DArcy Photography Leanne Beagley 070 cropped and resized2

Opioid medication prescribing

There has been recent publicity about higher than average rates of opioid medication prescribing by GPs across western Victoria following the release of a paper by researchers from Deakin University and the University of Sydney. We welcome study into this area and see this as a step toward improving the health outcomes of our community. The report can be read HERE.

All GPs have the responsibility to treat and manage their patients according to best practice for their health conditions. We are aware that GPs in rural and remote areas of Victoria may not have access to alternative specialist interventions or other health services such as physiotherapy or psychology to treat a range of conditions and, as a result, may have a greater reliance to prescribe strong medication.

As you would be aware, health professionals and the government have been concerned for some time about the growing use of opioid medications across the country. Western Victoria PHN in collaboration with the Victorian government, other Victorian PHNs and healthcare organisations, have been working together since last year to develop and roll out an online real-time prescription monitoring system called SafeScript. Earlier this year Western Victoria PHN was named the study area for this program. The SafeScript training and education program for GPs and pharmacists is commencing here later this year, followed by the rest of Victoria early next year.

The SafeScript system will provide a central repository of data for prescribers, pharmacists and the Department of Health and Human Services about the dispensing of prescription medicines subject to abuse and misuse. It will be used as a clinical decision support tool to encourage safer prescribing and dispensing of prescription medicines subject to misuse and enable the department to continue to perform its regulatory functions to ensure the safe, appropriate and lawful prescribing and supply of medicines to the community.

We do also support prescribers and pharmacists in quality prescribing of all medicines including opioids through continuous professional development and education and targeted events and conferences. This includes our Winter Symposium held last week (theme was pain, mental health, alcohol and other drugs) and the GP Refresher program in February 2018, which focused specifically on pain management and was attended by just under 200 GPs from western Victoria.

We will continue to work with the government and the health sector generally to support our healthcare community, especially our GPs in rural and remote areas.

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

General 

Inaugural Winter Symposium attracts 150 delegates!
Apply NOW for Primary Care Nurse Excellence Awards!

Become a GP Facilitator
New cancer screening animation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Victorian Food Forum 2018
Obstetric education opportunities
Medication Assisted Treatment Training for Opioid Dependence 2018
Melbourne Children's General Practice Paediatric Update
General Practice in Addiction Conference

Ballarat Goldfields 

HealthPathways update
Persistent Pain Management Service
Change of venue: Ballarat Addiction Network featuring Women's Alcohol and Drug Service
Clinical Practice Workshop: Late Effects of Polio
Men's Health Forum
Victorian Government funded AOD treatment training for nurses and midwives
Save the date! State Coroner presentation

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Applications open for Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship
Clinical Practice Workshop: Late effects of Polio
Women's Health Symposium

Great South Coast 

HealthPathways update
Suicidal Prevention Training Workshops for general practice, aged care nurses and aged care workers
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Response Training
Better Questions Workshop

Wimmera Grampians  

HealthPathways update
$10K grants available for cancer information centres in regional Victoria
New allied health clinic in Horsham
Domestic and Family Violence Response Training

General       

Inaugural Winter Symposium attracts 150 delegates!

Winter Symposium collage

Pictured left: Matthew McCrone (Director, SafeScript, DHHS) addressing delegates at the Winter Symposium.
Pictured right
: Sam Sharp (Director, Commissioing & Performance, Western Victoria PHN), Matthew McCrone (Director, SafeScript, DHHS) and Professor Lorimer Moseley (Flinders University).

Our inaugural Western Victoria Primary Health Network Winter Symposium 2018 held on June 1 & 2 at GMHBA Stadium was a resounding success. With 150 nurses, GPs and allied health professionals registered, Director of Commissioning and Performance, Samantha Sharp welcomed all delegates to the two-day conference. Local traditional owner Corina Eccles performed a Welcome to Country, Matthew McCrone from DHHS spoke about SafeScript and a very entertaining key note address was delivered by Professor Lorimer Moseley on ‘changing the way we think about pain’.

Following the opening session delegates could attend presentations across three streams - ‘innovation’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘change’. A range of topics where presented on the theme of mental health, alcohol and other drugs and chronic pain. After presentations concluded on Friday the TAC sponsored a networking function where peers had the opportunity to reflect and chat about the events of the day.

Saturday started with an early morning breakfast session where ScriptWise presented ‘preventing prescription medication misuse’ and delegates heard a real life story from the consumer’s perspective. A key note address was then given by Professor Pat Dudgeon regarding ‘opportunities for primary care to respond to the rates of depression, anxiety, tobacco and other drug use in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’.

Saturday sessions included the launch of Project ECHO, Food and Mood and a Pain Master Class.

Delegates were very complimentary of the symposium, especially the venue and the stellar range of speakers.

Apply NOW for Primary Care Nurse Excellence Awards!

PHN Western Victoria Logo medium

The Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Awards 2018 recognise nurses practicing in the western Victoria region who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of their patients by undertaking a quality improvement activity within their practice.

The purpose of this award is to highlight the commitment and results primary health care nurses make towards quality improvement work within western Victoria. The Western Victoria PHN Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Award 2018 is open to primary health care nurses working within the geographical boundaries of Western Victoria PHN.

Last year's winner, Caroline Gibson from Ballarat Community Health shares how the Award has benefited her.

Caroline Gibson

"I was honoured to win the inaugural Western Victoria PHN Primary Health Care Network Nurse Excellence Award 2016-2017 for the development of a model of care and an on-line resource to guide practice nurses in their delivery of chronic disease management support for people living with dementia and their carers.

"Receiving this award has created numerous opportunities for me to talk about the role of practice nurses in dementia care as and to also complete a leadership skills workshop. Consequently, my confidence in presenting this project has increased as has my encouragement to other nurses to embrace the challenge of identifying gaps in current care and developing new ways of doing things to address these gaps," said Caroline.

Regional finalists from Ballarat Goldfields, Geelong Otway, Great South Coast and Grampians Wimmera will receive $500.00* to assist with continuing professional development expenses. The Primary Health Care Nurse Excellence Award 2018 Winner will be selected from the Regional Finalists and will receive $1000.00* to support continuing professional development expenses such as course or conference registration fees.

Applications close 5pm, Tuesday 31 July.  Please see our website for application details. 

Become a GP Facilitator

Deakin University logo

Deakin University is seeking GP Facilitators for its newly created Longitudinal Primary and Community Care Program (LPCC) which will provide 3rd year medical students with a greater understanding of the patient's experience and increased exposure to primary and community care.  The Program involves a wide range of student-directed community experiences including visiting patients at home, following patients over time, and visiting community services.

To find out more, please see this flyer, fillable registration form  or contact lpccadmin@deakin.edu.au.

New cancer screening animation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

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Aboriginal actor Uncle Jack Charles is the star of a new Cancer Council Victoria animation about bowel, breast and cervical screening.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are less likely than non-Indigenous Australians to participate in the national bowel, breast and cervical screening programs. The animation is helping to close the gap.

“Cancer screening can help us stay healthy by picking up on any nasty changes, before it’s too late,” said Uncle Jack.

“But at the moment too many members of our mob are missing out on cancer screening.”

View the animation or to find out more, please see the Cancer Council Victoria website.

Victorian Food Forum 2018

Victoria State Gov logo

The Department of Health and Human Services invites stakeholders from across the food system to come together and work with one another to create a vibrant healthy eating culture across Victoria.

Because no single part of the food system can bring about healthy change on its own, they have invited a diverse range of organisations to engage in conversations about our states food supply. The Food Forum is a space to build new relationships and to be inspired by individuals and organisations who have championed healthy change.

With the support of Victorian Government policies, collaboration opportunities and a variety of free and accessible tools and resources, there has never been a better time for your organisation to join a movement with a mission to create healthy change.

Date: Tuesday 19 June
Time: 9am - 3pm
Venue: Melbourne Room 1, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

To find out more, please see this Agenda or visit this Eventbrite website and enter the password 'Nutrition'.  

Obstetric education opportunities

Mercy Perinatal

Improving Maternity Care Workshop

This workshop will provide an update for maternity care providers where
midwifery, genetic and obstetric leaders will walk you through the practical ‘when, how and why’ of:

  • Point of care ultrasound for fetal well-being
  • Perinatal infections: the role of midwives and doctors in primary prevention of congenital cytomegalovirus  
  • Intrapartum fetal monitoring
  • Management of women with reduced fetal movements
  • Pre-test counselling for NIPT and much, much more.

Date: Friday 20 July
Time: 8am - 8.45am (registration) - 4.45pm
Venue: Park Hyatt Melbourne

 Medical Disorders in Pregnancy

This symposium offers an update in the following medical disorders:

  • Critical care and resuscitation in pregnancy
  • Managing epilepsy in pregnancy
  • Viral hepatitis in 2018
  • The idiot’s guide to obstetric haematology
  • Obstetric endocrinology
  • Complex medical disorders and contraceptive decision making
  • What’s new in preeclampsia
  • Everything you wished you knew about obstetric anaesthesia but were afraid to ask.

Date: Saturday 21 July
Time: 8.30am - 5pm
Venue: Park Hyatt Melbourne

To find out more, including registration details, please see the Mercy Perinatal website.

Medication Assisted Treatment Training for Opioid Dependence 2018

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The RACGP is offering online and face-to-face training to:

  • Prescribers with information and strategies for safer prescribing of opioids in chronic pain settings. This education is an interactive two hours’ session presented by MATOD specialist GPs and is accredited for 4 Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points for the 2017–19 triennium.
  • Prescribers with a need to prescribe pharmacotherapy to more than five patients with opioid dependence.

To find out more, including dates and learning outcomes, please see this flyer.

Melbourne Children's General Practice Paediatric Update

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The program comprises interactive presentations and workshops from paediatric experts designed to update GPs on a number of paediatric issues relevant to general practice. There will be updates on immunisation, common allergy problems, respiratory illness and obesity, and an expert panel to discuss child and adolescent mental health.

Date: Saturday 4 August
Time: 8am - 4pm
Venue: The Royal Children's Hospital, 50 Flemington Rd, Parkville

To find out more, including registration details please see this Eventbrite website or contact gppaedupdate@rch.org.au.

 General Practice in Addiction Conference

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Organised by the RACGP Victoria Drug and Alcohol Committee, this conference that will address some of the most common addictions and associated conditions that are presented to GPs in their daily practice, including chronic pain, real-time prescription monitoring, pharmacotherapy and more. Participants will receive the latest updates and practical tools for early detection, preventative approaches and management of drug, alcohol and other addiction-related problems.

Date: Saturday 4 August and Sunday 5 August.
Venue: Yarra Valley Lodge, Chirnside Park, situated at the gateway to the Yarra Valley region

To find out more about the conference or to register, please see this flyer

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Dyspnoea in palliative care patients
  • Delirium in palliative care patients
  • Anxiety, distress and agitation in palliative care
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Managing Type 2 diabetes
  • Starting insulin Type 2 diabetes
  • Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus
  • Dysphagia
  • Gastro-oesophageal cancer – established
  • Post-operative care of cardiac patient.

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

Persistent Pain Management Service

Ballarat Health Services

This service is for people who have persistent pain and would like to learn how to better manage their pain. The service aims to assist patients in:

  • Improving knowledge and understanding of persistent pain
  • Developing strategies to manage their pain
  • Increasing activity levels
  • Improving well-being and sense of confidence
  • Getting back to regular activities and setting new goals.

To find out more, including referral information, please see this flyer.

Change of venue:
Ballarat Addiction Network featuring Women's Alcohol and Drug Service

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The next Ballarat Addiction Network on Wednesday 13 June has changed its location of meeting to Western Victoria PHN, 101 Drummond St Nth, Ballarat.

Dr Yvonne Bonomo from the Women's Alcohol and Drug Service is the guest speaker while the meeting will be chaired by Dr Andrew McDonald from Ballarat Group Practice.

The meeting runs from 6.15pm - 8pm with a light supper included.  To RSVP or enquire, please email Pauline Molloy or call on 03 5338 9142. 

Clinical Practice Workshop: Late Effects of Polio

Polio Australia

Polio Australia invite allied health practitioners and nurses to this free workshop about the late effects of Polio, which is the largest cause of physical disability in Australia. 

Participants will learn about the pathophysiology of the Polio virus and how these relate to long-term issues as well as the clinical assessment for late effects of Polio.

Date: Friday 22 June
Time: 3.30pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Scope Highlands office, 21 Main Rd, Bakery Hill

To find out more, please see this flyer or go to the trybooking website to register.

Men's Health Forum

Doctors, hospital executives and prominent Ballarat citizens will gather and brainstorm ideas at an upcoming Men's Health Forum with the aim of establishing a stand-alone men's health service in Ballarat. 

Stuart Wilder will present on the established men’s health service in Hamilton. There will also be a presentation on engagement strategies required to attract the hard to reach cohort of men with health problems

This will be a facilitated forum with a question and answer session at the end.

Date: Thursday 5 July
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: BHS Education Centre

Please contact Andrew McPherson if you have any queries.

Victorian Government funded AOD treatment training for nurses and midwives

Victoria State Gov logo

Have you ever found yourself unsure or ill equipped to respond to patients who have alcohol or other drug use problems?

This two day workshop has been developed for nurses and midwives who want to learn more about how to work effectively with patients who have problems with alcohol and other drug use. It is relevant for nurses and midwives working
across all areas of the health sector. This practical and theoretical program will provide the latest evidence-based information on drug use and addiction.

Date: Tuesday 14 August and Wednesday 15 August
Time: 9am - 3.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Health, Baxter Lecture Theatre, Education Resource Centre, Ballarat Health Services, Corner of Mair Street and Drummond Street North, Ballarat

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

Save the date! State Coroner presentation

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All GPs, practice nurses, practice managers and allied health practitioners are invited to save the date to hear Judge Sarah Hinchey from the State Coroner's Office speak on the role of the State Coroner and some inquests that led to new legislation.

Date: Tuesday 28 August
Time: 12.30pm lunch for a 1pm start
Venue: Ballarat Health Services ERC Lecture Theatre

Further information will be provided on our website closer to the date.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Anxiety, distress or agitation in palliative care
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Dyspnoea in palliative care patients
  • Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus
  • Post-operative care of cardiac patients
  • CT colonography
  • CT abdomen.

Recently reviewed and updated:

  • Starting insulin in type 2 diabetes
  • Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes
  • Managing type 2 diabetes
  • Opioid dependence
  • Incidental lung lesion
  • Falls and balance services
  • Hereditary Haemochromatosis.

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

Applications open for Dr Trevor Banks Scholarship

Hospice Foundation Geelong

GPs or GP trainees are invited to apply for this scholarship, which awards the successful applicant $5,000 to assist attend a national or international education event related to palliative care. Its name recognises the outstanding contribution of Dr Trevor Banks OAM in establishing palliative care in Geelong in the 1970s.

To find out more, including eligibility requirements and application process, please see this Application form.  Applications close midnight, Friday 4 August 2018.

Clinical Practice Workshop: Late effects of Polio

Polio Australia

Polio Australia invite allied health practitioners and nurses to this free workshop about the late effects of Polio, which is the largest cause of physical disability in Australia. 

Participants will learn about the pathophysiology of the Polio virus and how these relate to long-term issues as well as the clinical assessment for late effects of Polio.

Date: Thursday 21 June
Time: 3pm - 6pm
Venue: Scope Barwon office, 2-10 Balcombe Rd, Newtown

To find out more, please see this flyer or go to the trybooking website to register.

Women's Health Symposium

St John of God Geelong Hospital

St John of God Geelong Hospital invite GPs to this Women's Health Symposium which attracts 12 Category 2 QI&CPD points. Topics covered include pelvic organ prolapse, breast cancer surgery, bleeding and emergencies in early pregnancy and cardiac presentations in women.

Date: Sunday 24 June
Time: 8am - 4pm
Venue: St John of God Geelong Hospital

To see the full program and to register, please read this flyer.

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently localised HealthPathways with southwest information include:

  • Falls and balance services
  • Endocrinology referrals (acute, non-acute, advice)
  • Diabetes referrals (acute, non-acute, advice)
  • Immunisation contacts and services
  • Travel consultation
  • Travel immunisation.

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

Suicidal Prevention Training Workshops for general practice, aged care nurses and aged care workers

Wesley Mission

These free workshops will enable practice managers, practice nurses, aged care nurses and aged care workers to:

  • Develop a strategy or protocol to meet the needs of your general practice, with additional support provided by the identification of local organisations to draw on to assist your practice, staff and patients
  • Gain a greater understanding of risk assessments, suicide prevention intervention strategies and patient support and management.

These workshops will also demonstrate a strategy to provide assistance to a patient who may be considering suicide, understanding the time constraints of general practice consultations.

Practice managers and staff workshop
Date: Thursday 14 June
Time: 1pm - 3pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, 24 - 36 Fairy St, Warrnambool  

Aged care nurse workshop
Date: Friday 15 June
Time:  9am - 1.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, 24 - 36 Fairy St, Warrnambool
Aged care workers workshop
Date: Friday 15 June
Time:  2.30pm - 3.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, 24 - 36 Fairy St, Warrnambool
Practice nurse workshop
Date: Saturday 16 June
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, Bayside Plaza, 24 - 36 Fairy St, Warrnambool

To find out more please see the Practice nurse workshop flyerPractice managers workshop flyer or Aged care nurse workshop flyer.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Response Training

Lifeline logo

Lifeline invites all health, allied health, community, higher education, childcare frontline workers to attend a nationally recognised training program that will enable participants:

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

Date: Tuesday 19 June and Wednesday 20 June
Time: 8.45am - 5.00pm
Venue: 91 Hyland St, Warrnambool

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

See also HealthPathways: Family Violence Family Violence community support.

Better Questions Workshop

Do you want to make a bigger difference in people’s lives by enabling them to manage their own health, wellbeing and lifestyle choices?

Communication typically consists of too much TELLING and not enough ASKING, which inhibits people taking responsibility for their own lives. The Better Questions workshop offers communication strategies and practical tips that will enable you to enhance your communication skills and professional practice.

Date: Thursday 28 June
Time: 9am - 3pm
Venue: South West Healthcare Community Health Seminar Room, Koroit Street, Warrnambool

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways

HealthPathways update

Recently localised Wimmera Grampians HealthPathways:

  • Dyspnoea in palliative care patients
  • Delirium in palliative care patients
  • Anxiety, distress and agitation in palliative care
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus
  • Gastro-oesophageal cancer – established
  • Incidental lung lesion
  • Foreign body in eye
  • Nausea and vomiting in palliative care
  • Cough in palliative care
  • ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
  • Advanced end stage COPD
  • Epilepsy in pregnancy

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

$10K grants available for cancer information centres in regional Victoria

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To promote cancer information resources to better meet the needs of people affected by cancer in regional Victoria, Cancer Council Victoria has three $10,000 Dry July Foundation grants to (re)establish supportive and accessible cancer information spaces. Each grant is supplemented with a Cancer Information Access and Design toolkit produced collaboratively with Peter Mac, Olivia Newton-John Centre and Cancer Council Victoria. For further details on grant submissions, please visit
the Cancer Council Victoria website.

New allied health clinic in Horsham

Function Therapy

Function Therapy Allied Health Services provide occupational therapy services to individuals and organisations, and have recently opened their doors in Horsham. The clinic contains four occupational therapists and a continence nurse advisor.
Services are offered through:

  • NDIS (Approved NDIS provider for Early Intervention Supports for Early Childhood)
  • Chronic Disease management plans under Medicare
  • TAC
  • Training packages for businesses
  • Workplace assessments.

Function Therapy Allied Services are located at 148 Baillie St, Horsham and can be contacted by phone on 5379 3863.

Domestic and Family Violence Response Training

Lifeline logo

Lifeline invites all health, allied health, community, higher education, childcare frontline workers to attend a nationally recognised training program that will enable participants:

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

Date: Tuesday 26 June
Time: 9.45am - 12.00pm
Venue: 8 - 22 Patrick St, Stawell

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

See also HealthPathways: Family Violence Family Violence community support.