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Western Victoria PHN supports obesity prevention

Obesity continues to be a major challenge across Australia including a clear inequity in its distribution with a higher prevalence in rural and remote populations. Deakin University’s World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention has been working in partnership with a number of communities and health service providers across Western Victoria for more than a decade, including the Great South Coast and Yarriambiack Shires. The Y Change, Sea Change and Genr8 Change programs are examples of community driven programs in our region which are working to formulate solutions to create healthy, active communities. With the support of Deakin University researchers, these communities are applying systems thinking to obesity prevention so that collective impact can start to make a difference.

To maximise these impacts right across western Victoria and to further strengthen the application of systems thinking to prevention of a range of health issues, we have co-appointed and co-funded a Prevention Research Officer role with Deakin University. Sally Bodenham has been appointed to this role and will facilitate a project to identify the key leaders in prevention, scope existing prevention programs across Western Victoria and then identify the links between them and recommend how we can contribute in a meaningful way. The initial focus will be on obesity prevention but it is anticipated that the findings will be applicable to other health issues and chronic diseases. Sally is a public health practitioner and comes to the PHN with experience across local and state governments as well as the academic sector.

Jason TrethowanCEO, Western Victoria PHN

General updates 

Please note: new domain name for HealthPathways on 1 March

Easy access to Telehealth for practices

Hep C cures listed on PBS

18-month-old vaccine schedule update

Prepare your patients for Pneumococcal and Flu Vaccination

Be prepared for changes to ACAS referrals

Are you on the NHSD and is your information up-to-date?

Treating pregnant women with an opioid dependency

Seeking feedback on medication abortions

Abstracts now open for SARRAH national conference 2016

24/7 training in Social Work

CPD accreditation: Secondary Breast Cancer Conference

GP training: Medication assisted treatment for Opioid dependence

Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program

Early bird registrations open for Toward Recovery Mental Health Conference 

Geelong updates

Save the date: GP orientation session

Need access to an addiction medicine specialist?

Pharmacist Pharmacotherapy Scholarship Grants

Improved access to geriatric medicine

Extended hours for Radius Imaging

CPD events for Physiotherapists and Podiatrists

Epworth Geelong - Hospital update 

Horsham updates

Health agencies present at Wimmera Machinery Field Days

Rural Addiction Medicine Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service

Celebrating International Women's Day in Horsham

Free Mental Health First Aid course 

Speaking of Mental Health Roadshow

Ballarat updates

Rural Addiction Medicine Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service

Safer Opioid Prescribing in General Practice - Ballarat

Information session: Termination of pregnancy and contraception 

Warrnambool updates

Pharmacist Pharmacotherapy Scholarship Grants

Need access to an addiction medicine specialist?

General

Please note: new domain name for HealthPathways on 1 March

HealthPathways' domain name changed to https://westvic.healthpathways.org.au on Tuesday 1 March. Please ask your Practice Manager to update your bookmarks and shortcuts and to provide the new user name for log in. Alternatively, please contact HealthPathways if you need password details or further assistance.

New Live Pathways:

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Renal disease in pregnancy
  • Diabetes community nursing – reportable levels
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Amenorrhoea.

Easy access to Telehealth for practices

Western Victoria PHN in conjunction with Healthdirect Australia are utilising Healthdirect Video Call to host their internal virtual meeting requirements and provide health care organisations and professionals with easy telehealth access for their practices. Working with Barwon South West Telehealth, Western Victoria PHN are setting up health services, private specialists, private allied health professionals and general practices with a convenient way for local communities to access quality health care at a distance utilising the Healthdirect Video Call.

If you are interested in registering your practice or organisation for this service, please complete this referral form.

Please note, if you are a specialist or allied health professional within a health service currently connected to the South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH) network, please contact BSW Telehealth

Hep C cures listed on PBS

From Tuesday 1 March 2016, directing acting antivirals to treat hepatitis C will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Western Victoria PHN is working with regional health services as to how GPs will get specialist approval for prescribing these medications.

The medicines are: sofosbuvir with ledipasvir (Harvoni); sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); daclatasvir (Daklinza); and ribavirin (Ibavyr). Treatment regimens will involve daily combinations of one to three of these drugs taken orally over a period of 8 to 24 weeks.

The drugs will have a dual listing on the PBS under both the General Schedule section 85 and section 100 Highly Specialised Drugs program. This is designed to enable broad access for all Australians living with hepatitis C, including prisoners.

Treatment initiation is done in consultation with a gastroenterologist, hepatologist or infectious diseases physicians, to ensure people with complex needs are referred to hospital services.

The new treatments are highly effective with a cure rate of 95-97 per cent. In most cases, treatment time is reduced to 12 weeks, administration is oral rather than injectable and there are little to no side effects. This is a major change from just a few years ago, when hepatitis C treatment time was six to twelve months, with toxic side effects and only a 50 percent chance of being cured. These new drugs mean we can eliminate the hepatitis C virus within a generation.

The Department of Health and Human Services has convened a Hepatitis C Readiness Working Group, which is working to ensure Victoria takes full advantage of the opportunity represented by this listing. The group aims to ensure that affected communities, primary care, drug and alcohol services, criminal justice agencies, community health and tertiary providers are working together to provide access to testing, care, and support, and to ensure people feel safe and comfortable in accessing appropriate services, free of stigma and discrimination.

More information
For professionals, you can find more information via the Department of Health and Human Services.
Hep C fact sheet
Hep C FAQ fact sheet for patients

For further information about treatments in Victoria phone the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 703 003 or go to www.hepvic.org.au

18-month-old vaccine schedule update

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The new 18 month vaccine schedule will include a first booster dose of diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTPa) vaccine from March 2016.

The child will receive the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine (Priorix®-Tetra or ProQuad® vaccine) into one deltoid muscle and the DTPa vaccine into the other deltoid muscle.

DO NOT USE OTHER diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine formulations for these children such as Boostrix® or Adacel® vaccines. These brands are ONLY for use from 10 years of age.

DTPa vaccine stock supply
A pre-allocation of DTPa start-up stock will be delivered to Immunisation providers in early March. 

More information 

Prepare your patients for Pneumococcal and Flu Vaccination

Flu vaccination season is approaching so now is a good time to consider identifying eligible patients who require flu and pneumococcal vaccination.  Eligible patients can be identified using PEN CAT (clinical audit tool).

Please note that the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) have advised of a potential delay in delivery of vaccine to general practices for the 2016 season. Clinics will receive a pre-allocation of flu vaccine again this year and rollout is expected early April.

For further information on influenza and pneumococcal vaccine visit the DHHS website.

Be prepared for changes to ACAS referrals

My Aged Care logo

The Commonwealth Government has advised Victoria that effective from Monday 7 March all Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) referrals in Victoria will be transitioning to My Aged Care.  

What does this mean for you?

Instead of sending your referral to your local ACAS team, you will submit referrals via My Aged Care:

  • Fax – 1800 728 174
  • Phone - 1800 200 422
  • Website 

To ensure the referral can be efficiently processed by the My Aged Care team you need to include:

  • Your name and contact details
  • The patient’s name and contact details
  • Your relationship (e.g. GP) to the patient
  • Information about why the patient is being referred to My Aged Care
  • Your patients consent to provide their information (this can be verbal), or for the contact centre to contact them directly
  • Information pertinent to the referral.

If faxing use a referral similar to this cover sheet.

Following up on referrals

Following a referral from you, My Aged Care will contact your patient to talk about the support they need. The client may then be referred for a face-to-face assessment of their needs or directly for services.
Please note: there will be no acknowledgment of the referral request being received or your patient being allocated services.  If you need to follow-up on a referral, please wait at least one hour before calling the My Aged Care contact centre, to allow for processing to commence.

More information

Are you on the NHSD and is your information up-to-date?

National Health Services Directory 

The National Health Services Directory (NHSD) is a free comprehensive national directory of health services enabling consumers and health providers to access reliable and consistent health information. For consumers, the NHSD provides easy access to the services you offer including your organisation’s contact details, opening hours and facilities available, such as billing and accessibility options.

For health providers, the NHSD facilitates the coordination of ongoing care for patients providing connection of care and referral pathway information. 

To register for the National Health Services Directory (NHSD) go to their website

To update information, either:

  • Send an email to NHSD and they will contact you, or
  • If you have a username and password you can update your organisations details also on the NHSD website

Treating pregnant women with an opioid dependency 

Alcohol and drug use during pregnancy is a major risk factor for maternal morbidity and neonatal complications.  The prevalence of substance use by women that are pregnant or are of childbearing age is quite high. Western Victoria PHN has put together a list of resources that health practitioners can access to help pregnant women with an opioid dependency.  

Barwon region

This information sheet will help you find out about antenatal services available for women in the Geelong Region whose pregnancy is complicated by substance use and dependency.  

Outside Barwon region

For those not in the Barwon region the Royal Women’s Hospital also offers an extensive alcohol and drug service that provides medical care, counselling and support to women with substance dependence.  Included is information on the assessment and care of infants exposed to drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.

The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) have also created an education module Drug Use in Pregnancy and Parenthood for assessment of women broadly for alcohol, tobacco and opioid use.

Other useful articles:

Online forum

Please join our online forum to discuss with your peers and colleagues issues you may be experiencing with prescribing opioids, pain and dependence

Further assistance

Geelong Region: email Pene Wood or Dr Mark Davies or call them on 5222 0800.
Warrnambool Region: email Amy Collins or Aneill Kamath or call them on 5564 5888.

Seeking feedback on medication abortions

Deakin University logo

Qualified nurses working in the primary care sector of regional and rural Victoria are invited to participate in a survey by Deakin University to identify current practice for provision of medication abortions. To find out more information and begin the survey, go to this Deakin University web page.  

Abstracts now open for SARRAH national conference 2016

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The SARRAH organising committee invites you to submit an abstract for presentations that address the conference theme ‘It takes a village – Vibrant Economies, Thriving Communities, Healthy People, Real Life’. The Provisional Program is now live.  Abstracts should be submitted in the following formats.

  • General stream abstracts for oral presentation within the themes of the conference (20 minute presentation plus five minutes for questions).
  • Scientific stream refereed paper (written paper before the conference plus oral presentation at the conference, published after conference. 20 minute presentation plus five 5 minutes for questions).
  • Lightning talks (strictly five minutes and 20 slides).
  • e-Poster (PowerPoint slide).

Please visit the conference website for a detailed description of each presentation format.  Abstracts are to be submitted electronically via the presentation portal by Wednesday 27 April.

24/7 training in Social Work

swot image with aasw logo half

Australian Association of Social Workers' (AASW) online professional development platform, SWOT, can provide you with 24/7 access to training. With a growing number of topics, participating in this training can contribute towards your professional development requirements.  To find out more please visit the SWOT website or email AASW

CPD accreditation: Secondary Breast Cancer Conference

SMICS logo

  • Increase knowledge of care and treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) patients
  • Develop the skillset to manage the complex needs of MBC patients
  • Streamline the co-ordinated care of MBC patients across the healthcare settings
  • Provide individualised care of the MBC patient 

Date: Friday 18 March and Saturday 19 March
Venue: The Novotel - Glen Waverley
Cost: $150 (including catering)

Register 

GP training: Medication assisted treatment for Opioid dependence

This training will provide GPs with the skills and required accreditation to prescribe medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence within the Victorian regulatory framework.  

Date: Sunday 10 April
Time: 9am to 5pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers Street Geelong

Read more or Register

Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program

This training program provides 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 will help to ensure the consistency and quality of services offered throughout Victoria.

Date: Sunday 10 April
Time: 10am - 12pm (Part 1), 1pm - 4pm (Part 2)
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Level 2, 131 Myers Street Geelong

Read more

Early bird registrations open for Toward Recovery Mental Health Conference

Obtain a significant discount when you register for VICSERV's Towards Recovery conference by Wednesday 13 April.  At a time of significant change in the mental health system, at both State and Federal levels, the Towards Recovery conference will provide an opportunity to discuss and explore the challenges and opportunities inherent in these reforms.

Date: Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May
Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Register

Geelong

Save the date: GP orientation session 

Western Victoria PHN in conjunction with Barwon Health GP Liaison Unit is holding an orientation session for:

  • GP Registrars
  • GPs who are new to the Geelong region, and
  • Any GP who would like an update on Western Victoria PHN and Barwon Health services.

The session will consist of an introduction to Western Victoria PHN, presentations by local Barwon Health clinical staff regarding services available to GPs and a tour of University Hospital Geelong Emergency Department, before returning to Western Victoria PHN for presentations and lunch.

Date: Monday 21 March 2016
Time: 8.30am – 1.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers St, Geelong

Light lunch provided.  Registrations essential.

Register

Need access to an addiction medicine specialist?

Barwon South West Rural Addiction Medicine Pharmacotherapy Specialist (RAMPS) referrals can now be sent to Referral Net Id: RAMPS. RAMPS is a Western Victoria PHN Pharmacotherapy Network GP support service. The service provides GPs with access to an experienced addiction medicine specialist to deliver continued support where the main presenting concern is opioid dependence i.e. prescription opioids, over-the-counter opioids, and illicitly obtained opioids. For full details download this fact sheet.

Pharmacist Pharmacotherapy Scholarship Grants

Western Victoria PHN’s Pharmacotherapy Network (Barwon South West Region) is offering two $5000 (gst exl) grants to pharmacists interested in undertaking Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s ‘Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program’.  Applicants will also need to be willing to work with Western Victoria PHN to 'champion’ pharmacotherapy in the community pharmacy sector. For full details please download the Grant Guidelines and return the completed EOI form to Aneill Kamath by COB Thursday 17 March 2016.

Improved access to geriatric medicine

Barwon Health Logo yellow

Barwon Health has introduced a Community Geriatric Clinic based at the McKellar Centre, to improve access for patients in the community to specialist geriatric medicine. The clinic will operate once a week on a Monday morning for consultation with patients referred by their GP. The clinic provides short term intervention for complex patients requiring geriatric opinion/management.

Criteria for referral

  • Age 65 and above
  • Frailty, multiple comorbidities
  • General decline in health and function
  • General medical problems that are complex and symptoms impact on ability to function

Read more

Extended hours for Radius Imaging

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Radius Imaging would like to advise all referrers that they will be extending their hours to include Saturday mornings 9am - 1pm beginning Saturday 2 April. A radiologist is onsite.

CPD events for Physiotherapists and Podiatrists

Podiatrists
Presenters: Stephen Bird - ‘Dynamic US in Diagnosis’, Ian Revfem - ‘Image Guided Nerve Blocks’

Date: Monday 4 April
Time: 6pm for a 6.45pm start - 8pm
Venue: Radius Imaging, 158 Colac Rd, Waurn Ponds

Finger food provided.  RSVP Tuesday 29 March by email or call 5224 3000.

Physiotherapists
Theme: Anterior Hip and Groin Pain - US v MRI.
Presenters: Stephen Bird & Ian Revfem

Date: Tuesday 5 April
Time: 6pm for a 6.45pm start - 8pm
Venue: Radius Imaging, 158 Colac Rd, Waurn Ponds

Finger food provided.  RSVP Tuesday 29 March by email or call 5224 3000.

Epworth Geelong - Hospital update

Epworth logo

For the latest updates on Epworth Geelong, read the Epworth Geelong newsletter

Horsham

Health agencies present at Wimmera Machinery Field Days

Wimmera Machinery Field Days logo

By now the dust will have settled on Day 3 of the Machinery Field Days at Longerenong near Horsham. Field Days are an important date on rural community calendars and an opportunity to come together to grab a bargain and also to discuss the serious issues of rural living. A number of health agencies have taken the opportunity to be present and this year there was a wide range of information about services and providers. Topics included breast screening, health assessments, mental health services and financial counselling.

Rural Addiction Medicine Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service

Orticare.160359

ORTicare Pharmacotherapy Network offers ready access to specialist consultation and expertise for medical professionals around opioid dependence and other alcohol and drug issues. Our addiction physician Dr Michael McDonough is available to advise doctors and nurse practitioners in the Grampians Region.  For an appointment or information:

  • Call or text RAMPS on 0439 096 211
  • Email RAMPS, or
  • Visit the website.   

Celebrating International Women's Day in Horsham

International Womens Day 

Join the Wimmera community for lunch to celebrate International Women's Day and hear from four speakers from diverse backgrounds talk about how their experiences relate to this year's theme: Pledge for Parity. Music will be provided by Horsham College prior to the speaker's presentation. Tickets are $5 per person.

Date: Tuesday 8 March
Time: 12 noon - 1.15pm
Venue: Horsham Town Hall

To register email Kathy Newton at Horsham Rural City Council or call 5382 9712. 

Free Mental Health First Aid course

Mental Health First Aid

This course teaches adults how to assist other adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental health problem.

Date: Monday 21 March and Tuesday 22 March 
Time: 9am - 5pm 
Venue: Stawell Powerhouse, 32 Sloane St, Stawell

Read more 

Speaking of Mental Health Roadshow

Nic Newling

Save these dates for these inspiring community evening events with Nic Newling - an outspoken advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. Nic has lived with a mood disorder and lost his brother to suicide.  He is dedicated to changing the way mental illness is addressed in schools, workplaces and communities.  Nic has reached millions of people through live talks, radio, print media, online, and TV, including appearing on 'Australian Story'.  He is a community ambassador for RU OK? and regularly speaks internationally.

Stawell: Monday 18 April

Beaufort: Tuesday 19 April

Ararat: Wednesday 20 April

St Arnaud: Thursday 21 April

For more information email Lauren Dempsey from Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership or call her on 5352 6204. 

Ballarat

Rural Addiction Medicine Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service

Orticare.160359

Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network offers ready access to specialist consultation and expertise for medical professionals around opioid dependence and other alcohol and drug issues. Our addiction physician Dr Michael McDonough is available to advise doctors and nurse practitioners in the Grampians Region.  For an appointment or information:

  • Call or text RAMPS on 0439 096 211
  • Email RAMPS, or
  • Visit the website.   

Safer Opioid Prescribing in General Practice - Ballarat

This evening session is Part 1 of the Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence Program. Completion of this module provides participants the opportunity to attend an advanced full day training session accrediting participants to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone for more than five patients or methadone.  This workshop is provided free of charge through funding provided by ORTicare - Grampians and Loddon Mallee Pharmacotherapy Network, Western Victoria PHN and an education grant provided by Indivior Pharmaceuticals who have not influenced the content in any way.  Follow up support will be provided to all health professionals after this workshop.

Date: Thursday 21 April
Time: 7pm - 9.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Community Health Centre, 12 Lilburn St Lucas.

Register  

Information session: Termination of pregnancy and contraception

Family Planning Victoria logo

Date: Thursday 3 March
Time: 2pm - 8.30pm
Venue: Stawell Health and Community Centre

More information 

Warrnambool

Pharmacist Pharmacotherapy Scholarship Grants

Western Victoria PHN’s Pharmacotherapy Network (Barwon South West Region) is offering two $5000 (gst exl) grants to pharmacists interested in undertaking Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s ‘Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program’.  Applicants will also need to be willing to work with Western Victoria PHN to 'champion’ pharmacotherapy in the community pharmacy sector. For full details please download the Grant Guidelines and return the completed EOI form to Aneill Kamath by COB Thursday 17 March 2016.

Need access to an addiction medicine specialist?

Barwon South West Rural Addiction Medicine Pharmacotherapy Specialist (RAMPS) referrals can now be sent to Referral Net Id: RAMPS. RAMPS is a Western Victoria PHN Pharmacotherapy Network GP support service. The service provides GPs with access to an experienced addiction medicine specialist to deliver continued support where the main presenting concern is opioid dependence i.e. prescription opioids, over-the-counter opioids, and illicitly obtained opioids. For full details download this fact sheet.