DArcy Photography Leanne Beagley 070 cropped and resized2

Caring for the Carers

The Commonwealth Government has funded PHNs to plan for and commission primary mental health services from 1 July 2016 within a stepped care approach in response to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Services and Programs (2015). This approach to mental health service delivery comprises the full continuum of services, from low intensity, early intervention ‘stepping up’ to intensive high levels of care, including coordinated care for people with severe and complex mental illness.

As part of this reform we have commissioned a pilot treatment program built on community development principles to strengthen the network of existing service and information platforms and improve access for a high-risk group of people with early signs of mental distress.

This pilot program will focus on carers and the contracted organisation that will be undertaking this work is Carers Victoria. The model to be developed is intended to be applied to other vulnerable groups across Western Victoria who could benefit from low intensity services.
For this pilot the definition of a carer is taken from the Australian Government’s Carer Recognition Act 2010 and includes someone who provides care and support for a relative or friend who:

  • Has a disability
  • Has a mental health problem
  • Has a medical problem (including a chronic medical condition, or an illness that’s expected to end in death)
  • Is frail aged.

This project involves design, delivery and evaluation of a low intensity intervention for the support of carers. I hope to tell you more about this exciting approach in the near future.

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

General

Winter Symposium: register today
Learning Hub: CPD at your finger tips
Preparing for SafeScript: information for doctors and pharmacists
Increased incidence of Buruli ulcer in Victoria
Important update for vaccination providers
End of Life Directions for Aged Care
Primary care nursing post-graduate course options
Infectious disease training opportunities
The Royal Women’s’ Hospital Perineal Trauma Masterclass
Use of Ultrasound in Rural Emergency Medicine workshop
Opioid Replacement Therapy Training

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Paediatric Immigrant Clinic
Your local Refugee Health Nurse
Fundamentals of Wound Care: what everyone needs to know
Life after suicide of a family member or friend: A suicide bereavement support group

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update
Vestibular Rehabilitation introductory course

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
Back to Basics osteoporosis seminar

General 

PHN Western Victoria Logo medium

Winter Symposium: register today

Western Victoria Primary Health Network will host the inaugural ‘Western Victoria PHN Winter Symposium 2018 Collaborative Care: Pain, Alcohol and other Drugs, and Mental Health,' in June. The event is facilitated for GPs and GP registrars, allied health professionals, nurses, nurse practitioners and practice nurses, alcohol and other drug and mental health workers.

The symposium will feature the following interactive workshops exploring collaboration, innovation and challenging the way we think about treatment:

  • Reconnexion: work through the challenges of deprescribing benzos in daily practice
  • TAC: what do we do when nothings working/ building the toolkit you need
  • Project ECHO: increasing the capacity to provide specialist care through revolutionary medical education.

Alcohol and other drug use is a significant challenge within primary care. One in five Australians drink more than two standard drinks per day, exceeding lifetime risk guidelines. One in seven Australians have used an illicit drug in the past year. People who use alcohol and drugs experience significant stigma and isolation.

A full symposium program will be listed on the Western Victoria Primary Health Network website soon.

Ensure you register for this innovative event now as places are limited.

Learning Hub: CPD at your finger tips

Western Victoria Primary Health Network’s Learning Management System:

  • Available and relevant for all health professionals working within western Victoria
  • Online access to CPD including courses, webinars, clinical support tools, practice support tools
  • Education that aligns with the RACGP CPD&QI requirements
  • Self-generate personalised Learning Plans
  • Repository and retrieval of certificates of completion at any time
  • Activity completion logbook – ability to upload personal entries creating one centralised place to record all CPD participation and generate report.

What’s new on the hub?

  • Managing codeine dependence in primary care webinar
  • Working in remote Aboriginal communities - recorded webinar 19 March 2018, RACGP and ACRRM accredited
  • Genomics in general practice - new RACGP guidelines.

Register online

Preparing for SafeScript: information for doctors and pharmacists

Safecript

SafeScript, Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system, is on track for implementation in October across the Western Victoria PHN region and from April 2019 for the rest of Victoria.

After an 18-month introductory period, it will be mandatory for clinicians to check SafeScript when writing or dispensing a prescription for a medicine in scope for monitoring through the system. These include all Schedule 8 medicines and Schedule 4 benzodiazepines, z-drugs and quetiapine. More information can be found online.

Before SafeScript's introduction however, a number of important regulatory changes are necessary, to help ensure accurate and complete patient data.

These regulatory changes will require:

  • Prescribers to include the patient's date of birth on all prescriptions for monitored medicines
  • Pharmacists to ensure, when a monitored medicine is dispensed, the patient’s date of birth is recorded in the patient’s dispensing record
  • Under the new regulations, all community pharmacies that have not activated the connection with a PES in their software need to turn on the connection by contacting their software vendor.

Clinical software should prompt clinicians to include date of birth for computer generated scripts and vendors are being engaged to support this change.

Connection to a PES will also enable a better experience for both doctors and pharmacists when using SafeScript. With PES connection, clinicians will receive pop-up notifications on their desktops to inform them when to review the patient’s history in SafeScript and take them directly to the relevant record. Without this connection, clinicians will need to log on to a separate web portal and search for the patient, which will be more time consuming.

For these reasons, even though connection to a PES is optional for medical clinics, Practice Managers should contact their software vendor to activate this connection in advance of SafeScript implementation.
Contact your software vendor for further information on whether your clinic or pharmacy is connected to a PES.

It is easy, free and most medical clinics and almost 90% of community pharmacies in Victoria are already connected to a PES.

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

More information about the project can be found online at the Department of Health and Human Services.

DHHS logo

Increased incidence of Buruli ulcer in Victoria

Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a growing concern in Victoria, with a steady increase in notifications since 2015, in people who have travelled to or live in endemic areas. Early diagnosis is critical to prevent skin and tissue loss - consider the diagnosis in patients with a persistent ulcer, or persistent painless nodules or papules, especially on exposed parts of the body.

Follow guidance in this advisory on testing, making sure to take a dedicated swab reserved for polymerase chain reaction testing for the infection.

Read more

Important update for vaccination providers

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has investigated a report and confirmed the presence of natural rubber latex in the sheath covering the needle of the trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluad (sponsored by Seqirus), which is available for people aged 65 years and over through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

While reactions to latex are rare, anyone who has a severe allergy to latex should not receive Fluad. Patients aged 65 years and over can still be safely vaccinated with the alternative trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluzone High-Dose (sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur), available through the NIP.

Please note there are no safety concerns regarding the Fluad vaccine itself. The sponsor of Fluad, Seqirus, commits to update the Product Information and Consumer Medicines Information for this vaccine accordingly.

Action for vaccination providers:

  • If you are vaccinating patients with Fluad, please be aware of this issue and advise patients accordingly. Reassure patients that reactions to latex are rare
  • Before administering Fluad, confirm with patients that they are not allergic to latex
  • Anyone who has a severe allergy to latex should not receive Fluad. Patients aged 65 years and over can still be safely vaccinated with the alternative trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluzone High-Dose, available through the NIP
  • As with all vaccinations, be prepared to treat immediate allergic reactions, including potential anaphylaxis
  • If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, telephone Seqirus on 1800 642 865.

Read more

End of Life Directions for Aged Care

ELDAC

End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) is a project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to support quality care at the end of life.

Palliative care and advance care planning information, resources and services are now available in one place. Five toolkits ensure meaningful and practical materials are readily available to health professionals and aged care staff providing care to older Australians in residential aged care and in the community. A telephone service and web based guidance helps users navigate to the most appropriate resource rapidly.

Read more

Primary care nursing post-graduate course options

UOM horizontal

Practice nurses seeking to undertake post-graduate studies may now apply for semester two admissions for a number of related courses offered by The University of Melbourne (UOM). Applications for the following courses close Thursday 31 May (the university may accept late applications): 

The Rural Workforce Agency Victoria offers a number of grants  that can assist potential applicants advance post-graduate studies. The UOM's general practice department has released an internally commissioned research study asserting that scholarships were a major enabler to graduate practice nurse education.

For more information about the University of Melbourne's primary care nursing courses, please see this flyer. Contact UOM Graduate Nursing Coursework Coordinator (Department of General Practice) Tracy Murphy, telephone 8344 7495.

Infectious disease training opportunities

VHHITAL

Victorian HIV and Hepatitis Integrated Training and Learning (VHHITAL) will present a series of forums for general practitioners and primary health practitioners for throughout April, May and June.

PrEP - prescribing in the community (webinar and face-to-face)

Presenters will offer GPs and primary care practitioners an update on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a strategy for the prevention of HIV transmission and how it can be prescribed in the community

Date: Thursday 26 April
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: AMREP Lecture Theatre, The Alfred Hospital, 89 Commercial Road, Melbourne

Register online

PrEP - prescribing in the community (webinar and face-to-face)

Presenters will offer GPs and primary care practitioners an update on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a strategy for the prevention of HIV transmission and how it can be prescribed in the community

Date: Tuesday 1 May
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: The Doherty Institute 792 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Register online

STIs and PrEP: an update for primary care

Information relating to gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia and PrEP in general practice.

Date: Wednesday 16 May
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: Melbourne Parkview Hotel, 562 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Register online

Hepatitis B & C Management in Primary Care - Austin Health

This education session will involve presentations on the epidemiology and historical background of both hepatitis B and C. Then covering the topics most practical to those working in the primary care setting: at risk populations, modes of transmission, and management, including: risk assessment, screening, testing, diagnosis, and suitability and preparation for treatment.

Date: Tuesday 22 May
Time: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: Austin Health, 145 Studley Road, Heidelberg

Register online

HIV s100 Prescriber Course

Note this course is presently full, please register for the waitlist.

Date: Saturday 23 June and Sunday 24 June

The Royal Women’s Hospital Perineal Trauma Masterclass

Royal Womens Hospital

The Royal Women’s annual full day course in the management of perineal trauma from childbirth will be presented next month. The masterclass involves a mixture of interactive and didactic learning sessions with an optional afternoon hands-on sphincter repair available for medical practitioners.

Date: Friday 1 June
Time: The Royal College of Surgeons (Corner Spring and Lonsdale Streets, East Melbourne)
Venue: 8.15am - 4pm

Read more

Use of Ultrasound in Rural Emergency Medicine workshop 

ACRRM

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine will conduct an ultrasound workshop next month in Melbourne.

This workshop covers the use of ultrasound in emergency medicine, trauma, and clinical care for rural generalists. Designed for those for minimal experience in ultrasound, this supportive and knowledgeable environment allows you to develop your skills with the watchful eyes of professional sonographers.

Date: Saturday 2 June
Time:
8.30am - 5pm
Venue:
Hotel Grand Chancellor, 131 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Read more

Opioid Replacement Therapy Training

PSA

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's two-part opioid replacement therapy training covers the basics of harm minimisation and opioid replacement programs including all technical, professional and legal requirements, as well as real life scenarios and group discussions. Participants can complete Part 1 online anytime at their discretion and can register for Part 2 (webinar), which will be presented Wednesday 6 June 2018 and Tuesday 24 July 2018.

Read more

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Stroke
  • Post-acute stroke care
  • Familial genetic counselling
  • Pain management programs
  • Cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Memory assessment
  • Cough in palliative care.

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

Ballart Community Health

Paediatric Immigrant Clinic

Ballarat Community Health offers a monthly specialist clinic for immigrant children. Paediatrician Dr David Tickell offers a fully bulk-billed service, which also includes specialist care for both adult and child immigrants who are Vitamin D deficient. A GP referral is required. To make an appointment, telephone 5338 4500 (interpreter services can be arranged as required).

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Your local Refugee Health Nurse

Ballarat Community Health's refugee health nurse coordinates access to health care for newly arrived refugees and assists them to work towards independence. The program also provides ongoing healthcare and support to immigrant families and individuals. This free service is also available to asylum seekers. To make an appointment, telephone 5338 4500 (interpreter services can be arranged as required).

Read more

Fundamentals of Wound Care: what everyone needs to know

BHS colour Logo new 1

Ballarat Health Services' wound management and dietetics experts will present a short-course examining the fundamentals of wound care in May. The session will address: 

  • Types of wound healing
  • Wound bed preparation
  • Role of dressings and selection
  • Wound chart
  • Nutrition
  • Pressure injuries and skin tears staging/ categorizing, prevention and management.

Date: Thursday 10 May
Time: 8.45am - 3.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Base Hospital, Education Resource Centre Ballarat Health Services, Drummond Street North, Ballarat

For more information, please see this flyer

Life after suicide of a family member or friend: A suicide bereavement support group

Lifeline Ballarat CMYKLogo BDSPN 2016

Lifeline Ballarat is pleased to offer a four week structured and professionally facilitated suicide bereavement support group in Ballarat. This program aims to provide education, mutual support and coping development to assist group members in understanding the grief that follows suicide.

Dates: (Session 1) Tuesday 29 May, (Session 2) Tuesday 5 June, (Session 3) Tuesday 12 June, (Session 4) Tuesday 19 June
Times: 6pm - 7.45pm

For more information, please see this flyer

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Stroke
  • Travel consultation
  • Neutropenia
  • Coeliac disease in adults
  • Post-acute stroke care
  • Cough in palliative care.

Recently reviewed and updated:

  • Termination of pregnancy
  • Immunisation – travel
  • Adverse events following immunisation
  • Immunisation - childhood
  • Pain management programs
  • Irritable Bowel syndrome.

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

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Stroke
  • Pain Management Programs
  • Memory Assessment
  • Q Fever
  • Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
  • Alcohol Brief Intervention
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Support.

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

Vestibular Rehabilitation introductory course

South West Healthcare

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:

  • Immunisation - travel
  • Travel consultation
  • Stroke
  • Post-acute stroke care
  • Non-acute neurosurgery assessment
  • Cognitive impairment and dementia.

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

Back to Basics osteoporosis seminar

Back2Basics

General practitioners and practice nurses are invited to participate in a new training opportunity next month designed to offer practical advice on the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and provide skills and resources to identify risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures in your patients.

Date: Saturday 19 May
Time: 12.15pm - 5.20pm
Venue: Craigʼs Royal Hotel 10 Lydiard Street, Ballarat

For more information, please see this flyer.

 

After an 18-month introductory period,