Connecting with community

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Pictured from left to right: Julie Parsons (Nurse Practitioner), Teegan Thorpe (Year 12 student), Maddison Hall (Year 12 student), Dr Adele Van Der Merwe (GP), Dr Leanne Beagley (CEO, Western Victoria Primary Health Network).

Last week, I was delighted that we could partner with the Department of Education and Maryborough District Health Service to formally launch the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program at Maryborough Education Centre.

Secondary students with the support of their parents have whole-heartedly embraced the opportunity to receive the right care, in the right place at the right time. Well done to GP, Dr Adele Van Der Merwe, Nurse Practitioner, Julie Parsons, Terry Welch and his team from Maryborough District Health and not least, the team at Maryborough Education Centre for providing an environment that encourages and nurtures adolescents to take responsibility for their own health.

On another note, I’m excited to announce that our guest speaker at our Annual General Meeting this year will be Scott Chapman, CEO Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). The RFDS celebrates its 90th anniversary this year as one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. Scott has headed the organisation for the past eight years following 10 years as the Director of Commerce and Marketing at the City of Melbourne.

We will be sending Invitations to our AGM next week but in the meantime please save the date and join us to celebrate a great year at the PHN! See details below.

Date: Thursday 25 October
Time: 5.30pm for a 6pm start
Venue: Alex Popescu Room, Geelong Football Club

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

General 

Carers in Horsham and Warrnambool needed for pilot support workshop
HealthPathways update
Training to support skin cancer diagnosis at your practice
New SafeScript online training modules
New digital Australian Immunisation Handbook is now available
Sepsis - know the signs posters
My Health Record Briefing: Melbourne

Ballarat Goldfields 

Elder Abuse Prevention Network
Palliative Care Breakfast
October is the month to make every day safe

Geelong Otway

Introducing three new doctors at Epworth Geelong
Voluntary Assisted Dying Research
Infection control course

Wimmera Grampians

Grampians Community Health officially welcomes the community to its new home
Telehealth allows cancer patients to receive treatment at home
October is the month to make every day safe

General 

Carers in Horsham, Warrnambool and Geelong needed for pilot support workshop

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Carers Victoria and Western Victoria Primary Health Network are hosting a three-part workshop for those who are looking to maintain a healthy mind while supporting someone. Workshops will be held in Geelong, Ballarat, Horsham and Warrnambool from October to November.  Demand has been so high in Geelong that Carers Victoria have added a morning session (see below).  The Ballarat workshop is fully booked as are the other two Geelong groups.

One in 8 Australians provide unpaid care to a family member or friend.

Looking after someone else can happen suddenly or slowly increase over a period of time. There is no one rule about how it will affect you however, it can impact your mental health and well-being. Many carers manage daily pressures themselves for some time before taking any steps towards seeking support.

We are seeking carers to participate in a pilot program made especially for those who are beginning to notice their mood and energy levels being impacted as a result of their caring role. If this sounds like someone you know, we invite you to encourage them to register their interest in this program by completing this registration form.

Warrnambool

Tuesday Evening Group

5:00pm – 8:00pm on 2,9 and 16 October 2018

Wednesday Daytime Group
10.00am – 1.00pm on 3, 10 and 17 October 2018

 Horsham

Tuesday Evening Group

5:00pm – 8:00pm on 2,9 and 16 October 2018

Wednesday Daytime Group
10.00am – 1.00pm on 3, 10 and 17 October 2018

Geelong

Wednesday Daytime Group
10.00am – 1.00pm on 3, 10 and 17 October 2018

Materials will be distributed in coming days to GP practices for waiting rooms to advertise these workshops. To find out more, see the Carer's Victoria website or contact Cornelius on 03 9396 9585.

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New pages:

  • Influenza
  • Mycoplasma Genitalium
  • Family and carers in the last days of life
  • Sleep disturbances in palliative care
  • Bowel obstruction in palliative care
  • Legionnaires’ disease testing
  • My Health Record.

Reviewed pages:

  • Care after kidney transplant.

Statewide Paediatrics HealthPathways survey

The Statewide Paediatric HealthPathways Project reached a major milestone at the end of August when health professionals from across Victoria collaborated to support best-practice paediatric care. At a series of meetings around the state, primary care clinicians and specialists reviewed the pathway content for Allergy, Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT), Unwell Child, and Neurology paediatric conditions. The meetings provided a platform for identifying the barriers and enablers for providing paediatric care in Victoria.

The project is a collaboration between Safer Care Victoria’s Victorian Paediatric Clinical Network and the Victorian Primary Health Network Alliance (VPHNA). The project aims to support best-practice paediatric care by translating existing clinical practice guidelines into statewide paediatric HealthPathways. General practitioners and clinicians can access the new pathways in late October 2018.

GPs and all other clinicians working with paediatric patients throughout Victoria are asked to please complete this short survey to help inform the project and paediatric care in general. Your participation is much appreciated.

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

Training to support skin cancer diagnosis at your practice

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Applications close COB Friday 28 September 2018 for the Cancer Council Victoria’s Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program 2018.

This one-off program is available for Victorian GP practices to apply for a chance to receive one of 70 fully subsidised Heine Delta 20T dermatoscopes and training by The Australasian College of Dermatologists.

FAQs, Terms and Conditions can be found on the SunSmart website.

Information is also available by emailing dermoscopy@cancervic.org.au or calling (03) 9514 6417

Generous participants and donors of Cancer Council Victoria’s Longest Day fundraiser are funding the project.

New SafeScript online training modules

 PHN Western Victoria Logo medium  Safecript

SafeScript online training modules cover safe supply of high-risk medicines, using respectful communication to discuss medicine dependence, as well as how to use SafeScript. You can access these new training modules by visiting the Victorian PHN Alliance website.

SafeScript will provide health professionals with access to their patients’ prescription history for certain high-risk medicines to enable safer clinical decisions on whether to prescribe or dispense a medicine.

Save the Date invites have been sent for the SafeScript - be prepared training sessions across the Western Victoria PHN region, details of which can be found on the Western Victoria PHN website.

New digital Australian Immunisation Handbook is now available

Department of Health

To find the most up-to-date recommendations for the use of vaccines in Australia, ensuring you can provide your patients with the best possible advice regarding vaccine preventable diseases, please see the new digital Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Australian Government Chief Medical Officer Professor Murphy is pleased to announce that vaccination providers around the country will now be able to more easily access the Australian Technical Advisory Group’s (ATAGI) evidence based recommendations.

"Providers can access the clinical recommendations in a more streamlined and searchable digital format," Professor Murphy said.

Co-Chair of ATAGI, Professor Allen Cheng said 'The Handbook has also been re-written and re-structured to ensure busy health professionals are able to access the information they need, and quickly.'

"Going digital has allowed easier navigation, an effective search function, and the introduction of visual guides for more complex schedules and immunisation practices," said Professor Cheng.

"For example, providers can now sort recommendations by disease, age and risk factor," said Professor Cheng.

Associate Professor Chris Blyth, Co-Chair of ATAGI, acknowledges some of the challenges of the hard copy book and previous online versions of the Handbook.

"ATAGI listened to feedback from providers about the Handbook and has worked hard to deliver a new digital Handbook that meets the needs of providers.

"We expect providers will be able to find information much more easily, which will improve the quality of care these busy health professionals can deliver for their patients," said Associate Professor Chris Blyth.

While the Handbook will be online, those working offline or without internet connection will be able to download relevant sections to their devices or for printing.

Providers are encouraged to submit feedback, located at the handbook homepage, to support ongoing refinement and development of the site.

'Sepsis - know the signs' posters

Australian Sepsis Network

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body's response to infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis affects at least 18,000 Australians each year - twice that of the national road toll - and around 5,000 of them die. A 2016 national awareness survey found 60% of Australians have never heard of sepsis and only 14% could name one of its symptoms. Being a time-critical condition, sepsis requires urgent treatment - increasing public knowledge is vital.

The ASN is working to reduce Australian deaths and disability from sepsis by increasing public and healthcare worker awareness of it. Please consider downloading these two posters for use in your waiting rooms.

For further information, please see the Australian Sepsis Network website.

My Health Record Briefing: Melbourne

Australian Digital Health Agency My Health Record 6 Oct 2017

The Australian Digital Health Agency will be holding a morning and evening briefing that will cover the following topics:

  • My Health Record overview
  • Changes in legislation to provide further privacy protections
  • How to manage your record (using privacy controls)
  • How people can opt out if they choose
  • Communication to your networks/members
  • Questions and answers.

Date: Monday 24 September
Times: 11am - 1pm or 6pm - 8pm
Where: Karstens Melbourne, 123 Queen St, Melbourne

You are able to submit questions that you would like to be covered in the sessions.

Register morning session    Register evening session

Ballarat Goldfields

Elder Abuse Prevention Network

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The Ballarat Community Health Elder Abuse project has made excellent progress in engaging the Central Highlands community including the six Local Government areas of Ararat, Ballarat Golden Plains Hepburn, Moorabool and Pyrenees Shires. Often the first person of contact for an elderly person suffering abuse is their GP. The project has produced this brochure that explains that “Older People Have Rights”, defines “What is Elder Abuse” and gives telephone numbers where help, advice, information and counselling services are available at a local or State level.

Palliative Care Breakfast

Ballarat Hospice

Ballarat Hospice invites you to a breakfast to hear from Palliative Care Physician, Dr Eve Westland, speak on terminal restlessness.

Date: Thursday 20 September
Time: 7.45am - 8.45am
Venue: The City Oval Hotel, Cnr Mair & Pleasant Streets, Ballarat

A complimentary light breakfast will be served.  To RSVP please email Ballarat Hospice or call on 5333 1118.  Future breakfasts will be held on 18 October and 15 November 2018.

October is the month to make every day safe

Worksafe Victoria Logo Small

Health and Safety Month is the time to discuss safety in your workplace. Come along and hear from industry experts who lead the way in many disciplines including mental wellbeing, occupational violence and aggression, and workplace safety strategies for small business. Make sure you are up to date with industry best practice to keep your workplace safe year round.

Join us for WorkSafe Health and Safety Month 2018 and participate in the conversation on social media using #hsmonth.

Date: Thursday 11 October
Time: 7am - 11.15am
Venue: Eureka Ballroom Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre, 613 Main Rd, Ballarat

To find out more please see this flyer. Register at worksafemonth.com.au.

Geelong Otway

Introducing three new doctors at Epworth Geelong

Epworth logo

Dr Mohammed Al-Ansari, Gastroenterologist, has joined Aurora Surgical and Gastroenterology on site at Epworth Geelong and is now consulting. Rooms are located at Suite 2, Level 2 and appointments can be made by phoning 4215 0710.

Dr Andrea Rapmund, Psychiatrist, commenced consulting at Epworth Geelong Sessional Suites on Monday 17 September and is taking booking. For appointments please call 5271 7800.

Dr Rajiv Sharma, Respiratory and Sleep Physician, commences consulting at Epworth Geelong Sessional Suites on Thursday 11 October. For appointments please call 5271 7800.

Voluntary Assisted Dying Research

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Researchers from Barwon Health invite GPs to provide feedback to help shape the direction of Barwon Health’s response to the Assisted Dying Act, which comes into effect on 19 June 2019.

The survey is anonymous.

Start survey

Infection control course

Marjen

In this full day course, participants will:

  • Understand how transmission of infection can occur in the practice
  • Learn how to use competency checking to learn how to perform hand hygiene, use PPE and clean spills
  • Learn how to use disposables, cleaning and sterilising of instruments etc.

There are 12 places and bookings have commenced.

Date: Wednesday 10 October
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: Fishermans Pier Boardroom, Yarra St (Bay end), Geelong
Fee: $330 per person or $550 for two from the same practice or $220 for non-working.

To find out more, please contact Margaret Jennings on 0404 088 754.

Wimmera Grampians

Grampians Community Health officially welcomes the community to its new home

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Grampians Community Health delivers a broad range of primary health care services for individuals and families including working with Western Victoria PHN to deliver a number of mental health and alcohol and other drug programs across the region.

On Wednesday 12 September, Grampians Community Health officially opened their new offices in Horsham. Attendees were welcomed to country and participated in a traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony before the ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of the new space. Greg Little, CEO of Grampians Community Health thanked the Wade Family of Horsham for helping to make the move possible.

Mr Little said the organisation had been looking for a more suitable building in a central location for many years.

“With state government funding we were able to refurbish the former Wades building into something really special for our community.

“We will be close to organisations we partner with in headspace and Western Victoria Primary Health Network, and not that far from Uniting Wimmera either,' said Mr Little.

Dr Leanne Beagley, CEO Western Victoria PHN and Laura Martin, Senior Manager Wimmera Grampians were in attendance.

“The new space is bright and welcoming for staff and community,” said Laura.

Well done to Greg and the team at Grampians Community Health.

Grampians Community Health is now located at 70 - 72 Hamilton Street (entrance via Darlot Street), Horsham.

Telehealth allows cancer patients to receive treatment at home

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Wimmera Southern Mallee Health Alliance (WSMHA) services have started using Telehealth so people with cancer don’t have to travel to Horsham, Ballarat or Melbourne to see their oncologist.

WSMHA project officer Donna Bridge said the program would ease a lot of the stress from what is already a difficult situation.

“For cancer patients in the Wimmera, access to specialists often requires travelling long distances where the financial costs and the burden on families is an added stress on top of cancer treatment.

“Now you can have the consult at your local Wimmera health service, in places such as Nhill, Warracknabeal, Hopetoun, Horsham or Edenhope, and a cancer resource nurse, nurse practitioner or wellbeing coordinator arranges the appointment,” Ms Bridge said.

“They can sit with you during the consult and a laptop or computer is used to connect to your specialist.

“If you need scans, X-rays or blood tests, the cancer resource nurse or other health professional will talk to you about getting this done close to your home beforehand," said Ms Bridge.

Ms Bridge said the new service would also provide an advantage for patients having haematology treatment at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

“These patients will be able to have their pre-chemotherapy appointment in the Wimmera before they travel to Melbourne,” she said.

“This saves time from spending long days in Melbourne and eases the burden of travel if they are not well enough for their cancer treatment,” said Ms Bridge.

Follow up review appointments can also be done using Telehealth.

Wimmera Health Care Group cancer nurse practitioner Carmel O’Kane said by using telehealth, cancer specialists from major metropolitan and regional hospitals could deliver face-to-face telehealth video consultations to Wimmera cancer patients securely online.

“This means better access to cancer specialists, as well as savings for patients and their families who no longer need to take time off work, travel long distances and pay for accommodation to get the care they need," said Ms O'Kane.

Cancer telehealth contacts

Rural Northwest Health
Kathleen Poulton Ph: 03 5396 1285   
Kate Watson Ph: 03 5083 2000

West Wimmera Health Service
Janine Clark Ph: 03 5391 4267
Ginty Thompson Ph: 03 5391 4222

 

Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital  
Adrienne Caldow Ph: 03 5585 9888
Cath McDonald Ph: 03 5585 9845  
Wimmera Health Care Group
Carmel O’Kane Ph: 03 5381 9087

October is the month to make every day safe

Worksafe Victoria Logo Small

Health and Safety Month is the time to discuss safety in your workplace. Come along and hear from industry experts who lead the way in many disciplines including mental wellbeing, occupational violence and aggression, and workplace safety strategies for small business. Make sure you are up to date with industry best practice to keep your workplace safe year round.

Join us for WorkSafe Health and Safety Month 2018 and participate in the conversation on social media using #hsmonth.

Date: Wednesday 10 October
Time: 7am - 11.15am
Venue: Function Room, Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven

To find out more please see this flyer. Register at worksafemonth.com.au

Julie Parsons (Nurse Practitioner), Teegan Thorpe (Year 12 student), Maddison Hall (Year 12 student), Dr Adele Van Der Merwe (GP), Dr Leanne Beagley (CEO, Western Victoria Primary Health Network)