meeting On Wednesday 21 August in Horsham, which was attended by 16 health professionals across the Wimmera Grampians region.

Attendees heard from guest speaker Angela Mason-Lynch, who is a Practice Management Specialist for Avant in Practice Hub.

Angela delivered a session on “Applying QI Activities to Emerging Risks”. The session demonstrated how to perform Quality Improvements in practices using practical examples.

Leanne 2019 westvic news

After Hours Initiatives Assist Healthcare Delivery 

Western Victoria PHN is delivering in excess of $550,000 for innovative after hours initiatives to assist primary healthcare service delivery and improve health outcomes across western Victoria.

Over last year’s busy Christmas period we began with an after hours campaign for the community ‘Make the right call to get the right care’, which involved three steps for residents and visitors to western Victoria to access after-hours medical assistance.

We are now working in collaboration with health services across western Victoria to deliver the after hours initiatives, which includes the After Hours Telehealth Pilots, After Hours Sub- Regional Engagement Projects and After Hours Collaborative Innovation Grants.

Last week, I was pleased to visit Maryborough District Health Service to officially launch its After Hours Telehealth Pilot. The pilot, funded by Western Victoria PHN, is being delivered by My Emergency Dr (MED) via its video-call based service.

During the after hours period, Urgent Care Centre medical staff can access the MED App on a smart phone or tablet to immediately access a team of Emergency Specialists who can remotely access, diagnose and arrange treatment for patients. 

The use of telehealth has been identified as a potential alternative to addressing some of the workforce challenges that commonly impact small rural communities and can reduce the significant after hours burden placed on some GPs. 

The After Hours Telehealth Pilot will be rolled out across nine Urgent Care Centres in western Victoria, each of which expressed an interest in participating in the pilot.

Maryborough District Health Service was one of three health services to launch the pilot this month. Please see the list of health services participating below.   

Wave 1

Service Delivery- 05/08/2019- 31/07/2020

Wave 2

Service Delivery- 02/09/2019- 28/08/2020

Wave 3

Service Delivery- 30/09/2019- 25/09/2020

Maryborough District Health Service

Terang and Mortlake Health Service

Ballan District Health and Care

Rural Northwest Health

Hepburn Health Service  

East Grampians Health Service

Stawell Regional Hospital

Great Ocean Road Health (Lorne)

Great Ocean Road Health (Apollo Bay)

In late 2019-2020, collaborative models for after hours primary healthcare will be co-designed with a broad range of after hours stakeholders including primary care providers, after hours service providers, tertiary care providers, aged care providers, rural and regional Department of Health and Human Services branches, alcohol and other drug and mental health providers, service users and community based service providers in each of the fours sub-regions of Western Victoria PHN.

Through the facilitation process, the ‘Sub-regional Co-design: collaborative models for after hours primary health care’ will ensure after hours primary care funding is directed to meet local needs identified by stakeholders within their communities and inform the broader planned procurement approach for Sub-regional Co-design Projects.

Opportunities to be involved in the Sub-regional Co-design will be promoted later this year.   

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Head and Neck Cancer Information for GPs

Cancer Screening in the Spotlight in Latest Issue of Public Health Research & Practice

National Mental Health Commission Online Survey

Supporting Communities During Drought – Free Online Resources

National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Public Consultation Process

Western Alliance Sixth Annual Symposium - Call for Abstracts & Registrations Open

Nurse Awards 2019

HealthPathways Update 

Ballarat Goldfields 

After Hours Telehealth Pilot launches at Maryborough District Health Services

Presentation: The Role of the Health Professional in Child Protection 

Geelong Otway

Practice Manager Networking Breakfast

Young Adults Transition Service

Great South Coast

Western Alliance Ageing Research Forum 

Advanced Care Planning Update 2019 

Wimmera Grampians

Free Farmer Health Checks and Education Session

General 

Head and Neck Cancer Information for GPs

Head and neck cancers are within the top 10 cancers most commonly diagnosed in Australia, and there are no standard screening tests for early detection.

Major risk factors for head and neck cancers include tobacco use, alcohol consumption and HPV infection, which causes more than half of all oropharyngeal cancers.  Head and neck cancers are also more common in men, affecting almost three times as many men than women.

Advances in surgical techniques, radiation and chemotherapy are helping patients live longer and preserving quality of life, and it is important to remember that head and neck cancers are curable if caught early enough. The five-year survival rate for head and neck cancers currently sits at 70 per cent.

There is an important role for GPs in the provision of health promotion messages on smoking, alcohol and the link to HPV. Patients have high supportive care needs, especially for nutrition support, and many undergo extensive reconstruction work that can be spread out over many years. 

GPs can help to put supports and referrals in place that help patients navigate the complex health system.

Western Victoria PHN is working alongside Primary Health Networks across Victoria to build awareness and use of the head and neck cancer Optimal Care Pathways (OCP).  OCPs are national guidelines that outline the best possible cancer care at each stage from diagnosis to survivorship or end-of-life-care.

Learn more about Optimal Care Pathways here

Cancer Screening in the Spotlight in Latest Issue of Public Health Research & Practice

 

Cancer screening in Australia is the focus of the latest issue of the Public Health Research & Practice (PHRP), a journal of the Sax Institute, which was supported by and developed in partnership with Cancer Council Australia and Cancer Institute NSW. Articles explore a range of topics on this theme, from ways to increase participation in the bowel screening program to new approaches and technologies to improve breast screening.

The research article is the first comprehensive review of the benefits, harms and cost-effectiveness of cancer screening in Australia, using quantitative evidence and the most recent estimates.

It finds that the national cervical and bowel screening programs are both effective and cost effective, with bowel cancer screening proving exceptionally good value for money. Further work is needed on the benefits and harms (such as overdiagnosis and overtreatment) of Australia’s BreastScreen program, as well as other emerging screening approaches.

Read more about the PHRP here

You can subscribe to receive quarterly e-alerts when the journal is published, make suggestions about themes or topics for future issues, submit papers and follow on Twitter @phrpjournal

National Mental Health Commission Online Survey

 

The National Mental Health Commission has launched an online survey as part of the Connections project, calling on all Australians to contribute to the future of mental health care, suicide prevention and wellbeing in our country.

Everyone is welcome to take part in the conversation and you are encouraged to share the survey link with family and friends. The survey consists of six questions and will only take a few minutes to complete depending on how much information you would like to provide.

If you did not have a chance to attend the Town Hall meetings, and/or if there is anything else you would like to contribute in addition to the meetings, please share via the survey here.

Your input will assist in developing a 2030 Vision for mental health, suicide prevention and wellbeing in Australia, as well as inform the priorities of the Commission for the next two years.

Supporting Communities During Drought – Free Online Resources

As part of its remit to support children’s mental health, The Emerging Minds: National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health (NWCCMH) has developed a new suite of free, online drought-specific resources to support GPs, health and social service providers, educators, first responders and community leaders as they engage with children and their families.

Please find attached the first of the NWCCMH’s Supporting Communities in Drought: Online Resource summaries which provides an overview of and links to videos, podcasts, printable fact sheets and workshops that are all free to access. Future summaries will showcase additional resources for engaging with children and families affected by drought, and will be available in the coming months.

Further fact sheets, videos, podcasts, e-learning courses and workshops on children’s mental health are available for free online at the Emerging Minds web hub, or you can contact Senior Workforce Consultant (Rural and Remote), Annabel Axford at axforda@emergingminds.com.au.

National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Public Consultation Process

 

The NDSS provides subsidised syringes and needles, blood glucose test strips, urine test strips, insulin pump consumables and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) products to Australians living with diabetes.

To ensure the scheme continues to meet the needs of the community, the Commonwealth Department of Health is running an online survey to inform future decision-making; including products that should be considered for subsidisation.

To have your say, please head to the NDSS online survey link. The survey closes on 25 August 2019.

For further information contact Claire Rickard, Primary Care Engagement Coordinator at Diabetes Victoria, via: crickard@diabetesvic.org.au

Western Alliance Sixth Annual Symposium - Call for Abstracts & Registrations Open

Western Alliance's Sixth Annual Symposium is scheduled for Thursday 24 October at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre and is now taking registrations and calling for abstract submissions. 

This year's theme is ‘lost in research translation, demystifying the approach from knowledge into action’. Submitted abstracts should identify with this theme and also align with the Western Alliance focus areas. 

Click here to submit your abstract. Abstract submissions close at midnight on 8 September 2019.

The Symposium is free and will focus on research translation, and in addition to showcasing our regional research through presentations, we will also be attempting to tackle the big issues through practical workshops and panel discussions. Limited places. Register here.

Nurse Awards 2019

2019 marks the fourth triennial awards for Cancer Council Victoria’s Nurse Cervical Screening Providers in Victoria! This year, Cancer Council Victoria will be giving awards in four categories, all of which are open for nomination. The categories are:

  • Commitment to under-screened groups
  • Excellence in preceptorship
  • Service improvement and innovation
  • Nurse of the year

The awards will be presented at the Nurse Metropolitan Professional Development Day which will be held at the Jam Factory in South Yarra on Friday, 22 November 2019.

Nominations close on Monday 30 August 2019 at 5pm.

For more information and to make a nomination, please visit our website or fill out the nomination form here.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Subcutaneous Foreign Bodies
  • Trigger Finger in Adults
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture
  • Rural and Agricultural Health Assessment
  • Chemical Exposure and Toxicity
  • Animal Related Injury and Illness
  • Zoonoses
  • Spider Bite
  • Leg Ulcers
  • Pressure Injuries
  • Infection and Bacterial Load in Wounds
  • MRSA
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Reviewed Pages:

  • Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD)
  • Issuing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD)
  • Medications for Depression and Anxiety (Pregnancy and Breastfeeding)
  • Child with a Limp
  • MRI – Knee and Hip
  • MRI – Shoulder
  • MRI – Back Pain
  • Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis
  • Sick Day Management in Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2

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

Ballarat Goldfields

After Hours Telehealth Pilot launches at Maryborough District Health Service

Specialist emergency doctors will now be available at Maryborough District Health Service during the after hours period, thanks to a new telehealth pilot being delivered by Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) and My Emergency Dr.

The new After Hours Telehealth Pilot will be launched across several Health Service Urgent Care Centre’s (UCC) in the Western Victoria PHN region, with Hepburn Health Service and Ballan District Health and Care to commence services in September.

The pilot at Maryborough District Health Services’ UCC will commence on Monday 12 August 2019 and run until 7 August 2020.The video-call based service will be used by Urgent Care Centre staff in the after hours period via the MED App on a smart phone or tablet, which gives immediate access to a team of Emergency Specialists who can remotely access, diagnose and arrange treatment for patients. 

Western Victoria PHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Leanne Beagley, said the use of telehealth has been identified as a potential alternative to addressing some of the workforce challenges and can reduce the significant after hours burden placed on some GPs. 

Read the full media release here or read the article in the Maryborough District Advertiser

Photo: (L-R) Amor Kisling, Wendy Giddings, Western Victoria PHN CEO Dr Leanne Beagley, My Emergency Dr COO Dawn Floyd and MDHS Acting CEO Laura Martin.

Presentation: The Role of the Health Professional in Child Protection 

Professor Anne Smith visited Ballarat on Tuesday 6 August to present two sessions on 'The Role of the Health Professional in Child Protection' and 'The Shaken Infant: the who what when why and how?' for primary health professionals in the Ballarat Goldfields region. 

There were 40 health professionals in the first session and 60 in the second session, with approximately 50 per cent of participants attending both sessions.

Attendees included GP’s, practice nurses, under graduate nurses from acute and mental health streams, psychiatrists, medical students, nursing educators and registered nurses from the emergency department and children’s ward. 

Feedback following the event was positive and it was a great opportunity to collaborate with Ballarat Health Services to discuss a topic that is of significant importance to health care, but obviously very confronting.

Geelong Otway

Practice Manager Networking Breakfast 

Are you a Practice Manager in the Geelong Otway region looking for the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas with other practice managers?

Come and join the Practice Manager Networking Breakfast on Monday 4 September from 8.00 - 9.00am at Winter's Cafe and enjoy an informal networking session over a cuppa and breakfast. 

This event attracts 2 CPD points for AAPM members. 

Registration is essential by Monday 2 September. Book via the link here

Young Adults Transition Service

The Young Adults Transition Service (YATS) is a specialist service based at the McKellar Centre that develops the health independence of young people as they negotiate the move away from their childhood providers into the adult health world.

The service consists of a Rehabilitation Physician, OT, SP, PT, NP and social worker.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Aged 16-25 years
  • Barwon South West Region
  • Complex Neurological and or physical condition
  • Need a coordinated approach to health transition

Exclusion criteria: clients who have a sole diagnosis of mental health or intellectual disability

To refer to the Young Adults Transition Service, please forward a Medical Specialist/GP referral to: Dr Neil Crompton - Young Adults Transition Service – McKellar Centre. Email: McKellar.SACS.Referral@barwonhealth.org.au

Telephone enquiries: 4215 5315

Great South Coast

Western Alliance Ageing Research Forum 

In collaboration with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC), Western Alliance has opened registrations for its Ageing Research Forum, which will take place on Friday 6 September 2019 at South West Healthcare in Warrnambool.

The forum aims to:

  • Launch the Western Alliance Ageing Research Hub; a collaboration of health professionals, researchers, consumers and industry experts who will help to set the agenda for ageing research in Western Victoria
  • Bring ourselves up to date on current developments and evidence in the ageing space
  • Identify the key issues and gaps in ageing across the Western region of Victoria, and
  • Identify the key research questions that can be further developed and funded to improve health outcomes.

The forum will involve a mix of presentations and workshops in an interactive format, with a keynote address from Associate Professor Briony Dow, Director of NARI.

The event will be free and lunch will be provided. Limited places. Register here by 27 August 2019

Advanced Care Planning Update 2019 

 
 
South West Healthcare Palliative Care Director, Dr Emma Greenwood, and Advance Care Planning Officer/Registered Nurse, Melissa Couch, will present an Advance Care Planning Update for 2019 on Thursday 22 August at the Western Victoria PHN Warrnambool office.

The update will include the impact and relevance of new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation and implication to practice for GP clinics and is open to General Practitioners/GP Registrars, Practice Nurses/ Nurse Practitioners, Practice Managers / Practice Staff, Allied Health Professionals, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Palliative Care Staff.

Advance Care Planning is a process of planning for future health and personal care, whereby the person's values and preferences are made known so that they can guide decision making at a future time when the person cannot make or communicate their decisions. 

For further information and to register, please visit the Western Victoria PHN website

Wimmera Grampians

Free Farmer Health Checks and Education Session

Western Victoria PHN welcomed the National Centre for Farmer Health to the Horsham office on Thursday 1 August to provide comprehensive health checks for local farmers and anyone working in the agricultural sector as part of its AgriSafe Program.

Find out more on the ArigSafe program here.

This followed on from a successful educational session on Wednesday 31 July for health professionals on ‘Improving the Health of Agricultural Communities’.

Patient information about Farmers Health is available on the Western Victoria PHN GoShare platform for practices to access and give to patients. The first Rural Health chapter in Australia has also been developed by the Western Victoria PHN and is now available on HealthPathways.

    

Leanne 2019 westvic news

PIP QI - Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement takes effect tomorrow  

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) aims to support general practice activities, including continual improvements, quality care, enhanced capacity, and improved access and health outcomes for patients.

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) will change from 1 August 2019 when the removal of four of the existing PIPs will be replaced with a new incentive, the PIP QI (Quality Improvement). The PIP QI is designed for general practice to implement changes that are relevant to their patient population. This means a practice can focus on improving patient outcomes and access to care while also developing efficient business processes. The new incentive aims to improve patient care in aspects such as management of chronic conditions, safety and performance.

From tomorrow (1 August 2019), the following four incentives will cease:

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

The following seven PIP Incentives will remain:

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

A general practice will need to meet two components to qualify for a PIP QI Incentive payment.

1. Participation in continuous quality improvement activities.

a)  The PIP QI Incentive rewards practices for participating in continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with their local PHN

2. PIP Eligible Data Set.

a) The PIP Eligible Data Set is the data collected against the specified Improvement Measures.

For further information, guidelines and support, please visit the Western Victoria PHN website.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Immunisation Forum 2019 

Best Practice for Melanoma Cancer Care

RACGP Green Book: Share your stories of implementing preventive care in your practice

Scholarships & Grants

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) - New Online Toolkit 

HealthPathways Update 

Ballarat Goldfields 

Collective Effort to Reduce Suicide Rates in Ballarat

Ballarat Hospice Care New Headquarters & Breakfast Meeting 

Geelong Otway

HIV Treatment Educational Event

Late Effects of Polio Workshop

Family Violence Referral Pathways Forum for Health Workers 

Great South Coast

Advance Care Planning Update 2019 

Wimmera Grampians

SafeTALK Workshop

NDIS Community Information Session

General 

Immunisation Forum 2019 

More than 100 people attended Western Victoria PHN's Immunisation Forum held at Rydges Hotel in Geelong on Saturday 27 July.

The 2019 Immunisation Forum kicked off with a Welcome to Country by Nikki McKenzie and Western Victoria PHN CEO, Dr Leanne Beagley, highlighted the success of the Western Victoria PHN region, which continues to top the State in all childhood age cohorts and has the highest rate of 2-year-old children fully immunised in Australia. 

Throughout the day, attendees heard from a range of guest speakers on immunisation topics. See the full list below. 

Topics:

  • National and Victorian Immunisation Program update (Includes No Jab No Pay / Play Policies)
  • Refugee health and immunisation policy
  • Latest enhancements to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
  • Principles of performing catch-up immunisations (includes workshop activity)
  • Addressing vaccine hesitancy (parent and immuniser)
  • Vaccine preventable disease notifications in Victoria (incl Measles)
  • Vaccine Allergies includes SAEFVIC

Speakers: 

  • Chelsea Taylor – Department of Health & Human Services
  • Sonja Elia – Royal Children’s Hospital
  • Janet Strachan – Epidemiologist Communicable Disease, DHHS
  • Dr Kirsten Perrett, Royal Children’s Hospital
  • Alison Elliott - Immunisation Lead, Western Victoria Primary Health Network

The next Immunisation Forum will be held in Ballarat on Saturday 19 October 2019. Register here

Please see a few photos from the Geelong Immunisation Forum below. 

  

  

Best Practice for Melanoma Cancer Care

     

The Victorian-Tasmanian PHN Alliance in conjunction with RACGP, will host a webinar ‘Malignant Melanoma – An update for GP’s’ on Wednesday 14 August. 

This webinar will include diagnosis of malignant melanoma and highlight some of the more recent advances in investigation and treatment relevant to general practice including immunotherapy. Register here.

According to The Victorian Cancer Registry, Western Victoria PHN has the highest incidence of melanoma across all Victorian PHN’s. 

Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) for cancer are national guidelines that outline the best possible cancer care for specific tumour types.

This year, Primary Health Networks in Victoria will focus on building awareness of the melanoma OCP, developing and promoting education opportunities for GPs to build their skills in skin cancer diagnosis and hear about new treatments. A new suite of melanoma HealthPathways has been recently developed for use at the point of care.

General practitioners are at the frontline of skin cancer detection for most Australians. They have the knowledge and skills needed to perform skin checks and minor procedures, discuss skin cancer risk and provide advice.

The implementation of optimal care pathways into primary health is supported by the Victorian Government.

RACGP Green Book: Share your stories of implementing preventive care in your practice

The Green book resources page highlights the practical case studies and stories that Australian general practices have undertaken to successfully implement preventive activities for their practice population.

On an ongoing basis, the RACGP would like to continue to showcase the creative and innovative initiatives that general practices are undertaking to improve the health of Australians.

RACGP are encouraging all members of the general practice team, and those to work with general practices, to share tips and stories of preventive activities you have implemented in your clinic.

To submit your case study, please fill in the webform and describe the quality improvement activities you have undertaken to support preventive care. Case studies and stories will be featured on the RACGP website and social media channels.

Scholarships & Grants

2019 Avant/AAPM Scholarship Program

Avant and the Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) are offering five scholarships up to the value of $4,000* to study practice management at UNE Partnerships in 2020. Practice managers can apply directly for a scholarship and medical practitioners are also invited to nominate their practice manager for a scholarship. Applications close midnight (AEST) on Sunday 11 August 2019. Please click here to find out further information and to apply.

Education and Career Scholarship Supporting Young People Post-Cancer Diagnosis

National children’s cancer charity, Redkite, has officially opened applications for its annual Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarships – a grant empowering young people aged 15 to 24 years to pursue their education, career or life goals that have been put on hold for cancer.  If someone you know may benefit from this initiative, please visit the Redkite website. Entries close Monday 5 August 2019.

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) - New Online Toolkit 

     

Cancer Council Australia recently launched a nationwide media campaign to increase participation in the NBCSP with funding from the Australian Government. Because of this, GP practices may receive more enquiries from patients about bowel cancer screening. 

letter has been sent to GP Practices with further information about the campaign.  

The campaign includes a new online toolkit to make it even easier for GPs and other health professionals to support their patients to screen. The toolkit can be accessed here

Currently only 4 in 10 eligible Australians complete the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program test kit when it is sent to them in the mail. If participation is increased to 60% by 2020 and sustained over the next 20 years, more than 84,000 lives can be saved.

The Australian government now send this test kit to the homes of all eligible patients aged 50-74 every two years. Further information can be found on the Cancer Council website or by contacting the Program Information Line on 1800 118 868.

Western Victoria PHN is also running the Corio Norlane Bowel Cancer Screening Project. The Cancer Screening Community Project officer will be visiting Grogan’s Pharmacy (Corio Central, Geelong) on Thursday 8 August between 10am -1pm to demonstrate and explain the kits. 

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Rural and Agricultural Health Assessment
  • Chemical Exposure and Toxicity
  • Animal Related Injury and Illness
  • Zoonoses
  • Leg Ulcers
  • Pressure Injuries
  • Infection and Bacterial Load in Wounds
  • MRSA
  • Voluntary Assisted Dying

Reviewed Pages:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ebola Virus Disease
  • Erectile Dysfunction

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

Ballarat Goldfields

Collective Effort to Reduce Suicide Rates in Ballarat

Community-led efforts and galvanising support for strong local initiatives in suicide prevention were discussed in a meeting between Ballarat’s Mayor Cr Sam McIntosh, the CEO of Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) Dr Leanne Beagley and CEO of Ballarat Community Health Sean Duffy on Wednesday 24 July.

Western Victoria PHN is currently leading a state government funded Place Based Suicide Prevention Trial in Ballarat, bringing together organisations, groups and people with a lived experience who are already providing services and supports to people in the community.

“There is no one answer or solution in addressing suicide prevention,” said Dr Leanne Beagley.    

“There are people and organisations out there doing a fantastic job in assisting families and individuals through counselling and awareness raising, and it is this ground swell of good work that we see as critical in reducing rates of suicide.  We are seeking the collective effort of the Ballarat community by bringing existing evidence together with the very best minds for the local community.” 

Read the full media release here.

Ballarat Hospice Care New Headquarters & Breakfast Meeting 

Over the last few years, Ballarat Hospice Care has held breakfast meetings on the third Thursday morning of each month at the City Oval Hotel.

Ballarat Hospice Care's new headquarters will be operational in time for the next meeting on Thursday 19 September at 7.45am at the new address: 1836 Sturt St, Alfredton. All are invited to attend the breakfast and it will be a great opportunity to look around the new Ballarat Hospice Care headquarters. 

Breakfast will be provided by Menarini. Please RSVP by calling Ballarat Hospice on: 5333 1118 or email: admin@ballarathospicecare.org.au

Geelong Otway

HIV Treatment Educational Event

ViiV HealthCare will hold an educational event including dinner in Geelong on Thursday 5 September to discuss new data and optimisation of HIV treatment including relevant case studies.

Professor Mark Boyd (BA, BM, BS, MHID, DCTM&H, MD, FRACP) will be presenting on the night. Mark is the founding Chair of Medicine at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia and a Professor of Medicine and a Professorial Fellow at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

The event will be held at Sailor’s Rest on 5 September from 6.30pm – 9.00pm. RSVP to Gabby Harkins: gabrielle.x.harkins@viivhealthcare.com or 0449 953 127.

View the flyer for further information.

Late Effects of Polio Workshop

Polio Australia will hold a free clinical practice workshop in Geelong on The Late Effects of Polio on Tuesday 13 August.

There are an estimated 400,000 post-polio clients needing appropriate health care. Health professionals will learn a holistic approach to the Late Effects of Polio.

The Workshop provides education on:

  • Demystifying the Late Effect of Polio
  • Clinical presentation and assessment
  • The ageing polio population
  • Specific Health Professional Roles
  • Practical strategies
  • Q&A with a polio survivor

Participants will also earn 2 CPD hours, Certificate of Attendance and a free e-book Managing Muscles and Mobility.

The workshop will be held at the McKellar Education and Training Centre, 45 - 95 Ballarat Rd, North Geelong on Tuesday 13 August from 1.00- 3.00pm.

Register here. For further information, visit the Polio Australia website or view the flyer.

Family Violence Referral Pathways Forum for Health Workers

Dr Sally Cockburn (aka Dr Feelgood) will host a panel with representatives from local and regional support services at the Family Violence Referral Pathways Forum for Health Workers on Friday 23 August in Colac. 

The panel will explore a family violence case study from initial presentation at a health service through to accessing family violence support. There will be representatives from an array of services such as The Orange Door, Victoria Police, Bethany and many more.

The forum will be held at Colac Area Health on Friday 23 August at 9.30am. Register here or view the flyer for further information.

Note: it is recommended attendees have a basic understanding of family violence by completing Module One: Family Violence - A Shared Understanding prior to the forum.  

Great South Coast

Advance Care Planning Update 2019

 
 
South West Healthcare Palliative Care Director, Dr Emma Greenwood,  and Advance Care Planning Officer/Registered Nurse, Melissa Couch, will present an Advance Care Planning Update for 2019 on Thursday 22 August at the Western Victoria PHN Warrnambool office.

The update will include the impact and relevance of new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation and implication to practice for GP clinics and is open to General Practitioners/GP Registrars, Practice Nurses/ Nurse Practitioners, Practice Managers / Practice Staff, Allied Health Professionals, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Pallative Care Staff.

Advance Care Planning is a process of planning for future health and personal care, whereby the person's values and preferences are made known so that they can guide decision making at a future time when the person cannot make or communicate their decisions. 

For further information and to register, please visit the Western Victoria PHN website

Wimmera Grampians

SafeTALK Workshop

A free SafeTALK workshop will be held in Ararat on Wednesday 14 August and will be open to anyone over the age of 16.

SafeTALK workshops empower participants to recognise invitations for help and give the gift of life through proven intervention methods. SafeTALK stresses safety while challenging the beliefs that inhibit open talk about suicide.

The workshop will be held at AME Systems (Training room), 18 Gordon Street, Ararat on Wednesday 14 August from 5.30pm – 9.00pm. Register here

NDIS Community Information Session

The National Disability Insurance Agency is holding an information session in Ararat on Wednesday 7 August for people with disability, family members and carers to educate and support a person through their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) journey.

The session will assist potential and existing participants to understand and access the NDIS, and to use their plans to become informed and empowered NDIS users.

The information session will be held at Alexandra Oval Community Centre in Ararat on Wednesday, 7 August from 9.30am – 12.30pm. Please RSVP via Eventbrite here or view the flyer. 

Leanne 2019 westvic news

National Diabetes Week

National Diabetes week runs from 14-20 July with this year’s theme focusing on ‘it’s about time’ we all took the time. The campaign asks the public to learn the 4Ts (the early warning signs of type 1 diabetes) and to take the time to get checked for type 2 diabetes.

More than 500,000 Australians are living with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and many will live with it for up to seven years before being diagnosed. There is a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the Western Victoria PHN region, relative to Victoria and Australia. At the end of June 2017, 4.85 per cent of the Western Victoria PHN population were registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) as having type 2 diabetes, compared to 4.52 per cent of persons in Victoria and 4.41 per cent across Australia.

The Western Victoria PHN has developed clinical information regarding diabetes. Please go to HealthPathways to access resources on the following topics:

  • Anti-hyperglycaemic Agents
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Ongoing Care
  • Insulin
  • Kidneys and Diabetes
  • Prevention, Screening, and Detection of Diabetes
  • The Sick Person with Diabetes
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Diabetes Referrals

GPs and health professionals can also access Diabetes Australia’s quarterly Diabetes Management Journal for information on diabetes management. The journal ensures the latest information on the optimum care for people with diabetes and the latest developments in diabetes management are available to frontline healthcare providers.

RACGP and Diabetes Australia have also developed the clinical resource General Practice Management of Type 2 Diabetes and there are some great resources on Diabetes Australia’s website, which you can share across your networks and with your patients to encourage them to get checked.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with these resources to ensure people living with Diabetes in the Western Victoria PHN are diagnosed early and get the treatment they need. 

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program 2019

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the Hajj

UroGP Full Day Forum 

Kids Behaviour & Mental Health ECHO Network

Transforming Health Care Campaign

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Springs Medical reaching local women on importance of cancer screening

SexRurality Conference

Talk: The Life of a Missionary Doctor in Africa

Geelong Otway

Call for Applications: 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Find the Fracture Meeting

Rural Skills Emergency Training 

Great South Coast

A new collaborative approach to tackling suicide prevention in South West Victoria

Wimmera Grampians

PIP QI Update 

Black Dog Institute’s GP Advisory Group - Expressions of Interest open

General 

Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program

 Applications are now open for Cancer Council Victoria's Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program 2019.

This program is available for Victorian GP practices to apply for a chance to receive one of 70 fully subsidised Heine Delta 20T dermatoscopes and enrolment to the Practical Dermoscopy course offered by the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

GPs in rural and regional areas are strongly encouraged to apply. CPD points are available.

To apply, and to find out more, visit sunsmart.com.au/dermoscopy. Information is also available by emailing dermoscopy@cancervic.org.au or calling (03) 9514 6417

Applications close COB Tuesday 30 July, 2019.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the Hajj 

Approximately 3000 Australians travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia each year for the annual Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) from August 9-14.The Kingdom is experiencing an ongoing outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), associated with infections in healthcare facilities and exposure to camels and camel products.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by MERS coronavirus and has a high fatality rate (approximately 35%). People with existing health conditions that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease (e.g. the elderly, the immunocompromised or those with comorbidities) are at a higher risk of becoming very unwell or dying due to MERS.

Travellers are advised to consult their doctor before travelling to discuss the risks and decide whether travelling to the Middle East is appropriate at this time. There is no vaccination against MERS. However, health professionals should ensure travellers are up to date with all recommended vaccinations, including measles and influenza. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health also has specific vaccination requirements for Hajj pilgrims, which can be found on the World Health Organization website.

Health professionals should remain vigilant for returned travellers with possible MERS in the months following the Hajj and ensure suspected cases are managed appropriately. All suspected, probable and confirmed cases should be reported to the state or territory public health unit. MERS is a nationally notifiable disease.

For further information, see the letter to health professionals and the travel information card.

UroGP Full Day Forum

UroGP is a full day forum which explores complex urology health issues relevant to General Practitioners and also touches on the latest solutions available to patients and innovative new developments in the urology field.

The symposium will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 14 September and is expected to attract 40 Category 1 points as part of an Active Learning Module approved by RACGP in accordance with the College's continuing professional development program. (Activity Number to be announced).

The RACGP Active Learning Module is expected to comprise of three parts:

  • Predisposing activity
  • Seminar participation and
  • Reinforcing learning activity

Registration to the UroGP Symposium is free and includes entry to all sessions, morning tea and lunch. Register here

Kids Behaviour and Mental Health ECHO Network 

In rural, remote and under-served areas, many children and young people are not getting the care they need, when they need it, for complex but treatable conditions. ECHO is an online, interactive model of case-based learning which is available every Thursday from 8-9am until December.

The Kids Behaviour and Mental Health ECHO Network uses brief didactic presentations and case studies to build expertise around effective behaviour and mental health management in children and adolescents, to minimise the risk of problems persisting into adulthood.

Join this network for weekly support and guidance from co-participants and a panel including: Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Developmental Paediatrician, and Senior Allied Health Professionals. All participants are able to claim CPD points. GP participants can claim Medicare rebates for case presentations (conditions apply).

Register here or view the flyer.

Transforming Health Care Campaign

The Transforming Health Care campaign is a government-funded national campaign initiated by the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP), which is the national peak body for Nurse Practitioners and advanced practice nurses in Australia. 

The ACNP has developed the Transforming Health Care campaign to raise the profile of nurse practitioners in Australia and to provide valuable information to the public about the benefits of having Nurse Practitioners as part of your usual health care team and to advise the healthcare sector about the advantages of increasing access to Nurse Practitioners across inpatient, outpatient and community settings.

In Australia, a Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a highly experienced senior clinical Registered Nurse, who has completed a Masters of Nursing recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery board of Australia and has met all other endorsements as a Nurse Practitioner.  

Learn more about Nurse Practitioners here or visit the campaign website

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Scabies
  • Voluntary Assisted Dying

Reviewed Pages:

  • Zika Virus

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

Ballarat Goldfields

Springs Medical reaching local women on importance of cancer screening

Springs Medical have held two evening events in Daylesford and Trentham, reaching women in their local community on the importance of cancer screening. A total of 165 women attended the event to listen to key messages on bowel, breast and cervical screening as well as the importance of exercise and healthy eating and the risk of moderate to high levels of alcohol consumption.

The evening consisted of presentations by Springs Medical staff including Dr Beth Quin, Dr Meg Jordan, Karina Demasson, Jo Millard, Cancer Council Victoria’s Emma Glassenbury and local musical and storytelling entertainment. 

The Community-led Cancer Screening Program is an initiative assisting seven clinics across the Western Victoria PHN catchment to undertake quality improvement activities in cancer screening for local community members.

The Department of Health and Human Services has provided funding for this program.

Pictured from left to right: Kirsten Hausknecht, Dr Beth Quin, Emma Glassenbury, Jo Millard, Kate Russo and Karina Demasson

SexRurality Conference 

The Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health has launched registrations for the biennial SexRurality Conference on 20-21 August.

The biennial SexRurality Conference is coordinated to improve sexual health and well-being in rural Victoria. The conference aims to provide a forum for the presentation of high quality professional practice and research papers on sexual and reproductive health in rural settings. The conference also aims to encourage growth in the capacity of rural practitioners and early career researchers in the confident presentation of their work.

The SexRurality Conference 2019 will be held at RACV Goldfields Resort, Creswick Victoria.

Get all the details at the conference website or view the flyer. Registrations close 2 August.

Talk: The Life of a Missionary Doctor in Africa 

For 17 years, Dr Andrew Browning has dedicated himself to working to improve the health and welfare of women in Africa. Now he is bringing his story to Ballarat, where he will highlight the ways you can be part of furthering this incredible work.

This is an opportunity to hear the raw and emotional story of a doctor’s selfless work as an Obstetric Fistula Surgeon in Tanzania Africa.

The talk will be at the Wendouree Performing Arts Centre on Monday 29 July. Register your free ticket here or view the flyer. 

For more information on Andrew, please visit the Barbara May Foundation website. 

Geelong Otway

Call for Applications: 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Western Victoria Primary Health Network in conjunction with Hospice Foundation Geelong is seeking applications from Geelong region general practitioners for the 2020 Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care.

The annual scholarship awards up to $5,000 to help Geelong region GPs attend national or international educational events related to palliative care.

Eligible applications are being sought from GPs or GP trainees working in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast, preferably with a long-term commitment to continuing their work in the region. Their current practice should include provision of care to people with palliative care needs. The maximum scholarship payment to any individual doctor is $10,000 during any 10-year period.

For further information and to apply, visit the Western Victoria PHN website. Applications close Monday, 30 September 2019.

Find the Fracture Meeting

Amgen is hosting a Find the Fracture meeting on Wednesday 28 August for health professionals to learn practical skills and management tips from a local expert in osteoporosis.

This case-based, practical meeting will be presented by Geelong Endocrinologist, Dr Shannon McCarthy, and will cover:

  • Identifying who is at risk of osteoporotic vertebral fractures
  • Ordering X-rays to check for vertebral fractures
  • Hands-on learning of how to read X-ray films to check for vertebral fractures
  • Management to reduce fracture risk

The meeting will be held at ALMA Restaurant, 93-95 Ryrie St (side door), Geelong.

Places are limited. Register by completing the form here or contact Craig McCallum for further information on: 0448 717 975.

Rural Skills Emergency Training

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM’s) Rural Emergency Skills Training (REST) course was created by rural doctors for rural doctors to ensure you have the necessary skills and confidence to deal with emergency situations confidently and competently.

The two-day training course will be offered at Novotel Geelong on 21-22 September 2019. Learning outcomes include:

  • Improve participants’ knowledge and confidence of emergency presentations
  • Enhance specific skills related to the initial assessment and stabilization of emergency presentations
  • Learn manual skills applicable to the management of emergency presentations
  • Rehearse the critical thinking required for the structured approach to the critically ill or injured patient
  • Bring about a change in their attitude and approach to emergency presentations in their practice
  • Identify ways that they can continue to practice and prepare for future emergency presentations
  • To generate confidence in the use of principles and skills in emergency care by use of simulation scenarios.

The cost for the course is $3545 for non-members and $3195 for members. To register, visit the ACRRM website.

Great South Coast

A new collaborative approach to tackling suicide prevention in South West Victoria

Western Victoria PHN CEO, Dr Leanne Beagley, and Senior Manager Mental Health, Michael Struth, met with members of the Great South Coast (GSC) Suicide Prevention Leadership Group in Warrnambool to embark on an important mental health strategy for South West Victoria.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank will chair the new GSC Suicide Prevention Leadership Group. The 18-member Leadership Group will provide expert advice as part of one of the 12 place-based community trials occurring throughout Victoria to support local communities in exploring and developing collaborative strategies for suicide prevention.

Community trials are part of the Victorian Government’s 10-year mental health plan which seeks to halve the rate of suicide in the region by 2025.

Read the full media release here.

Wimmera Grampians

PIP QI Update 

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) aims to support general practice activities, including continual improvements, quality care, enhanced capacity, and improved access and health outcomes for patients.

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) will change from 1 August 2019 when the removal of four of the existing PIPs will be replaced with a new incentive, the PIP QI (Quality Improvement).

The PIP QI is designed for general practice to implement changes that are relevant to their patient population. This means a practice can focus on improving patient outcomes and access to care while also developing efficient business processes. The new incentive aims to improve patient care in aspects such as management of chronic conditions, safety and performance.

For further information, guidelines and support, please visit the Western Victoria PHN website.

Black Dog Institute’s GP Advisory Group - Expressions of Interest open

 

The Black Dog Institute is seeking Expressions of Interest from GPs to join their GP Advisory Group.  The purpose of the GP Advisory Group is to provide insights and advice to inform the design, development and implementation of Black Dog Institute’s current and emerging services for GPs.

The Black Dog Institute aims to have varied representation in the Advisory Group.  Ideally members will range in their years of experience as a GP, location within Australia (remote, rural and regional Australia), gender and cultural background. It is not necessary for GPs to have an interest in mental health to become a member of the Advisory Group.

To learn more about the GP Advisory Group and to submit an Expression of Interest, click here.

Applications close Sunday 4 August, 2019