General

Western Victoria HPV vaccination rates above national average
Take the Optimal Care Pathways survey
Last chance to have your say on WestVic News!
From the Opioid Management Team: Real-time prescription monitoring
Nominate for the inaugural Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Award
Enhanced telehealth services available
Primary Health Care Awards: nominations open
Odyssey House 'Responding to Ice' Training
Free cancer screening and prevention resources
New Australia and New Zealand Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines
Foundations of General Practice Nursing Workshop
Applied Gender Analysis Workshop
Cardiovascular disease rehabilitation and secondary prevention seminar

Grampians Wimmera

New online directory for regional cancer services
Pain Management in Primary Care Masterclass
Nutrition Support Program
New regional medical appointment

Ballarat Goldfields

Community Grand Rounds Presentation - Care of the Dying
Use as Prescribed Roadshow
New play examines what happens when healthcare goes wrong
Nutrition Support Program

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways Update
New regional medical appointments
Prenatal genetic screening - interdisciplinary masterclass

General

Western Victoria HPV vaccination rates above national average

Western Victoria PHN logo

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, vaccination rates in the Western Victoria PHN region for the Human Papillomavirus are above the national averages for both boys and girls.

In Western Victoria, girls are above the national average of 78.6% at 84.4% and the highest in the State of Victoria. For adolescent boys, the Western Victorian region is above the national average of 67.3%, and the second highest in the State at 74.7%, just behind Gippsland at 77.8%.

In comparing the Geelong and Ballarat areas, Geelong residents are being immunised at a higher rate for girls (83.7% vs 79.2% respectively) and for boys (74.7% vs 67.9% respectively) as captured by the Statistical Areas Level 4 data.

Data provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows an increase nationally from 72% (2013 - 2014) to 74% (2014 - 15) and 79% in the latest data (2014 - 15) for girls 15 years and above.

The National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program has been in place for adolescent girls since 2007 and extended to boys in 2013.

Take the Optimal Care Pathways survey

You are invited to complete a brief survey regarding your understanding of the (OCPs) for cancer. This survey is part of an evaluation of the implementation of the lung and colorectal OCPs into primary health; a project taking place in each of the six Victorian Primary Health Networks.

This survey is anonymous and multiple members of staff from any one GP practice are able to complete the survey. Data from this survey will be combined across the Primary Health Network and the State to provide a snapshot of general practice understanding before and after project work is undertaken. Your participation will help to inform future strategies for implementing the suite of Optimal Care Pathways.

This is a five minute survey and we would appreciate participation - deadline for submissions is Monday 10 April 2017. If you have any questions please email Jacqui White (Western Victoria Primary Health Network primary care consultant,) or telephone 5304 5605.

Start survey

Last chance to have your say on Westvic News!

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 complete the survey by Tuesday 11 April 2017. 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

From the Opioid Management Team: Real-time prescription monitoring

Western Victoria PHN logo

In the 2016-17 State budget the Victorian government committed to implement real-time prescription monitoring in Victoria. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) states the 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.

DHHS is planning a phased role out of the system in 2018. When more details are available Western Victoria PHN will pass this on as soon as it comes to hand.

The following is adapted from the Department of Health and Human Services website and fact sheets

What is a real-time prescription monitoring system?

A real-time prescription monitoring system is computer software that allows pharmacy dispensing records for certain medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database which can then be accessed by doctors and pharmacists during a consultation. Real-time prescription monitoring will provide doctors and pharmacists with a clinical tool to help make safer clinical decisions, stop patients who are prescription shopping, and facilitate the early identification and referral of patients who are developing signs of addiction to counselling and more appropriate treatment.

What medicines will be included in the system?

Prescription medicines that are at high risk of misuse will be monitored by the system. It will include all Schedule 8 medicines, such as oxycodone, alprazolam and methylphenidate, because they carry the greatest risk of misuse.

Why is the real-time prescription monitoring system being implemented?

In 2015, there were 330 Victorian drug overdose deaths involving pharmaceutical medicines, higher than the number of overdose deaths involving illicit drugs (217), and higher than the road toll (252). In the latest Ambulance Victoria data (2013-14), there were more ambulance callouts for misuse of pharmaceutical medicines (9,722) than for illicit drugs (7,015). Real-time prescription monitoring will provide doctors and pharmacists with a clinical tool to help make safer clinical decisions, stop patients who are prescription shopping, and facilitate the early identification and referral of patients who are developing signs of addiction to counselling and more appropriate treatment.

How will information be entered into the real-time prescription monitoring system?

When a prescription is dispensed at the pharmacy, the dispensing record created by the pharmacy’s dispensing software will be automatically transferred to the real-time prescription monitoring system. No additional data entry will be necessary to record a dispensing event. The record is created when the prescription is dispensed at the pharmacy, not when the prescription is written by the doctor. This will ensure that all prescriptions (handwritten and computer-generated) are included in the system.

What training will be provided to clinicians?

To ensure successful uptake of the system, a key component of this initiative is the provision of training and development programs for doctors and pharmacists not only on how to use the system, but also on safer prescribing and supply of high risk medicines. DHHS will soon release tenders for training organsiations to provide this training for the phased role out of the RTPM.

Will it be mandatory to check a patient’s history before prescribing or dispensing a medicine?

When real-time prescription monitoring is fully operational, regulations will be implemented to make it mandatory for doctors and pharmacists to check a patient’s history when considering the prescribing or dispensing of a medicine monitored by the system.

How will this initiative impact current arrangements for prescribing and dispensing for these medicines in Victoria?

As part of the implementation of real-time prescription monitoring, the arrangements for treatment permits for prescribing Schedule 8 medicines will be comprehensively reviewed and streamlined. Consultation will take place to determine how best to streamline the Schedule 8 permit system.

A DHHS taskforce has been established to oversee this priority project. The Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Taskforce can be contacted on 9096 5633 or by email.

PHN Online forum

Please join the Western Victoria Primary Health Network online forum to discuss with your peers and colleagues your thoughts on the real time prescription monitoring system or any other issues you have with prescribing opioids, pain and dependence.

For more information contact: 

Geelong Otway: Pene Wood and Dr Mark Davies by telephone 5222 0800

Great South Coast: Amy Collins and Aneill Kamath by telephone 5564 5888

Ballarat Goldfields / Grampians Wimmera: Jacqueline Keevins by telephone 5338 0511

Read more 

Nominate for the inaugural Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Award

The Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence 2016 - 2017 Inaugural Award recognises nurses practicing in the Western Victoria region, who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the health and well-being of their patients, by undertaking a quality improvement activity within their practice.

Primary care nurses currently working in the Western Victoria PHN region are invited to submit their application for achievements in a quality improvement initiative between 1 September 2016 and 30 June 2017, in one of the following priority areas:

  • Advanced Care Planning
  • After hours
  • Aged care
  • Cancer
  • Chronic disease
  • Closing the Gap - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Digital health
  • Hepatitis C
  • Immunisation
  • Mental health (youth and general)
  • Palliative care
  • Population health
  • Systems improvement.

Each finalist receives a trophy in recognition of their achievement and will receive $500 to assist with professional development expenses. The winner will receive $1,000 to support continuing professional development expenses, such as course/ conference registration fees, books and travel/ accommodation. Employers of the winners will receive a certificate of acknowledgement for their support of their employee and the implementation of their respective quality improvement activity.

Nominations close Friday 30 June 2017. Finalists will be announced on Friday 28 July 2017 and the winner announced during Community and Primary Health Care Nursing Week in September 2017.

Read more

Enhanced telehealth services available

VictorianGovernment logo

More regional and rural Victorians will be able to attend specialist doctor appointments in the comfort of their home or local health service as part of the State government's $5 million Telehealth Specialist Clinic initiative. The projects are designed to better connect patients to their medical specialists via the internet by setting up new or expanding existing telehealth services.

By using telehealth, top specialists from major metropolitan and regional hospitals can deliver face-to-face telehealth video consultations to rural patients securely online. 

Read more

Primary Health Care Awards: nominations open

Primary Health Care Awards

Primary health carers are encouraged to nominate for the 2017 HESTA Health Care Awards. The awards, presented in association with the 12th National Allied Health Conference, celebrate the dedication and professionalism of people working in all aspects of primary health care, including health educators, medical practice managers, rehabilitation professionals, physiotherapists, osteopaths, dentists, pharmacists, GPs and other related therapists.

Award categories include: 

  • Young Leader - highlights the selfless dedication of a young leader who displays exceptional mentoring qualities
  • Individual Distinction - recognises primary health care workers who have displayed a vision for the future, have delivered positive outcomes and have gone beyond the expectations of their role
  • Team Excellence - acknowledges the achievements of primary health care teams that have demonstrated innovation by way of a collaborative and inclusive approach to their work.

Online nominations close Friday 2 June 2017.

Odyssey House 'Responding to Ice' Training

Odyssey House

In response to the ongoing use of crystal methamphetamine in the community, Odyssey House Victoria has developed an online course for health professionals responding to the needs of clients reporting Ice use. The online course is intended for workers in alcohol and other drugs, health and allied services, dealing with clients affected by Ice, including staff at youth drop-in centres, crisis centres, community health centres, police, harm reduction services and mental health services.

Register to attend and for more information email or telephone 9420 7644.

Free cancer screening and prevention resources

Train IT Medical

New resources to assist primary health practices measure cancer screening rates and identify high-risk patients who may not have been screened are now available. The two free resources, Bp Premier and MedicalDirector allow for the creation of customised queries that are stored on your computer for regular use, and extract cervical screening data from the database, respectively.

Read more

New Australia and New Zealand Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines

Lung Foundation

Lung Foundation Australia, in collaboration with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand has developed and launched the first Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand. The Guidelines provide health professionals with evidence-based recommendations for the practice of pulmonary rehabilitation specific to Australian and New Zealand healthcare contexts. The Guidelines will assist in delivering practice to improve quality of life and reduce hospital admissions for patients with chronic lung disease.

Written by a team of experienced cardiorespiratory physiotherapists led by Professor Jennifer Alison, the Guidelines were first published in Respirology, the official journal of the Asia Pacific Society of Respirology (March 2017).

Read more

Foundations of General Practice Nursing Workshop

APNA

Designed and facilitated by nurse leaders and educators, the Foundations of General Practice Nursing Workshop aims to provide an orientation to the core knowledge and key skills required by a nurse transitioning into general practice, as these can differ greatly from other areas of nursing practice.

The 2017 Foundations series of workshops will focus on providing an understanding of roles, responsibilities and skills necessary for nurses working in the primary health/general practice environment.

Guided by experienced nurse educators, topics will include:

  • Primary health care and the Australian healthcare system
  • Clinical assessment
  • Care and triage
  • Chronic disease management
  • Immunisation
  • Wound management
  • Health promotion and preventative care
  • Information management and e-health
  • Quality and safety
  • Infection control and prevention
  • Professional practice and professional development.

Date: Friday 7 April April - Saturday 8 April 2017
Time: TBC
Venue: Cliftons, 440 Collins Street, Melbourne

Register online

Applied Gender Analysis Workshop

Womens Health Victoria

Learn the practical skills needed to design, deliver and evaluate gender sensitive programs and services at Women's Health Victoria's new workshop in May. The activity-based workshop is an introductory, step-by-step guide to performing a gender analysis in practice. 

The workshop will cover: 

  • Understanding gender concepts and their application
  • Tools and frameworks for conducting a gender analysis
  • How to use real world data to support your work including an introduction to the Women’s Health Atlas
  • Putting gender sensitive program planning into action.

This workshop is designed for professionals working in a range of areas including health promotion, social policy, community development, health and support services, women’s health, community health and local and state government who are committed to delivering gender equitable and gender sensitive programs and services. These skills are particularly relevant for working with Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans, Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy, or working to prevent violence against women.

Date: Thursday 4 May 2017
Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: Women's Health Victoria, Level 8, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Register online.

Cardiovascular disease rehabilitation and secondary prevention seminar

Centre for Heart Health

A five-day seminar commencing in May will address theoretical and practical aspects of cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programs. The seminar will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of expert facilitators including a cardiologist, nurse, physiotherapist, psychologist, dietitian and social worker.

Topics will include:

  • Cardiac disease and risk factors
  • Cardiac investigations and procedures
  • Planning and conducting exercise sessions
  • Practical aspects of diet
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Cardiac medications
  • Behaviour change
  • Principles of adult learning
  • Organisational issues.

Date: Monday 29 May 2017 - Friday 2 June 2017
Time: 8.30am - 4pm
Venue: University of Melbourne Graduate House, 220 Leicester Street, Carlton

Register online

Grampians Wimmera

New online directory for regional cancer services

GICS

The Grampians Integrated Cancer Service (GICS) website now features a customised online search tool that draws live data from the National Health Service Directory (NHSD), providing easy access to cancer related support services and service providers across the region.

Health professionals and the general public can now access essential service and support information via the GICS online search tool. Consumers can utilise the directory for information such as location, opening hours, billing and parking options for general practice, pharmacy, hospital, allied health, specialist and community services. 

Read more

Pain Management in Primary Care Masterclass

Western Victoria PHN logoOrtiCare

Join panelists  Dr Malcolm Hogg (pain management specialist), Dr Paul Grinzi (general practitioner), Dr Mike McDonough (addiction medicine specialist) and Cobie McQueen (pharmacist) at a pain management masterclass in Horsham this month.

The forum will discuss:

  • Best practice treatment of chronic pain in primary care
  • Case study - a GP perspective on chronic pain and possible opioid dependence
  • Pharmacotherapy - when opioids become the problem
  • ORT in the pharmacy.

Date: Wednesday 26 April 2017
Time: 7pm - 9.30pm
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Road, Haven

Register online by Wednesday 19 April 2017 and for more information email Belinda Browne.

Nutrition Support Program

Benchmarque Group

The Nutrition Support Program is a nationally accredited program and is fully funded by the federal Department of Health under the Ear and Hearing Health Project. The program is designed to provide skills and knowledge for a range of health professionals and others working within Indigenous Health to provide detailed information and advice in relation to nutrition and dietary management.

The program also seeks to assist participants to organise appropriate resources for dietary education and assist with the provision of basic and scripted dietary and nutrition information for the client.

Date: Friday 2 June 2017
Time: 8.45am - 4.30pm
Venue: Diamond Room, Stawell Health and Community Centre, 8-22 Patrick Street, Stawell

Read more

New regional medical appointment

Australian Skin Face Body

Grampians Wimmera residents have enhanced access to comprehensive skin checks following the appointment of visiting skin cancer specialist Dr David Lester at Australian Skin Face and Body. Dr Lester has broad experience in skin cancer diagnosis and management.

No referral is necessary to visit Dr Lester. Patients can telephone Horsham's Australian Skin Face Body clinic on 5382 0897 to make an appointment. 

Read more

Ballarat Goldfields

Community Grand Rounds Presentation - Care of the Dying

BHS

Chaired by palliative care physician Dr Greg Mewett, 'Care of the Dying' will share stories of a community patient carer, people on the ground in hospice and palliative care physicians and the houses of health care in Ballarat.

The special event seeks to provide insight into the new upcoming legislative framework that will shape the future direction of palliative care in our region.

Date: Wednesday 19 April 2017
Time: 12pm - 1.30pm
Venue: Australian Catholic University, Sisters of Mercy Lecture Theatre, 1200 Mair Street, Lake Wendouree

Register online

Use as Prescribed Roadshow

Scriptwise OrtiCare

With increased rates of deaths in Victoria contributable to prescription medications, the new 'Use as Prescribed' forum, seeks to inform participants about the safe and appropriate use of prescription medications, focusing on medications most susceptible to misuse.

This event is open to all members of the community - consumers, primary care providers and pain, addiction and mental health specialists are encouraged to attend.

Date: Wednesday 19 April 2017
Time: 6.30pm - 8pm
Venue: Ballarat Technology Park Central, 106-110 Lydiard Street, Ballarat

Register online

New play examines what happens when healthcare goes wrong

BHS Institute-Family-large-image

'Hear Me,' a new play by Alan Hopgood in collaboration with the Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care and the Centre for Health at UTS Sydney, focusses on the importance of patient and family involvement and empowerment as partners in their own healthcare. The play examines issues that arise when things go wrong in healthcare and was produced to help bring arts and health together to improve communication, patient safety and quality of care across the health sector.

Following the performance, audience members will be invited to participate in a facilitated discussion led by Dr Cath Crock AM, examining the potential for improving the quality and safety of healthcare through communication, partnership between patients, families and health professionals and staff culture.

'Hear Me' also offers a comprehensive evaluation, conducted by an experienced health program evaluator, to determine the effects of the play on attendees, identify key messages relevant to local health services and to explore actions or changes within healthcare settings to address issues identified in the play.

Date: Thursday 27 April 2017
Time: 3.30pm - 5pm
Venue: Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, 1220 Howitt Street, Wendouree 

To book, email or telephone 5320 4038 (quote reference PO602H1709) or for more information read this document.

Nutrition Support Program

Benchmarque Group

The Nutrition Support Program is a nationally accredited program and is fully funded by the federal Department of Health under the Ear and Hearing Health Project. The program is designed to provide skills and knowledge for a range of health professionals and others working within Indigenous Health to provide detailed information and advice in relation to nutrition and dietary management.

The program also seeks to assist participants to organise appropriate resources for dietary education and assist with the provision of basic and scripted dietary and nutrition information for the client.

Date: Friday 28 April 2017
Time: 8.45am - 4.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 101 Drummond Street North, Ballarat

Read more

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Sexual health check
  • Chlamydia.

Recently updated:

  • Preventative health
  • Medications for depression and anxiety (pregnancy and breastfeeding)

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

New regional medical appointments 

geelong private hospital

Haematologist, Dr Sumi Ratnasingam, and Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr Tony Ma have recently commenced consultations with Geelong Private Hospital.

Dr Ratnasingam has a broad range of experience in managing malignant and non-malignant hematological disorders.  Dr Ma has a special interest and experience in endoscopic gynecology, advance laparoscopic surgery and minimally invasive surgery for severe endometriosis, pelvic masses, hysterectomy and myomectomy.  Read their profiles for further information.

Prenatal genetic screening - interdisciplinary masterclass

Barwon Health

The next installment in Barwon Health's 2017 interdisciplinary masterclass series, 'Prenatal Genetics Screening' will focus on understanding the new paradigm of screening options. Hear from Dr Mark Pertile (Deputy Director – VCGS Clinical Laboratories, Head of Reproductive Genetics and NIPT) and Trent Burgess (Senior Scientist and Business Development – VCGS Clinical Laboratories) at this free event. 

Register by email or telephone 4215 2135 before Friday 14 April 2017.

Date: Friday 21 April 2017
Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Venue: Deakin Clinical School Lecture Theatre, Deakin University, Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds