Leanne 2019 westvic news

Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation 

With Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation taking effect from today (19 June 2019), it is essential all relevant health professionals be informed of their rights and responsibilities and those of their patients.

Western Victoria PHN is here to help you understand this important new legislation. We have already held a number of information sessions across the region with the next session to be held in Geelong on Monday, 24 June. There are still places available for this session and if we need to arrange further sessions, we will certainly do so.

The patient-doctor relationship is central in the discussions and planning around voluntary assisted dying. This professional support assists a person facing serious and terminal illness to make his or her own informed decisions and choices.

While health professionals are not required to participate in voluntary assisted dying or undertake the training, a person may make a request to any general practitioner.  Therefore, it is important you have in place an effective means for responding to these requests even if you choose not to participate.

Note, VAD must be voluntary and initiated by the person themselves. Only those who are already dying from an incurable, advanced and progressive disease, illness or medical condition will be able to access voluntary assisted dying.

More information on available resources are detailed in this newsletter below.

And, please if you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to contact our staff in any of our four offices.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Voluntary Assisted Dying Resources

New GP Resources: Assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Diabetes Victoria and National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Update

World Hepatitis Day

National Cancer Screening Register Update

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Reminder: Doc Ballarat directory deactivation

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Geelong Otway

Reminder: DocGeelong website and directories deactivation

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Great South Coast

Medical Practitioner Special Interest Group: Voluntary Assisted Dying 

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Wimmera Grampians

Voluntary Assisted Dying Information Session

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

General 

Voluntary Assisted Dying Resources

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A wide range of services and support remains available for clinicians and practices wanting to be informed about the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation which is effective from today, 19 June 2019.

In follow up to our information sessions in Ballarat, Horsham and Warrnambool, Western Victoria PHN is hosting a Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria – Are You Ready information session in Geelong next Monday, 24 June. This session is also available via webinar if you live outside the Geelong area or were unable to attend one of the previous sessions.  You can register here:

In addition, to also assist health practitioners to prepare, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Implementation Taskforce have developed a range of resources, which are available on the Department’s website.

The online voluntary assisted dying training for medical practitioners, along with five short training videos, can be accessed here.

Two statewide services have been established to support consumers and health practitioners who need information and guidance about voluntary assisted dying:

  • The Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Pharmacy Service will be responsible for dispensing and delivering all voluntary assisted dying medication across Victoria. The pharmacy service will provide expert advice and support for patients accessing, and health practitioners participating in, voluntary assisted dying. The service can be contacted via email VolAssistDyingPharmacy@alfred.org.au
  • The Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigator Service will support the implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation via direct support for patients, families, health practitioners and health services. The care navigators will also provide education and other resources as required. The service can be contacted via email vadcarenavigator@petermac.org.au.

And a reminder that the Victorian Health Association (VHA) is also available to help organisation plan their approach to participation in VAD.  VHA has also posted a number of resources on its website including a Model of Care Pathways for health services

New GP Resources: Assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition

Comcare recognises the critical role General Practitioners play in helping people with ill health or injury to recover and participate in work. To support this role, Comcare has produced a new resource for GPs on assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition.

Presented by consultant psychiatrist Dr Dielle Felman, the five-minute video provides better practice information and recommendations for treating health practitioners on how to practically assess capacity for work for patients with a psychological condition.

The resource is also useful for those supporting workers with a psychological condition, such as practice nurses, psychologists and physiotherapists, to understand how capacity has been assessed and certified.

For further information, please contact Angie Deegan on 03 9914 6358

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is making progress after finishing more than 60 community consultation sessions during April and May across 21 locations.

However, you don’t have to have attended a community consultation to have your say.

The Commission is asking to hear your views and ideas for change, whether you are living with mental illness, caring for a loved one, working in the sector or just have a general interest in mental health by making an online submission on the RCVMHS website.

Submissions are open until 5 July 2019. If you require assistance to make a submission, please call 1800 00 11 34 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or email contact@rcvhms.vic.gov.au

Public hearings will commence in July at Melbourne Town Hall. Details will become available soon.

Diabetes Victoria and National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Update

If you’re in need of fast and easy access to diabetes-related information and support, you can now download NDSS fact sheets, forms and other resources for free through the HealthShare FactSheet tool within your clinical management software.

For more information contact hello@healthshare.com.au or dial 1300 533 433.

You can also check out:

  • Other NDSS resources and order them by visiting the NDSS website 
  • NDSS programs, events and services for people with diabetes offered by Diabetes Victoria by visiting the website or contacting our Primary Care Engagement Coordinator, Claire Rickard at crickard@diabetesvic.org.au

World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is being held on 28 July and calls for all primary care providers to be proactive in their vital role in Viral Hepatitis elimination in Australia.

The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2019 is “Find the Missing Millions”, with a focus on finding people living with hepatitis who are undiagnosed and linking them to care.  

Close to half a million Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B or C, making it likely that someone attending your practice is living with hepatitis. It is vital for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test, and diagnose people living with hepatitis, to enable treatment to halt serious liver damage. You can access resources on the ASHM website

There are also new resources available to address hepatitis and liver cancer in Chinese, Filipino and Thai Communities, which have been developed by Cancer Council Victoria in partnership with the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health and St Vincent’s Hospital.  You can download the resources on the Cancer Council Victoria website.  

A public forum on hepatitis B will be also held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in October to share the latest advances in HBV research. View the flyer or register here.

National Cancer Screening Register Update

The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) is an integral part of the cervical screening pathway and plays a role in improving participation in the National Cervical Screening Program (the Program). The NCSR integrates with government data sets which, for the first time, enables the identification of never-screened eligible persons in Australia. 

The data received by the NCSR and received by sources such as Medicare, laboratories and healthcare providers is processed by complex algorithms that are based upon the Program’s clinical guidelines and place participants onto the appropriate clinical pathway. This automatically generates appropriate correspondence to participants and their nominated healthcare provider.

To support the Program to increase participation, the NCSR will begin to invite newly eligible people aged 25 years and people aged 25 to 30 years who have never screened. This correspondence will be distributed from June 2019. 

The Department of Health is currently planning a broader campaign for the dissemination of invitations to eligible never-screened and under-screened people over the age of 30 to assist the uptake of Cervical Screening Tests and maximise participation.  

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Bronwyn Morrish, Director, Cervical Screening on (02) 6289 9784 or at cancerscreeningengagement@health.gov.au

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Analgesia in Children with Acute Pain 

Reviewed Pages:

  • Breast Symptoms

  • Breast Pain (Mastalgia)

  • Lymphoedema Therapy

  • Kidneys and Diabetes

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

Ballarat Goldfields

Reminder: Doc Ballarat directory deactivation

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Western Victoria PHN advises the Doc Ballarat directory was deactivated on Friday, 14 June 2019. The Doc Geelong and Colac directories and docgeelong.com website have also been decommissioned.

After a review, it was determined this would avoid duplication and the possibility of out-of-date or inconsistent information being provided over the internet.

In the years since the directories and site were first developed and launched, new resources have become available that can provide more detailed, expansive and up-to-date information for the public on local health services. We recommend using the National Health Services directory.

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

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Western Victoria PHN, Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health and Southwest Healthcare are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. There will be a consultation in Ballarat with a date to be advised. 

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Geelong Otway

Reminder: DocGeelong website and directories deactivation

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Western Victoria PHN wishes to advise the Doc Geelong, Ballarat and Colac directories and the docgeelong.com website was deactivated on Friday, 14 June 2019. After a review, it was determined this would avoid duplication and the possibility of out-of-date or inconsistent information being provided over the internet.

In the years since the directories and site were first developed and launched, new resources have become available that can provide more detailed, expansive and up-to-date information for the public on local health services.

We recommend any links to the docgeelong.com website be redirected to the National Health Services directory.

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639

Western Victoria PHN, Barwon Health, Ballarat Health Services and Southwest Healthcare are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. The Geelong consultation will be held on Thursday 11 July from 1.00pm - 3.00pm at Western Victoria PHN Geelong Office, 131 Myers St, Geelong.  

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Great South Coast

Medical Practitioner Special Interest Group: Voluntary Assisted Dying 

South West Healthcare is facilitating a special interest group for any medical practitioner to attend on Monday, 1 July. 

The aim for the group is to allow medical practitioners the opportunity to discuss current issues and concerns and provide peer support regarding the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act. 

The session will be held at SWH Community Health Building, Koroit St, Warrnambool on Monday, 1 July from 4pm - 5pm.  

View the flyer here. 

Please RSVP by 27 June to: voluntaryassisteddying@swh.net.au 

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639

Western Victoria PHN, Southwest Healthcare, Ballarat Health Services and Barwon Health are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. There will be a consultation in Warrnambool with a date to be advised. 

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au

Wimmera Grampians

Voluntary Assisted Dying Information Session

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More than 40 primary health professionals from the Wimmera Grampians region attended a Voluntary Assisted Dying information session held in Horsham on 4 June 2019.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) will take effect in Victoria from 19 June 2019. The education session facilitated by Dr Greg Mewett, highlighted the major features of the legislation and its likely implications for GPs and other health professionals in their day to day work.

Dr Mewett has developed a special interest in clinical ethics particularly as related to end-of-life care and decision-making. He is a member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Taskforce appointed by the state Minister of Health and DHHS to oversee the introduction of the VAD legislation in Victoria.  

Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639

Western Victoria PHN, Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health and Southwest Healthcare are coming together with People with Lived Experience and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to develop the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for Western Victoria.

Federal and state governments have asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital/Health Networks to develop Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plans to improve services.

The plan will cover the lifespan-from childhood, adults to older people and aims to:

  • Identify gaps and duplications
  • Address the needs of people across the mental health and suicide prevention spectrum – from prevention, early intervention to severe and complex needs
  • Connect people, develop and strengthen partnerships to maximise the use of available resources
  • Deliver improved outcomes for consumers and carers
  • Support integration

Initial consultations will be held late June & early July. The Horsham consultation will be held on Wednesday 3 July from 1.00pm- 3.00pm at Horsham Business Centre.

If you wish to register your interest, please email Samantha.McIntosh@westvicphn.com.au