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Newly formed Councils meet

Last Friday our Board, Executive and senior managers spent a day with members from our newly formed Regional Integrated Councils. Late last year we announced that our Clinical and Community Councils would be restructured from eight to four, following surveys and feedback from Council members and Western Victoria PHN managers and staff. The new structure was announced last November.

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It was the first time we all had the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies and future planning more broadly. Council members also had the opportunity to discuss particular health issues and challenges in their regional sub site. The day focused on innovation in action to implement our Strategic Plan, especially in reference to priority one: building effective relationships and priority five: high performing PHN governance, systems and staff.

We were also delighted to welcome Dr Tony Hobbs (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) who spoke on ‘Clinical leadership in Primary Health Networks’ and Ms Belinda MacLeod-Smith of the Health Issues Centre who spoke about consumers and communities influencing health reform. We heard from Dale Renner from Latitude who gave a keynote address on ‘Innovation to Seed Growth’ and the Regional Integrated Councils spent some time together discussing how they would work together.

At Western Victoria PHN we look forward to working with Regional Integrated Council members throughout the year. It is through such effective collaborations and knowledge sharing, that we can achieve and maintain a high-quality, equitable and sustainable health system now and into the future for all our west Victorian communities.

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Victorian PHN Alliance

General 

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!
New Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 in force
Chief Health Officer Alert: Confirmed measles case in Melbourne
Seasonal influenza survey
Support service for pharmacists
National Advance Care Planning Week: 16 - 22 April

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Popular CPD event to be repeated in Ballarat: Prescribed Drugs of Dependence - Active Learning Module (ALM)
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Vale Dr Jim Rossiter AM, Paediatrician
Barwon Health Outpatients fax number reminder
Referral process to Young Adults Transition Service (YATS)
New guidelines on wound infection seminar
Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
What’s New in Cancer – from Treatment to Survivorship
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates

General  

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!

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Come and visit the Western Victoria PHN table at the upcoming GP Refresher on 24 - 25 February to learn more about the PHN Learning Hub.

The PHN Learning Hub is Western Victoria Primary Health Network’s new online learning management system developed by Clinician’s Matrix. The PHN Learning Hub allows health professionals to learn, develop and update their knowledge and skills in an efficient and cost effective way, regardless of their location, extending the reach and accessibility of education for health professionals across the western Victoria region.

Health professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff can have access to a range of continuing professional development (CPD) learning options such as online courses, webinars, eLearning programs, and live online health related conferences as well as guidelines and decision support tools making the PHN Learning Hub the ‘central hub’ for educational resources. All features are optimized for mobile devices ensuring users can access the PHN Learning Hub at anytime from anywhere.

Health Professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff will enjoy the many features of the PHN Learning Hub including:

  • Increased accessibility to CPD through a catalogue of online courses and webinars as well as clinical tools and practice support resources that will be updated on a regular basis
  • Education that aligns with the RACGP CPD&QI requirements
  • Dashboard and detailed views of progress of completion across all learning activities
  • Repository and retrieval of certificates of completion at any time
  • Ability to self-generate Learning Plans
  • Activity completion logbook section to allow uploading of personal entries (e.g. face to face courses) and certificates of completion as well as the ability to link these to learning plans
  • Complete archiving ability and printing for submission for CPD purposes
  • Ability for a helpdesk to access any user’s site without the need for remote access to the user’s computer or mobile device (cloud-based impersonation).

Access
To access the PHN Learning Hub go to http://catalogue.wvphn.cliniciansmatrix.com, click on ‘Register’ and complete the registration form. 

Western Victoria PHN Members should have received their member numbers via post in December. If you have not received it or have misplaced it, please contact us to find out your member number.

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Enquiries
Please email learninghub@westvicphn.com.au or phone (03) 5222 0800. 

New Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 in force

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From Monday 12 March 2018, this Act will give statutory recognition to advance care directives so competent Victorians can document treatment preferences for existing and/or future conditions. The Act will also simplify and contemporise laws relating to medical treatment decision making for people without decision making capacity. For more information read this Fact Sheet and flow chart from the Office of the Public Advocate. 

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Chief Health Officer Alert: Confirmed measles case in Melbourne

There has been one confirmed case of measles in Melbourne. The infection was acquired in Victoria and it is possible that the infection was acquired at Centrelink in Dandenong between Monday 22 January and Friday 2 February 2018. The case attended a number of locations in Melbourne whilst infectious (for a full list of locations read the full Alert). The department is attempting to contact people who may have been in contact with the individual while they were infectious.

Be alert for measles in patients presenting with a fever at rash onset, particularly if they attended any of the places listed above. Secondary cases may have symptoms start anytime from now until Tuesday 6 March 2018.

Manage suspected cases in the GP setting if appropriate and avoid sending to a hospital emergency department unless the patient is severe enough to warrant admission to hospital. Take blood for measles serology in all suspected cases and 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.
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

Seasonal influenza survey

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a short survey (5 minutes) to help prepare for the upcoming influenza season and they'd appreciate your assistance in both completing the survey and promoting it to your networks.

The aim is to understand how the Victorian public and those who provide healthcare to them currently view flu and annual vaccinations, as well as other protective measures.

The information obtained through this survey will help them develop a communications campaign to address any knowledge gaps or other barriers to immunisation and ensure everyone understands how to protect themselves and those in their care from this serious disease.

A high number of responses will support a better informed and targeted campaign. Ultimately, this means the saving of lives of some of our most vulnerable Victorians.

Start survey

Support service for pharmacists

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The Pharmacists' Support Service (PSS) provides a helpline to support all Australian pharmacists, pharmacy interns and pharmacy students at times when they are distressed and needing to talk to someone who understands pharmacy. Support is provided over the telephone by trained volunteers who are all pharmacists or retired pharmacists. Callers can remain anonymous and the service is confidential. The telephone number is 1300 244 910 and the service is available every day of the year between 8am and 11pm. PSS is a small not for profit charity and their work is funded by donations from the pharmacy profession. There are no fees for using the service, apart from the cost of the telephone call. Please see their website for further information.  

National Advance Care Planning Week: 16 - 22 April

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Advance Care Planning Week aims to raise awareness of the need for Australians to start a conversation with their friends and family about what's important to them in terms of advance care planning. 

You can take part by hosting or attending an event, or simply help raise awareness of advance care planning by sharing your values and conversations on social media during National Advance Care Planning Week using #acpweek18. To find out more, visit the Advance Care Planning website.

Ballarat Goldfields 

HealthPathways update

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New on HealthPathways:

  • Anxiety and Depression in Adults
  • Chronic Pain
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Community Asthma Education and Support
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • General Medicine – Acute, Non-acute & Advice.

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

Popular CPD event to be repeated in Ballarat:
Prescribed Drugs of Dependence - Active Learning Module (ALM)

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Following on from the success of the 2017 event, Western Victoria PHN and Orticare are pleased to announce that we are repeating the Prescribed Drugs of Dependence Active Learning Module (ALM). This free CPD event has been accredited for 40 Category 1 points as part of the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017-19 Triennium (Activity: 106170).

The event aims to assist GPs in:

  • Identifying and managing patients with problematic use of prescribed drugs of dependence
  • Improving the quality and safety of prescribing of drugs of dependence in general practice
  • Understanding Schedule 8 permits, when they are required and how to obtain them
  • Understanding the implications of changes to over-the-counter codeine availability and the introduction of Real Time Prescription Monitoring
  • Understanding the role of allied health in managing chronic pain patients
  • Interpreting the RACGP clinical guidelines for drugs of dependence and understanding how they may be incorporated into general practice
  • Improved referral pathways between general practices and AOD services.

Dates: Thursday 22 March, Thursday 26 April, Thursday 24 May
Time: 6:30pm - 7:00pm (registration & light refreshments), 7:00pm - 9:00pm (event)

Please note that attendance at all three sessions is required to gain your 40 Cat 1 RACGP QI&CPD points.

For more information on this free CPD event, see this flyer. To register, please follow this link or email Katrina Martin or Debra Harris for more information.

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New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felicity Harte on 5338 9144.

Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates 

Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network is offering scholarships to alcohol and other drug (AOD) nurse practitioner candidates working in the Grampians or Loddon Mallee regions. The scholarships provide financial support towards completion of a Nurse Practitioner Master's degree. To find out more, including guidelines and application form, see the Ballarat Community Health website. Applications close Friday 9 March 2018. Please contact Jacqueline Keevins, Orticare Manager, on 5338 0511 if you have any queries. 

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

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New on HealthPathways:

  • Increased Haemoglobin
  • Thromobocytosis
  • Abnormal Bleeding and Bruising
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Pain Specialist Assessment – non-acute, advice.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Support
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Skin Lesion Excision
  • Weight Management in Obese Adults
  • Pharmacy Management of Codeine Dependence.

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

Vale Dr Jim Rossiter AM, Paediatrician

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It is with sadness that we report the death of Dr Jim Rossiter AM, Paediatrician, who founded the Geelong Hospital Paediatric Unit in the 1960s.

He was a driving force in establishing child and youth welfare projects in the Geelong region, the latest of which was "The Courthouse Project".

He will be greatly missed.

Family and friends are invited to attend a service to celebrate the life of Dr Rossiter on Friday 23 February at 2.00pm at Belmont Uniting Church, Thomson Street, Belmont, Geelong. No flowers by request please.

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Barwon Health Outpatients fax number reminder

GPs and practice staff are reminded that the outpatients fax number for Barwon Health is 03 4215 1383.

Please note all details regarding how to refer to public outpatients departments including specific referral information, templates, referral method etc. can be found on HealthPathways

Referral process to Young Adults Transition Service (YATS)

YATS supports young people who:

  • Are 16-25 years of age
  • Have a complex disability or health condition
  • Live in the Barwon southwest region
  • Require support to move from paediatric services into adult services.

YATS will assist with:

  • Assessment and recommendations for linking with adult services
  • Support to refer to adult medical specialties
  • Assessment and recommendation for NDIA
  • Upskilling for adult independence
  • Support to access adult services
  • Support for inpatient stay in adult wards
  • Wheelchair and seating needs/complex equipment prescription.

You can direct referral to:

Dr Neil Crompton
Young Adults Transition Service
Email: McKellar.SACS.Referral@barwonhealth.org.ao
Fax: 4215 6376

Please contact Narelle Wilde, YATS Coordinator for more details on 4215 5315.

New guidelines on wound infection seminar

Three experienced wound care consultants from Wounds R Us will be running a one day education seminar on new guidelines on wound infection, including the importance of assessment and product selection. Recently launched Aseptic Technique Guidelines for Australia will also be examined.

Date: Wednesday 28 February
Time: 9am
Venue: Newtown Event Centre, 40 Read St, Geelong
Cost: $120pp.

Register 

Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

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You're invited to attend and participate in the next regional Maternal & Perinatal Mortality & Morbidity Committee meeting for the Barwon region. The role of the meeting is to:

  • Conduct timely peer review of all perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality across the region based on PSANZ guidelines
  • Review clinical management against current peer reviewed best practice management
  • Develop recommendations to improve clinical care in maternity services.

Date: Friday 2 March
Time: 1.30pm - 3pm
Venue: John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4 Kardinia House, Geelong Hospital, Bellerine St, Geelong

Please contact Apryl Geale to register on 9345 3911.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

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New to HealthPathways:

  • Radiology Referrals
  • Chronic Pain
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • Dietetics Referrals
  • Community Asthma Support
  • Acute General Medicine Referral
  • Non-acute General Medicine Referral
  • General Medicine Advice
  • Skin Lesion Excision
  • Established Malignant Melanoma
  • Pigmented Skin Lesions.

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

What’s New in Cancer – from Treatment to Survivorship

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria PHN invites GPs, GP registrars, nurses, nurse practitioners, hospital medical officers and medical students to attend this seminar which will cover:

  • Medical cannabis
  • Cancer in 2018 and beyond
  • Supportive care program offerings at Cancer Council Victoria
  • Telehealth for supportive survivorship care (cancer exercise and education program)
  • Health Pathways (localised clinical and referral pathways).

Speakers include:

  • Dr Vishal Boolell – Medical Oncologist, Ballarat Health Services
  • Clare Sutton – Coordinator Supportive Care Projects, Cancer Council Victoria
  • Dr Kate Graham – HealthPathways GP Editor Horsham/Wimmera, Western Victoria PHN

Date: Tuesday 6 March
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue: Glen Logan Restaurant – 37 Dooen Rd, Horsham

A two course meal will be provided. Registrations close Tuesday 27 February.

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

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare.160359

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felcity Harte on 5338 9144.

Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates 

Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network is offering scholarships to alcohol and other drug (AOD) nurse practitioner candidates working in the Grampians or Loddon Mallee regions. The scholarships provide financial support towards completion of a Nurse Practitioner Master's degree. To find out more, including guidelines and application form, see the Ballarat Community Health website. Applications close Friday 9 March 2018. Please contact Jacqueline Keevins, Orticare Manager, on 5338 0511 if you have any queries.