Rowena Clift cropped

2019 GP Refresher and high performing primary care

A reminder to all general practitioners that our annual GP Refresher is now taking registrations. The theme this year is Supporting GP Specialists: Keeping patients in general practice.

The Refresher is being held on 16 and 17 March at Kardinia Park, Geelong. Register here.

This year we have a special keynote presenter – John Macaskill-Smith who is CEO of New Zealand company Pinnacle Ventures Limited. Pinnacle Ventures a not-for-profit organisation that is working to deliver on what's next in smart virtual health and smart hands on care for the health system for New Zealand and internationally.

John has been leading change in primary health care for the last 20 years and is passionate about bridging the gap between technology and outcome, and improving outcomes by blending the best of what we do with what we could do.

His approach closely aligns to our focus of high performing primary care for the Western Victoria PHN community. We are aligning the organisation to the vision of enhanced practice support and to building the capability and capacity of our primary health care providers to meet the needs of communities now and into the future.

We will be speaking more about high performing primary care throughout the year, and what it will mean for primary care providers across western Victoria.

Rowena Clift
Acting Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Western Victoria PHN Professional Development Survey 

Subsidised Access to RACGP's New Emergency Response Planning Tool

Have Your Say - Review of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Updated Guidelines for Healthcare Workers Living with Blood Borne Viruses

Leaking Syringes for GSK Vaccines

Cancer Support Updates

HealthPathways update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Domestic Violence Awareness Training

Maternity and Newborn Operating Model Project

Grampians Mental Health Conference

Geelong Otway

PHN Orientation 2019

Great South Coast

Improving the Health of Agricultural Communities

Wimmera Grampians

Maternity and Newborn Operating Model Project

General 

Western Victoria PHN Professional Development Survey

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 Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) is currently reviewing how we deliver our professional development activities including the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program. As part of the review, we would like your feedback and have created a survey to garner your needs and ideas.

The survey will run from Wednesday, 13 February until Monday, 18 March. You can access the survey here

Other consultations will be undertaken during the course of the review, which is being coordinated by Heather Johnson of Your Future Options. Heather plans to meet with as many people as possible across the western Victoria region to gather your input on activities such as:

  • Local education and training events with speakers
  • Large, regional or central events with numerous speakers such as the GP Refresher weekend
  • Online courses and webinars
  • Peer groups of professionals meeting on a regular basis

Many of these activities are eligible for CPD points from professional associations. The program started in the previous organisation of General Practice Divisions and has enjoyed good support from GPs over the years. With the change of organisation and our new strategic plan, we are having a fresh look at this program to see if it is meeting your needs and meeting the objectives of Western Victoria PHN.

Subsidised Access to RACGP's New Emergency Response Planning Tool

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639VDHHS

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) is working with Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services to fund a pilot program for subsidised access to a new online Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT).

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has developed the ERPT to help general practices better prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of emergencies and pandemics. The ERPT guides you through a series of modules relevant to your practice to develop a personalised practice emergency response plan to direct yourself and staff on what to do in an emergency event.

Every general practice in the Western Victoria PHN region can access a fully-subsidised ERPT in 2019 along with support from Healthpoint ANZ to start planning and completing emergency response plans. This includes online webinars, personalised training and access to a help desk.

The regular cost of the ERPT is $330 per year. This offer covers use of the tool for 12 months.

To access the ERPT, go to  https://erpt.racgp.org.au/standardlogin  and click on 'Register your Practice for the ERPT' where you will be asked to complete a few details. Healthpoint ANZ will then contact you to arrange training and support.

For more information, download the Emergency Response Planning Tool flyer.

Have Your Say - Review of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

ACSQHC

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care wants to hear from you before it finalises the second edition of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

The Charter describes the rights of all people accessing the Australian healthcare system. It applies in all healthcare settings in Australia including public and private hospitals, general practice, day procedure services, dental and other community settings.

A draft of the second edition of the charter has been released and the feedback survey is open until Friday,1 March. Both are available from Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

Updated Guidelines for Healthcare Workers Living with Blood Borne Viruses

Department of Health

The Australian Government published late last year revised national guidelines for the management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and those who perform procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses.

The updated guidelines include important changes reflecting the effectiveness of antiviral treatment for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The guidelines now also support national blood borne viruses strategies to increase testing and early treatment and to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with blood borne viruses.

Previously, health care workers (HCWs) living with a blood borne virus (BBV) were restricted from performing exposure prone procedures (EPPs) if they were HIV antibody positive, hepatitis C RNA positive, or hepatitis B DNA positive.

Under the revised guidelines:

  • HCWs living with a BBV can return to performing EPPs, provided they comply with and meet the criteria outlined in the Guidelines (HIV viral load < 200 copies/ml, hepatitis B DNA < 200 UI/ml, hepatitis C RNA negative)
  • HCWs who undertake EPPs must take reasonable steps to know their BBV status and should be tested for BBVs at least once every three years
  • HCWs with non-occupational risk factors for BBVs should be encouraged to have regular BBV testing according to standard guidelines
  • All registered HCWs who perform EPPs must confirm when applying for renewal of registration that they comply with the Guidelines

Acces the guidelines and related information sheets please via the Department of Health website.

Specialist medical colleges and the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine also offer support and advice to clinicians on the guidelines and procedures which constitute EPPs.

Leaking Syringes for GSK Vaccines

gsk

GlaxoSmithKline Australia (GSK) has issued a letter of advice in relation to leaking syringes in a number of countries with some GSK vaccines. While only 37 leakages have been reported per one million syringes distributed, GSK has sent out an alert to advise healthcare professionals of the details.

Health practitioners are assured the leakage does not pose a concern for sterility assurance but the potential risk with leakage of vaccine from the syringe is that, in theory, it cold result in under-dosing.

Syringes which are subject to the alert letter are in the process of being substituted. Any reports of leaky syringes should be directed to the GSK Medical Information Team on 1800 033 109.

Practitioners should have directly received the alert letter. If not, you can download the alert letter here.

Cancer Support Updates

cancer council

 New intiatives are in place to improve access to screening and extend support for people affected by cancer.

Improving access to cervical screening for clients with a disability

Cancer Council Victora has introduced a new program for improving cancer screening participation for people with a disability. As par to the program, they are identifying cervical screening providers with a special interest in disability as well as practices with facilities which accommodate the varying needs of clients with a disability.

Cervical screening providers with an interest in disablity can make their information available across Victoria by entering or updating your details in the Cervical Screening Directory.

New lung cancer guides

Cancer Australia has released two new national guides to drive better outcomes and care for all people affected by lung cancer.

The guides are:

  • Delivering best practice lung cancer care - a guide for health professionals
  • Getting the best advice and care - a guide for those affected by lung cancer.

More information and further resources are available on the Cancer Australia website.

  HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New pages:

  • Infant Hearing Screening and Early Intervention
  • Syringe Drivers
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Reviewed pages:

  • Medication Management Review
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Herinia in Adults

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

Ballarat Goldfields

Domestic Violence Awareness Training

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Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) in conjunction with Lifeline Ballarat has organised a Domestic Violence Awareness Training seasion in Ballarat for primary health frontline workers.

DV-alert is Lifeline's nationally-recognised training program designed to help frontline workers recognise signs of domestic and family violence; respond with appropriate care; and refer people experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence to the right support services. The DV-aware training session will help frontline staff:

  • Understand the initial signs of domestic and family violence
  • Know how to respond appropriately
  • Refer patients, colleagues, friends and family members experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence to appropriate support services.

The two hour session will be held in Ballarat on Tuesday, 2 April. For more information, go to the Western Victoria PHN events page or download the DV-alert flyer.

Maternity and Newborn Operating Model Project

VDHHS

Input is being sought from general practitioners in the region - particularly those providing maternity care - as part of developing a Regional Maternity and Newborn Operating Model.

In recognition of changes in demand for regional maternity services over the next decade (including the possibility rural services will experience a decline in demand), the State Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has provided one-off funding to Victoria's regional health services to facilitate and lead the development of the model.

The project aims to strengthen maternity and newborn services systems which promote integration and collaboration across the region. Monash Health is overseeing the project.

Project officer Anne Barnes is seeking input from general practitioners in the DHHS Grampians region - which takes in Western VIctoria Primary Health Networks's Ballarat Goldfields region - to gain an understanding of existing services in the area to ensure currrent  providers of maternity and newborn services have opportunity to participate in and influence decisions in devleoping an integrate and collaborative approach.

If you are interested in contributing or would like further informatoin, contact Anne on email - Anne.Barnes@bhs.org.au - or text her on 0403 646 072 and she will organise a time to speak with you.

Grampians Mental Health Conference

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Mental Health Professionals are invited to attend this year's Grampians Mental Health Conference to be hald in Ballarat on Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th March. This year’s conference theme is ‘Working Together – Innovation, Collaboration & Co-Design’.

The conference has attracted a diverse list of experts to share their knowledge, research findings and treatment approaches.

Speakers include:

  • Lucy Fraser, Senior Social Innovator at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
  • Nicole Lee, Consultant Psychologist, Adjunct Professor at the National Drug Research Institute and Director at 360Edge
  • Ellen Jackson, Workplace and Coaching Psychologist
  • Dr Lynne Coulson Barr, Mental Health Complaints Commissioner
  • Madeleine Fernbach, Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of Sound Psychology Ballarat
  • Rose Cuff, Statewide Coordinator of the Victorian Government funded FaPMI Program
  • Dr Harish Kalra, Clinical Lead Perinatal Psychiatrist and Private Psychiatrist
  • Ali Pain, Consumer and Carer Engagement Officer for the Victorian Mental Health Tribunal

Click here for more infomration or to register.

Geelong Otway

PHN Orientation 2019

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Working in a new area can be challenging. Therefore, Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) is again hosting its annual Orientation session on Thursday, 28 February.

The two-hour session is open to any general practitioners who are new to working in our region as well as GP registrars and any GP, practice manager or primary care clinician who would benefit from an update of PHN initiatives.

The orientation will be held in two parts. Firstly, it will include an overview of PHN initiatives and projects which support primary health care which will be live-streamed across the Western Victoria PHN region (7.30am - 8.30am). This will be followed by in-person presentations from local health services (8.30am - 9.30am).

For more information or to book, head to the Western Victoria PHN events page.

Great South Coast

Improving the Health of Agricultural Communities

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639National Centre for Farmer Health

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) in conjunction with the National Centre for Farmer Health is presenting a one-hour seminar in Warrnambool next month to help practitioners and health workers support farmers' health, wellbeing and safety.

Injuries and poor farmer health can have a flow-on effect on the family, business and community. Helping farmers better understand health, wellbeing and farm safety is the first step in improving it.

The session will be held on Wednesday 13 March and will discuss:

  • Connecting the farmer to their work environment through a better understanding of farm risks and hazards
  • Develop an understanding of how AgriSafeTM can improve agricultural health, wellbeing and safety
  • How AgriSafeTM Australia and health professionals can work in collaboration to make a difference in farmers' lives.

Attendees can hear from Tam Phillips who works with the National Centre for Farmer Health to clinically lead and deliver the AgriSafe TM Australia program to provide farmers, families and agricultural workers with industry specific health and safety assessment, clinical screening and education. 

The session is also available as a webinar.

For more details and to register, go to the events page on the Western Victoria PHN website.

Wimmera Grampians

Maternity and Newborn Operating Model Project

VDHHS

Input is being sought from general practitioners in the region - particularly those providing maternity care - as part of developing a Regional Maternity and Newborn Operating Model.

In recognition of changes in demand for regional maternity services over the next decade (including the possibility rural services will experience a decline in demand), the State Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has provided one-off funding to Victoria's regional health services to facilitate and lead the development of the model.

The project aims to strengthen maternity and newborn services systems which promote integration and collaboration across the region. Monash Health is overseeing the project.

Project officer Anne Barnes is seeking input from general practitioners in the DHHS Grampians region - which takes in Western VIctoria Primary Health Networks's Wimmera Grampians region - to gain an understanding of existing services in the area to ensure currrent  providers of maternity and newborn services have opportunity to participate in and influence decisions in devleoping an integrate and collaborative approach.

If you are interested in contributing or would like further informatoin, contact Anne on email - Anne.Barnes@bhs.org.au - or text her on 0403 646 072 and she will organise a time to speak with you.