Newsletters

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2018

Westvic News 19 September

Westvic News 5 September

Westvic News 22 August

Westvic News 8 August 

Westvic News 25 July

Westvic News 11 July

Westvic News 27 June

Westvic News 13 June

Westvic News 6 June

Westvic News 30 May

Westvic News 23 May

Wednesday 16 May

Wednesday 9 May

Wednesday 2 May

Wednesday 25 April

Wednesday 18 April

Wednesday 11 April

Wednesday 4 April

Wednesday 28 March

Wednesday 21 March

Wednesday 14 March

Wednesday 7 March

Wednesday 28 February

Wednesday 21 February

Wednesday 14 February

Wednesday 7 February

Wednesday 31 January

 

2017

Wednesday 20 December

Wednesday 13 December

Wednesday 6 December

Wednesday 29 November

Wednesday 22 November

Wednesday 15 November

Wednesday 8 November

Wednesday 1 November

Wednesday 25 October

Wednesday 18 October

Wednesday 11 October

Wednesday 4 October

Wednesday 20 September

Wednesday 13 September

Wednesday 6 September

Wednesday 30 August

Wednesday 23 August

Wednesday 16 August

Wednesday 9 August

Wednesday 2 August

Wednesday 26 July

Wednesday 19 July

Wednesday 12 July

Wednesday 5 July

Wednesday 28 June

Wednesday 21 June

Wednesday 14 June

Wednesday 7 June

Wednesday 31 May

Wednesday 24 May

Wednesday 17 May

Wednesday 10 May

Wednesday 3 May

Wednesday 26 April

Wednesday 19 April

Wednesday 12 April

Wednesday 5 April

Wednesday 29 March

Wednesday 22 March

Wednesday 15 March

Wednesday 8 March

Wednesday 1 March

Wednesday 22 February

Wednesday 15 February 

Wednesday 8 February

Wednesday 1 February

Wednesday 25 January

Wednesday 18 January

Wednesday 11 January

2016

Wednesday 21 December

Wednesday 14 December

Wednesday 7 December

Wednesday 30 November

Wednesday 23 November

Wednesday 16 November

Wednesday 9 November

Wednesday 2 November

Wednesday 26 October

Wednesday 19 October

Wednesday 12 October

Wednesday 5 October

Wednesday 28 September

Wednesday 21 September

Wednesday 14 September

Wednesday 7 September

Wednesday 31 August

Wednesday 24 August

Wednesday 17 August

Wednesday 10 August

Wednesday 3 August

Wednesday 27 July

Wednesday 20 July

Wednesday 13 July

Wednesday 6 July

Wednesday 29 June

Wednesday 22 June

Wednesday 15 June

Wednesday 8 June

Wednesday 1 June

Wednesday 25 May

Wednesday 18 May

Wednesday 11 May

Wednesday 4 May

Wednesday 27 April

Wednesday 20 April

Wednesday 13 April

Wednesday 6 April

Wednesday 30 March

Wednesday 23 March

Wednesday 16 March

Wednesday 9 March

Wednesday 2 March

Wednesday 24 February

Wednesday 17 February

Wednesday 10 February

Wednesday 3 February

Wednesday 27 January

Wednesday 20 January

Wednesday 13 January

 

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) produces a fortnightly newsletter, Westvic News, that is distributed by email and published on the website.

For information about submissions, please see our Editorial Policy and Guideline.

Westvic News header

Western Victoria Primary Health Network produces a bi-monthly newsletter which is designed to be distributed to general practice and allied health provider waiting rooms. Content for consumers is included in each edition.

Copies of Health & Wellbeing Newsletter, formerly Doctor's Voice, are emailed to practices in Microsoft Word format. Individual practices may wish to adapt the Word version to include additional information specific to their practice, or add their practice details/logo to the newsletter.

To ensure credibility and reduce risk, practices are asked not to alter any of the content provided. The source of content is always noted.

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

After Hours campaign launched next month

 Leanne Beagley cropped

Western Victoria Primary Health Network will, next month, launch a new After Hours campaign to increase community awareness and health literacy across our communities on appropriate after hours health service choices, including hospital emergency department presentations.

General practitioners and other health service providers across western Victoria will shortly receive a range of promotional materials from our After Hours Campaign Team for display at their premises, and this will be supported by a full media and online advertising campaign. The campaign will run for approximately two months.

I encourage you to display the materials you receive in your public access areas and help us promote this important community awareness information.

AfterHours SocialBanners Westvicphn 1140px

Our data suggests that there is an on-going and increasing demand for people seeking medical assistance and a proportion of this is after hours.

Detailed needs assessment across western Victoria has determined the health priorities of the region are diabetes and its complications, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases, along with the national priorities of mental health, Indigenous health, alcohol and other drugs and aged care.

According to 2012-13 figures, diabetes complications represented 42% of all hospital admissions in Western Victoria Primary Health Network's catchment. Our data also shows that the incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease within our region is above the national average.

Like the rest of Australia, western Victoria has an ageing population and the health needs of this demographic will increase, which will place increasing strain on existing, on the ground, health services.

Thank you for your support.

Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer 

General

Doctors in Secondary Schools - Every young person deserves access to a doctor
Next week: Nominations close for Community and Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Awards
Medicare Benefits Schedule Review
Nominations for Regional Health Infrastructure Fund open
Chief Health Officer Advisory: Increase in syphilis and gonorrhoea in men who have sex with men (MSM)
Notification of Gardasil Vaccine to the National HPV Register
The NDIS is coming to our region: Community information sessions
June is bowel cancer awareness month
Have the CHAT with your patients this winter
EOI: Hepatitis C in Drug and Alcohol Settings Education Program
Victorian Pharmacy Pharmocotherapy Training Program
Free webinar: Otitis media - stuck in the middle with glue
Demystifying the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome
Foundations of General Practice Nursing 2 day workshops

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Working with Hoarding and Squalor: The Neuropsychology of Squalor

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Improving accessibility to health services for transgender people
Hospice Foundation Geelong announces the Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care
Updates in familial cancer
Concussion and musculoskeletal/sports injuries in general practice symposium

Grampians Wimmera

HealthPathways update 

General 

Doctors in Secondary Schools - Every young person deserves access to a doctor

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria PHN would like to hear from GP practices who would be interested in providing general practice services for the Doctors in Secondary School program.

The Victorian Government is making sure young people are receiving the health support, advice and treatment they need to reach their full potential. The $4.8 million Doctors in Secondary School initiative is delivering on the Government’s election commitment to fund general practitioners (GPs) to provide medical advice and health care to those students most in need.

The Doctors in Secondary Schools program will provide funding for up to 100 Victorian Government secondary schools in need, to have an adolescent health trained GP attend once a week to provide medical advice and health care to its students.

Western Victoria PHN has a total of 18 schools in the catchment that have been successful in obtaining funding for this program. There are three in Ballarat, three in Geelong and one each in Portland, Warrnambool, Ararat, Beaufort, Maryborough, Camperdown, Casterton, Colac, Heywood and Horsham. The program will have a staggered rollout with GP services commencing in one of three tranches.

The Tranche One schools in the Western Victoria PHN region will be commencing shortly. The Tranche Two schools are scheduled to commence at the start of Term 3, 2017 and Tranche Three in Term 1, 2018.

Tranche One schools: Phase 1 Tranche Two schools: Phase 2 Tranche Three schools: Phase 3
 Ballarat Secondary College – Ballarat  Ararat Secondary College – Ararat  Camperdown College – Camperdown
 Brauer Secondary College – Warrnambool   Beaufort Secondary College – Beaufort  Casterton Secondary College – Casterton
 Mount Clear College – Ballarat Geelong High School – Geelong  Colac Secondary College – Colac
 Portland Secondary College – Portland Maryborough Education Centre – Maryborough  Heywood District Secondary College – Heywood
  Newcomb Secondary College – Newcomb/Geelong     Horsham College – Horsham
  North Geelong Secondary College – Geelong Lavers Hill P-12 College – Lavers Hill
  Phoenix P-12 College – Sebastopol/Ballarat St Arnaud Secondary College – St Arnaud

For more information please email Laura Martin on docsinschools@westvicphn.com.au or contact your local Primary Care Consultant.

Next week: Nominations close for Community and Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Awards

Western Victoria PHN logo

The Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence 2016 - 2017 Inaugural Award recognises nurses practicing in the Western Victoria region, who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the health and well-being of their patients, by undertaking a quality improvement activity within their practice.

Primary care nurses currently working in the Western Victoria PHN region are invited to submit their application for achievements in a quality improvement initiative between 1 September 2016 and 30 June 2017, in one of the following priority areas:

  • Advanced Care Planning
  • After hours
  • Aged care
  • Cancer
  • Chronic disease
  • Closing the Gap - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Digital health
  • Hepatitis C
  • Immunisation
  • Mental health (youth and general)
  • Palliative care
  • Population health
  • Systems improvement.

Each finalist receives a trophy in recognition of their achievement and will receive $500 to assist with professional development expenses. The winner will receive $1,000 to support continuing professional development expenses, such as course/ conference registration fees, books and travel/ accommodation. Employers of the winners will receive a certificate of acknowledgement for their support of their employee and the implementation of their respective quality improvement activity.

Nominations close Friday 30 June 2017. Finalists will be announced on Friday 28 July 2017 and the winner announced during Community and Primary Health Care Nursing Week in September 2017.

Read more

Medicare Benefits Schedule Review

Department of Health

On 7 June 2017, the MBS Review Taskforce released six reports for public consultation.  These reports cover:

  • Renal medicine
  • Spinal surgery
  • Dermatology, allergy and immunology
  • Diagnostic imaging of the knee (third report)
  • Diagnostic imaging - Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis (fourth report) 
  • Urgent after-hours (preliminary report).

The consultation period closed on Friday 21 July 2017 and there are online surveys for each report.

To find out more, please go to the Department of Health website.

VictorianGovernment logo

Nominations for Regional Health Infrastructure Fund open

The second round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund is currently open. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Monday 21 August 2017.

The $200m fund will rebuild rural and regional hospitals to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need, no matter where they live.

And for the first time, the fund will be expanded to include publicly funded community palliative care services. In addition, the second round includes all health, community health, aged care, women’s health and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

Grants can be used to build new or remodel existing facilities to provide greater comfort for patients and enable doctors and nurses to deliver safer and more efficient care.

Health services can also apply to buy equipment including furniture, fittings and medical equipment or upgrade essential infrastructure.

The Department of Health and Human Services has prepared guidelines and supporting information to help health services with their applications. These documents are available from the health.vic website.

Chief Health Officer Advisory: Increase in syphilis and gonorrhoea in men who have sex with men (MSM)

Victorian syphilis and gonorrhoea notifications have increased in the last few years, with cases reported predominantly in men who have sex with men (MSM).

Syphilis and gonorrhoea can be transmitted by unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex.  Syphilis and gonorrhoea infection increases both susceptibility to acquiring HIV infection and transmissibility of HIV infection. 

Cases of ocular and neuro-syphilis are occurring in MSM with early syphilis in Victoria and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance to gonorrhoea is concerning worldwide.

Obtaining gonorrhoea culture swabs is crucial for monitoring antimicrobial resistance. Screen at risk groups: MSM at least annually and higher risk MSM more often for gonorrhoea and chlamydia. HIV positive MSM should have a syphilis test every time they have blood tests for routine HIV monitoring.

Read more

Notification of Gardasil Vaccine to the National HPV Register

National HPV Vaccincation Program Register

In September 2016, the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) was expanded to accept notification of all vaccines for all ages.

At that time, notification of Gardasil vaccines provided outside the school program were required to be forwarded to AIR only and not the HPV Register. Therefore inclusion of the HPV vaccine notification forms and envelopes in deliveries of Government funded Gardasil vaccine were ceased.

However, in order to ensure the most comprehensive set of HPV vaccine coverage data, the process has been revised and providers are requested to re-establish to complete and forward HPV vaccine notification forms to the national HPV Register.

To assist immunisation providers in this process, you will notice that HPV vaccine notification forms and envelopes will again be included with future deliveries of Gardasil vaccine.

If you have any enquiries around notification, please contact the national HPV Register on 1800 478 734.

The NDIS is coming to our region: Community information sessions

ndis

National Disability Insurance Agency staff and partners are presenting information sessions around the region to help people with disability and their families and carers get NDIS Ready.

The information sessions are the perfect opportunity to find out more about the NDIS, how it works and how it might apply to you. The session will also cover how to prepare for your first plan and are the perfect opportunity to have your questions answered directly by NDIS staff.

To find out more, click on the flyer in the area closest to you.

Wednesday 28 June: Nhill
Monday 17 July: Warrnambool
Tuesday 25 July: Hamilton
Wednesday 26 July: Camperdown

Have the CHAT with your patients this winter

Lung Foundation

Lung Foundation Australia’s winter campaign, Have the CHAT, encourages people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to stay well and out of hospital.

Lung Foundation Australia has developed a suite of evidence-based resources to support health professionals in timely identification and management of COPD exacerbations including this poster and flyer.

For further information about this campaign please visit www.lungfoundation.com.au/have-the-chat or freecall 1800 654 301.

EOI: Hepatitis C in Drug and Alcohol Settings Education Program

ASHM logo 

ASHM is currently seeking expressions of interest from Melbourne and regional based clinicians to participate in a Hepatitis C in Drug and Alcohol Settings Education Program, in Melbourne later this year.

This comprehensive course is for medical staff working with people who inject drugs and has been designed to build participants’ knowledge, skills and confidence to prescribe the new hepatitis C DAAs (Direct Acting Antiviral medication).

This program is available for GPs, addiction medicine specialists, nurse practitioners and other clinicians able to prescribe.

If you have any questions, please contact the ASHM team at education@ashm.org.au or phone (02) 8204 0784.

Register

June is bowel cancer awareness month

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month June 2017

Bowel Cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer. Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative running throughout the month of June. It has a positive message – saving lives through early detection – as bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if found early.

To find out more, go to the Bowel Cancer Awareness Month website.

Victorian Pharmacy Pharmocotherapy Training Program

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

The aim of this training is to provide pharmacists and pharmacy support staff with the relevant knowledge, skills and tools required to deliver a safe and consumer focused Opioid Replacement Therapy service.  

The training is conducted in two parts.  Part 1 training is conducted face-to-face with Part 2 conducted either face-to-face or by webinar.  Part 1 training begins on Sunday 25 June.

This is a Victorian State Government funded program and is free to all pharmacists in Victoria.

For further information, please see this flyer.

Free webinar: Otitis media - stuck in the middle with glue

VIC Paediatric Clinical Network

Otitis media is an umbrella term that covers a range of problems in the middle ear which can be a continuum of disease.

This 45 minute webinar will cover the common problems of acute otitis media and chronic otitis media with effusion.

Dr Lina Nido is a general practitioner and also GP liaison for the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. Dr Nido will present a couple of recent case studies. Dr Elizabeth Rose, an Ear Nose and Throat specialist will provide her clinical perspective.

Date: Thursday 29 June
Time: 5pm - 6pm
Where: Online - join via your computer

Read more

Demystifying the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome

Alfred Health logo

This all-day course has been developed by the Alfred Health Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Service to provide a comprehensive education program targeted at common but challenging functional gastrointestinal disorders. It is designed to be engaging, informative and interactive. It will be facilitated by local and world experts in functional gastrointestinal disorders. 

Date: Saturday 15 July
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: AMREP Lecture Theatre, AMREP Centre, Alfred Health
Cost: $150 (early bird special $120 if registering before 30 June 2017)

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Foundations of General Practice Nursing 2 day workshops

APNAlogo.155329

Perfect for nurses new to general practice, the Foundations series of workshops will provide an understanding of roles, responsibilities and skills necessary for nurses working in the primary health/general practice environment. Guided by experienced nurse educators, topics include:

  • Primary health care and the Australian healthcare system
  • Clinical assessment
  • Care and triage
  • Chronic disease management
  • Immunisation
  • Wound management
  • Health promotion and preventative care
  • Information management and ehealth
  • Quality and safety
  • Infection control and prevention
  • Professional practice and professional development.

Date: Friday 28 July and Saturday 29 July
Venue: Cliftons, 440 Collins St, Melbourne
Cost: $320 APNA members, $420 Non-members

To find out more, including registration details, please see this flyer.

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently, localised HealthPathways for the Ballarat Grampians region include:

  • Referral to sexual health services
  • Services for children/adolescents at risk
  • Sexual assault services.

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

Working with Hoarding and Squalor: The Neuropsychology of Squalor

The Central Highlands Hoarding and Squalor Action Group is holding a free 'Working with Hoarding and Squalor' workshop for professionals working in clinical and community mental health, community services and other related professions.

This is a chance for professionals working with people experiencing these issues to gain knowledge of the latest research findings, treatment options and possible referrals pathways. This workshop will also highlight the complex issues of squalor and hoarding and create an understanding of the different presentations and the possible reasons behind the issues.

Date: Thursday 29 June
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Venue: Morsehead Park Stadium - Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility, Morsehead Park Pleasant St Sth, Ballarat

For further information and to register, please go to the trybooking website.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Pigmented skin lesions
  • Hepatobiliary cancer.

Reviews and updates:

  • Immunisation - Adults.

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

Improving accessibility to health services for transgender people

PHN Western Victoria Logo medium

Late last year, Dr Nic Brayshaw from Kardinia Health informed Western Victoria PHN of the great need for more GPs in the Geelong Otway region to assist transgender people in the prescription of hormone therapies. Up until now, Dr Brayshaw was the only GP in the Geelong Otway area taking on new patients and providing this health service for transgender people.

Western Victoria PHN is pleased to announce that we now have another seven GPs in the Geelong Otway region who have expressed an interest in prescribing hormone therapies to transgender people. This comes following a CPD event in March on prescribing hormones, organised by Western Victoria PHN in collaboration with Dr Brayshaw and GASP.

Learning Group

Pictured at the first Learning Group breakfast meeting:
Front - Judith Emond (Western Victoria PHN), Dr Cath Callan, Dr Jacqueline Ford, Dr Mary Johnston
Back - Dr Nic Brayshaw, Dr Samantha Buchholz, Dr Anne Chirnside

Western Victoria PHN has established a learning group led by Dr Brayshaw to support GP’s in providing Transgender Healthcare.

A big thanks to the GPs for their involvement in this important work.

If you are a GP in the Western Victoria PHN region and are interested in assisting in this work, please email your interest to Primary Care Consultant, Judith Emond.

Hospice Foundation Geelong announces the Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Western Victoria PHN logo Hospice Foundation Geelong

Hospice Foundation Geelong, in conjunction with Western Victoria PHN, is pleased to announce the inaugural Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care.

This scholarship is named in honour of local GP, Dr Trevor Banks, OAM, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to palliative care. Trevor was instrumental in establishing a formal palliative care service in the Geelong region since the 1970s.

The Scholarship is an annual award of up to $5000 to assist a General Practitioner working in the Geelong region to upskill in the area of palliative care.

Read more 

Updates in familial cancer

BarwonHealthlogo.161143

Barwon Health invites you to this interdisciplinary masterclass in women's health with Gynaecological Oncologist, Professor Tom Jobling.

Date: Friday 14 July
Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Venue: Deakin Clinical School Lecture Theatre

For enquiries, please email Michael Shembrey . To register, email Melinda Baluch or phone 4215 2135 by Friday 7 July. 

Concussion and musculoskeletal/sports injuries in general practice symposium

Epworth Geelong

Epworth Geelong is hosting a CPD GP Symposium covering:

  • Concussion
  • Facial and ENT injuries
  • Ankle, hand, knee, shoulder and hip injuries
  • Assessment of degenerative spine.

Date: Saturday 29 July
Time: 8.30am - 4.30pm

For further information, please see this flyer

Grampians Wimmera

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently, localised HealthPathways for the Horsham Wimmera region include:

  • Referral to sexual health services
  • Services for children/adolescents at risk
  • Sexual assault services.

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

 Leanne Beagley cropped

Our journey with GPs

Last month Western Victoria PHN held a special general meeting of members to consider changes to the Constitution, our governing instrument. I thought I would reflect on one of these changes, as well as recognise a group of people who have been instrumental in our organisation’s journey.

Western Victoria PHN was established on 1 July 2015, restructured from a number of the Medicare Local organisations across western Victoria and before that, the GP Associations. From our very beginning, we have maintained a very strong relationship with our local general practitioners and our future is grounded in building close partnerships with GPs.

We recognise that, as with all Boards, we look to diversity, expertise and professional excellence to be represented on our skills based Board. Currently our Board consists of GPs, allied health professionals and corporate professionals, all bringing a range of expertise and strengths to the table. We could not work effectively without these professional and dedicated people.

Today our relationship with GPs continues to be strong, with GPs advising, consulting and co designing with us on many health care projects across western Victoria. This ongoing relationship is reflected in one of the changes incorporated and approved in the Constitution last month; that a minimum of two of the four elected Directors must be general medical practitioners.

This change to our Constitution reflects the central importance that GPs continue to play in the delivery of primary health care services. We continue to rely on their understanding of local issues and needs, and to work with us to drive better health outcomes for our communities across western Victoria.

Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer 

General

Last week to nominate for Community and Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Awards!
PIP Annual Confirmation Statement reminder
New name for Learning Management System: PHN Learning Hub
Multi-Item billing under MBS
New process for My Aged Care Assessment referrals
Important changes to Victorian new vaccines schedule from July 2017
Influenza vaccination during pregnancy
Meningococcal ACWY strain immunisation program
Crystal methamphetamine treatment resource for health professionals
Aboriginal Maternal Child Health Initiative Grants
Seeking feedback 'On Arrival Refugee Health Assessment' template
Have the CHAT with your patients this winter
Demystifying the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome

Grampians Wimmera

HealthPathways update
The ABCs of Practice Sustainability

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Hospice Foundation Geelong announces the Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care
Expressions of Interest: Hospital Medical Officers (HMO)
Updates in familial cancer
'Let's work together' networking event: practice nurses, allied health and practice managers
Reminder: Immunisation Forum 2017

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Commonwealth funded rural clinical placements
Medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence 

General 

 Last week to nominate for Community and Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Awards!

The Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence 2016 - 2017 Inaugural Award recognises nurses practicing in the Western Victoria region, who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the health and well-being of their patients, by undertaking a quality improvement activity within their practice.

Primary care nurses currently working in the Western Victoria PHN region are invited to submit their application for achievements in a quality improvement initiative between 1 September 2016 and 30 June 2017, in one of the following priority areas:

  • Advanced Care Planning
  • After hours
  • Aged care
  • Cancer
  • Chronic disease
  • Closing the Gap - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Digital health
  • Hepatitis C
  • Immunisation
  • Mental health (youth and general)
  • Palliative care
  • Population health
  • Systems improvement.

Each finalist receives a trophy in recognition of their achievement and will receive $500 to assist with professional development expenses. The winner will receive $1,000 to support continuing professional development expenses, such as course/ conference registration fees, books and travel/ accommodation. Employers of the winners will receive a certificate of acknowledgement for their support of their employee and the implementation of their respective quality improvement activity.

Nominations close Friday 30 June 2017. Finalists will be announced on Friday 28 July 2017 and the winner announced during Community and Primary Health Care Nursing Week in September 2017.

Read more

PIP Annual Confirmation Statement reminder

A reminder for practices to submit their Annual PIP Confirmation statement either online through HPOS or fax responses and any relevant forms to 1300 587 696 on or before Monday 24 July 2017 for manual processing.

For more information, please read the Medicare Incentive News Update

New name for Learning Management System: PHN Learning Hub

Sophie and Chantal twitter

Western Victoria PHN's Sophie Bond presenting Chantal Riseley with her $100 gift card.

Congratulations to Chantal Riseley from Health First Medical Group in Ballarat for your winning suggestion of 'PHN Learning Hub' for our new Learning Management System (LMS).  Chantal was awarded a $100 gift card for her suggestion.

Thank you to everyone who submitted suggested names and stay tuned for the launch of ‘PHN Learning Hub’ in coming months.

Multi-Item billing under MBS

Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services’ guide can help you work out when to multi-bill under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). The guide has useful information and practical scenarios so you know when to use multi-item billing. It also explains MBS item descriptors and when benefits are payable. The scenarios include paying benefits if you attend to a patient multiple times on the same day, and attendances with another service.

To find out more, visit the Department of Human Services website.

New process for My Aged Care Assessment referrals

There is now a new process to refer a patient for a My Aged Care assessment.  GPs can use either of two methods:

  1. Use the online health professional referral form that can be accessed via the ‘Contact Us’ page on the My Aged Care website or via MyAgedCare.gov.au/referral ; or
  2. Call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422.

Please see HealthPathways – Aged Care Assessment pathway for more information.

My Aged Care is an Australian Government website and phone line that provides a central entry point for older Australians to access aged care services.

In order for people to receive an assessment for aged care services, they will need to be referred for an assessment via My Aged Care.

If a patient is seeking transition care, residential care, residential respite, or is seeking access to a Home Care Package, they will receive a comprehensive assessment for aged care services by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

If the patient requires Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) services, they will receive an assessment by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

The assessor will determine a client's needs, develop and support a plan with the client, and refer the client to the appropriate service provider(s) to initiate aged care support services.

Important changes to Victorian new vaccines schedule from July 2017

Rotarix® vaccine replaces RotaTeq® vaccine

Rotarix® vaccine replaces RotaTeq® vaccine from 1 July 2017 for the schedule points at 2 months and 4 months of age.

This document provides you with information on:

  • How to use rotavirus vaccines during the brand switch period in Table 1.
  • Potential scenarios and responses during RotaTeq® to Rotarix® switch period in Table 2.
  • Evidence for vaccine effectiveness and safety of mixed or reduced dose schedules.

Quadracel or Infanrix IPV

Quadracel or Infanrix IPV is to be supplied at the 4 year old schedule point for DTP-IPV vaccine. Quadracel is an equivalent DTP-IPV containing vaccine for children at their fourth birthday.

Engerix B Paediatric or H-B-Vax II Paediatric

Engerix B Paediatric or H-B-Vax II Paediatrics needs to be supplied for the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. Engerix B Paediatric vaccine is an equivalent hepatitis B containing vaccine for infants at birth.

All immunisation resources such as the Government supplied vaccine order form and the vaccine schedule will be updated to reflect the schedule changes for the new vaccines that will be distributed to service providers.

Influenza vaccination during pregnancy

Vaccination remains the best protection pregnant women and their newborn babies have against influenza.

The seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended and funded for pregnant women under the National Immunisation Program and can be given at any time during pregnancy.

The Australian Government has developed three educational videos, one for health professionals and two for consumers highlighting the risks associated with influenza during pregnancy and the benefit of receiving the influenza vaccination.

These short videos can be used within your practice to promote influenza vaccination to pregnant women.

Health professionals

Flu vaccination and pregnancy – Free flu shots for pregnant women 

Pregnant women

Flu vaccination and pregnancy – What pregnant women need to know 

Flu vaccination and pregnancy – Vaccinate against flu. Protect your baby too

For further information, please visit the Immunise Australia website/Pregnant Women.

Meningococcal ACWY strain immunisation program

health.vic logo

In 2017, young people in Years 10, 11 and 12 of secondary school, as well as those young people not in secondary school but of an equivalent age (aged 15-19 years), will be eligible for free Meningococcal ACWY strain vaccine (Menactra).

General practice and community health services can now order the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine for 15 – 19 year olds not participating in the school vaccination program via the updated vaccine order form, which can be downloaded from the Immunisation Victoria website

Crystal methamphetamine treatment resource for health professionals

Cracks in the ice graphic

The Australian Government Department of Health have developed an evidence based resource for information about ice (crystal methamphetamine) for health professionals. The website is a rich online toolkit, which includes fact sheets, guidelines and handouts covering information about the effects of ice, tips on keeping safe and information about where, when and how to get help or support.

Watch this space as RACGP will be delivering face-to-face ice training in the Western Victoria PHN region for GPs!

Aboriginal Maternal Child Health Initiative Grants

Victoria State Government

Over the past year, the Department of Education and Training has been working with Aboriginal organisations, the maternal child health (MCH) sector and local government to co design strategies to ensure that we can provide a high quality, culturally safe and responsive universal maternal and child health service for all Aboriginal families across Victoria.

A grant process for the AMCHI Service Model Trials has recently been launched, which will enable organisations to identify better ways of working to improve the responsiveness of the universal MCH service for Aboriginal families and children.

The AMCHI trials will run for 12 months and the evaluation will inform future improvements to the MCH service

Incorporated organisations, not-for-profit organisations and local councils are invited to apply.

Applications will be open until Wednesday 26 July 2017.

To learn more about the Aboriginal MCH Initiative and to access the grant guidelines, please visit the DET website. Any queries regarding the grants process and trials can be directed to amchi.grants@edumail.vic.gov.au.

Seeking feedback 'On Arrival Refugee Health Assessment' template

Victorian Refugee Health Network

We are looking to increase the usability and accessibility of the current On Arrival Refugee Health Assessment template and we are wishing to speak with people with varying degrees of experience seeing patients from refugee backgrounds, regardless of whether or not they use the current template.

This is an opportunity for GPs, practice nurses and refugee health nurses to contribute to the update of the On Arrival Refugee Health Assessment Template/Tool by:

1. Completing a 15-minute questionnaire regarding your current practice, and/or,
2. Taking part in a remunerated face-to-face consultation to be held at your place of work and requiring a one off one-hour commitment.

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Have the CHAT with your patients this winter

Lung Foundation

Lung Foundation Australia’s winter campaign, Have the CHAT, encourages people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to stay well and out of hospital.

Lung Foundation Australia has developed a suite of evidence-based resources to support health professionals in timely identification and management of COPD exacerbations including this poster and flyer.

For further information about this campaign please visit www.lungfoundation.com.au/have-the-chat or freecall 1800 654 301.

Demystifying the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome

Alfred Health logo

This all-day course has been developed by the Alfred Health Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Service to provide a comprehensive education program targeted at common but challenging functional gastrointestinal disorders. It will be facilitated by local and world experts in functional gastrointestinal disorders. 

Date: Saturday 15 July
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: AMREP Lecture Theatre, AMREP Centre, Alfred Health
Cost: $150 (early bird special $120 if registering before 30 June 2017)

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Grampians Wimmera

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently, localised HealthPathways for the Horsham Wimmera region include:

  • Aged care assessment services
  • Perinatal mental health.

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

The ABCs of Practice Sustainability

This two day workshop is designed specifically for practice managers and owners who wish to expand their knowledge of business trends. You will gain a greater understanding in areas such as human resources, finance and risk management.

Date: Friday 28 July and Saturday 29 July
Venue: Wimmera Room - Horsham International Hotel 118 Baillie Street, Horsham 

To find out more, see this flyer.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

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New on HealthPathways:

  • Herpes zoster (Shingles)
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Endometrial cancer - low risk follow-up
  • Prosthetic heart valves follow - up.

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

Hospice Foundation Geelong announces the Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care

Western Victoria PHN logo Hospice Foundation Geelong

Hospice Foundation Geelong, in conjunction with Western Victoria PHN, is pleased to announce the inaugural Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care.

This scholarship is named in honour of local GP, Dr Trevor Banks, OAM, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to palliative care. Trevor was instrumental in establishing a formal palliative care service in the Geelong region since the 1970s.

The Scholarship is an annual award of up to $5000 to assist a General Practitioner working in the Geelong region to upskill in the area of palliative care.

Read more 

Expressions of Interest: Hospital Medical Officers (HMO)

Epworth

Epworth Geelong is seeking expressions of interest from general practitioners and general practitioner trainees who may like to undertake ward HMO work at Epworth Geelong.

You will have the flexibility of choosing your own shifts and this will offer you a great opportunity to refresh/maintain hospital-based clinical skills. Rates and conditions negotiable.

There are vacancies available from 27 June 2017.

For further information or if you would like to register your interest, please email HR manager, Mick Fuller

Updates in familial cancer

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Barwon Health invites you to this interdisciplinary masterclass in women's health with Gynaecological Oncologist, Professor Tom Jobling.

Date: Friday 14 July
Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Venue: Deakin Clinical School Lecture Theatre

For enquiries, please email Michael Shembrey . To register, email Melinda Baluch or phone 4215 2135 by Friday 7 July. 

'Let's work together' networking event: practice nurses, allied health and practice managers 

Come along and learn how Western Victoria PHN can support you.  Hear from local hospital and community health networks about their services, and connect with local primary health care professionals.  A Health Services Expo will be included at the event.

Date: Wednesday 19 July
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: St Mary's Hall, Myers St, Geelong

Register

Reminder: Immunisation Forum 2017

Primary health care nurses, immunisation providers and GPs are invited to this Immunisation Forum which will cover:

  • Pneumococcal disease: A patient and family perspective
  • Immunisations for people with a non-functioning spleen
  • Surveillance of adverse events following immunisation
  • Travel health
  • Principles of performing catch-up immunisations; includes case scenarios
  • National and Victorian immunisation program update.

Date: Saturday 29 July
Time: 9am - 4.30pm
Venue: Rydges Geelong (previously Mercure Hotel), corner of Myers and Gheringhap Streets, Geelong.

To find out more, please see our Events page on the Western Victoria PHN website.

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently, localised HealthPathways for the Ballarat Grampians region include:

  • Aged care assessment services
  • Perinatal mental health.

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

Commonwealth funded rural clinical placements

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The University of Melbourne’s Department of Rural Health runs a Commonwealth-funded program - Going Rural Health - to support rural clinical placements for nursing and allied health students in north-east and western Victoria, including the Ballarat and Grampians, Shepparton and Goulburn Valley, Wangaratta and Hume regions.

Support offered is varied, and can include financial assistance, subsidised accommodation in some areas, education for both staff and students, Aboriginal Cultural Insight training, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander student mentor support, placement matching assistance, and development of new innovative community placements.

The aim of the program is to aid in the provision of quality rural placements, with the ultimate aim being rural workforce development in these health professions.

There are Going Rural Health team members in Shepparton, Ballarat & Wangaratta, located at the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health campuses.

For more information about the program, useful resources, bookings for education and cultural insight sessions, offer of placements to students or to become a supervisor, please see the Going Rural Health website.

Medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence

RACGP.145657 small

RACGP are offering online and face-to-face training to provide prescribers with information and strategies for safer prescribing of opioids in chronic pain settings.

Online training is available anytime and face-to-face training is scheduled in Ballarat on Saturday 29 July and in various parts of Melbourne from September to November 2017.

To find out more, see this flyer.