DArcy Photography Leanne Beagley 070 cropped and resized2

Taking a minute to talk

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day 2017, the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day since it was established in 2003. This Day is an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and is endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

While 14 September is RUOK Day, Australia’s national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that we’ve all got what it takes to ask, “are you ok?” and support those struggling with life.

In our busy lives, whether at work or home, it is very important to take that moment and connect with colleagues and family; to let them know you are there to share and listen. Support and building resilience for individuals at risk is an ongoing focus for health care providers, governments and support groups worldwide.

According to the World Suicide Prevention Day website 3,027 Australians took their own life in 2015: “Recent research tells us that hundreds of Australians are impacted by each suicide death. Research also tells us that some 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people think of suicide.”

Western Victoria PHN is currently partnering with the Victorian Government in a Suicide Prevention Framework with the aim to halving Victoria’s suicide rate by 2025. Part of this initiative is a mapping forum event to be held in Ballarat on 19 September, to build a collective understanding of suicide prevention in that city.

This forum is open to people who work in a wide range of sectors in Ballarat such as: community, health, education, welfare, disability, police, emergency services, government and business sectors, as well as people with a lived experience of suicide, suicidality or bereavement from suicide. If you would like to participate please register by clicking on this link.

In the meantime, I will be taking a minute, or two or three, over the next few weeks to connect with my colleagues, family and friends and make sure they are OK. I urge you all to do the same.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
Beyondblue: 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 (24 Hrs)
Sane Helpline: 1800 187 263

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer

General

Opioid Management courses across the region
Hepatitis B vaccination shortage
Upload your PBS written authority documents using HPOS
Cervical Screening Online Training Modules
Epidemic thunderstorm asthma campaign toolkit
Understanding performance and image enhancing drug injecting to improve health and minimise hepatitis C transmission
Have your say: Consultation open on Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Clinical Care Standard
Training course in minor surgery for general practitioners
New website gives quitters the best chance of success
Prostate Cancer Q&A webinar
Implanon NXT training: Ballarat and Geelong

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Ballarat Suicide Prevention Trial Mapping Forum
Expressions of Interest: Obesity Interest Group

Geelong Otway 

HealthPathways update
Changes to home care services information session

Wimmera Grampians 

HealthPathways update
Western Victoria PHN join with community groups to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal women in the Wimmera

General 

Opioid Management courses across the region

Prescribed Drugs of Dependence Program: Ballarat

PHN Western Victoria Logo tiny  Orticare.160359

The Coroner’s Court of Victoria revealed that 80% of Victorian overdose deaths between 2009 - 2015 involved pharmaceutical drugs, making them bigger killers than illicit drugs or road accidents. Opioids and benzodiazepines were the most commonly implicated medications. Due to the higher rates of prescribing and limited access to pain and addiction services, patients living in regional and rural areas were particularly vulnerable.

Western Victoria PHN in partnership with Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network will be addressing these concerns by offering support and resources to practices in the Ballarat Goldfields region to promote safer prescribing of drugs of dependence in general practice.

In addition, Western Victoria PHN is hosting a FREE CPD event for GPs and registrars with speaker Dr Paul Grinzi (Medical Educator, RACGP Victorian Faculty Drug and Alcohol Committee chair).  

The Active Learning Module, ‘Prescribed Drugs of Dependence and your Practice’ will include three evening sessions:

  • Thursday 14 September
  • Thursday 19 October
  • Thursday 9 November.

Places are limited.  Registrations close Monday 11 September.  

This activity has been approved by the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017-19 triennium 40 Category 1 points (Activity: 106170). 

To find out more and to register, please see this flyer

For further information, please email Debra Harris or call her on 03 5304 5603.

Reducing Practice Risk with Quality Prescribing workshop: Geelong

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Open to practice nurses and practice managers, this workshop is designed to upskill practice staff in the management of opioid prescribing within their practice, reducing clinical risk and improving practice income while incorporating quality improvement activities.

Using their clinical software participants will be able to identify areas of risk within the practice and employ operational procedures and tools to reduce the risk to both the practice and their patients.

Date: Wednesday 20 September
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers St, Geelong

To find out more or to register, please see this flyer.  For further information, please contact Opioid Management Clinical Advisor, Pene Wood.

Need further help?

HealthPathways have been developed to assist health professionals with opioid management including:

  • Opioid Dependence
  • Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT)
  • Prescribing Naloxone
  • Analgesia in Adults with Acute Pain
  • Chronic Pain
  • Medications in Chronic Pain.

Please join our online forum to discuss with your peers and colleagues your issues with patients displaying drug seeking behaviour or any other issues you have with prescribing opioids, pain and dependence.

For more information or assistance contact:

Geelong Otway region: Pene Wood, 03 5222 0800
Great South Coast region: Amy Collins, 03 5564 5888
Ballarat, Ararat, Horsham regions: Jacqueline Keevins, 03 5338 0511.

Hepatitis B vaccination shortage

Department of Health

There is currently a shortage of the adult formulation of hepatitis B vaccines Engerix-B® (GlaxoSmithKline) and H-B-Vax-II® (Seqirus) in Australia. The shortage has impacted on private market supply.

Supply for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) has not been affected at this time, so the adult formulation of hepatitis B vaccines as part of the NIP expansion measure should continue as scheduled for all eligible individuals.

The substitute options that ATAGI recommends for adult hepatitis B vaccination in the event of unavailability of Engerix-B® or H-B-Vax-II® are as follows:

  • Concurrent administration of two doses of the paediatric formulation of a hepatitis B vaccine (0.5mL per dose) – the doses can be administered at adjacent sites (≥2.5cm apart) on the same arm or separately with one dose in each arm; OR
  • Administration of an adult dose of the combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine (Twinrix® (GlaxoSmithKline)) – there may be further dose requirements of hepatitis A-containing vaccine if protection against hepatitis A is also desired.

The original vaccination schedule should be maintained. While using the same brand product is preferable, use of the alternative brand product to complete the vaccination course is acceptable.

To find out more, please go to the Department of Health website.

Upload your PBS written authority documents using HPOS

Department of Human Services

Save postage time and upload your written authority applications and prescriptions electronically.

To use form upload in HPOS you'll need to be an Approved Prescriber or their delegate.

  • Select the form upload function in HPOS and choose the correct form category.
  • Use PBS - Authority Application forms for conditions or medicines that need to have an application assessed before they can be prescribed because of their clinical use or other special features.
  • Use PBS - Authority PBS Prescriptions for restricted medicines that need authority approval from us before they can be prescribed. These include Alzheimer’s medications, including the initial application form, PBS subsidised pazopanib prescriptions for the treatment of advanced unresectable and metastatic soft tissue sarcoma, PBS subsidised opioid medication for treatment longer than one month and other prescriptions for increased quantities or repeats.
  • Select the form type dropdown and search for the condition or medicine you’re treating. It’s important the option you select matches your documents for the authority request.
  • Send your forms and supporting documents or evidence to us in one PDF file.

When you’ve uploaded the documents, you’ll get a reference number you can keep with the patient’s file. This will make it easy for you to find the correct patient record when it’s been approved. The approval will be sent to your mailbox in HPOS.

Using the form upload service saves valuable time for patients to get the medicines they need.

Next steps
For more information on the form upload facility go to form upload in HPOS.

Call the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line or PBS authority approvals line to check the progress of your application.

To find out more go to the Department of Human Services website.

Cervical Screening Online Training Modules

Department of Health

On 1 December 2017, the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) will be moving to a five yearly HPV test for woman aged 25 to 74 years.

To assist health care providers in preparing for these changes to the NCSP, the Department of Health and NPS MedicineWise have developed these Cervical Screening Online Training Modules.  These modules explain changes to practice and the cervical screening clinical pathway as well as how to communicate the importance of screening and test results to patients.

All six interactive online modules are accredited for CPD points with RACGP, ACRRM, ACN, ACM and APNA and cover:

  1. Cervical cancer
  2. Changes to the National Cervical Screening Program
  3. Communicating the importance of screening
  4. Screening in practice
  5. Understanding the screening pathway
  6. Communicating test results and patient management.

The Cervical Screening Online Training Modules are based on the National Cervical Screening Program: Guidelines for the Management of Screen-Detected Abnormalities, Screening in Specific Populations and Investigation of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding (2016 Guidelines)

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma campaign toolkit

Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a toolkit of resources to help your organisation share the thunderstorm asthma preparedness messages.

Downloads include posters, flyers, articles for newsletters and images.

If you have any questions, please email: PPH.Communications@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Understanding performance and image enhancing drug injecting to improve health and minimise hepatitis C transmission

Researchers at the National Drug Research Institute are now recruiting participants for their study into men’s performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) injecting.

The qualitative study will investigate who takes them, when, why and how; with a particular focus on hepatitis C risk. The study aims to generate new insights to inform policy and practice.

In addition to producing reports and articles for an academic audience, the study will generate a publicly accessible research website offering project findings, other relevant research, opportunities to comment on PIED use, and links to policy and treatment services.

In depth, semi-structured interviews with men who inject PIEDs will be conducted at a location convenient to participants and will take about one hour.

Participants will be compensated $50 for their time. If you work with men who inject PIEDs, we would encourage you to talk to them about the study and invite them to participate. Feel free to display this recruitment flyer or PIED Project overview in your waiting rooms.

More information is available at addictionconcepts.com or by phoning Dr Aaron Hart on 0413 952 169.  

This study received ethics approval from Curtin University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval number: HRE2017-0372).

Have your say: Consultation open on Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Clinical Care Standard

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

In collaboration with consumers, clinicians, researchers and health organisations, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has developed a draft Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prevention Clinical Care Standard.

Clinical care standards can play an important role in guiding the delivery of appropriate care and reducing unwarranted variation, as they identify and define the care people should expect to be offered, regardless of where they are treated in Australia. They target areas of variation where improvement can be made.

Development of a VTE Prevention Clinical Care Standard was proposed by state and territory health departments given that VTE prevention has been identified as an ongoing safety and quality issue in Australian hospitals.

Consultation on the draft VTE Prevention Clinical Care Standard and associated resources is open now and runs until 30 September 2017.

You can provide submissions via online survey, or by email.

For further information on the consultation process, please see the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

Training course in minor surgery for general practitioners

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

This ARACGP accredited program aims to enhance the surgical skills required for minor surgical procedures most likely to be carried out by GPs in rural or remote settings where specialists are not readily available.

The course is located at Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Corner of Spring Street and Lonsdale Street, East Melbourne and costs $1450.

For more information, please contact David Lawrence (Manager, Skills & Education Centre, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) on 03 9276 7455. Alternatively, please email: skills.centre@surgeons.org  or go to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons website

New website gives quitters the best chance of success

Quit

Providing practical advice to smokers wanting to quit, no matter where they are at in their quitting journey, is at the heart of a new Quit Victoria website launched on Monday 4 September.

Features of the new Quit website include:

  • 'QuitMail’ a new program where smokers can sign up for tailored email support
  • Videos featuring real-life experiences of successful quitters
  • Tools to build a tailored quitting plan
  • Resources for people who help others quit, such as GPs and mental health workers.

To find out more, visit the new Quit website.

Prostate Cancer Q&A webinar

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

This free online Q&A webcast will feature a panel of leading health experts ready and willing to answer your questions about prostate cancer - from risk factors and diagnosis through to treatment and the management of side effects.  This webcast will also explore how to navigate the different options presented after a diagnosis and the services available to men and their families.

Date: Wednesday 20 September
Time: 7pm - 8pm

For further information and registration details, please see this flyer.

Implanon NXT training: Ballarat and Geelong

MSD

If you want to insert and remove IMPLANON NXT, MSD strongly recommends that you complete their training module. Medical indemnity requires that HCPs have completed training prior to performing the procedure on patients.

Training is available to doctors, registrars, specialists, registered nurses, midwives and nurse practitioners in Geelong on Thursday 21 September and Ballarat on Thursday 12 October.

To find out more, please see this flyer and registration form

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

 Recently, localised HealthPathways for the Ballarat Grampians region include:

  • Vascular Surgery Referrals – Acute, Non-acute and Advice
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Carotid Artery Stenosis.

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see the HealthPathways website. 

Ballarat Suicide Prevention Trial Mapping Forum

Victoria State Government and PHN logos

Please join us in a forum to discuss and map services and activities in Ballarat in relation to suicide prevention. The information gathered at this forum will inform the Ballarat Suicide Prevention Place-Based Trial, which is a partnership between the State Government and the Western Victoria Primary Health Network. For more information about the trial, please see this link.

This forum is open to people who work in a wide range of sectors in Ballarat such as: community, health, education, welfare, disability, police, emergency services, government and business sectors. We would particularly welcome people with a lived experience of suicide, suicidality or bereavement from suicide.

Date: Tuesday 19 September
Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: House Housey, 12 Armstrong St Nth, Ballarat

Register

Expressions of Interest: Obesity Interest Group

Ballarat and the surrounding region has one of the highest prevalence’s of overweight and obese people in Australia. Douraid Abbas is a FRACS obesity surgeon residing in Ballarat, and is a partner of Central Highlands Surgeons, Ballarat.

Douraid is seeking expressions of interest in starting up a local Obesity Interest Group. The Obesity Group would aim to provide all health professionals with a practical approach to weight management in general practice.

For further information, please see this flyer.

Anyone interested in joining the Obesity Education Forum can email Douraid Abbas or call him at Central Highlands Surgeons on 03 5332 8100 to express their interest and find out more information.  

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

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New on Healthpathways:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Hyperlipidaemia
  • Carotid Artery Stenosis.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Urgent Adult Mental Health Referrals
  • Weight Management in Obese Adults.

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines visit HealthPathways.

Changes to home care services information session

On Wednesday 1 October 2017, health professionals will no longer be able to send a direct referral to health professionals and nursing service providers to access home care support through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (formally known as HACC).

This session will provide you with the information required to make effective referrals for clients over 65 years (or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients over 50 years) and enable the timely access to home care services.

The workshop will be presented by Shelly Forche Baird, Barwon South West Regional Assessment Service Coordinator and Ami Hodgkinson, Barwon Region Wellness and Reablement Consultant, who will be available to answer any queries.

Date: Thursday 21 September
Time: 10am - 12pm
Venue: Deakin Lecture Theatre, Geelong Clinical School, Deakin University & Barwon Health, Level 1, 285 Ryrie St, Geelong.

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Wimmera Grampians 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently, localised HealthPathways for the Wimmera Grampians region include:

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Carotid Artery Stenosis
  • Optometry Referrals.

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see the HealthPathways website

Western Victoria PHN join with community groups to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal women in the Wimmera

Weaving collage

Pictured centre from left to right: Glenda Nicholls and Aunty Leila Harradine.

Western Victoria PHN’s Indigenous Health Consultant, Gail Harradine and Grampians Community Health Indigenous Health Worker, Ms Suzie Hamilton, coordinated a Pine Needle Weaving Workshop on Friday 25 August for Aboriginal women at the Aunty Irene Harrison Gathering Place, at Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative in Horsham.

Facilitated by a skilled weaver and Aboriginal artist with strong connections to the Wimmera, Glenda Nicholls spoke about her art practice and spent the day assisting participants learn the special art of working with pine needles and making small baskets and even necklaces.

These workshops reinforce Aboriginal identity and wellbeing and are an important part of Closing the Gap in health discrepancies between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

They provide an opportunity for women to reconnect locally with community, which is an important part of evaluating personal journeys in health, wellbeing and learning about the wider networks that can support their health needs.

It was a productive day that attracted 26 people including elders, participants from areas such as Ararat, Stawell and students from Dimboola and Horsham.

The Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative Board and CEO, Wally Coleman, visited the group and were pleased with the interest from the community. Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative staff Stevie Graymore and Michelle Taylor also supported the event.

Grampians Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group (GIFVRAG) funded the workshop.