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Report for healthier Australians

This week the Federal Government released the latest Productivity Commission report Shifting the dial: 5 year productivity review and we applaud its emphasis for healthier Australians.

The report recommendations include: putting patients at the centre of care, better utilising information and data and removing duplication, ensuring funding is kept at the regional level, more formal collaboration between primary health networks and local hospital networks, embracing technology and where possible eliminating low-value interventions for patients.

There is emphasis on improved patient health literacy so that more people would have the capacity to self-manage chronic conditions with advice from their GP, and to utilise applications such as My Health Record and other IT platforms to involve people in their health decisions.

It recognises the looming problem of chronic conditions and the need to better manage these at the local level, and to give people more options on services, which is underpinned by clear and transparent measures of prices and performance.

The importance of coordinated, timely and well-considered access to primary, secondary and tertiary health services and information cannot be doubted as the way forward for healthier Australian communities. 

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer

General 

Member voting reminder
Expressions of Interest for PHN Learning Hub Focus Group
Be prepared for the expansion of My Health Record in 2018
Chief Health Officer Advisory: Unregulated traditional medicines
Free online training for carers and others delivering palliative care
Household chemicals and their effects on fertility
Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL)
New Quit Victoria website
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Response Training 

Ballarat Goldfields 

October is HealthPathways Month: Ballarat Grampians
Invitation to join the Palliative Care HealthPathways Workgroup
Free community forum: 'Strengthening our Game Plan'
Domestic and Family Violence Response Training 

Geelong Otway  

HealthPathways update
GP Palliative Care Forum 2017: Presentation of the inaugural ‘Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care’
New Barwon Health Hepatitis C Referral Template Update (Oct 2017)
Seeking Allied Health Assistant student placement opportunities
Vaccine recommendations for Meningococcal disease
Free information session: The impact of suicide and providing effective support
What's new in Urogynaecology? 

Great South Coast 

Women's Health Update
Foot Health Assessment Program 

Wimmera Grampians 

HealthPathways Update
Western Victoria PHN Horsham office on the move!

General 

Member voting reminder

Western Victoria PHN logo

Recently members were mailed papers for the AGM on 26 October 2017, that included a Director Election process to fill two Director vacancies for Western Victoria PHN. Included in the papers was a unique Voting Key, that allows Members to vote electronically (via electionbuddy) for the two Director vacancies from the three nominees.

The electronic voting closes 7pm, Wednesday 25 October 2017, so members are encouraged to vote for their preferred nominee(s).

Expressions of Interest for PHN Learning Hub Focus Group

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Western Victoria PHN is set to roll out our new Learning Management System ‘PHN Learning Hub’ in the next month. We are seeking your assistance via a focus group to provide valuable feedback to ensure the PHN Learning Hub is going to meet your needs and be user-friendly.

The PHN Learning Hub will provide a more accessible approach to our traditional CPD program and will be a central learning library where users will be able to access all the Western Victoria PHN learning materials including webinars and training.

The focus group will be held either in person in Geelong or via webinar on Monday 30 October from 7pm - 8pm. If you would like to be involved please email your name, contact details and if you’d like to attend in person or via webinar to Lyndall McNeil by Thursday 26 October. Webinar details will be sent upon EOI being received.

Be prepared for the expansion of My Health Record in 2018

Australian Digital Health Agency My Health Record 6 Oct 2017

Did you know that My Health Record is expanding in 2018? All Australians will have a My Health Record created by mid 2018 unless they choose to opt out.

As a health provider you can prepare for the increased patient utilisation of My Health Record by joining the Australian Digital Health Agency's My Health Record webinar series.

First webinar: Getting started and about the Agency

Date:  5pm AEDT Thursday 9 November 2017
Registration: Australian Digital Health Agency website 

Topics include:

  • Australia’s current health landscape and why we need digital health
  • An introduction to the Australian Digital Health Agency and the National Digital Health Strategy
  • Benefits of the My Health Record for consumers and healthcare providers
  • Introduction of the registration process for a healthcare organisation and individual healthcare providers
  • Overview of the privacy legislation and security features underpinning the My Health Record system.

For any questions, please email: digitalhealthpartners@digitalhealth.gov.au

The second webinar, 'My Health Record Registration' will be held at 5pm AEDT on Thursday 23rd November 2017.

Chief Health Officer Advisory: Unregulated traditional medicines

Victoria State Government

Unregulated complementary medicines such as some traditional folk medicines, may not be manufactured to the same quality as regulated medicines and can therefore cause adverse health effects including toxicity and drug interactions.

Most complementary medicines sold in Australia are subject to regulation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). No assurance can be given about the safety or quality of unregulated imported complementary medicines.

Ask patients about their use of traditional medicines, particularly migrants who may use these medicines more frequently and consider testing for heavy metals, including lead, if exposure is suspected.

Advise patients of the potential risks of using traditional unregulated medicines. Report any adverse reactions associated with the use of medicines to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Read more

Free online training for carers and others delivering palliative care

AHHA

To celebrate National Carers Week 2017 the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has re-launched the Palliative Care Online Training Portal, funded by the Australian Government.

The Portal provides free non-clinical interactive training to carers, community and aged care workers, students, volunteers, family members and clinicians who want to build their skills in caring for someone with a life-limiting illness.

The Portal covers topics such as: the needs of people and their families as they approach end-of-life; assessment skills; end-of-life conversations; self-care and building resilience; pain management; and recognising deteriorating patients.

All training modules are based on the COMPAC Guidelines for Community Based Palliative Aged Care, and will enable participants to accrue Continuing Professional Development points.

"In the last 5 years, over 35,000 people, many of whom are carers, have developed skills in delivering palliative care by using this training - the feedback received has been overwhelmingly positive", said AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

"The refreshed portal provides the same excellent and expert training as previously, but now updated and on a site that is more accessible and technologically robust.

"It is part of yesterday’s $60 million palliative care services funding package announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt.

"I commend the Australian Government for their support of palliative care initiatives such as the Online Training Portal—there is no doubt that the Portal has had, and will continue to have, a significant positive impact on the quality of palliative care delivered across Australia," said Alison Verhoeven.

Palliative Care Online Training Portal modules are written in plain English and use interactive activities, video case studies and easy-to-understand examples that enable participants to build skills and confidence.

The Palliative Care Online Training Portal is available at www.pallcaretraining.com.au. Registration is free and there are no time restrictions for completion of the modules.

For more information on the AHHA, visit http://ahha.asn.au.

Household chemicals and their effects on fertility

VARTA

The Commonwealth Department of Health is funding a national education program called Your Fertility which aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the factors that affect fertility and to empower young people of reproductive age to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.  This information may also be useful for GPs treating patients of reproductive age.

Included in this Program is the promotion of the avoidance of household chemicals that could affect the ability to become pregnant. To find out more, visit the Your Fertility website

Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL)

UniversityofMelbourne small

The 10th wave of the MABEL (Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life) Survey has recently been sent to over 20,000 doctors in Australia who have previously responded. This is a unique chance to contribute to independent and rigorous evidence about doctors working lives and how they are affected by the health care system. Those who have filled it out before should have received a letter or email. If you have not filled it out but would like to, please go to www.mabel.org.au and sign up to be included.

If you have any queries, please contact Professor Anthony Scott.

New Quit Victoria website

Quit

A new website launched by Quit Victoria in September provides practical advice to smokers wanting to quit, no matter where they are at in their quitting journey.

A great tool for clinicians and patients, the website has been completely refreshed with new content designed to provide information, support and encouragement at various stages.

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said: "The tips and advice on our website draw on the best available evidence and the experience of our expert Quit Specialists, who collectively spend hundreds of hours each week on the phone talking to people thinking about quitting, trying to quit and trying to stay quit.  They know first-hand some of the typical challenges quitters face."

To find out more, please visit the new Quit Victoria website

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Response Training

Lifeline logo

Lifeline is conducting a nationally recognised training program that enables frontline workers including health professionals supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to confidently:

  • Recognise signs of domestic and family violence (DFV)
  • Respond with appropriate care
  • Refer people experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence to appropriate support services.

Date: Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December
Time: 8.45am - 5pm
Venue: Aunty Irene Harrison's Gathering Place, Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative, 43 Hamilton St, Horsham

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

Ballarat Goldfields

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October is HealthPathways Month: Ballarat Grampians

The Western Victoria PHN HealthPathways team would like to invite you to visit the HealthPathways site to see over 300 clinical pages and a substantial number of referral pages that have now been updated to include Ballarat Grampians services.

For the month of October the HealthPathways team will be attending the Primary Health Network Tuesday lunch-time CPD sessions and will be conducting practice visits across the region.

There are over 470 pathways in total that have been localised by specialists, general practitioners and key stakeholders in the western Victoria region. In the Ballarat Grampians region we have been working on neuro-vascular pathways with the assistance of local neurologists, vascular surgeons and general practitioners. This forum provided a platform for specialists and general practitioners to discuss current opportunities and issues faced by primary and secondary care, as well as prioritise pathways for development.

Referral pages localised with Ballarat Grampians information include: Emergency Referrals, Neurology Referrals, Vascular Surgery referrals, Mental Health Referrals, Fertility Referrals and Hepatitis Referrals. This is the full list.

URL: https://westvic.healthpathways.org.au/
Username: westvic
Password: p4thways

If you have any feedback, or if there is a service available that you would like add or a pathway you would like to request please use the “send feedback” button on the HealthPathways website or email: healthpathways@westvicphn.com.au.

For more information, or to organise a visit from the Healthpathways team, please email HealthPathways Lead Michelle Hearn or phone directly on 5304 5616.

Invitation to join the Palliative Care HealthPathways Workgroup

HealthPathways is an online portal for GPs and primary care providers that contains locally agreed, evidence based clinical information as well as local service referral information. HealthPathways is rolling out across the Ballarat Grampians. In order to develop local information, we require input from local general practitioners. To initiate this process, a Workgroup will be formed with a focus on care of palliative care conditions. The first workgroup meeting will be in November 2017.

Pre-requisites
GPs with a working knowledge of the local health system who are enthusiastic and constructive advocates for primary care.

What is a workgroup?
A workgroup consists of a team of specialists (2-3), GPs (4) and key stakeholders who work collaboratively to identify issues affecting each party’s ability to deliver optimum patient care in a particular service area. i.e. What needs improving? The workgroup identifies issues and proposes solutions, including HealthPathway development. The workgroup assists in prioritizing HealthPathways development and guide the work of the local HealthPathways team.

What have I signed up for by joining a Workgroup?
The commitment will likely involve 3-4 workgroup meetings (90 minutes each) over a 12-month period. Meetings will be held at the Ballarat office of the Western Victoria PHN in the evening from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm, dinner is provided. The HealthPathways GP Editor will write the pathway and you will be asked for your input in terms of format and content.

GPs will be paid for attendance at Workgroup meetings by Western Victoria PHN at the standard hourly rate (currently $150 per hour). GPs can apply for CPD points for participation in HealthPathways Workgroups.

Please contact the co-ordinator, Michelle Hearn on 5304 5616 or 0400 341 394 by Monday 31 October if you would like to participate or if you have any questions.

Free community forum: 'Strengthening our Game Plan'

Five Ballarat logos

A former Collingwood premiership player, Gavin Crosisca appeared to have it all, a beautiful wife and three healthy children. Despite all of this, Gavin was battling with a silent, life threatening disease called addiction. Gavin will share his story of drug addiction and how he overcame it.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Ballarat Community Health and Ballarat Health Services will also present at this forum.

Date: Monday 30 October
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility, Pleasant St, Redan

To find out more, please see this flyer

Domestic and Family Violence Response Training

Lifeline Ballarat

Lifeline is conducting a nationally recognised training program that enables frontline workers including health professionals to confidently:

  • Recognise signs of domestic and family violence (DFV)
  • Respond with appropriate care
  • Refer people experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence to appropriate support services.

Date: Tuesday 21 November and Wednesday 22 November 2017
Time: 8.45am - 5pm
Venue: Peart Wing, 103 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat

To find out more, please see this flyer

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

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New on Healthpathways:

  • Irritated and Dry Eyes
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
  • Blepharitis
  • Refractive Error
  • First Seizure in Adults
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Children’s Eye Problems
  • Open-Angle Glaucoma
  • Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma
  • Cannabis Use
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling
  • Mosquito-borne Viruses.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Cardiology Assessment – Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Oncology Assessment – Acute, Non-Acute and Advice.

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

GP Palliative Care Forum 2017:
Presentation of the inaugural ‘Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care’

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria PHN recently hosted the annual GP Palliative Care Forum. Eighty health professionals attended the event to learn more about local services and support options for patients nearing end of life, and support available for their carers.

A highlight of the evening was the inaugural presentation of the ‘Trevor Banks Scholarship for Palliative Care’. The scholarship is funded by Hospice Foundation Geelong and is named in honour of local GP, Dr Trevor Banks, OAM, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to palliative care. Trevor was instrumental in establishing a formal palliative care service in the Geelong region since the 1970s.

Trevor Banks Award

Pictured from left to right: Mrs Sue White (Chair, Hospice Foundation Geelong), Dr Deryn Watson, Dr Trevor Banks, Dr Caroline Murtagh and Dr Fiona Ahlberg

The winners of the inaugural scholarship were:

  • Dr Deryn Watson
  • Dr Caroline Murtagh
  • Dr Fiona Ahlberg.

The Scholarship is an annual award of up to $5000 to assist a general practitioner working in the Geelong region to upskill in the area of palliative care, and will be awarded at the GP Palliative Care Forum each year.

Prior to the award ceremony, local GP, Dr Deb Harley provided a moving insight into Trevor’s early medical years and his transition to palliative care provision. It was an honour to have Trevor and his wife Helen attend the event, and Trevor took the opportunity to thank his GP colleagues who supported him in those early years, so he could take a day off now and then. 

New Barwon Health Hepatitis C Referral Template Update (Oct 2017)

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GPs now have access to a new drug combination for treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa) is pan-genotypic and suitable for the majority of patients managed in primary care.

This simplified management regime has been updated in the Western Victoria HealthPathway on Chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) and is also reflected in the new Barwon Health Hepatitis C Referral Template which allows for a remote consultation to support authorisation if the GP is not experienced in hepatitis C management.

Please delete the old Barwon Health June 2016 template for Hepatitis C Remote Consultation for Initiation of Treatment and download the new Oct 2017 version.

Please contact the Barwon Health GP Liaison Unit on 4215 8845 if you experience template issues.

Seeking Allied Health Assistant student placement opportunities

Pathways Education and Training

Pathways Education and Training are looking for placement opportunities within allied health practice and general practices for students who are completing the Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance.

School-based Traineeships (Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance) enable secondary school students the opportunity to gain a technical qualification while completing their senior school studies (VCE or VCAL).

Pathways Education and Training employs students completing traineeships and co-ordinates all aspects of the program including the placement of students within industry. Students work in suitable environments 1 day a week at completely NO COST to you.

What are some of the benefits to work places supporting a student?

  • Raise your profile in the community
  • Promote an interest in your industry
  • Influence young people’s career choices
  • Contribute to the development of the future workforce
  • Gain a greater understanding of the education system
  • Develop your staff through the coaching/mentoring of young people
  • Increase your confidence in the ability to attract quality staff in the future.

If this sounds like something that may be of interest to your organisation please feel free to email Stuart Ferguson to discuss this opportunity further.

Vaccine recommendations for Meningococcal disease

gsk

GSK invites you to an interactive educational meeting to enhance your knowledge of Meningococcal disease with guest speaker Dr Amir Hanna-Elia.

Dr Hana-Elia is a medicinal chemist with a keen interest in preventative medicine, particularly if it applies to rare, communicable and life-threatening diseases. Dr Hana-Elia has experience across multiple disciplines of drug discovery and development including organic synthesis, molecular biology, molecular modeling and microbiology.

Date: Thursday 9 November
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: The Empire Grill, 66 McKillop Street, Geelong

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

Free information session: The impact of suicide and providing effective support

The impact of suicide on an individual, a family and a community is very often devastating. It can be a severe and prolonged bereavement experience for those left behind. As well as intense grief, the bereaved may be dealing with trauma, stigma, and the unique issues that a loved one’s intentional and self-inflicted death brings. This session is suited to anyone who may be working with individuals who may have been affected by suicide, in particular psychologists, social workers, nurses, teachers, GP’s. This session will outline the experience of suicide bereavement and how to provide effective support.

In particular, the session will address:

  • Current loss and grief theory
  • The unique issues and experiences of suicide bereavement
  • Providing support to the bereaved
  • Talking with children and young people about suicide
  • Safe ways of speaking about suicide

Date: Friday 17 November
Time: 1.30pm - 5pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers St, Geelong

To find out more, please see this flyer.

What's new in Urogynaecology?

Werribee Mercy Health

Werribee Mercy Hospital would like to invite general practitioners to this free update on the management of urinary incontinence and female organ prolapse.

General practitioners play a pivotal role in the first line therapy for a number of urogynaecology conditions and this event will provide an update on conservative, medical and surgical treatments and appropriate pathways for referral.

Date: Monday 27 November
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: Seminar Room, Werribee Mercy Hospital, 300 Princes Highway, Werribee

To find out more, please see this flyer

Great South Coast

Women's Health Update

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You're invited to hear presentations from Dr Rosy Buchanan and Dr Kirsten Cornwell on fertility, menopause, contraception, IMB/PCB, PMB, incontinence, prolapse and pap smears. A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations.

Date: Thursday 2 November
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Venue: Function Room, St John of God, Warrnambool

To find out more, including registration details, please see this flyer.

Foot Health Assessment Program

The Benchmarque Group logo

The Foot Health Assessment 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 foot health management.

On the successful completion of the program, participants should have the ability to safely perform a basic foot care assessment, determine foot care requirements and use basic equipment and a range of topical medications where the services of a professional podiatrist are not required.

Date: Thursday 30 November
Time: 8.45am - 4.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 24 - 35 Fairy St, Warrnambool

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways Update

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New on Healthpathways:

  • Gynaecology Referral
  • Cardiology Referral
  • Oncology Referral
  • Alcohol Brief Intervention
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling.

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

Western Victoria PHN Horsham office on the move!

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Please note that the Western Victoria PHN office in Horsham is moving to new premises on Wednesday 25 October and Thursday 26 October.

The new address of the office will be: 81 Hamilton Street, Horsham.  Contact numbers remain unchanged.