Leanne 2019 westvic news

Providing Voice to Priority Health Issues

National NAIDOC Week runs from 7 to 14 July with this year’s theme focusing on Voice Treaty Truth. It is a time of celebration for our indigenous peoples and a chance for all of us to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land. For Western Victoria PHN, we recognise the priority need for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations to have a strong and clear voice on health issues.

In Australia, more than two-thirds of the indigenous population aged 15 years and over suffer from long-term health conditions and mental health issues impact over a third of the indigenous population in Victoria.

In the Western Victoria PHN region, more than 7,500 people identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. We are working with GP practices and other health organisations to help ensure indigenous voices are heard as we progress toward Closing the Gap by providing improved access to the health and well-being support and services to which they are entitled. Later this month, we will launch our new Asking the Question campaign to provide clinicians with the resources and knowledge to help patients self-identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. I encourage you to discover more about this campaign when we announce further details in coming weeks. In the meantime, please refer to the Closing the Gap website to read more about what is happening to improve the health and prosperity of our indigenous peoples. 

Other, important voices are also being heard this month as the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System undertakes four weeks of public hearings. While most hearings will be in Melbourne, a day will be dedicated to hearings in Maryborough in Western Victoria PHN’s Ballarat-Goldfields sub-region. We have included more details in articles below. A reminder, online submissions are open until this Friday, 5 July. Go to www.rcvmhs.vic.gov.au/submissions to share your views and ideas. Again, I encourage you to help make sure all relevant voices are given the chance to have a say on the mental health needs in our region.

Finally, we’ve been advised the Commonwealth Department of Health has today released three key documents relating to the new PIP Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive payments:

Western Victoria PHN’s Practice Facilitation team will be contacting you over coming weeks to support you with introducing the changes. Information will also be made available via our website or contact us on qi@westvicphn.com.au to arrange an onsite visit from your Practice Facilitator.

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Public Hearings

MBS Claiming for the National Cervical Screening Program

Health Workforce Distribution Priority Areas

Changes to Victorian Disability Parking Permit Scheme

DHHS Update – What’s New in Diabetes?

Practice Facilitators Undergo Intensive Training to Support General Practices 

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Public Hearings

Applications Extended for APNA’s Risk prevention Nurse Clinic Project

Musculoskeletal Workshop for GPs

Geelong Otway

GP Education – Cardiology in General Practice

Course in Tympanometry 

Management of Parkinson's Disease

Great South Coast

Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigator Information Session

Wimmera Grampians

Applications Extended for APNA’s Risk prevention Nurse Clinic Project

General 

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Public Hearings

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has started public hearings which will run until Friday 26 July at Melbourne Town Hall. They will be open to the public and live streamed on their website, except in particularly sensitive circumstances.

Ten key themes will be explored during the hearings, including suicide prevention, stigma, access and navigation, prevention and early intervention, the role of carers and families, and the barriers that culturally and linguistically diverse communities face when accessing mental health services.

You can read the full list of topics here

A hearing day will also be held in Maryborough in the Shire of Central Goldfields on Monday 15 July to consider the issues facing those accessing and delivering mental health services in rural Victoria.

A dedicated day of hearings will be held on Tuesday 16 July to consider issues specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, taking place at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury.

Online submissions are still open until Friday 5 July.

MBS Claiming for the National Cervical Screening Program

There have been a number of enquiries regarding billing for women who present for follow up of a prior Intermediate Risk cervical screening test result. Women who are due to have a 12 month follow-up test are sent communications by the National Cancer Screening Register nine months following the original screen date.

Please note that 12 month follow up HPV tests are supported by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) by claiming MBS item number 73072.

Unlike item number 73070, which is intended for primary screening of asymptomatic women, MBS Item number 73072 does not have a time restrictor and can therefore be performed at any time after the date of the original cervical screening test and be eligible for an MBS rebate. Clinical experts have advised the NCSP that a minimum of nine months should separate the follow-up test from the initial screening test.

These two items and the relevant descriptors are provided and highlighted in the table here for your reference.

Health Workforce Distribution Priority Areas

A new health workforce Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification system replaced the Districts of Workforce Shortage (DWS) Assessment Areas for GPs and Bonded Doctors on July 1. The system will better facilitate placing medical practitioners in communities of greatest need across Australia.

Instead of using a GP-to-population ratio, the new DPA system takes into account demographics (gender/age) and socio-economic status of patients living in a GP catchment area. 

The DPA also applies a number of blanket rules:

  • Inner metropolitan areas are automatically deemed non-DPA;
  • MM 5 – 7 are automatically deemed DPA; and
  • Northern Territory is automatically deemed DPA.

Benchmarks will be used to determine services required in GP catchment areas and will be fixed for three years to allow areas to stabilise their workforce. The change provides a more accurate picture of where patients access their health services. A map of Distribution Priority Areas is available on the Doctor Connect website.  

Read the fact sheet and what this will mean for you as a GP or Bonded Doctor. 

Changes to Victorian Disability Parking Permit Scheme

There will be upcoming changes to the way Disability Parking Permit applications are being managed in Victoria.  VicRoads are working on the development and implementation of the new Accessibility Parking Permit Scheme which is targeting the end of 2019 for implementation. 

Currently the scheme is managed separately by 79 Victorian councils using 79 different forms.  Under the new scheme a single online application process will be used, and a new single State permit design introduced.

Other changes include:

  • GPs and Occupational Therapists will need to complete patient medical assessments via an online application portal;
  • The overarching criteria remains the same however the wording of the assessment questions has changed; and
  • Application outcomes will be determined by the portals business rules. GPs and Occupational therapists will not be made aware of the application outcome in their patient consultation or recommend permit types.

DHHS Update – What’s New in Diabetes?

The University of Melbourne’s ‘Diabetes Academy - What’s New in Diabetes?’ is an important clinical update discussing the keys to treatment for diabetes. The course is intended to increase the knowledge and confidence of clinicians caring for people with diabetes.

The interactive CPD-accredited course focuses on the important recent changes and best practice principles in diabetes management. The modules cover the latest medications and technologies to equip GPs, nurses and other health practitioners to treat diabetes.

Find out more on University of Melbourne’s website.

Practice Facilitators Undergo Intensive Training to Support General Practices

Eleven Practice Facilitators have completed two months of intensive training as part of the transition to supporting general practices across western Victoria to become High-performing Primary Care providers.

The training included Cultural Awareness and Cultural Safety, Understanding the Business of General Practice, Optimising MBS for Better Patient Outcomes, How to Coach Quality Improvement in General Practice, Using Data to Drive Decision Making and Team Building to Deliver on a Common Purpose and “We support primary care in building sustainable healthy communities”.

The Practice Facilitation team are now organising time with each of the 223 practices across western Victoria to discuss PIPQI, Accreditation and Quality Improvement as part of updating practice profiles and creating a customised support program for each practice.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New Pages:

  • Voluntary Assisted Dying

  • Refugee Health Resources

Reviewed Pages:

  • Zika Virus

  • Health in Refugees

  • Lymphoedema

  • Lymphoedema Therapy

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

Ballarat Goldfields

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Public Hearings

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has started public hearings with a hearing day to be held in Maryborough in the Shire of Central Goldfields on Monday 15 July to consider the issues facing those accessing and delivering mental health services in rural Victoria.

Public hearings  will run until Friday 26 July at Melbourne Town Hall. They are open to the public and are live streamed on their website, except in particularly sensitive circumstances.

Ten key themes will be explored during the hearings, including suicide prevention, stigma, access and navigation, prevention and early intervention, the role of carers and families, and the barriers that culturally and linguistically diverse communities face when accessing mental health services.

You can read the full list of topics here.  Online submissions are still open until Friday 5 July.

Applications Extended for APNA’s Risk prevention Nurse Clinic Project

The Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic project will support four general practices to establish nurse clinics focused on health prevention and healthy lifestyles. With funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to deliver the project from July 2019 to June 2020, successful organisations will receive $10,000 grant funding.

Risk screening and health coaching will be key components delivered by the lead nurse, in supporting patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Risk screening will focus on risk factors related to: diabetes, heart, stroke, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

General practices within the Ballarat Goldfields and Wimmera Grampians regions of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network are invited to apply. 

Applications have now been extended to midnight on Monday 15 July. For further information and to apply, please click here

Musculoskeletal Workshop for GPs

Lake Health Group is running a Musculoskeletal Workshop for GPs in Wendouree on Wednesday 17 July focusing on hip, lumbar and shoulder pain.

The practical sessions will outline several different conditions/presentations and common subjective features. Physiotherapists will work with GPs to increase confidence in relation to assessment techniques, with some hands on components supported by the physiotherapist to get the best outcomes for the clients.

The sessions will end with some objective discussion and outlines for best practice management plans including load management, exercises, what to avoid and imaging.

The workshop will be held at Lake Health Group, 1046 Howitt St, Wendouree on 17 July from 6.30 – 8.00pm. Please RSVP by Wednesday 10 July by emailing your full name and place of work to: info@lakehealthgroup.com.au

See the flyer for further information.  

Geelong Otway

GP Education – Cardiology in General Practice

St John of God Geelong are hosting a full day RACGP/ACCRM Cat 1 QI/CPD 40 point accredited event focusing on cardiology and emerging practices and changes in cardiology at the Novotel Geelong on Saturday 20 July.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Identify appropriate treatment options for heart failure
  • Discuss possible misinterpretations of ECG and limitations of automated interpretation
  • Assess the role of some emerging modalities in cardiac imaging
  • Recognise common interventional cardiac devices and their role in the management of cardiac patients
  • Identify and discuss possible red flags and near misses in cases of chest pain in General Practice

The cost for the event is $45. Please register by Wednesday 17 July here. Alternatively, you can fill out your details and find out more information on the flyer.

Course in Tympanometry 

   

The Course in Tympanometry is being offered in Geelong on Tuesday 23 July, which has been designed to provide skills and knowledge for a range of health professionals and others working within Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health to undertake tympanometric screening and tympanometry.

The nationally accredited course is fully funded by the federal Department of Health under the Ear and Hearing Health Project. At the successful completion of this program the student should:

  • be able to perform a tympanometric screening;
  • understand the results;
  • recognise abnormalities;
  • recognise the need to refer to medical staff or specialist;
  • give the patient a comprehensive explanation of the examination findings; and 
  • document the examination findings and outcome in the patient’s history.

The free course will be held at Geelong Conference Centre on 23 July from 8.45am - 4.30pm. Register here or view the flyer for further information. 

Please note: Students must have attended the Otitis Media Management Program prior to attending the workshop. In addition, your participation data will be shared with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

Management of Parkinson's Disease

 

Epworth Geelong are hosting a Management of Parkinson's Disease workshop on Thursday 18 July, which is worth 4 Category 2 QI&CPD points (pending RACGP approval). 

Learning outcomes include: 

  • Differentiate the motor and non-motor features of Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Explain the role of rehabilitation in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Outline the indications for deep brain stimulation and the expected outcomes for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

To register, contact Fiona Harrington, Business Development Manager by 10 July. Phone 0429 534 811 or email fiona.harrington@epworth.org.au

View the flyer for further information and a list of speakers. 

Great South Coast

Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigator Information Session

In line with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act which commenced on 19 June 2019, the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigators are visiting South West Victoria.

South West Healthcare is holding a Care Navigator Information Session on Monday 15 July, which can be attended by any health professional.

The session will be held at the Ace Radio Lecture Theatre, Ryot St Entrance, South West Healthcare, Warrnambool from 3.00 – 4.00pm. Please see the flyer to register interest.

Wimmera Grampians

Applications Extended for APNA’s Risk prevention Nurse Clinic Project

The Risk Prevention Nurse Clinic project will support four general practices to establish nurse clinics focused on health prevention and healthy lifestyles. With funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to deliver the project from July 2019 to June 2020, successful organisations will receive $10,000 grant funding.

Risk screening and health coaching will be key components delivered by the lead nurse, in supporting patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Risk screening will focus on risk factors related to: diabetes, heart, stroke, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

General practices within the Ballarat Goldfields and Wimmera Grampians regions of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network are invited to apply. 

Applications have now been extended to midnight on Monday 15 July. For further information and to apply, please click here