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End of year celebration

A gentle reminder that you are cordially invited to join our 'end of year' Primary Health Care Professionals breakfast on Thursday 6 December commencing at 7.30am.

The breakfast will be held at our Geelong office – 131 Myers Street.

As part of the celebrations, I will be launching the Western Victoria PHN Clinical Leadership program, announcing those who have taken up new roles in the program and also outlining new clinical lead opportunities for 2019.

If you cannot come along in person we are also live streaming the official launch and presentation from 8.15am. 

Please RSVP by tomorrow - Thursday 29 November to info or ph: 03 5222 0800.

Annual Report online

Our annual report for 2018 is available online. If you would like to read about the work we have completed for the last financial year, including a short video presentation from me, please see our website.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 


Calling all practice nurses!
What's new on the PHN Learning Hub?
TopBar helps increase practice revenue
HealthPathways update
Australian Parliament passes legislation to strengthen My Health Record privacy
EOI: Primary Care Representative on Melbourne Academic Centre for Health Executive Board
Webinar: Optimising outcomes when working with interpreters

Ballarat Goldfields 

eHealth literacy survey

Geelong Otway

Referral and access to palliative care survey

Wimmera Grampians

Wound care and seasonal asthma update


Calling all practice nurses! 

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Practice Nurses please consider completing this five minute online survey which will assist in providing a complete picture of local practice nursing needs. The team will also be contacting practice nurses who have yet to reply to invite them to help with this research. 

From those who have provided information we have learnt that practice nurses are almost all female, 90% are Division 1 nurses, and around a half are university trained. Practice nurses work an average of 26 hours a week. Roughly a third of nurses have less than five years’ experience, only a fifth have specific training for general practice and a half plan to retire in ten years.

Research from other PHNs and an article in the Australian Journal of General Practice this month suggest we will see an inadequate practice nursing workforce over the next 10 years. Our interviews show evidence that practice nurses can have a wider scope of practice and we hope this research will assist in this. 

Prof. Gerard Gill (Deakin University), Dr Blake Peck (Federation University) and Andrew Smith (Federation University)

What's new on the PHN Learning Hub?

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The PHN Learning Hub is Western Victoria Primary Health Network's online learning management system.

The following courses, presentations and information have recently been added to the PHN Learning Hub for access by health professionals.

  • Advance Care Planning eLearning Modules
  • What is 'My Health Record? virtual tour
  • How to Apply for a NASH Account.

The PHN Learning Hub allows health professionals to learn, develop and update their knowledge and skills in an efficient and cost effective way, regardless of their location, extending the reach and accessibility of education for health professionals across the western Victoria region.

To find out more, including how to register, please see our website.

TopBar helps increase practice revenue

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Pen CS have developed TopBar to deliver useful tools and decision support information at the point of care. Currently TopBar works with BestPractice, MD3 and Zedmed. TopBar is designed to provide prompts and relevant information to all clinic staff based on the patients being seen and also those who are on the waiting list for the day.

To find out how easy it is to incorporate the use of TopBar into your work flow during consultations, see this article on the PenCS website.

Contact your assigned Primary Care Consultant to find out how you can access TopBar or for any training on TopBar or CatPlus.

HealthPathways update


New pages:

  • Management of seizures in palliative care
  • Oral care in palliative care.

Reviewed pages:

  • Colorectal symptoms
  • Amenorrhoea
  • Osteoporosis.

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

Australian Parliament passes legislation to strengthen My Health Record privacy

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On Monday 26 November 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018.

The measures allow Australians to opt in or opt out of having a My Health Record at any time during their life. Records will be created for every Australian who wants one after 31 January 2019. After this date, a person can delete their record permanently at any time.

These changes are in response to the Australian community’s calls for even stronger privacy and security protections for people using My Health Record.

To find out more, please visit the My Health Record website.

EOI: Primary Care Representative on Melbourne Academic Centre for Health Executive Board

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The Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) Executive Board is inviting expressions of interest from suitable candidates for the position of Primary Care Representative on the Executive Board.

The Australian health care system requires reform to keep individuals out of hospitals and providing care in the community. Primary care has therefore been identified by MACH partners as an integral area for future translational research and collaboration. In reflection of this, MACH Board and Council seek to appoint a general practitioner to the MACH board.

The position will be for a term of two years and will attract a remuneration to be negotiated. The Executive Board meets approximately every six weeks and reports to the MACH Council. The precise arrangement will be negotiated with the individual and their employer.

To find out more, please see this Position Description.  Applications close COB Friday 14 December.

Webinar: Optimising outcomes when working with interpreters

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Australia is an increasingly diverse society with close to a third of people born overseas. Many patients presenting to GPs may not be proficient in English.

GPs need to be comfortable working with interpreters and understand the importance of avoiding family interpreters. Using professional interpreters has been shown to improve patient satisfaction and compliance.  

This webinar aims to:

  • Improve understanding of the role culture and language in the health care setting
  • Improve understanding of the importance of working with professional interpreters
  • Get the most of the consultation when working with an interpreter.

Date: Wednesday 5 December
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm

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

Ballarat Goldfields

eHealth literacy survey

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Deakin University would like your ideas, thoughts and insights to shape electronic health (eHealth) literacy strategies in the Ballarat Goldfields region.

Deakin University will host three workshops for health professionals, detailing the survey data gathered and what it means for your patients, practices, services and the community.  Your input will provide practical ideas for strategies to address any issues identified.

Two of the workshops will be held in Ballarat on Tuesday 4 December and Wednesday 5 December.  The third workshop will be held in Daylesford on Thursday 6 December.  All workshops will be held from 6pm - 8pm.

To find out more, please contact Crystal McPhee, Project Manager - Deakin University by email or on (03) 9244 6292.

This project has approval from Deakin University's Human Ethics Advisory Group and has received funding from Western Victoria Primary Health Network.  This research is being completed on behalf of the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Geelong Otway

Referral and access to palliative care survey

Barwon South Western Region Palliative Care

Barwon South Western Palliative Care Consortium need your valuable insights regarding referral and access to palliative care in regional Victoria and invite you to participate in this short survey.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has commissioned the five regional palliative care consortiums in Victoria to undertake a quality improvement project.

The purpose of this project is to achieve consistent pathways for referral to palliative care services across the rural regions.

This work will enable identification of opportunities for quality improvement and or change and will inform future palliative care policy.

The information you provide is de-identified, confidential and will only be used to inform this quality improvement project.

The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and closes on 5pm, Friday 30 November. 

A glossary of terms, if required can be accessed on pages 28 – 30 of the Victorian End of Life and Palliative Care Framework.

If you would like additional information, please contact the Grampians Region Consortium Manager, Myra McRae by email or by telephone on 0401 011 578.

Take survey.

Wimmera Grampians

Wound care and seasonal asthma update

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On Wednesday 17 October 2018, 16 nurses from the Wimmera Grampians region attended a networking meeting with Clinical Wound Care Consultant, Marita Tichhi, and Respiratory Nurse Educator, Heather McDonald.

Participants received some wonderful learnings about wound care in primary care, as well as the relevance of thunderstorm asthma for our region, given the above average rates of asthma.