Welcome to Westvic News

Jason landscape SMALL for website

Healthier Medicare package for chronic disease announced

The government’s response to the Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG) report, Better Outcomes for people with Chronic and Complex Health Conditions was announced today. The “Healthier Medicare reform package is intended to help reduce the rate of avoidable hospitalisations and improve the quality of care for people suffering from chronic diseases.

Half of all potentially avoidable hospital admissions in 2013-14 were to treat chronic conditions. Seven million Australians suffer from a chronic condition and more than four million have multiple chronic conditions, so the proposed package is hoped to reduce pressure on the healthcare budget.

Healthier Medicare involves patients and their families signing up to a general practice where there is a continuing relationship with a particular GP, supported by a practice team. The patient’s GP receives a quarterly lump sum from the government and is responsible for all their medical, allied health and out-of-hospital needs. Patients will continue to pay for episodes of care not linked to their chronic disease, such as influenza. Care provided is aimed to be accessible, comprehensive, and coordinated with other members of the health care team, within and outside of general practice, helping patients to better navigate the healthcare system.

For many general practices across western Victoria, the principles of “Healthier Medicare” are already in place, however coordination with the broader primary, community and acute system remains an area for improvement. A key enabler will be having clinical systems, which can track patient progress against the agreed goals with their GP. It is no surprise that the government is encouraging improved use of digital health technologies and stronger data collection, to help measure and benchmark primary health care performance.

It is proposed that the new Healthier Medicare package will be trialled by 65,000 people from up to 200 general practices, supported by an extra $21 million in funding to commence 1 July 2017.

The Healthier Medicare reform package will be presented to State and Territory leaders at the Councils of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting tomorrow in Canberra.

Western Victoria PHN will continue to engage, listen and respond to opportunities, presented by Healthier Medicare and will provide further updates as they come to hand. For more information contact your local Regional Manager Jacinta Bourke P: 5222 0800 (Geelong Otway), Sue Fleming P: 5564 5888 (Great South Coast), Deidre Rennick P: 5381 1756 (Wimmera Grampians) and Donna Fahie P: 5331 6303 (Ballarat Goldfields).

Jason TrethowanCEO, Western Victoria PHN

General

Clinical and Community Councils - Expression of Interest
Changes to eHealth PIP
A new and easy way to log on to HPOS, via PRODA
General practice research grant and award opportunities
Seasonal influenza vaccine update
Free influenza vaccine for Aboriginal children
Rural Health Professionals Program
Grants available for enhanced nurse clinics
Nurses - the heart of primary health care national conference
GP training: Medication assisted treatment for Opioid dependence
Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program
Asking better questions to promote self management
Registrations now open for Allied Health Conference
GP education event: Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult and Paediatric Rhinology 'Tour'
Mindfulness workshop
Skin Cancer workshop

Ballarat and Goldfields

Medical appointment: Grampians Integrated Cancer Service
Information session: Termination of pregnancy and contraception
Clinical Supervision and Support Program
Wellness and life after cancer 

Geelong Otway

New domain name for HealthPathways
Phasing out of online Mental Health Skills Training module
Epworth Geelong scheduled to open in July
Geelong Endocrinology and Diabetes welcome new Endocrinologist
Seeking feedback on Geelong's maternal and child health services
Use as prescribed: pharmaceutical misuse forum
Effective customer service for mentally ill patients

Great South Coast

Customer Service training for general practices and pharmacies
Sexual health counselling and education courses 

General 

Clinical and Community Councils - Expression of Interest

Western Victoria PHN is inviting Expressions of Interest from people who are interested in joining one of four Clinical and four Community Councils. 

The purpose of the Clinical Councils (GP led) are to:

  • Report on clinical issues to inform Board decisions on the unique needs of their respective communities, including in rural and remote areas.
  • Assist the PHN to develop local strategies to improve the operation of the healthcare system for patients.

The purpose of the Community Councils are to:

  • Provide a community perspective to the Board to ensure that decisions, investment, and innovations are patient centred, locally relevant and aligned to local care.
  • Reinforce the ongoing need from a consumer perspective of the need for joined up planning and service systems.

This is an incredible opportunity to engage with people who see the challenges and have a passion for action to improve the quality, accessibility and coordination of primary health care for western Victoria.

Recruitment will involve an application, shortlist and interview process. Applications close 5pm Monday 11 April 2016.

For more information visit the Western Victoria PHN website to view the position description and application process.

Changes to eHealth PIP

As recently announced by the Minister for Health Sussan Ley MP, to continue to receive the Digital Health Incentive (formerly eHealth PIP), general practices will need to make some changes by 1 May 2016.

The federal government is making these changes to encourage GPs to upload patient’s Shared Health Summaries to My Health Record (formerly PCEHR) as 0.5% of your practice’s standardised whole patient equivalent (SWPE) count of patients per PIP payment quarter.

More information is available on the My Health Record website.

The My Health record is aimed at improving clinical decision making through greater online access of critical patient details.

All general practices have received a letter from our Digital Health team advising on the requirements to ensure compliance by 1 May 2016.

If your practice is in need of further support, or needs My Health Record training, please do not hesitate to contact Western Victoria PHN’s Digital Health team.

A new and easy way to log on to HPOS, via PRODA

A representative from the Department of Human Services will provide training on a simplified process to log on to Health Professionals Online Service (HPOS).  They will also provide a functions overview. 

You will learn about:

  • How to create a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account online
  • The benefits of using PRODA
  • Ease of using PRODA as an alternative to Individual PKI certificates
  • Features available in HPOS
  • Changes to Digital Health PIP requirements.

Come along and hear directly from a Department representative about how HPOS can benefit your practice using a new simplified process to logon via PRODA.

This event is available in person in Geelong and via webinar for all regions.

Date: Thursday 12 May
Time: In person 12pm for 12.30pm - 2pm.  Webinar (all regions): 12.30pm - 2pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers Street Geelong

Read more

General practice research grant and award opportunities

RACGP Foundation

The RACGP Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the 2016 research grants and awards round.  The RACGP is committed to supporting general practitioners conducting research into primary healthcare and general practice. These research grants acknowledge the vital contribution general practitioners make in furthering medical advancements within the community by building the evidence that is necessary to deliver the highest quality care and best health outcomes to all Australians.

This year, up to 17 research grants and awards are available to general practitioners and general practice registrars who are members of the RACGP. Applications for the 2016 grant round are now open and close on Monday 9 May 2016, 5pm AEST.

Read more

Victoria State Government

Seasonal influenza vaccine update

The 2016 seasonal influenza vaccine supplied for the National Immunisation Program will be preallocated in early April.  Go to the health.vic website to find out about the influenza strains, vaccine brands and eligibility requirements for the vaccine. Influenza vaccine clinical advice and resources, such as posters can be ordered from the health.vic website.

Free influenza vaccine for Aboriginal children

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged between six months and five years are eligible for the free seasonal influenza vaccine. These children are at increased risk for hospitalisation and increased morbidity and mortality following influenza. 

Rural Health Professionals Program

Rural Workforce Agency Victoria small

The Rural Health Professionals Program (RHPP) is a nationally funded program to support both employers and nursing and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia.  Under the program RWAV will provide, at no-cost, assistance to employers and healthcare professionals for up to two years.  Support for employers during the recruitment process includes promoting vacancies, screening applicants, induction and case management.

Read more 

APNAlogo.155329 small

Grants available for enhanced nurse clinics

  • Do you want to expand your nursing capacity?
  • Do you have ideas for an innovative model to improve the care you provide to your local population?
  • Do you want to establish a nurse clinic?

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) is being funded by the Australian Government to develop original models of clinical care delivered by nurses in primary health care settings.  Eight sites will be selected Australia-wide – in metropolitan, rural and remote locations – based on local population health needs.

Providers from across the spectrum of primary health care, outside the acute setting, such as aged care, community health, correctional health and general practice are invited to apply.

Read more 

Nurses - the heart of primary health care national conference

Guest speakers include:

  • Brian Dolan who will discuss the importance of integrated care.
  • Rosie Batty who will draw our attention towards the issue of domestic of violence.
  • Tracey Johnson who will share insights from five countries and tell us how the primary health care nursing role is changing.
  • Liz Reymond who will highlight the essential role of primary health care nurses in caring for people approaching end of life.
  • Kristen McClelland who will invite you into her story of how she implemented a vaccine program for a Syrian refugee camp in Iraq.

Date: Thursday 5 May - Saturday 7 May
Venue: Pullman Melbourne, Albert Park

Read more

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 - 5pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers Street Geelong

Register

Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

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, 131 Myers Street Geelong

Register

Asking better questions to promote self management

This one day workshop will provide you with communication techniques and strategies to empower patients and clients to better manage their own health and wellbeing.

Date: Friday 15 April
Time: 9.30am - 4pm 
Venue: Classroom 2, Alfred Medical Research & Education Precinct (AMREP), The Alfred Hospital, Commercial Rd, Melbourne

Read more and register

Registrations now open for Allied Health Conference

Wimmera Health Care Group Federation University Dept of Health and Human Services horizontal small

This year's theme for the Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference is: Facing the future - innovation and collaboration in regional allied health.  Key note speakers include:

  • Professor Susan Nancarrow, Southern Cross University
  • Ms Kathleen Philip, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr Suzanne Kuys, Australian Catholic University

Date: Thursday 21 April
Venue: Federation University, Horsham campus, Horsham

Read more

GP education event: Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult and Paediatric Rhinology 'Tour'

Royal Vic Eye and Ear Hospital and Networking Health Victoria small

Co-hosted by Networking Health Victoria and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital learning areas include:

  • Nasal symptoms in kids, such as blocked and drippy noses/mouth breathing, sleep disordered breathing /OSA, nasal blockage due to turbinate hypertrophy
  • Sinus symptoms in adults, such as nasal obstruction and smell
  • Primary care management and when to refer
  • Examining children’s eyes - handy hints and tips
  • Red flags for red eye
  • Common paediatric eye injuries and red eye conditions
  • A brief update on strabismus.

Date: Tuesday 3 May
Time: 6.30pm registration for 7pm start - 9pm finish
Venue: The Michael Chamberlain Lecture Theatre, Aikenhead Wing, St Vincent’s Health, corner of Nicholson St and Victoria Parade, Fitzroy

More information or Register

Monash University

Mindfulness workshop

The half day Mindfulness workshop aims to increase awareness of the importance of stress and mental health problems and their effects on wellbeing, performance and leadership. This interactive workshop will explore the principles and application of mindfulness based practices for personal and professional use. This workshop is prepared and conducted by Associate Professor Craig Hassed from the Department of General Practice. Craig is a regular media commentator and speaker both in Australia and internationally who has also published 11 books. This workshop is suitable for all health care practitioners

Date: Saturday 28 May
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Monash University, Notting Hill campus, Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Rd, Notting Hill

Read more

Skin Cancer workshop

This two day Skin Cancer workshop is developed by specialist dermatologist educators at the Skin and Cancer Foundation in association with the Department of General Practice, Monash University. These workshops are suitable for all GPs and GP registrars and are a perfect opportunity to upskill or acquire new knowledge in this area. 

Date: Saturday 16 April and Sunday 17 April
Venue: Monash University, Clayton campus
Cost: $770 (Day one only), $990 (Day two only), $1,760 (Day one and two)

Read more

Ballarat and Goldfields

Medical appointment: Grampians Integrated Cancer Service

Mr David Deutscher small

Mr David Deutscher (FRACS) has been appointed to the role of Clinical Director for Grampians Integrated Cancer Services (GICS).

David has more than thirty years’ experience in clinical service delivery, quality improvement, teaching, leadership and governance. He has been working as a general surgeon in the Grampians Region for over twenty years and has a deep understanding of the regional health system and the Grampians communities.

David has been a surgeon involved in upper and lower GI cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, melanoma and supportive services with node biopsies, laparoscopy and venous access, both in the public and private sector in Ballarat, regionally and internationally in third world settings. 

David commences in the role on Wednesday 30 March. He continues as Director, Ballarat Surgical Clinic as well as teaching commitments at BHS.

Information session: Termination of pregnancy and contraception

Family Planning Victoria logo

Date: Thursday 14 April
Time: 9am - 3.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Community Health Centre, 12 Lilburne St, Lucas

Read more 

Clinical Supervision and Support Program

Supported by the Victorian government, this Program is open to all health disciplines and will include information on:

  • Defining clinical supervision and support
  • Giving feedback
  • Conducting assessment in the workplace
  • Recognising reality shock.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided.  There is no cost to attend this Program.

Date: Monday 18 April
Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: Tute Room 1, Deakin Medical Centre, Ballarat Base Hospital, Drummond St, Ballarat

Register

Wellness and life after cancer

cancercouncilvic.102039 smaller

Hear presentations from health professionals and participate in discussions about:

  • Adjusting to physical and emotional changes after cancer treatment
  • Working with your GP to adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Returning to work and managing the financial impacts of cancer
  • Connecting to support services in the community

Date: Wednesday 27 April
Time: 9am - 3.30pm
Venue: North Ballarat Sports Club, Main Room, 725 Creswick Rd, Ballarat

Read more

Geelong Otway

New domain name for HealthPathways

As of 1 March the web address for HealthPathways changed to https://westvic.healthpathways.org.au. Please contact us for password details or to install a 'key' at your practice to avoid password entry.

New Live Pathways:

  • OTC Combination analgesics containing codeine
  • Managing combination analgesics cont. codeine requests
  • Post-menopausal bleeding
  • Zika Virus
  • Community Nursing Referral

Coming soon: more gynaecology and ENT pathways and new oncology pathways. 

Phasing out of online Mental Health Skills Training module

Following an identified need in 2011, an accredited online Mental Health Skills Training (MHST) module was developed in collaboration with Barwon Health, local GPs, psychiatrists, consumers and carers to provide support and upskilling for local GPs.  The success of the locally developed online training has seen a large proportion of GPs working in our region (and hundreds more from across Victoria) complete appropriate training in this area.

However there are now several online accredited mental health skills training modules available to GPs, including cost free options. Given the availability of alternatives, Western Victoria Primary Health Network Mental Health Skills Training Module will not be updated and will be phased out by Friday 8 April 2016.

Please note the following important changes.

  • No new enrolments will be accepted into the Western Victoria PHN mental health skills training program.
  • Those already enrolled will need to complete Western Victoria PHN's mental health skills training program by Friday 8 April to ensure recognition from Medicare.   

Other online mental health skills training modules from accredited providers include:

If you have any queries please email Helene Gilmore or P: 5222 0804.

Epworth Geelong scheduled to open in July

Epworth logo

From July 2016, Epworth Geelong will provide the South West Victorian region with additional medical, surgical and rehabilitation healthcare services including:

  • 172 inpatient beds on opening with capacity to expand to 262
  • Emergency department with 20 treatment spaces
  • Intensive Care Unit and Complex Care Unit
  • Operating theatres, Cath Labs, Endoscopy
  • Inpatient neurosurgical services
  • Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation therapies including hydrotherapy, gym and activities of daily living
  • Epworth Medical Imaging, cardiac diagnostic services, day oncology, renal dialysis, Epworth Pathology
  • 100% private rooms for patients.

Epworth Geelong is located off Pigdons Road, next to Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus. Linked by major freeways, the hospital is well-connected to Geelong, west Melbourne and South West Victoria.

You can keep up to date with the latest about Epworth Geelong online by going to their website or facebook pages.

Geelong Endocrinology and Diabetes welcome new Endocrinologist

Dr Naderpoor

Dr Negar Naderpoor is taking new referrals which can be posted, emailed, sent through referralnet or faxed to:

Geelong Endocrinology and Diabetes
248 Malop Street, Geelong
Fax: 4206 7050
Email: info@geelongendo.com.au
Phone: 5201 6944

Read more

Seeking feedback on Geelong's maternal and child health services

City of Greater Geelong smaller

City of Greater Geelong want to know what you think about their maternal and child health services and facilities. Please complete their short online survey by Saturday 23 April and provide valuable input into the future direction of the maternal and child health service in Geelong.

Use as prescribed: pharmaceutical misuse forum

Western Victoria PHN in conjunction with Scriptwise is holding a panel discussion on the issues surrounding pharmaceutical misuse and management for both prescription and over the counter medications. Speakers include a local GP, pharmacist, consumer, addiction medicine specialist, coroner and AOD worker.  This forum is open to GPs, GP Registrars, allied health professionals, pharmacists and practice nurses.

Date: Thursday 12 May
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: Geelong Clinical School, Little Malop St, Geelong

Register 

Effective customer service for mentally ill patients

A number of patients who present in primary care often have an underlying mental health issue which can include a dependence on medications. This training aims to provide frontline staff with the skills to effectively manage these sometimes demanding and misunderstood patients and prevent the situation from escalating out of control. The speaker will be a representative from SANE.  

Date: Wednesday 13 May
Time: 8.30am registration for 9am start - 12pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Level 2 Conference Room, 131 Myers St, Geelong

Register

Great South Coast

Customer Service training for general practices and pharmacies

Presented by SANE and Western Victoria PHN, this training will assist your frontline staff with the increasing number of dual diagnosis presentations in general practice and pharmacies.

Date: Thursday 14 April
Time: 10am - 1.30pm
Venue: Training Room, Western Victoria PHN, Bayside City Plaza, Warrnambool

Register

Sexual health counselling and education courses

Sexuality and people with an intellectual disability

Date: Tuesday 5 April
Time: 9.30am - 4pm
Venue: SWTafe, Rm WB3.25, Timor St, Warrnambool

Youth sexuality

Date: Wednesday 6 April
Time: 9.30am - 4pm
Venue: SWTafe, Rm WB3.25, Timor St, Warrnambool

Addressing client sexuality disclosures

Date: Thursday 7 April
Time: 9.30am - 4pm
Venue: SWTafe, Rm WB3.25, Timor St, Warrnambool