DArcy Photography Leanne Beagley 070 cropped and resized2

Assistance for communities facing peat smoke hazard

I was delighted to be in Hawkesdale this week with Minister Tehan when he announced $250,000 of extra funding for communities in Victoria’s south-west currently affected by persistent peat fires following bushfires last month.

This funding is being added to the current Psychological Therapy Services (PTS) service structure to help more eligible individuals in affected areas who require these mental health supports. PTS is a government-funded service for eligible people experiencing mild to moderate mental illness. This additional access is provided through the same systems as already operates using the PTS referral forms already embedded in practice software but it can also be accessed as a PDF from the Western Victoria website.

Following referral, the client will be contacted by a clinician and offered an appointment. This should take place within one week of us receiving the referral as bushfire areas will be prioritised.

Agencies currently providing PTS in the affected areas are:

  • South West Healthcare Primary Mental Health Service
  • Brophy Child Youth and Family (via the Headspace platform)
  • Australian Primary Mental Health Alliance
  • Bellarine Healthcare (in the area around Colac)
  • Caraniche.

Patients not eligible for PTS, but who need mental health support, should be referred to medical benefits schedule ‘Better Access’ options from private allied health professionals.

We continue to look forward to playing our part in supporting our local communities.

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

General

GoShare Update
Did you know you can develop content bundles that can be shared
Updated information on Immunise Australia website
Carbon monoxide from Vulcan or Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters
Measles outbreak
Hepatitis A information for homeless rough sleepers
Prepare now for SafeScript access
Ask the Flying Doctor GP support service now available
New mental health training activities
Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence: training and workshop
Australian Disease Management Association conference: call for abstracts
Registrations open for second Codeine Rescheduling Webinar
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association's 10th annual conference:
'Nurseforce for the Future'

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

Geelong Otway

Nurse Practitioner Scholarships: applications closing soon
Youth Health Series
HealthPathways update

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update
Upper Limb Management for Neurological Patients workshop
Vestibular Rehabilitation introductory course

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

General 

Western Victoria PHN logo

GoShare Update
Did you know you can develop content bundles that can be shared across your practice?

GoShare is an easy to use digital patient education platform that enables the timely, efficient and measurable sharing of evidence based health resources to patients empowering them to play a more active role in their healthcare.

GoShare has been rolled out across western Victoria thanks to a new partnership between the developers of GoShare, Healthily, and Western Victoria Primary Health Network and free access is now available to general practitioners, primary health care nurses and health and allied health practitioners within general practice.

For more information please see this flyer.

Updated information on Immunise Australia website

Department of Health

New information has been published on the Immunise Australia website. The additions include: 

Read more

Victoria State Gov logo

Carbon monoxide from Vulcan or Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters

The use of Vulcan or Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters may produce increased indoor carbon monoxide levels under certain conditions. The combination of inadequate ventilation, as well as operating bathroom exhaust fans or kitchen range hoods at the same time as the heater, can draw carbon monoxide into living areas. The risk is increased if the heater and associated components such as the flue are not regularly serviced.

Energy Safe Victoria is urging Victorians with either a Vulcan or Pyrox Heritage gas space heater in their home not to use them until they are tested by a qualified gas fitter.

Read more

Measles outbreak

There have been an additional two cases of measles which may be linked to the previously reported case who was infectious on flight D7214 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne and in Tullamarine airport on Wednesday 7 March from 9.30am until midday. This takes the total number of measles cases that may be linked to the airport case to nine.

Anyone who was on the above flight or in Tullamarine international airport during that time, and is not immune is at risk of contracting measles and may already be unwell.

There are additional sites in the list below where the cases may have been infectious with measles. Susceptible patients who attended these sites at the dates and times specified should continue to look out for measles until up to 18 days after their exposure.

Read more

Hepatitis A information for homeless rough sleepers

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services has announced a public campaign to provide information about hepatitis A and the availability of its associated vaccine. Rough sleepers are now able to access the vaccine after evidence has emerged that they are at an increased risk of developing the acute infection. 

Importantly, the guide has been developed so it can be shared with members of the public and others who do not have a medical background.

Please see the Important health information for homeless rough sleepers guide for full details.

Prepare now for SafeScript access

Clinicians are strongly encouraged to ensure their Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registration details are up-to-date, especially primary place of practice and email address. This will support an easy and automated registration for access to the SafeScript initiative which will commence later this year.

SafeScript, Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system, is on track for implementation to start in October 2018. Roll-out will initially be focused in a specific geographical location before being extended to the rest of Victoria in early 2019.

Read more

Ask the Flying Doctor GP support service now available

Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service's (RFDS) has launched ‘Ask the Flying Doctor,' an initiative designed to help GPs practicing in rural Victoria seek specialist RFDS advice to assist with the treatment and management of patients.

The free service offers access to leading specialists, including psychiatry, respiratory and endocrinology, who are part of the Flying Doctor Telehealth service.

'Ask the Doctor' has evolved out of broad consultation and feedback from many rural GPs across Victoria that often practice in isolation. The email support service offers GPs the option to seek an opinion from one of the RFDS Victoria specialist team.

Accessing the service is easy and can be done through the RFDS telehealth website on the “ask” page or by email. All enquiries will receive a response within two business days.

Read more

New mental health training activities

Think GP News and Education

Think GP has developed two new mental health training resources to assist GPs optimise management of common mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia. 

The training activities seek to help participants: 

  • Demonstrate increased skill in detecting and assessing common mental illnesses by using the necessary abilities to undertake a systematic mental health assessment
  • Discuss the key management features of the common mental illnesses encountered in general practice, by developing an evidence-based GPMHTP for common mental illnesses
  • Recall the important co-morbidities associated with common mental illnesses and the impact these co-morbidities may have on patients
  • Understand the importance of consumer and career psychoeducation by providing access to accurate and consumer friendly education materials
  • Discuss how to ensure patient safety by developing appropriate referral pathways and being aware of the indications for referral for specialist services.

Mental Health Skills Training: Core Module

This activity looks at the key diagnostic and management features for common mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia. The role of the primary care team is discussed together with the principles for best practice management of these conditions.

A range of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological management modalities are explored through case studies.

Read more

Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence: training and workshop

RACGP

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACPG) is offering an online training and face-to-face workshop examining medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence.

Online training seeks to provide opioid prescribers with information and strategies for safer prescribing of opioids in chronic pain settings. By the conclusion of the two-hour training it is hoped participants will be able to: 

  • Implement safe and effective opioid prescribing as part of a broader pain management plan
  • Summarise the potential benefits and risks associated with opioid prescribing
  • Recognise, prevent and respond to problematic pharmaceutical opioid use
  • Assess the appropriateness of and commence induction of a patient on one of opioid replacement therapies.

To register for online training module please visit the RACGP events page

A series of full-day workshops throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria meanwhile are suited to prescribers with a need to prescribe pharmacotherapy to more than five patients with opioid dependence.

The workshop seeks to assist participants: 

  • Outline the potential benefits and risks associated with opioid prescribing
  • Recognise, prevent and respond to problematic pharmaceutical opioid use
  • Identify the legal issues regarding the prescribing of buprenorphine and methadone
  • Implement safe and effective opioid and or methadone prescribing as part of a broader pain management plan
  • Safely and effectively prescribe buprenorphine and or methadone for opioid dependence.

For more information on dates, locations and how to register for the full day workshops please see this flyer

Clinical Enhancement Module and Allied Health Skills: Youth Mental Health

This activity covers the principles of engaging and assessing youth mental health and will examine a number of anonymous case studies.

Read more

Australian Disease Management Association conference: call for abstracts

ADMA

The Australian Disease Management Association conference committee is inviting submissions for oral and poster presentation at its 14th annual forum in September. Presentations will address the key theme, 'Engagement and Integration of Chronic Care Enablement, Empowerment and Activation.'

Abstracts for oral presentations can be submitted by email by 5pm Tuesday 24 April 2018. Poster abstracts can by submitted by email by 5pm Friday 31 August 2018.

Read more

Registrations open for second Codeine Rescheduling Webinar

ACRRM

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine's latest webinar will focus on options for the management of pain, and opiate replacement in chronic disease and palliative care patients. A panel of rural health professionals including GPs, a pharmacist and specialists in pain management and palliative care will host a Q&A forum and consider health professionals' options since codeine was rescheduled.

The 90 minute webinar is open to all health professionals and consumers, and will be of particular benefit to those with a rural and remote focus. All questions are welcome, in particular around options for the management of pain in chronic disease and palliative care, and options for opiate replacement in these circumstances: please email questions to the panel in advance of the webinar.

A recording will be made available after the event.

Date: Thursday 12 April
Time: 7.30pm - 9pm
Venue: Online

Register online.

Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association's 10th annual conference:
'Nurseforce for the Future'

 

APNAlogo.155329

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association will host its 10th annual conference in May. The conference will offer tailored professional development for nurses working in primary health care around Australia, including keynote presentations from nurses leading the way, interactive workshops and collaborative sessions from nurses making a difference in the field.

Date: Thursday 10 May - Saturday 12 May
Time: 9am - 5pm (Thursday), 7am - 5pm (Friday), 7am - 5pm (Saturday)
Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Corner Merivale and Glenelg Streets, South Brisbane, Queensland

Read more

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

Clinical pages

  • Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • Tremor
  • Q Fever
  • Syphilis.

Referral pages

  • Familial Genetic Counselling Referrals
  • Memory Assessment
    Neurosurgery Assessment

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

Geelong Otway

Western Victoria PHN logo

Nurse Practitioner Scholarships: applications closing soon

Applications for the 'Barwon South West Pharmacotherapy Area Based Network' (PABN) scholarships for nurse practitioners close Friday 14 April.

These scholarships are offered to increase the number and capacity of Nurse Practitioners prescribing Medically Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependency in the region, which will add significant value to primary care systems.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Registered Nurses (Division 1) practicing in the Barwon South West PABN region who are, or wish to, undertake the Masters of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) course are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those nurses already working in AOD service delivery.

Last year’s recipient, Alison Ford, said she wanted to become part of a collaborative health care team that's delivering services in the community to ease the burden of time pressures on GP’s and in effect provide assistance and support to people wishing to decrease their dependence on opioids.

Alison Ford


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

How to apply

Please read these Guidelines and Agreement, complete this two-page Application Form and email to pene.wood@westvicphn.com.au by close of business, Friday 14 April 2018. 

Successful applicants will be advised by 28 April 2018.

Youth Health Series

Western Victoria Primary Health Network will present a youth health series in April. The forum, presented in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners and Barwon Child, Youth and Family will  cover:

  • Diagnosis (characteristics that might make us think ASD)
  • Why girls with ASD can fall through the gap
  • Common co morbidities
  • Tools GPs can use to screen
  • Formal assessment process and options
  • Management goals and options.

Date: Friday 27 April
Time: 7.45am - 9am
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 131 Myers Street, Geelong

Read more

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Thrombocytopenia
  • B12 Deficiency
  • Neutrophilia
  • Neurosurgery Assessment – Acute, non-acute and advice.

Recently reviewed and updated:

  • Memory Assessment
  • Familial Genetic Counselling Referrals
  • Syphilis
  • Continence Specialist Services
  • Maternal and Child Health Nursing
  • High risk Foot Assessment
  • Immunisation – Adolescents.

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

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently updated with localised information:

  • Pain Management Programs
  • Q Fever
  • Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
  • Alcohol Brief Intervention
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Support
  • Pain Specialist Assessment (Non-acute, Advice)
  • Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • General Medicine Referrals – Acute, Non acute and Advice.

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

South West Healthcare

Upper Limb Management for Neurological Patients workshop

South West Healthcare will host a half-day workshop in Warrnambool next month focusing on best practice for upper limb management for neurological patients. Neurosciences physiotherapist Thao Nguyen (The Royal Melbourne Hospital) will facilitate the event, designed to provide physiotherapists and occupational therapists with the opportunity to update skills and theoretical knowledge in the management of the upper limb in neurological patients.

Discussions will cover: 

  • Management Tool for Acute Hemiplegic Shoulders (MTAHS)
  • Strapping
  • Collar and cuff
  • Positioning and stretching
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Splinting
  • Serial casting
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Modified constraint induced movement therapy.

Date: Thursday 19 April
Time: 12.15pm - 4.30pm
Venue: South West Healthcare, 25 Ryot Street, Warrnambool

For more information and to register, see this flyer.

Vestibular Rehabilitation introductory course 

South West Healthcare will also present a two-day introductory course on vestibular rehabilitation, in May. The training aims to introduce clinicians to common vestibular disorders such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Vestibular Neuritis/ Labyrinthitis, Ménière's Disease, Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction, Migraine Associated Dizziness, and central vestibular pathologies.

The course will cover: 

  • Vestibular assessment and differential diagnosis
  • Unilateral vestibular pathology: recovery mechanisms and implications for treatment
  • Audiology Testing
  • Anatomy and Pathophysiology of BPPV
  • Assessment and Management of BPPV
  • Introduction to Central Vestibular Disorders.

Date: Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 May
Time: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: South West Healthcare, 25 Ryot Street, Warrnambool

For more information and to register, see this flyer.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Non-acute Neurosurgery Assessment
  • Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • Acute Orthopaedic Assessment
  • Non-acute Orthopaedic Assessment
  • Orthopaedic Advice
  • Acute Respiratory Assessment
  • Non-acute Respiratory Assessment
  • Respiratory Advice.

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