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Deaths from prescription medicine overdoses are increasing

More people in Victoria are dying from overdoses of prescription medicines than from illegal narcotics such as heroin, alcohol or even road accidents. According to the Victorian Coroners Court, pharmaceutical drugs remain the most frequent contributors to overdose deaths in Victoria linked to 330 in 2015.

The Coroners Court of Victoria has recommended the immediate need for a real-time prescription monitoring system to assist doctors in their clinical decision-making around drug prescribing. The Victorian government has committed $300,000 to start work on a prescription monitoring system and has signed up to the Commonwealth's software for support. This news is welcome, further highlighting the need for technology and real time data to join up our health system.

Our Pharmacotherapy Network supports GPs and pharmacists manage patients with opioid dependence issues, across the Geelong Otway and Great South Coast regions. Ballarat Community Health’s Orticare provides services across the Ballarat Goldfields and Wimmera Grampians regions. A number of HealthPathways have also been developed to assist in pain management, diagnosis of opioid addiction and pharmacotherapy treatment. Please join us for our "use as prescribed" Pharmaceutical Medication Misuse Forums in Geelong Thursday 12 May and Warrnambool Wednesday 18 May to discuss the issues around pharmaceutical misuse and management, including both prescription and over the counter medications. We are pleased that Coroner Spanos and a lady with lived experience from Nhill, who lost her son to a prescription overdose following a car accident and subsequent addiction to painkillers, will be joining us as part of our expert panel.

Health professionals across western Victoria are welcome. For more information on our pharmacotherapy support, please visit our website.

Jason TrethowanCEO, Western Victoria PHN

General

Expressions of Interest for Clinical and Community Councils close Monday!
GP Refresher Conference recordings now available online
Changes to eHealth PIP
DHHS releases report into advance care planning
Flu Vaccine 2016 - Points to remember before administration
Save the date: Ballarat and Goldfields, Wimmera and Grampians regions
Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM) staff development day - Melbourne
Use as prescribed: pharmaceutical misuse forum: Geelong and Warrnambool
Abstracts for SARRAH National Conference close Wednesday 27 April
GP education event: Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult and Paediatric Rhinology 'Tour'

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Practice Nurses – we want to hear from you!
Heart failure clinics
Grand Round Lecture Series
Irritable Bowel Syndrome community information session
NPS MedicineWise seeking Non-Executive Director

Wimmera and Grampians

Chronic disease community forums
Registrations still open for DHHS HACC Quality Improvement workshop
Clinical supervision and support foundation training
Ice education for families: Ararat
GP Training: Medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence
Professional Development Grants
Cancer 102 introduction workshops

Great South Coast

Opioid Replacement Therapy training 

General 

Expressions of Interest for Clinical and Community Councils close Monday!

* Please note - If you have applied to join one of our Clinical or Community Councils and did not receive an acknowledgement receipt please contact Bridget Caird or P: 5304 5618.

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. Application closure has been extended to 5pm Monday 18 April 2016.

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

GP Refresher Conference recordings now available online

Lectures from the GP Refresher Conference are now available to watch online or listen to in your car via the armchair medical App. Lectures include:

  • Cardiology - which tests, when and to whom
  • Thyroid disease - hyperthyroidism and the under-active thyroid
  • Rational examination of low backpain symptoms.

To access these lectures featuring our local specialists download the armchair medical iphone/ipad app from the Apple app store and scroll to the chapter called Local Knowledge Western Victoria (or download from QR using the code below).

Code

Our arrangement with armchair medical is for all western Victorian GPs to get up to a month's free access to all our lectures and all 650 other lectures on the App. If you cancel within the free period you pay nothing.  If you decide to continue, then you will be billed either monthly or annually depending upon your subscription choice.

These videos will also be available for viewing on our website at the beginning of May. We hope you enjoy the lectures.

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.

Department of Health and Human Services

DHHS releases report into advance care planning

Late last year the Department of Health and Human Services asked AMA Victoria to conduct a survey of member's knowledge of the law in relation to advance care planning and end of life care.  You can find out the results in the Department's newly released Advance Care Planning report.  

Did you know?

My Health Record now allows people to store their advance care plan. For more information go to the My Health Record website

Flu Vaccine 2016 - Points to remember before administration

Please remember the following information about the 2016 NIP schedule influenza stock for children.

Fluarix Tetra

  • Must not be used under 3 years of age, as it is not registered for use for this age. In the first year of administration children from 3 years of age to under 9 years of age should receive 2 doses, a minimum of one month apart.
  • Provided on the NIP schedule for eligible people from 3 years of age, including pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.

FluQuadri Junior vaccine (0.25ml dose)

  • Provided on the NIP schedule for eligible children from 6 months of age to under 3 years of age. In the first year of administration these children should receive 2 doses, a minimum of 1 month apart.
  • Please order FluQuadri Junior for eligible children and additional stock of Fluarix Tetra for eligible groups over 3 years of age using a Victoria State Government Vaccine Order form.

Read more

Save the date: Ballarat and Goldfields, Wimmera and Grampians regions

An Immunisation Provider Group Meeting will be held on Wednesday 25 May in Ararat for Ballarat and Goldfields, Wimmera and Grampians regions. To register your interest and for more information please contact Brenda Carey

Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM) staff development day - Melbourne

aapm logo

Who should attend?

  • Frontline Staff, including Receptionists and Administration staff for GPs, Specialists, Dental and Allied Health
  • Practice Managers are also welcome

Date: Saturday 30 April
Time:
9am - 4.15pm
Venue:
Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, 65 Queens Rd, Albert Park
Cost:
Members and staff - $200, Non Members - $250

Go to the AAPM website for further information and to register.

Use as prescribed: pharmaceutical misuse forum: Geelong and Warrnambool

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: Geelong - Thursday 12 May, Warrnambool - Wednesday 18 May
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: Geelong - Geelong Clinical School, Little Malop St, Geelong.  Warrnambool - Deakin Corporate Centre, 163 Timor St, Warrnambool

Register Geelong  Register Warrnambool

Abstracts for SARRAH National Conference close Wednesday 27 April

SARRAHlogo.135819

The Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) 2016 Conference 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.  SARRAH invites you to submit abstracts in these formats:

  • General stream abstracts for oral presentation within the themes of the conference (20 minute presentation + 5 minutes questions)
  • Scientific Stream Refereed paper (written paper before the Conference plus oral presentation at the Conference, published after conference) (20 minute presentation + 5 minutes questions)
  • Lightning Talks (strictly 5 minutes / 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 2016.

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

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

New on HealthPathways:

  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Neck Lumps in Children
  • Hoarse Voice (Dysphonia)
  • Testosterone Deficiency in men
  • Long-term Glucocorticoids (steroids)
  • Contraception pathways.

Cardiology commencing soon to HealthPathways 
We are seeking General Practitioners to join the Cardiology HealthPathways workgroup commencing soon. Please see this letter for more information.

Practice Nurses – we want to hear from you!

Western Victoria PHN has established a Practice Nurse Network for registered and enrolled practice nurses to communicate and exchange ideas with peers around a number of nursing and general practice issues.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 17 May where practice nurses will be encouraged to share their learning and showcase practice initiatives and activities through round table discussions, presentations or small group discussions. We’re seeking nurses who would like to share their stories and promote the work being undertaken at their practice.

Details about meetings and the registration process will be promoted in Westvic News and via the Events page on Western Victoria PHN’s website. Please contact Margaret Dempsey to find out more.

Heart failure clinics

Barwon Health and National Heart Foundation2

Don’t forget to register your interest for the Heart Failure Clinics GP Collaboration between Barwon Health and National Heart Foundation of Australia (Victorian Division) delivering a 10 hour structured program for general practice staff (including nursing). GP’s will receive reimbursement for their time and CPD points. If you are interested please contact the Director Of Cardiology, Dr Chin Hiew on 4215 1963 or 0403 628 188. 

Read more

Grand Round Lecture Series

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GPs are invited to attend one or more of these lectures at 12:45pm on Tuesdays in April and May preceded by lunch at 12.15pm. Topics include:

  • Decision making capacity and VCAT
  • Deakin Hypothetical
  • Victorian Audit of Surgery Mortality 2014: a status report
  • Sepsis Kills
  • State of the Heart - MRI Perspective.

Read more

Irritable Bowel Syndrome community information session

East Geelong Medical Centre is running a community information session on Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Thursday 21 April and would like you to advertise this Session in your practices using this poster.

NPS MedicineWise seeking Non-Executive Director

NPS MedicineWise

The NPS MedicineWise Board is calling for nominations and applications for a Non-Executive Board Director position currently held by Dr Andrew Knight, whose term concludes 3 August 2016. Dr Knight is eligible for re-nomination.  To find out more about how to apply read these Guidelines and if interested complete this Application Form.  NPS MedicineWise has also provided a copy of their Constitution and Board Charter for your reference. 

Wimmera and Grampians

Chronic disease community forums 

Rural Northwest Health’s Community Action Research Group will run community consultation forums on chronic disease this Thursday 14 April at:

  • Beulah Business Centre at 10am
  • Gateway BEET Hopetoun at 2pm
  • Rural Northwest Health’s Warracknabeal campus at 6.30pm.

All welcome.

Registrations still open for DHHS HACC Quality Improvement workshop

You're invited to attend a workshop aimed at supporting the continuous improvement activities of HACC organisations during the transition to the Commonwealth. The workshop will also help attendees to gain a greater understanding of the quality assurance expectations and arrangements for this period.

Date: Thursday 14 April
Time: 9.30am to 1pm
Venue: The Grains Innovations Centre, 110 Natimuk Road Horsham

Register

Clinical supervision and support foundation training 

Wimmera Health Care Group

  • Interested in providing clinical placements for students in a health discipline?
  • Have you had students on placement but were not too sure if you provided the best experience?

Then this foundation training is designed for you!  This comprehensive program aims to ensure the clinical placement experience is positive for both the student and the host site.

Date: Monday 2 May
Cost: Free with lunch provided
Venue: Education Room, Wimmera Health Care Group, Horsham

Ice education for families: Ararat 

Turning Point, SHARC and Bouverie Centre continue to offer free education for families affected by Ice use. This workshop on Tuesday 10 May will:

  • Provide information about what ice is, why people use it and why it causes problems for users, families and the broader community
  • Look at the relationship between drug use and mental health and provide practical strategies to help family members discuss drug use, as well as available sources of help in the community
  • Provide families with the skills and knowledge to navigate the treatment system and obtain the best possible outcomes for their loved ones.

Date: Tuesday 10 May
Time: 1-5pm
Venue: Pyreness House, 5 Girdle St, Ararat

Register

GP Training: Medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence

Orticare Network, Networking Health Victoria and Westvic PHN present this training to provide GPs with the skills and required accreditation to prescribe medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence within the Victorian regulatory framework.  The training consists of two parts:

  • Completion of Module 1 "Safe Opioid Prescribing" either via a face to face training session or an online learning module. Completion of this module is a pre-requisite to attend the full day workshop. Please go to the Network Health Victoria website to complete this online module
  • Module 2 - a full day face to face skills based workshop on prescribing Methadone and Buprenorphine.

Date: Saturday 21 May
Time: 8.45am - 4.30pm
Venue: Stawell Health and Community Centre (The Diamond Room), 8-22 Patrick Street, Stawell

Register

Grampians Integrated Cancer Services

Professional Development Grants

Professional Development Grants have now opened and close 5pm Friday 13 May. This is an opportunity for health professionals in the Grampians region to apply for education funding that assists them to deliver best practice cancer care and to support innovative and emerging areas of practice in line with Optimal Care Pathways.  Individual and group grants are both available.  Please contact Lea Marshall for further details. 

Cancer 102 introduction workshops

Grampians Integrated Cancer Service (GICS) would like to extend an invitation to all health professionals to attend this day workshop to increase awareness of cancer biology, cancer planning and treatment, management of treatment side effects and health and well-being in cancer care. Many staff working in community services or general wards may benefit from this education day delivered locally.

Date: Tuesday 31 May
Time: 8.45am (registration) - 4pm
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven

Register 

Great South Coast

Opioid Replacement Therapy training

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. Sponsored by the Victorian State Government Department of Health, the program, delivered in 2 parts for ALL Victorian pharmacists and pharmacy staff, is free of charge.

Part 1 covers all technical, professional and legal requirements of harm minimisation and ORT. Upon successful completion, participants will be awarded a Victorian Pharmacotherapy Certificate I. Part 2 is a case study workshop in which the concepts learned from Part I will be reinforced by the workshop facilitator. Following attendance at a Part 2 workshop, participants will be awarded a Victorian Pharmacotherapy Certificate II. 

Date: Sunday 5 June
Time: 10am - 12pm (Part 1), 1pm - 4pm (Part 2)
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, 24-36 Fairy St, Warrnambool

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