Welcome to Westvic News

General

First Nurse Practitioner Pharmacotherapy Scholarship awarded
Westvic News five-minute reader’s survey
Real-time prescription monitoring initiative
Chief Health Officer Alert: Measles
Immunisation news
Changes to after hours GP helpline
Practice Manager of the Year Award
National Allied Health Conference: abstract submissions close Friday
Supporting people living with borderline personality disorder webinar
Multi-morbidity and skin cancer webinars
Neck pain webinar
Implanon NXT Training
Research methods workshops

Grampians Wimmera

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease workshop

Great South Coast

Naloxone pilot program information sessions

Ballarat Goldfields

Have your say to help improve Western Victoria PHN service
Ballarat Hospice providing local GP support and hosting free palliative care breakfast
New regional medical appointment

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

General

First Nurse Practitioner Pharmacotherapy Scholarship awarded

IMG 5793 cropped and resized

Western Victoria Primary Health Network has awarded Alison Ford, a registered nurse at Barwon Health's Corio Community Health Centre in Geelong, a Nurse Practitioner Pharmacotherapy Scholarship to advance her education and contribute to the Barwon South West region's opioid pharmacotherapy service system. Alison is the first recipient of the scholarship, funded by Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services.

Alison will complete a Master of Nursing Practice, at Deakin University Geelong, with $30,000 funding support as part of the scholarship. After eight years practicing as a specialist registered nurse in diabetes education, where she says she's 'learning from people and situations on the ground’, Alison says she is ready to continue higher studies.

"I am looking forward to applying my knowledge to help achieve better outcomes for people with diabetes and opioid dependence. I want to become part of a collaborative health care team that's delivering services in the community to ease the burden of time pressures on GP’s and in effect provide assistance and support to people wishing to decrease their dependence on opioids," she says.

Opioid dependence contributes to a significant burden of disease within the Victorian community. The emerging issue of pharmaceutical opioid dependence has resulted in a rapid increase in opioid pharmacotherapy service demand which the current workforce is finding difficult to absorb.

The Nurse Practitioner Scholarship program aims to attract motivated nurse practitioners to the field and support and develop their capacity through the provision of scholarship funding. In addition to supporting the region's opioid pharmacotherapy service system, nurse practitioners will contribute to the alcohol and other drug services and the general practice system through the provision of diagnostic and prescribing expertise while operating from a holistic nursing framework.

Examples of service system enhancements that nurse practitioners offer include:

• Assessment, consultation and education
• Enhanced withdrawal and management capacity
• Pharmacotherapy prescribing.

"The more I work in preventative primary health care, the more I realise the positive impacts it has for individuals and for the health care system at large," Alison says.

Another scholarship will be awarded later this year. For further information contact Aneill Kamath.

Westvic News five-minute reader’s survey

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) has published Westvic News, a weekly e-newsletter for primary health professionals, in its current form for the past 18 months.

The purpose of the newsletter is to keep you informed of:

  • Western Victoria PHN’s work and engagement with stakeholders
  • Digital health improvements
  • Education events occurring in your region
  • Changes to hospital, specialist and allied health services
  • Government health warnings
  • Changes in government policy and process.

In order to make sure our newsletter is meeting your needs, we now seek your feedback on its content, format and frequency.

Please take five-minutes to answer these few questions by Tuesday 11 April. You are also welcome to provide feedback by email.

We will publish the results by the end of May.

Thanks for your time and input.

Start survey

VictorianGovernment logo

Real-time prescription monitoring initiative

The Victoria State Government is working to reduce the number of Victorians dying from prescription medicine overdose.

The Government has announced in the 2016-17 State Budget a commitment to implement real-time prescription monitoring in Victoria. This initiative will involve the roll out of a software system to over 1,900 medical clinics, 1,300 pharmacies and 200 hospitals throughout Victoria, as well as training and support packages for doctors and pharmacists.

Read more

Chief Health Officer Alert: Measles

There is a confirmed case of measles in a person who was infectious whilst at a number of places across Melbourne including Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Geelong and Melbourne CBD between Friday 3 March and Friday 10 March. The case has travelled internationally during the time the infection was probably acquired.

Be alert for measles in patients presenting with a fever at rash onset, particularly if they attended the above places. Isolate suspected cases to minimise the risk of transmission within your department/practice.

Notify the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Section at the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 of suspected cases immediately. Take blood for measles serology in all suspected cases. Discuss whether to take nose and throat swabs for PCR with the Department if your suspicion for measles is high. Approval is required prior to PCR testing at the reference laboratory. PCR testing for measles does not attract a Medicare rebate. 

Read more

Immunisation news

DHHS

To keep up to date with the latest immunisation news and recommendations go to the Victoria State Government's immunisation newsletter to find out about:

  • 2017 seasonal influenza vaccine program
  • Immunisation for special risk groups
  • Immunocompromise: a Zostavax™ contraindication
  • Meningococcal W vaccine: free school-based program
  • Vaccine cold chain breach management
  • Immunisation calculator planning catch-up vaccines.

Changes to after hours GP helpline

Health Direct Australia

Callers to the after hours GP helpline can now elect to have care advice summaries sent to them, encounter summaries shared with their usual GP practice and event summaries uploaded to their My Health Record. These service enhancements will support better continuity of care between services.

What’s changing?

When a caller uses the after hours GP helpline, they will be offered the option to have a care advice summary sent to them via SMS or email at the end of the call. The SMS or email will not contain identifying information. The patient will also be offered the option to have an encounter summary sent securely to their usual GP practice, and/or an event summary uploaded to their My Health Record.

Why have these changes occurred?

These enhancements were designed to enable the after hours GP helpline to further support continuity of care. They came about after extensive consultation with key stakeholders as part of a service redesign process.

Read more

Practice Manager of the Year Award

AAPM

Applications and nominations are now open for the Australian Association of Practice Management's State Practice Manager of the Year Award. The awards recognise special contributions to medical, specialist, dental or allied health practice management.

Each state selects its own State Practice Manager of the Year, who receives flights, accommodation and registration for the 2017 National Conference in Perth. The recipient of each State Practice Manager of the Year Award is then a finalist for the National Practice Manager of the Year Award.

Visit for full eligibility details and to apply or nominate a peer. Applications close Wednesday 31 May 2017.

National Allied Health Conference: abstract submissions close Friday

12th National Allied Health Conference

Primary health practitioners are invited to submit an abstract or poster proposal for presentation at the 12th National Allied Health Conference, by Friday 17 March 2017. The 12th Annual National Allied Health Conference will be presented in Sydney, Saturday 26 - Tuesday 29 August 2017.

Proposals should address the conference theme of 'Stronger Together: responsive services, reliable systems and resilient workforce,' and be of interest to allied health professionals working in all sectors. The scientific committee is pleased to offer mentoring in abstract preparation for colleagues who would like additional support.

More information

Supporting people living with borderline personality disorder webinar

MHPN

An interdisciplinary panel, hosted by the Mental Health Professionals Network, will discuss how collaborative care could help support people with borderline personality disorders, as part of a free webinar next week. The panel will present a case study of a 35-year-old mother of two, Emma, who experiences strong anxiety and panic attacks and has a history of self-harm. 

The webinar has been planned to assist participants: 

  • Design a safe and supportive environment for people seeking care for borderline personality disorder
  • Implement key principles of providing an integrated approach in the identification, assessment, treatment and support of people with borderline personality disorder
  • Identify challenges, tips and strategies in providing a collaborative response to assist people who have borderline personality disorder who are experiencing increased risk of self-harm or suicide.

Date: Tuesday 21 March 2017
Time: 7.15pm

Register online

Multi-morbidity and skin cancer webinars 

ACRRM

Zen and the Art of Managing Multimorbidity - Top Tips that Make it Easier to Deliver High Quality Care

Join rural GPs and general practice nurses as they share tips and resources to make it easier to deliver high quality care to patients with long-term conditions at a new Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine webinar this month.

Presented by Dr Tony Lembke, Dr Dale Ford and Dr Ewen McPhee, and general practice nurse Ros Rolleston, the free webinar will focus on the systematic management of multimorbidity in rural and remote settings, using new models of care, supported by digital health and continuous quality improvement methodology.

Date: Tuesday 21 March 2017
Time: 8pm - 9pm

Register

Skin cancer: difficult sites, difficult plights

Dermatologists Dr Jim Muir and Dr Rachael Foster and plastic surgeon Dr Dan Kennedy will present three new, case-based skin webinars, commencing next week for primary care professsionals. The first free webinar, 'Skin cancer: difficult sites, difficult plights' will cover: 

  • Identification of sites where nerves are at risk in skin cancer surgery
  • Identification of patients and sites where a skin graft is unlikely to take
  • Recognising high risk lesions
  • Knowing when a biopsy will simplify your management
  • Managing a non-healing wound

Visit the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine website for confirmation of dates and times for subsequent skin webinars.

Date: Wednesday 22 March 2017
Time: 8pm - 9pm

Register online or for more information, email Jane Connolly, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, or telephone (07) 3105 8200.

Neck pain webinar

MOVE logo

Musculoskeletal specialist and physiotherapist Emeritus Professor Gwendolen Jull will present MOVE's second webinar in its 2017 ‘Musculoskeletal Health’ webinar series later this month. 'Exercise for Mechanical Neck Pain: Are we thinking about decreasing recurrence?' will discuss the concept that Neck pain can be associated with significant personal, social and economic burdens.

MOVE suggests there is significant demonstrating that impaired neuromuscular and sensorimotor control is associated with neck pain. Emeritus Professor Gwendolen Jull will discuss the idea that relief of neck pain does not automatically restore this control and it will be proposed that rehabilitation of these deficits is an essential component in attempts to decrease recurrent episodes of neck pain.

Date: Tuesday 28 March 2017
Time: 7pm - 8pm
Venue: Online

Register

Implanon NXT Training

MSD

Medical practitioners needing to insert and remove Impanon NXT, are encouraged to complete an MSD training module. Medical indemnity requires that health care providers have completed training prior to performing the procedure on patients.

The training is available to doctors, registrars, specialists, registered nurses, midwives and nurse practitioners.

Date: Thursday 30 March 2017
Time: 6.30pm - 8pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 131 Myers Street, Geelong

Date: Tuesday 13 June 2017
Time: 6.30pm - 8pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 101 Drummond Street, Ballarat

Date: Tuesday 9 May 2017
Time: 6.30pm - 8pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Bayside City Plaza, 24-36 Fairy Street, Warrnambool

RSVP by email or telephone 1800 230 330.

Research methods workshops

Western Alliance

Western Alliance will present workshops in May and July, to help build confidence in applying a range of research methods suitable for the health care context. Understanding the application, benefits and limitations of different research methods enables health care professionals to collect, analyse and report results that inform the provision of health care.

In the first half of each workshop, participants will be guided in the use of different qualitative and quantitative methods to collect and analyse data. In the second half, participants will be invited to share their experiences to explore practical implications for health services research.

Clinical and non-clinical health care professionals are welcome to attend. It is recommended that you have a basic understanding of the research process. Having completed an introductory research unit as an undergraduate or postgraduate student or having attended Western Alliance’s Introduction to Research workshops should be sufficient background.

Date: Monday 15 May 2017
Time: 5.30pm - 8pm
Venue: Western District Health Service (Learning Development Centre), 20 Foster Street, Hamilton

Date: Tuesday 16 May 2017
Time: 9.30am - 4pm
Venue: South West Healthcare, 33 Ryot Street, Warrnambool

Date: Tuesday 18 July 2017
Time: 9.30am - 4pm
Venue: Colac Area Health (Helen McPherson Conference Room 1), 2-28 Connor Street, Colac

Register

Grampians Wimmera

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease workshop

Manse Medical

Respiratory and sleep physician Dr Camelia Borta, will examine future current management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as part of a Boehringer Ingelheim workshop later this month. The workshop will provide guidance on the appropriate use of non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions to provide optimal outcomes for patients.

The workshop will also highlight the importance of appropriate diagnosis and initiation of treatment for COPD and the importance of early adoption of non-pharmacologic treatments for COPD.

Date: Thursday 30 March 2017
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Venue: Pyrenees House, East Grampians Health Services, 5 Girdlestone Street, Ararat

To register please email Geoffrey Ly or Sarah Strong.

Great South Coast

Naloxone pilot program information sessions

Portland District Health

Portland District Health will host three information sessions addressing a local Naloxone pilot program. The forums will be hosted by the Pennington Institute's Crios O'Mahony. 

Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.

Date: Tuesday 28 March 2017
Time: 12pm - 1.30pm (Session 1) 2.30pm - 4pm (Session 2) 5.30pm - 7pm (Session 3)
Venue: Portland District Health, 141-151 Bentinck Street, Portland

RSVP by email or telephone 5521 0627.

Ballarat Goldfields

Have your say to help improve Western Victoria PHN service

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria Primary Health Network's Ballarat Goldfields Clinical Council wants to hear your opinion. We are seeking feedback on how the Western Victoria Primary Health Network is supporting and enhancing the work you undertake in the region.

Your responses to the five minute survey will help inform our stakeholder engagement and allow us to make further improvements. 

Start survey

Ballarat Hospice providing local GP support and hosting free palliative care breakfast 

Ballarat Hospice Care

Ballarat Hospice Care works closely with local health professionals, providing palliative care support, pain relief, medical equipment and supplies. To assist GPs, Ballarat Hospice also offers after hours coverage, especially for people living outside Ballarat and major townships in the region.

Read more about the services Ballarat Hospice Care offers, to assist local health professionals. 

Palliative care breakfast

Dr David Brumley will join members of Ballarat's palliative care community tomorrow for breakfast and a discussion led by Dr David Deutscher and Jo Gell about the Grampians Integrated Cancer Service's Optimal Care Path project.

Date: Thursday 16 March 2017
Time: 8am - 9am
Venue: City Oval Hotel, Corner Mair / Pleasant Streets Ballarat

RSVP by email or telephone 5333 1118.

New regional medical appointment

Dr Chris Corcos has joined Menssana Mindbody Medicine as a consultant psychiatrist. Dr Corcos has worked as a consultant general adult psychiatrist for more than 16 years in public, private, forensic, inpatient and community settings.

Dr Corcos has special interest in holistic medicine, nutrition, personality disorder and the psychotherapies. He will practice from Menssana Mindbody Medicine, 216 Humffray Street North, Ballarat East from Thursday 23 March 2016. Referrals and bookings are required, by email or by telephoning 5332 1355.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Syphilis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Nose (foreign body)
  • Multidisciplinary lung tumor clinic.

Recently updated:

  • General Medicine Direct Admission
  • Community acquired pneumonia (cap) in adults.

Visit HealthPathways for up-to-date, locally agreed guidelines.