On Monday I joined Minister Hennessey, Dr Cameron Loy, department officials and Ballarat healthcare providers for the announcement of the implementation of the real-time prescription monitoring system SafeScript, across western Victorian medical clinics, pharmacies and hospitals.
We are proud to be supporting our doctors and pharmacists as they begin working with this new system which will directly address the harms and risks inherent in taking certain high-risk medications.
To thoroughly understand the system, I urge all GPs and pharmacists to attend face-to-face training sessions where and when they can. Sessions are being held at:
Session registration and other details are available on our website. On the link please scroll down to find the location closest to you.
For those unable to attend in person, the training in Geelong on 11 October is available via webinar, register here to attend the webinar.
Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance
Grant applications now open to improve cancer screening in primary health
Prostate cancer supportive care and sexual health
SafeScript support services
Applications open for Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grants
Have your say! Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks Status Assessment
Applications open for AgriFutures Rural Women's Award
Great South Coast
Western Victoria Primary Health Network (Western Victoria PHN) is pleased to announce an initiative to improve data quality and cancer screening rates for general practices in western Victoria.
Do you have an innovative idea to improve cancer screening in your practice?
The Improving Cancer Screening in Primary Health grant program supports general practices to reach their under screened/ never screened population for bowel, breast and/ or cervical cancer screening programs through an innovative and population based focus.
Eligible general practices with innovative quality improvement ideas to improve cancer screening in one or all of the three National Screening Programs: bowel, breast and cervical are invited to apply for the grant.
Successful practices in the project will receive:
- Support through clinic visits to improve data quality, recall/ reminder systems and evaluating patient outcomes and feedback
- A grant of up to $6,000 excluding GST to facilitate the practice’s innovative quality improvement idea to improve cancer screening for bowel, breast and/ or cervical cancer
- Opportunities to attend free Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in cancer screening, patient centred care, evaluation with cost of travel to the CPD events covered in addition to the grant. A travel application form will be provided to successful practices.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in Australia. The five-year survival rate is very high at 94%; however a significant sub-group of patients report high psychological distress, sexual dysfunction and unmet supportive care needs (Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia website, accessed 23 March 2017).
The Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite for Clinical Practice (EPIC-CP) is a one page, 16 item questionnaire to measure urinary incontinence, urinary irritation, bowel, sexual and hormonal health related quality of life (HRQOL) domains.
You can download the EPIC-CP questionnaire and view the full article on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information website.
Supportive care to men with prostate cancer post-treatment
If your patient requires further support, please note that HealthPathways has been updated with referral details to cancer support nurses across the western Victoria region. To do this:
- Login to HealthPathways
- Search Cancer Nurse Coordination and Support
- Go to your local region to find an experienced cancer nurse to assist with supporting your patients.
Other prostate cancer resources for health professionals and patients are:
- Optimal care pathway for men with prostate cancer: A detailed clinical pathway for cancer specialists, health professionals and health service administrators
- Quick reference guide for GPs that assists GPs and primary care providers familiarise themselves with the care pathway
- Patient ‘what to expect’ guide – to assist patients and people affected by prostate cancer to understand the care pathway and what to expect at each stage.
For further information on any of the above, contact Kirsten Hausknecht, Cancer Lead at Western Victoria Primary Health Network.
- Family and carers in the last days of life.
To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.
To accompany the roll out of Safe Script, a suite of support services will be available to assist people who have concerns with their current prescription medicine use.
Turning Point will provide support through the SafeScript Pharmaceutical Helpline on 1800 737 233. Turning Point provides a team of trained nurses between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday and access to skilled telephone counsellors outside of these hours to provide free and confidential advice, support and referral service for people concerned about their use of prescription medicines.
Other services include:
- Reconnexion: a service for those concerned about benzodiazepine (tranquilliser and sleeping pills) use. Reconnexion provides confidential support and information from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 1300 273 266.
- ScriptWise: a non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing harm associated with prescription medication use. ScriptWise will be delivering consumer education sessions for SafeScript and offer an informative website with a range of helpful content on specific prescription medications.
For further information, please contact Jonathan Tyler, Manager of Specialist Clinical Services at Turning Point on 8413 8438.
In the 2018-2019 Budget, the Australian Government announced funding of $40 million for infrastructure investment in regional, rural and remote aged care.
The Department of Health is inviting applications from existing approved residential and home care providers in regional, rural and remote areas. Commonwealth Home Support Programme services will also be considered, where there is exceptional need.
The Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grant opportunity is a competitive application process for grants up to $500,000 per service.
The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) provides information and guidance on completing the application form.
The Grant Opportunity Application Form, Guidelines and FAQ for the Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grant can be accessed via GrantConnect: www.grants.gov.au.
Applicants must submit their completed forms, including requested attachments, in the electronic format detailed in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines.
All applications must be received within the Department of Health by 2pm (AEST) 24 October 2018.
In 2014, five Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks were established across Victoria to support medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied health staff throughout the state to treat people who have developed dependence on opioids.
Coordination of each Pharmacotherapy Area Based Network rests within a local health organisation in each of the five areas so the term 'Pharmacotherapy Area Based Network' might be unfamiliar. The main organisations include Western Victoria PHN, Orticare, Latrobe Community Health Service and Primary Care Connect, South Eastern Melbourne PHN, and cohealth.
360Edge have been engaged to assist the Department of Health and Human Services and the five Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks to gain a greater understanding of the operations and outcomes of this important initiative.
Your views as a stakeholder are extremely important to us. The consultation will take no longer than five minutes to complete.
If you’d like more information, please email the 360Edge team or you can call on 1300 988 184.
The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award acknowledges and supports the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities. The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.
The Award is open to all women involved in rural industries, rural and regional businesses and rural and regional communities. Location is no barrier. If you want to create impact, innovate and make a difference and/or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia, then AgriFutures™ want to hear from you. Women must be over the age of 18, and Australian citizens or permanent residents
Applications close Wednesday 31 October. To find out more, please see this pack on the AgriFutures™ website.
General practitioners play a key role in the community type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention. As GPs are typically the first point of contact for people seeking health care, they are in a prime position to assess patients for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk, and to promote healthy lifestyle to patients.
The Life! program is a community-based lifestyle behaviour change program developed from the evidenced based Finnish Prevention Program, the Greater Green Triangle Diabetes Prevention Program and the Victorian Government Department of Healthy Living Course randomized control trial. It is funded by the Victorian Government, and managed by Diabetes Victoria launched and piloted in 2007 before being scaled to become the largest Australian lifestyle modification program. Since the program begun in 2008 over 48,000 Victorians have learnt more about the steps they can take to live a healthy life.
Hosted by ABC broadcaster, Penny Johnston, the Grampians Integrated Cancer Service Consumer Advisory Group have created a series of five podcasts to help newly diagnosed patients. Check-out the promotional video.
The podcasts have interviews with local medical specialists and take you gently through what might be involved in the common treatment paths. We hope the podcasts below will be a helpful addition to the information patients receive from their treatment team. The website can be found at www.cancersurvivorguide.com.
The podcast topics are Surgery, Cancer Council Helpline, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and Aboriginal Health.
This workshop will enhance your capability to understand medical terminology and decipher language commonly encountered in health contexts.
This two-part interactive workshop is open to participants from all non-clinical and clinical backgrounds. It will cover foundational concepts, so is unlikely to meet the needs of individuals with more advanced knowledge.
At the end of both sessions, you should be able to:
- Break down common health terms into derivatives
- Understand the meaning of a wider range of health terms through translating prefixes, suffixes and combining forms
- Decipher subsets of common abbreviations
- Comprehend the roles of a range of healthcare careers (“Who’s Who in the Zoo”)
- Know where and how to access reliable resources for further learning.
Dates: Wednesday 17 October and Thursday 25 October
Time: 9am - 12.30pm both days
Venue: St Mary's Hall (Barwon Health Library), Cnr Myers St and Bellerine St, Geelong
To find out more, including registration details, please see this flyer.
Mental Health Victoria in conjunction with SalvoConnect Barwon is pleased to invite members of the Barwon and wider community to an entertaining night of theatre and discussion around mental health, suicide and support services in regional areas.
Out of the Blue is a powerful play that explores issues of mental health, suicide, domestic violence and feelings of isolation in a regional town. Following the play a panel of Barwon mental health providers from SalvoConnect, Barwon Health and Bethany will run a panel discussion with the audience to explore a range of issues relating to mental health and local supports.
Date: Thursday 18 October
Venue: Eastern Hub, 285A McKillop St, East Geelong
Great South Coast
Are you interested in undertaking a rewarding experience and expanding your cultural understanding as a health care provider?
This free training event will cover the following topics:
- Cultural safety and how it is demonstrated in practice
- Barriers that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in accessing health and community services
- Cultural protocols and respectful engagement.
Date: Thursday 11 October
Time: 10am - 2.30pm
Venue: Gunditjimara Aboriginal Cooperative, 64 Harris Street Reserve, Warrnambool.
Morning tea and lunch will be provided. If you are interested in this training, please email Vicoutreach@rwav.com.au or call 9349 7800.
You're invited to help eliminate hepatitis C from your practice by attending this training event designed to specifically upskill primary healthcare nurses on how to identify and assist in assessing people living with hepatitis C for curative treatment.
Date: Tuesday 13 November
Venue: Cafe Jas, 37 Roberts Ave, Horsham
To find out more, including registration details, please see this flyer.