Welcome to Westvic News

Jason small for website Westvic News

Innovative new ways to fund chronic disease, reduce unnecessary travel for patients and health professionals, and improve online communication with general practice and private allied health, were just some of the themes I picked up on over the past couple of days, while in the Wimmera Southern Mallee communities this week. There is always a lot to say about health care problems, but these discussions focussed on solutions, which was terrific.

I loved hearing of one practical step taken by a Bush Nursing Centre, in assisting local patients on responding to letters they receive from specialists and large hospital outpatient services, indicating the need to return for an annual review. No matter what, when patients receive these letters they tend to move heaven and earth to get to Melbourne, Geelong or Ballarat to make this essential meeting with the doctor. I heard of a six hour return trip, for a three minute consult - only to say ‘all is well’. Surely we can do better than this, especially for elderly patients? This Bush Nursing Centre now plays a valuable patient advocacy role in consultation with the GP and the specialist service asking for the annual review. The result is often reaching agreement that there is no need for the appointment and with additional guidance provided to the local primary health team and if required, a telehealth consult so patient and specialist can talk things through together. If in doubt, go old school and use the phone.

We talk of ‘avoiding unnecessary hospital visits’ and large hospitals waiting time pressures for appointments - so here’s one practical step for Western Victoria PHN to further explore greater efficiencies. How often are patients (rural or regional) travelling significant distances for a review, when their local primary health care team could be undertaking such tasks? With 70% of regional outpatient service appointments used for reviews and in Melbourne this figure climbs to up to 90% - I would think a few could be avoided. What’s really pleasing is that there are many examples where medical specialists and hospitals engage with the hospital GP Liaison Units and Western Victoria PHN on improving ways in providing clarity on post discharge treatment plans, reducing the need for review appointments and empowering greater involvement of the primary health team.

Jason Trethowan, CEO, Western Victoria Primary Health Network

General

Western Victoria PHN Member AGM invitation
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Survey 2016
Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP) reprieve
Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Update
Save the date: Free Western Victoria PHN GP Refresher
Posters and brochures available to encourage treatment for hep C
Free advance care planning and palliative care training for nurses
Antidepressants and pregnancy survey
CPD for GPs and Allied Health Professionals
Alcohol and Drug Symposium
Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program: Webinar Part 2
Focused Psychological Strategies - Level 2 skills training

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Diabetes foot referrals
Changes to Victorian Pharmacotherapy Policy
Smoking and mental illness: Breaking down the myths
G21 Health and Wellbeing Partner Workshop
Joint GP, Pain Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry Dinner

Ballarat Goldfields

What's new in cardiology?
Shannon's Bridge information night
Domestic Violence Response Training
Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention 

Wimmera Grampians 

Drugs and Mental Health - where to from here?
NPS Medicinewise small group case based meeting for pharmacists

General 

Western Victoria PHN Member AGM invitation

Members are invited to join us for our 2016 Annual General Meeting to hear about our performance over the last year.  In this 2016 AGM Pack you will find the Annual General Meeting Agenda, Nominees for one Elected Director Vacancy, the voting process and Proxy Form.

For enquiries, please email CEO Jason Trethowan or phone on 5222 0800.

Please register your attendance by Friday 21 October. 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Survey 2016

Western Victoria PHN is committed to enhancing the health and wellbeing of communities across western Victoria, by supporting those working within the primary health sector with the provision of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities.

We value your feedback and invite you to complete a short five minute survey about our CPD program, so that we can plan targeted and responsive CPD activities for you within the western Victoria region in 2017.

To begin the survey, please click on one of the following survey links applicable to your role:

The survey is open for two weeks until Friday 21 October 2016.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Western Victoria PHN or P: 5222 0800.

Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP) reprieve

Department of Health

All ePIP registered practices now have until 31 January 2017 to make up any shortfall in shared health summary uploads.  This temporary amendment has been granted to provide practices that made genuine attempts to meet the revised requirements and were prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond their control, enough time to resolve their transitional issues and be eligible for their ePIP payment.

Those general practices that opted out of the first quarter ePIP payments will also have the opportunity to catch up and meet their shared health summary targets so that they are able to receive the full incentive.

If practices do not intend to meet all of the ePIP requirements, they should withdraw from the ePIP entirely. This will ensure they are not overpaid, and will not have to repay up to three quarterly payments.

The department will commence recovery action for all ePIP incentive payments made to those practices that have not met their shared health targets by 31 January 2017.

Should you require any additional information in relation to the temporary amendment of the ePIP requirements, please email Nicole Jarvis.

Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Update

Department of Health and Human Services

As of Saturday 1 October, the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) was expanded to a whole of life register and is now known as the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Several reports have been made to the Immunisation section of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) of problems when identifying individuals on the AIR website.

DHHS have made enquiries and the following advice has been received.

“National Office are aware of the issue and the IT staff are investigating and trying to rectify the matter. At this time we have not been provided with a time frame.

AIR staff do have access to our mainframe system to view children's immunisation records should providers need information urgently.”

If you are experiencing difficulties in accessing the online Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) please call 1800 653 809.

Save the date: Free Western Victoria PHN GP Refresher

Topics include:

  • Gynaecological procedures
  • Hep C
  • Cardiology - heart failure
  • Paediatric emergencies
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tinnitus/ vertigo
  • Joint diseases
  • Business support - informed consent
  • Three-hour interactive airway management simulation
  • Dermatology
  • ENT - an interactive workshop
  • Removal of foreign bodies
  • Blood noses
  • CPR update.

Date: Saturday 25 February - Sunday 26 February 2017
Venue: Deakin University, Waurn Ponds

Application for 40 Category one RACGP points and ACRRM points is in progress.

Posters and brochures available to encourage treatment for hep C

If you would like posters and brochures for your waiting rooms to encourage your patients to seek treatment for hepatitis C, please contact:

Geelong Otway: Tracey Roebuck (Mon - Wed), 5222 0800

Wimmera Grampians: Krista Fischer (Mon - Fri) or Clair McDonald (Mon, Wed, Thurs), 5381 1756

Ballarat Goldfields: Jacqui White (Mon - Fri), 5304 5605

Great South Coast: Raj Samrai (Mon - Fri), 5564 5827.

These contacts can also assist with assessment, management and referral of your patient. See also the local Chronic Hepatitis C HealthPathway.

The new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) to treat hepatitis C are a huge improvement on the previous generation of hep C drugs with a 90-95% efficacy, a treatment time frame of only 8-12 weeks and a good tolerance response. 

General practitioners (GPs), in consultation with a specialist, can prescribe these medications (authority script), providing an opportunity to reduce transmission, prevent reinfection and eradicate hepatitis C. 

Read more

Free advance care planning and palliative care training for nurses

APNAlogo.155329

Initiating Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning online training helps nurses to screen for supportive care needs and provides a number of key assessment tools for use within general practice. This course is endorsed by APNA, free to nurses working in Australian general practice and includes training, face-to-face workshops and CPD recognition.

Antidepressants and pregnancy survey

A new study on antidepressant use in pregnancy is currently taking place across rural and metropolitan Victoria. This quick 5-minute survey asks GPs about their views and practices on the issue. The results will be used for a research paper that hopes to ultimately benefit GPs and improve patient care. We encourage all GPs to take this quick survey and contribute to the quality of this important study. The survey link closes Sunday 30 October.

CPD for GPs and Allied Health Professionals

ThinkGP is Australia’s leading provider of free, accredited, online education for over 40,000 + GPs and healthcare professionals. Keep up with the latest education on the hottest topics relevant to primary care, from cancer and chronic conditions to diabetes and depression.

See also HealthPathways for local clinical guidance and assessment of health conditions.

Alcohol and Drug Symposium

North Western Melbourne PHN

Would you like to network with AOD specialists, GPs and other health professionals working in this challenging sector?

The AOD Symposium is for primary health care professionals from general practice, pharmacy, hospital and emergency, drug and alcohol, allied health, mental health and community health organisations, and staff from government AOD programs.

Learn about the latest initiatives, hear expert perspectives, pose questions to a panel of experts, and discuss case studies in small group sessions.

Date: Saturday 8 October
Time: 8.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: University House at the Woodward, 112 Professors Walk, Level 10, Law Building, The University of Melbourne 

Register

Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program: Webinar Part 2

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: Tuesday 11 October
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Cost: Free to all pharmacists and pharmacy support staff

Read more 

Focused Psychological Strategies - Level 2 skills training

ASPM logo

CBT-derived skills taught throughout the program include psycho-education, motivational interviewing, cognitive interventions, behavioural interventions, and skills for working with families and relaxation skills training.

Date: Saturday 15 - Sunday 16 October
Time: 8.30am - 5pm
Venue: Yarraville Community Centre

Read more

Geelong Otway 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Intermenstrual and post-coital bleeding
  • Sexual assault
  • Previously undisclosed sexual assault
  • Sexual assault services
  • Lymphedema referral
  • Vaccine storage and cold chain breaches
  • Acute chestpPain.

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

Diabetes foot referrals

The Barwon Health Diabetic Foot Unit is at full capacity and waiting times are currently prolonged. Please consider referral to Barwon Endocrinology based at Epworth Geelong Hospital as an alternative.
Please see HealthPathways: Diabetes Foot Referrals for details about service and referral methods.

Changes to Victorian Pharmacotherapy Policy

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Health and Health and Human Services will lead a detailed discussion on the following revised resources:

  • Checklist for assessing appropriateness of take-away doses
  • Patient agreement form: methadone take-away doses
  • Patient agreement form: buprenorphine take-away doses
  • Starting methadone or buprenorphine information sheet
  • Methadone treatment in Victoria user information booklet.

Date: Wednesday 12 October
Time: 6.30pm registration, session from 7pm - 8pm
Venue: Ground Conference Room, Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 131 Myers St, Geelong

Read more

Smoking and mental illness: Breaking down the myths

Pfizer

Pfizer Australia invites you to attend a dinner with tobacco treatment specialist, Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn.

Date: Thursday 20 October
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: Ground Conference Room, Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 131 Myers St, Geelong

Read more 

G21 Health and Wellbeing Partner Workshop

G21 Geelong Region Alliance

How do we create environments that will achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for the G21 community? This question will be addressed by Harry Barber (Advisor and Consultant) and Dr Cecily Maller (Senior Research Fellow) at this workshop.

Date: Thursday 27 October
Time: 9am - 12pm
Venue: Grant Pavilion Community Hub, 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay

Read more

Joint GP, Pain Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry Dinner

Do great minds really think alike? Come to an evening to discuss complex pain and addiction conundrums and crossovers.  Bring your curly case presentations, case discussions and comments.

Date: Wednesday 23 November
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: The Novotel Geelong, 10/14 Eastern Beach Rd, Geelong

Read more 

Ballarat Goldfields

What's new in cardiology?

Ballarat Cardiology

Ballarat Cardiology invites you to attend a one day seminar to hear about what's new and now best practice in cardiology.  Topics include cardiac genetics and updates in revascularisation, heart failure, pacing and cardiac neurostimulators.

Date: Saturday 8 October
Time: 10am - 4.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Mercure, Main Rd, Ballarat

Read more

Shannon's Bridge information night

Shannons Bridge

You're invited to find out about how Shannon's Bridge aims to improve death literacy, assist with Advanced Care Plans, link families with local services and supports, and train volunteers to provide practical help.

Shannon's Bridge is a new, not for profit organisation to help connect patients and existing palliative care services and supports.  They are there to support those with issues about illness, dying and loss.  The aim is to remove the taboo and change attitudes about death and dying.  The focus is on not just a 'good death', but 'better living'.

Date: Tuesday 18 October
Time: 6pm
Venue: The Farmer's Arms Hotel, Creswick

Read more

Domestic Violence Response Training

Lifeline logo

At the end of this awareness session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the different signs and forms of abuse that constitute domestic and family violence
  • Familiarise themselves with the Cycle of violence and Duluth wheels – power and control, equality and empowerment
  • Reflect on and share what they can do if they know someone who is experiencing domestic and family violence
  • Have an opportunity to network with other individuals
  • Receive tools and references for domestic and family violence support and referral.

Date: Thursday 5 November
Time: 9.30am - 11.30am
Venue: Peart Wing, 103 Lydiard St South, Ballarat

Online registration essential.  If you have any queries, please email Lifeline Ballarat or call them on 5322 4996.

Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention

Black Dog Institute

This workshop aims to increase health professionals’ skill and confidence in taking a detailed suicide history and developing a collaborative management plan to increase the safety of people planning suicide. The workshop provides practical tools for health professionals managing the full spectrum of suicide risk presentations including the acute suicidal crisis, care after a suicide attempt and assisting families experiencing suicide bereavement.

Date: Saturday 26 November
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre, 613 Main Rd, Ballarat
Cost: $360

Read more

Wimmera Grampians

Drugs and Mental Health - where to from here?

Dimboola Pharmacy et el

Dimboola Pharmacy invites you to hear from some people who have experience with drugs and mental health including Margaret Millington OAM who has been instrumental in achieving real-time monitoring of prescription drugs in Victoria following her son overdosing on prescription medication in 2010.

Rick Corney will share his personal experience, knowing the importance of early intervention and education about drug taking and mental illness.

Date: Wednesday 12 October
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm concluding at 9.30pm
Venue: Dimboola Memorial Secondary College

RSVP no later than Friday 7 October by calling Dimboola Pharmacy on 5359 1552.

NPS Medicinewise small group case based meeting for pharmacists 

NPS MedicineWise

NPS Medicinewise Clinical Services Specialist, Anna McIntyre, invites pharmacists to attend small group based meetings on the following topics. These sessions attract 2 group 2 CPD credits.

Managing depression: re-examining the options

Date: Tuesday 18 October
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Conference Room, Wimmera Health Care Group, 83 Baillie St, Horsham (next to main Hospital entrance)
RSVP: Thursday 13 October

Type 2 diabetes: what's next after metformin?

Date: Wednesday 30 November
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Conference Room, Wimmera Health Care Group, 83 Baillie St, Horsham (next to main Hospital entrance)
RSVP: Wednesday 23 November

If you would like to attend you can register by emailing Kerri Abbott or P: 5381 1756.