Westvic News

Leanne 2019 westvic news

Quality primary health care for our communities

With the 2019 Federal election only one and a half weeks away, I thought I would share with you some of the key messages from Western Victoria PHN about issues in the primary health care area for priority consideration.

All Australians are entitled to a secure, effective, accessible, equitable and affordable healthcare system focused on quality outcomes.

This is especially critical for those whose needs are currently not well supported, such as First Nations peoples, people living in rural and remote Australia, people on low incomes and people with chronic disease and mental illness.

Western Victoria PHN strongly supports general practice as the cornerstone of primary health care in our communities, and GPs are at the centre of the system.

The Commonwealth Government plays a critical role in supporting the healthcare sector and we call on all parties to commit to equity in health services, improved access to care and sustainable funding.

To read our key messages click HERE

Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer 

General 

Medical Professional Development Grants Changes

Self-Collection Project: Statewide Cervical Screening Provider Survey

Early bird registrations open for Australian College of Nurse Practitioners National Conference

Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer

Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners Workshop

HealthPathways Update

Ballarat Goldfields 

National Interoperability Consultation - Ballarat Workshop

City of Ballarat’s immunisation service changes

Geelong Otway

Barwon Health Primary Health Partners Clinic Referrals

Early Childhood Early Intervention Services

Great South Coast

Emergency Medicine without Medicines or Equipment: Teaching on the run for nurses, doctors, and allied health

Wimmera Grampians

National Interoperability Consultation - Horsham Workshop

General 

Medical Professional Development Grants Changes

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The Rural Workforce Agency Victoria has announced changes to it Medical Professional Development grants to broaden opportunities for doctors to apply.

The grants are funded by the State Government to support continuing professional development for medical practitioners, registrars ( practising in rural communities MM2-7) and interns (who are required to complete a minimum of 13 weeks in Victorian rural community placement).

Under the changes, recipients can now claim:

  • $3,000 per financial year
  • Course/study undertaken within the financial year NOT within 60 days of claiming as per previous guidelines
  • 100 per cent registration fee up to annual limit
  • Full cost of cheapest economy airfare
  • Up to $140 per night accommodation
  • $0.66 per km based on return trip
  • Up to $60 per day for childcare.

For more information, visit the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria website.

Self-Collection Project: Statewide Cervical Screening Provider Survey

Cancer Council Victoria has established the ‘Self-Collection Project’ to support the introduction of self-collected Cervical Screening Tests as a pathway for under-screened women in Victoria.

Cervical screening providers are now being asked to participate in a survey about current knowledge, skills and confidence to offer self-collected Cervical Screening Tests to eligible women.

Self-collected Cervical Screening Tests are available to women who: 

  • are aged 30 or over; and
  • are either overdue for a Cervical Screening Test by at least two years (4 years since last Pap test), or have never been screened; and 
  • have declined a Cervical Screening Test from a health professional. 

To access the online survey, please click here

Early bird registrations open for Australian College of Nurse Practitioners National Conference

Early bird registrations are now open for the 2019 Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) National Conference to be held in Melbourne from the 2-5 September.

The theme for the four-day conference is ‘Transforming Health Care’, which recognises the dimensions of practice and contribution made by Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice Nurses across Australia. Themes to be explored are:

  • Rural & Remote Health;
  • Primary Health Care;
  • Private Practice; and
  • Speciality Practice, including Mental Health and Emergency. 

Early bird prices for the full conference are Member/$940.50 and Non-Member/$1210. Early bird registrations closes on 30 June 2019.

Individual day tickets can also be purchased. Prices are Member/$484 and Non-Member/$539. 

For further information and to register, please visit the ACNP website.

Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer

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Western Victoria PHN is joining with other Primary Health Networks in Victoria and Tasmania this year to increase the use of Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) for cancer.

OCPs are national guidelines which outline the best possible cancer care for specific tumour types. This year the focus is on melanoma, head and neck cancers and pancreatic cancer. The OCPs outline key stages in a patient’s cancer journey, from diagnosis to survivorship or end-of-life-care. They also detail the expected optimal care at each stage to ensure everyone diagnosed with cancer gets the best care possible, regardless of where they live or where they get cancer treatment.

Western Victoria PHN will be working to increase awareness of OCPs throughout 2019, including education and training opportunities around the pathways and providing general practitioners with a suite of melanoma HealthPathways.

If you would like more information on OCPs in western Victoria, contact our Optimal Care Pathways Project Officer Tanya Hahne email tanya.hahne@westvicphn.com.au or phone 03 4310 5106.

For more information on the Optimal Care Pathways, visit the Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance website: https://vtphna.org.au/optimal-care-pathways/

Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners Workshop

Join the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and The University of Melbourne for a free half-day workshop on Saturday, 25 May 2019 on cancer survivorship for general practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals.

With over one million people living with or beyond their cancer diagnosis, cancer survivorship care is a priority in the community.

This collaborative, interactive session will enable discussion with like-minded professionals from a range of disciplines keen to deliver best-practice care for cancer patients during and after treatment. The workshop will provide an overview of cancer survivorship, an understanding of the shared care model as well as tools and resources for supporting patients with cancer in the community.

The workshop will run from 9am-2pm at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Level 13 meeting room, 305 Grattan Street, Parkville. 

Bookings are essential by 23 May. Register HERE.

  HealthPathways Update

HealthPathways

New pages:

  • Incidental Findings on Imaging

Reviewed pages:

  • Rural Community Support during Adversity

  • Asthma in Children

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

Ballarat Goldfields

National Interoperability Consultation - Ballarat Workshop

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As part of the national interoperability consultation – Better connections: Your health, Your say – Western Victoria Primary Health Network is hosting a workshop to hear your perspectives on the future of digital health in Australia and how it can best support delivery of modern person-centred health services and empower personal wellbeing.

The Interoperability Program is a priority of the strategy, which was approved in 2017 by all states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.

Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy describes interoperability as: At its simplest, the ability to move information easily between people, organisations and systems. It is imperative that when information is shared between people and systems, its meaning is preserved from one context to another so that information is interpreted in the same way.

The Ballarat Workshop on Tuesday, 28 May is open to both clinicians and the community to discuss:

  • What are Australia’s digital health aspirations? How can health learn from innovation in other industries?
  • Priority areas – what are the problems we are seeking to solve by making information more accessible? What’s important to you?
  • What does it mean for consumers to be in control of their own information?
  • What features would be important to maintain trust in systems that share people’s information between providers?
  • How do we ensure that no one is left behind, while at the same time allowing early adopters to exercise greater control?

For more information including details to RSVP, view the event flyer.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can have your say via the online survey.

City of Ballarat’s immunisation service changes

The City of Ballarat has advised it has reviewed its Immunisation Program and will no longer provide flu immunisation services to adult residents and commercial businesses due to an expansion in service providers in Ballarat.

Adult flu vaccination services are now being provided from medical practices, private flu vaccine providers, community health, Indigenous health services, hospitals and pharmacies. 

The City of Ballarat will focus on providing a quality childhood vaccination program to children and students in the municipality, which is in line with local government requirements outlined in the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. Children aged six months to five years will continue to receive the vaccine free from their GP.

Residents and businesses can find their nearest flu vaccine provider by visiting the below websites:

Geelong Otway

Barwon Health Primary Health Partners Clinic Referrals

Barwon Health

Barwon Health has advised that it's Primary Mental Health Psychiatry Clinic based at Primary Mental Health Partners in Myers St, Geelong has temporarily ceased accepting new referrals, effective from 30 April.

Barwon Health has written to Geelong region GPs advising that, at present, patients with non-urgent, mild-moderate mental health issues who have been referred to the clinic may experience up to an eight-month waiting period for psychiatric assessment and management plans. Barwon Health says the high demand for services and their commitment to patient safety informed the decision to prioritise working through the current waiting list. 

It's anticipated it may take between six and eight months to work through the current list, with a view to reopen referrals in October 2019.

Referrals can still be made to the Barwon Health Deakin Psychology Clinic via Primary Mental Health Partners for psychological assessment and intervention.

Should you require urgent advice about a patient’s situation, please phone the Barwon Health Access Team on 1300 094 187.

Early Childhood Early Intervention Services

Did you know there are faster ways to support a child under six with developmental concerns? Clinicians can refer or advise families to refer to  the Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) team without needing a diagnosis or paediatric review. 

The ECEI approach, is an open referral pathway, which means referrals can come from a range of sources including parents, carers, health professionals and kindergartens.

To begin the process please see the steps below: 

  • Complete a referral form on the BCYF website
  • Family will receive a call from ECEI within two days to arrange an appointment
  • Consult “Developmental Concerns in Children” HealthPathway for more information
  • ECEI can assist by providing short term supports of 3-6 months and service linkages to the family, or if required make recommendations and assist application for an NDIA plan

For further information, please call 1300 012 293 or vist the BCYF website

Great South Coast

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Emergency Medicine without Medicines or Equipment: Teaching on the run for nurses, doctors, and allied health

The Western Victoria PHN Warrnambool office is holding a teaching session on Monday, 20 May 2019 for General Practitioners, GP Registrars, Practice Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Allied Health Professionals.

Learning outcomes include:

  • learn the one minute approach to teaching;
  • learn how to react in stressful situations; and
  • learn the most important skill to teach any clinician (and it is the same for every clinician type).

Attendees will hear from special guest speaker, Associate Professor Tim Baker, MBBS (Hons), BMedSc(Hons), MClinEd, FACEM - Chair of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine's Non-Specialist Training Committee.

The event is also available via webinar. For additional details, view the event flyer or register here.

Wimmera Grampians

National Interoperability Consultation - Horsham Workshop

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639  adha logo

As part of the national interoperability consultation – Better connections: Your health, Your say – Western Victoria Primary Health Network is hosting a workshop to hear your perspectives on the future of digital health in Australia and how it can best support delivery of modern person-centred health services and empower personal wellbeing.

The Interoperability Program is a priority of the strategy, which was approved in 2017 by all states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.

Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy describes interoperability as: At its simplest, the ability to move information easily between people, organisations and systems. It is imperative that when information is shared between people and systems, its meaning is preserved from one context to another so that information is interpreted in the same way.

The Horsham Workshop on Wednesday, 29 May is open to both clinicians and the community to discuss:

  • What are Australia’s digital health aspirations? How can health learn from innovation in other industries?
  • Priority areas – what are the problems we are seeking to solve by making information more accessible? What’s important to you?
  • What does it mean for consumers to be in control of their own information?
  • What features would be important to maintain trust in systems that share people’s information between providers?
  • How do we ensure that no one is left behind, while at the same time allowing early adopters to exercise greater control?

For more information including details to RSVP, view the event flyer.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can have your say via the online survey.

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A busy year ahead

It seems a little late to pass on New Year regards, but as this is my first blog for the year, I do wish you all a very happy and successful 2018. From our perspective, it will be a very busy year indeed.

Today the much publicised codeine changes have come into effect. Most of you would have received regular communications from us about these changes; why it has been put in place and further information that can be of assistance to GPs and Pharmacists when treating and assisting consumers. All this information is available on our website

As well as codeine changes, we have other government initiatives being driven throughout the year. These include the further roll out of My Health Record, the implementation of SafeScript (formerly known as real-time prescription monitoring) training and education for GPs and pharmacist and the implementation of the new PIP QI Incentive from May 2018. This PIP will replace payments for asthma, quality prescribing, cervical screening, diabetes and general practitioner aged care access. Other PIP payments will remain in their current form.

We are committed to supporting General Practice regarding the potential design and/or identification of activities that will support access to the quality improvement PIP. We will continue to update you once more is understood about what is required to access the PIP.

Closer to home, last year the Western Victorian PHN Board endorsed a plan to revise and redevelop the existing Advisory Council program following an extensive review. In September, a new Regional Integrated Council structure was proposed and adopted. An expression of interest process was then implemented to existing council members in November 2017.

There are now four Regional Integrated Councils, combining Clinical and Community Councils across our four regions (Ballarat Goldfields, Great South Coast, Wimmera Grampians and Geelong Otway). The new councils will meet for a launch on February 16th in Ballarat where a focus will be on innovation in action to implement the Strategic Plan. Board members, Executive and Senior Managers will also be in attendance.

Finally I would like to remind all GPs about our upcoming annual GP Refresher event being held at Deakin University (Waurn Ponds campus) on the weekend of 24 and 25 February 2018. The theme this year is ‘Pain, Distress and Palliation’. I understand that registrations are filling fast so make sure you take the time to register.

I hope to meet as many of you as possible at the GP Refresher.

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Victorian PHN Alliance

General

Expression of Interest: co-design of Alcohol and Other Drugs model of care
Please note: Western Victoria PHN phone number change
Workshops are filling fast for our GP Refresher weekend
PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!
ePIP – Shared Health Summary upload targets
My Health Record expansion training for pharmacists
Power outages and vaccine fridges
Immunisation update
End of grass pollen season monitoring
Cervical screening self-sampling now available to under screened women
Paediatric asthma surge in February
Safe prescribing of Buprenorphine/Naloxone resource
Applications close soon: Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program - Capacity Building Grands funding
New My Aged Care Fact Sheet for health professionals
My Health Record webinars resume
Contemporary Chronic Disease Management
Foundations of General Practice Nursing Workshop
Save the date: Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Group
Women of the Grampians - Your Voice is Your Choice
Impact of Psychological Trauma in Rural Settings

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
New referral templates to Epworth Geelong
Geelong Palliative Care Group
Blood and guts: The Haematologist’s link to Gastroenterology

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update
Turning the Tide for Birth and Breastfeeding Conference

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
Codeine changes - are you prepared?
Wellness and Life after Cancer
My Aged Care: Information for health professionals
Pathology results and surgery at Wimmera Base Hospital
Dinner with the Federal Minister for Health

General  

Expression of Interest: co-design of Alcohol and Other Drugs model of care

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Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) will issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the co-design of an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) model of care on 30 January 2018.

Western Victoria PHN will commission organisations in four subregions to co-design with their communities an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) model of care. Organisations will establish a multidisciplinary project team with formal governance arrangements to undertake a regional AOD co-design project with stakeholders within their communities. A Project team representative of the subregion must include, but is not limited to:

  • AOD treatment provider providing services in the subregion
  • Community Organisation based in and providing services in the subregion, and
  • Primary Care provider based in and providing services in the subregion and general practice based in and providing services in the subregion.

Suppliers will partner with Western Victoria PHN to develop a prioritised model for regional AOD care that best meets the needs of the subregional context utilising the expertise of consumers, their families, primary care and other stakeholders. The model will include the integration of, or redesign of existing PHN funded services to support a more comprehensive, person centred, needs driven, integrated AOD system. Further information is available in the context paper available on the Western Victoria PHN website.

The recommendations developed in these projects will inform an overarching integrated regional AOD model that meets local need and will guide Western Victoria PHN’s broader activities including procurement in the area of AOD.

The EOI can be accessed through https://www.tenderlink.com/westvicphn/with a closing date of 12 noon Tuesday 13 March 2018.

An EOI for the codesign of AOD and Mental Health Models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders will be released in the coming weeks.

Please note: Western Victoria PHN phone number change

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Some time ago, Western Victoria PHN changed its primary phone number from 5229 1922 to 5222 0800. The redirection has ceased from the old number to the new number. Please adjust your speed dial numbers and contact lists accordingly.

Workshops are filling fast for our GP Refresher weekend

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Western Victoria PHN invites GPs and other health professionals to its flagship western Victoria CPD event - the 2018 GP Refresher.

The theme for this year will be 'Pain, Distress and Palliation'.  Topics include: 

  • Mental Health - Pain Management Strategies
  • Cardiology - Medical management of chest pain syndromes
  • Diabetes - Lower Limb Care, Neuropathic Pain
  • End of Life Distress - Palliation, Pain Management
  • Rheumatology - Rheumatological emergencies in the GP setting
  • COPD - Pulmonary Rehab
  • Orthopaedic Conditions - Paediatric Scoliosis
  • Geriatric dilemma - Deprescribing and maintaining quality of life
  • Paediatric Emergencies - Ketoacidosis
  • Obstetric Emergencies
  • CPR Update.

Date: Saturday 24 February and Sunday 25 February
Time: 11.45am - 4pm
Venue: Deakin University, Waurn Ponds

Please visit our website to register or contact CPD Geelong for further information or phone 5222 0800.

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!

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Come and visit the Western Victoria PHN table at the upcoming GP Refresher on 24 - 25 February to learn more about the PHN Learning Hub.

The PHN Learning Hub is Western Victoria Primary Health Network’s new online learning management system developed by Clinician’s Matrix. 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.

Health professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff can have access to a range of continuing professional development (CPD) learning options such as online courses, webinars, eLearning programs, and live online health related conferences as well as guidelines and decision support tools making the PHN Learning Hub the ‘central hub’ for educational resources. All features are optimized for mobile devices ensuring users can access the PHN Learning Hub at anytime from anywhere.

Health Professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff will enjoy the many features of the PHN Learning Hub including:

  • Increased accessibility to CPD through a catalogue of online courses and webinars as well as clinical tools and practice support resources that will be updated on a regular basis
  • Education that aligns with the RACGP CPD&QI requirements
  • Dashboard and detailed views of progress of completion across all learning activities
  • Repository and retrieval of certificates of completion at any time
  • Ability to self-generate Learning Plans
  • Activity completion logbook section to allow uploading of personal entries (e.g. face to face courses) and certificates of completion as well as the ability to link these to learning plans
  • Complete archiving ability and printing for submission for CPD purposes
  • Ability for a helpdesk to access any user’s site without the need for remote access to the user’s computer or mobile device (cloud-based impersonation).

Access
To access the PHN Learning Hub go to http://catalogue.wvphn.cliniciansmatrix.com, click on ‘Register’ and complete the registration form. 

Western Victoria PHN Members should have received their member numbers via post in December. If you have not received it or have misplaced it, please contact us to find out your member number.

LMS Screen

Enquiries
Please email learninghub@westvicphn.com.au or phone (03) 5222 0800. 

ePIP – Shared Health Summary upload targets

Western Victoria PHN logo

The current PIP quarter ended on Wednesday 31 January. If your practice is registered for the eHealth PIP incentive please check that you are on track for the number of Shared Health Summary (SHS) uploads required for your practice.

You need to upload 0.5% of your practice SWPE (standard whole patient equivalent) of the previous PIP quarter, which may be found at the bottom of the front page of your last statement or on HPOS. For example 2,500 SWPE = 13 shared health summaries uploaded. Please contact your designated Primary Care Consultant if you’re unsure how to calculate the number of Shared Health Summaries required to be uploaded.

We also recommend that your practice uploads more than the minimum requirements. This is to not only ensure you remain eHealth PIP compliant but contributes to improved quality of care as clinicians begin to view uploaded Shared Health Summaries as part their clinical decision making processes.

The Australian Digital Health Agency website has instructions and video demonstrations on how to do upload Shared Health Summaries easily. 

You can check how many Shared Health Summaries have been uploaded as your most recent versions of clinical software have an inbuilt report . Please contact your vendor directly or Western Victoria PHN has screen sheets available if you have difficulties. The PENCAT SHS recipe can also provide you are report on the number of Shared Health Summaries you have uploaded.

If you’re not going to reach your target of required Shared Health Summary uploads, you will need to withdraw from the eHealth PIP incentive entirely online through the Department of Human Services Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS) . We are aware of audits being performed and where there has been non-compliance to the eHealth PIP incentive, practices may be asked to return ePIP funds paid. Contact PIP for advice specific to your practice:

Please feel free to contact Western Victoria PHN on 5222 0800 if you need assistance. If you have withdrawn from the ePIP, unable to upload Shared Health Summaries, or want to learn more about Shared Health Summaries and how they can be viewed by your GPs when reviewing patients please let us know so we can tailor our support to you in the future.

My Health Record expansion training for pharmacists

Western Victoria PHN logo

Online training with CPD points is now available for pharmacists needing training on the My Health Record expansion.

This year My Health Record is moving to an “opt out” system, which means that all Australians will have a My Health Record created unless they choose not to. Previous trials indicate that around 2% of the population opt out given the opportunity. As such the majority of your patients will have a My Health Record created this year.

To prepare for this change the Australia Digital Health Agency has developed online training with CPD (Group 1 or 2) points attached.

To register for training and record your CPD points:

There are five modules each of which has been accredited for 0.5 hours of Group 1 CPD (or 0.5 CPD credits) suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. These can be converted to 0.5 hours of Group 2 CPD (or 1 Group 2 CPD credit) upon successful completion of relevant assessment activities.

A certificate of completion will be generated on completion of each module providing that the questions are correctly answered.  We recommend pharmacists copy or print this certificate of completion and self-record it on their CPD plan.

A range of webinars have been developed on My Health Record. Both recorded and live webinars are eligible for self-recorded Group 1 CPD activity points. They can be accessed here: https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/using-the-my-health-record-system/digital-health-training-resources/webinars.

If you have trouble accessing this online training, please contact the Australian Digital Health Agency Help Centre by phone on 1300 901 001 or via email.

If you would like pharmacy training or support for registering for a My Health Record Western Victoria PHN is here to help. Contact Western Victoria PHN directly on 5222 0800 and ask to speak to a team member about My Health Record.

Power outages and vaccine fridges

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Following a recent spate of hot weather and associated power outages across the region, please see guidance from the Department of Health and Ageing on how to manage vaccines during extreme weather conditions.

Immunisation update

Victoria State Gov logo

Chief Health Officer Alert: Important vaccination update for MSM

An outbreak of hepatitis A has been identified in Victoria. As of 12 January, 27 confirmed cases have been identified, and a further 12 cases of hepatitis A infection are being investigated. Of the 27 confirmed cases, all are male and most have not travelled overseas, indicating that hepatitis A is passing between men who have sex with men (MSM) in Victoria. A number of cases have visited sex on premises venues or report using dating apps or websites. Some cases are being identified in people who inject drugs.

Key points:

  • Offer a free, two-dose course of monovalent inactivated hepatitis A vaccine to all MSM who live in Victoria and all people who have injected drugs in the past 12 months and live in Victoria, available from 22 January 2018 until 31 December 2018. Please consider bulk billing your patient to assist this public health initiative, and record the vaccinations on the Australian Immunisation Register.
  • Consider hepatitis A infection in patients presenting with a compatible clinical illness, especially those who are MSM or a person who injects drugs. Take blood for serology (IgM) and liver function tests, advise against sexual activity and food preparation for others, and notify the Department immediately by calling 1300 651 160.
  • Three other vaccines are now being provided for free to MSM in Victoria throughout 2018 - meningococcal ACWY vaccine to combat an outbreak of meningococcal C, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent HPV-related cancers in MSM, and hepatitis B vaccine (an ongoing program).
  • If you are an immunisation provider please order free hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal ACWY and HPV vaccine now from the Department for your MSM patients or clients.

To find out more, please visit the 'Important vaccination update for MSM' on the health.vic website.

Gardasil® 9 vaccine availability in 2018 

Gardasil® 9 vaccine has been introduced onto the National Immunisation Program schedule for adolescents in Year 7 of secondary school (or age equivalent 12 to 13 years old).

Gardasil® 9 vaccine is expected to be available in late January 2018 after stock has been cleared by the TGA and transferred to Onelink. The vaccine order form will be updated and Immunisation Providers will be notified by email so they can place an order. 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has prepared information about the new vaccine including:

  • Dosage and course interval
  • Guidelines for the age of commencement and immunocompromised adolescents
  • Catch-up vaccination and scenario's for transitioning to the new vaccine for people who have not previously completed a course.

A link to the ATAGI information will be provided once it is available on the Immunise Australia web page.

Gardasil® 9 vaccine is not required for people who have previously completed a course of Gardasil®.

Provided the Gardasil® vaccine is within its expiry date please clearly label it and separate it from the new Gardasil® 9 vaccine stock in your vaccine fridge. The Immunisation Section will provide advice about management of the Gardasil® stock you are still holding when the new stock becomes available.

Three changes to free vaccines available from the department

From 22 January 2018 until 31 December 2018 all men who have sex with men (MSM) who live in Victoria, and all men and women who have injected drugs in the past 12 months and live in Victoria, will be able to get access to a free, two dose course of hepatitis A vaccine, Havrix 1440®.

In addition to the free hepatitis A vaccine, the free meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Menactra®) program previously announced in a CHO Alert on 7 December 2017, has been extended and is now free for all MSM until 31 December 2018.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil®, is also now free for all MSM aged up to 26 years of age until 31 December 2018.

The hepatitis B vaccine, Engerix B®, remains free to all MSM as a long-term approach to protect against liver disease and liver cancer.

To order vaccines for your patients, please use the updated Government vaccine order form 2018.

Factsheets to support immunisation providers are now available

Two factsheets have been developed for immunisation providers, regarding health and vaccine issues for MSM patients, and also persons who inject drugs. These fact sheets are available on the department’s factsheets webpage

We encourage you to review these documents, and to use them to help guide discussions with your patients. If you find that any frequent questions or issues come up that are not covered in the material, please let the Immunisation Unit know by emailing immunisation@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

2018 Immunisation schedule Victoria

In Victoria the routine schedule of vaccines is provided free under the National Immunisation Program and the Victorian funded immunisation program. It includes vaccines provided for children, adolescents and adults at increased risk of vaccine preventable disease.

To find out more download the new schedule from the health.vic website

End of grass pollen season monitoring

Victoria State Gov logo

To coincide with the end of grass pollen season Victoria’s epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system ceased delivering forecasts on Sunday 31 December. Epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasts will resume at the start of the Victorian grass pollen season on 1 October 2018.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Charles Guest, says the end of the risk of the grass pollen season for 2017 does not mean people with asthma or hay fever should be complacent
when it comes to their asthma management and symptom control.

Good asthma management means taking preventer medication regularly as prescribed, using inhalers correctly and seeing your doctor if there are any ongoing symptoms. For more information on thunderstorm asthma and asthma first aid visit: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

Cervical screening self-sampling now available to under screened women

VCS Pathology

VCS Pathology will be the first pathology service in Australia to commence testing of self-collected samples from eligible women under the renewed National Cervical Screening Program.

This initiative will enable women who avoid Pap smears to take the sample themselves and have access to lifesaving cervical screening tests. A Victorian pilot project of self-sampling involving VCS has demonstrated high acceptability of self-sampling amongst under screened Aboriginal, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and disadvantaged women, with 86% of women who refused a practitioner collected sample accepting the invitation to self-sample.

Read more

Paediatric asthma surge in February

National Asthma Council Australia

The National Asthma Council Australia is asking doctors to help their young asthma patients have a great start to the school year by ensuring their healthy return to the classroom.

Studies in Australia and the UK show that asthma hospitalisations surge during the first month of the school year, with cases in Australia tripling in children aged five to 14 years and doubling in pre-schoolers. While increased risks have also been recorded at the start of subsequent school terms, the February spike is by far the most significant.

National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson and respiratory paediatrician, Professor Adam Jaffé, said that the one in 10 Australian children with asthma often have symptoms at school.

“At the start of the school year factors such as stress, shared viruses, less strict asthma management over the holidays and a change of environment or allergens can trigger asthma in children and teenagers.

“The impact of these asthma flare ups, including missed school days, can be reduced if children and their parents and carers are properly prepared.

He urged doctors to check their paediatric patients’ asthma, including ensuring that patients are taking their preventer medications as prescribed, reviewing their device technique and ensuring their asthma action plan is up to date.

“It’s important that doctors remind parents to share their child’s asthma action plan with school teachers, after school carers and sport coaches so they are prepared should an asthma flare-up occur.

“Parents should also be familiar with their school’s asthma policy including whether their child can carry their own reliever,” said Professor Jaffé.

Read more

Safe prescribing of Buprenorphine/Naloxone resource

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Dr Paul Grinzi provides clinical information and practical advice on the prescribing of Buprenorphine/Naloxone combination medication to treat opioid dependence in an updated Buprenorphine/Naloxone - Safe prescribing webinar which is now live on the RACGP Victoria Resources page.

Applications close soon: Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program - Capacity Building Grands funding 

Victoria State Gov logo

Applications for these grants will close at 2pm on Tuesday 13 February.  These grants will fund a maximum of five projects over the course of 12 months and will provide up to $100,000 to eligible services.

Services can leverage existing funding or initiatives, adopt an existing model or address a specific survivorship matter or resource need. The funding is for projects that re-design services, develop new models of care, develop new resources etc.

More information can be found at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/health-strategies/cancer-care/cancer-projects/victorian-cancer-survivorship-program.

Application forms are housed on the Victoria Cancer Agency website http://www.victoriancanceragency.org.au/index.php/vcsp.

Successful projects will need to commence on 31 May 2018 and be completed by 30 May 2019.

Please contact Georgina Akers on 9096 2133 if you have any queries.

New My Aged Care Fact Sheet for health professionals

Department of Health

The Department of Health has recently published a new Fact Sheet for health professionals to help them better understand their role in My Aged Care, and how they can assist their patients with their aged care journey. The fact sheet provides health professionals with an overview of:

  • How to refer a patient for an aged care assessment via the online referral form, phone or fax
  • The process for assessing care needs undertaken by the My Aged Care assessment workforce
  • The referral pathway to access services following an assessment
  • Some common questions or scenarios a health professional might face, and how to respond.

To find out more, please see the new My Aged Care Fact Sheet.

My Health Record webinars resume

My Health Record

Webinar 4: My Health Record - Privacy, Security and Patient Consent
This webinar will outline the security features of the My Health Record system, the legislation which underpins healthcare providers' use, and providers' obligations as they relate to consumer consent. It will be useful for healthcare providers in establishing policies and procedures which support the My Health Record privacy, security and patient consent requirements.

Date: Thursday 1 February
Time: 5pm - 6pm AEDT
Register

Webinar 5: My Health Record - Communicating with Consumers

This webinar will outline for healthcare providers how and what to communicate with consumers regarding My Health Record and the range of materials on offer to support this communication, as well as how to register a consumer through clinical software. It will be useful for healthcare providers in supporting consumers to understand what the system is and how to manage their records.

Date: Thursday 8 February
Time: 5pm - 6pm AEDT
Register 

Contemporary Chronic Disease Management

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These two day workshops are designed for nurses in all primary health care settings, including general practice, aged care and community health settings. 

Topics covered include care coordination, health assessments, motivational interviewing, wound care on a primary care budget, skin tears, burns and venous leg ulcers plus much more.

Date: Friday 9 February and Saturday 10 February
Time: 9am - 4.30pm
Venue: Cliftons Melbourne

To find out more and to register, please visit the APNA website.

Foundations of General Practice Nursing Workshop

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General practice nursing is a different and unfamiliar environment to other areas of nursing practice. Developed and facilitated by local nurse leaders, this highly engaging two day workshop will provide an overview of the knowledge and key skills required by nurses new and transitioning into general practice, and those looking for an update.

Date: Friday 16 March and Saturday 17 March
Time: 8.45am - 5pm
Venue: Cliftons Melbourne

To find out more and to register, please visit the APNA website.

Save the date: Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference

Victoria State Gov logo

This conference will take place on Thursday 31 May 2018 at the Warrnambool campus of Deakin University.

This conference will bring together allied health professionals to support discipline-specific and inter-professional knowledge exchange, optimise collaborative learning about practice innovations and service developments, and to celebrate allied health’s collective contribution to the overall health and wellbeing of the regions' diverse communities.

Registrations opened on Monday 29 January.  To find out more, please email alliedhealthconference@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • General Medicine - Acute, Non-acute & Advice
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Parkinson's Disease.

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

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Group

Do you have a client who suffers from bi-polar disorder, depression, substance misuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, eating disorders or addictions? Then this workshop may assist them.

Beginning in mid-February, this DBT group is designed to assist with increasing knowledge skill development in relation to managing emotions and impulse behaviours through the use of acceptance, validation and working towards change through expressive activities. It will assist in defining a meaningful life and what that signifies.

There is no gap charge for the group or individual counselling sessions for those with a GP mental health plan.

To find out more, please contact Marguerite Middling on 0438 744 217 or Helen Baker on 0488 596 256.

Women of the Grampians - Your Voice is Your Choice

Grampians Integrated Cancer Services

This female only event will provide participants with insights into the value and impact their unique voice brings to their communication within professional contexts.

This includes:

  • Face-to-face conversations with colleagues and clients
  • Individual contribution at meetings and to group discussions
  • Virtual communication parameters (telephone/mobile and web contexts)
  • Presentations that are delivered to specific audiences at work.

Date: Friday 2 March 
Time: 9.30am - 12pm
Venue: Integrated Living (formerly BDNH), 1818 Sturt St, Ballarat

To find out more and to register, please see this event on the Eventbrite website.

Impact of Psychological Trauma in Rural Settings

University of Melbourne Feb 18

Melbourne University's Dr John Cooper will speak on 'PTSD - what it is and how to treat it' on Tuesday 6 March from 5.30pm - 6.30pm at The Education Resource Centre, Ballarat Health Services. 

Dr Cooper has worked in various clinical settings, both hospital-based and in the community, specialising in veteran and military mental health and he has provided assessment and treatment to a wide section of civilian patients with posttraumatic mental health problems.

To find out more about this public lecture, including registration details, please see this flyer and location map.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

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New on HealthPathways:

  • Lymphocytosis
  • Long QT Syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Skin Lesion Excision.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Palpitations
  • Chronic Hepatitis B
  • Ovarian Cancer - Established
  • General Medicine Referrals – Acute, non-acute and advice
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Hyperlipidaemia
  • Cervical Screening
  • Pharmacy Management of Codeine Dependence.

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

New referral templates to Epworth Geelong

Western Victoria PHN logo

For practices in and around the Geelong, two new referral templates have been added to our Templates and Resources page for use in Best Practice, Medical Director and Zedmed. They are the:

  • Concussion Clinic Referral Form, and
  • Women’s Health Clinic Referral Form.

Geelong Palliative Care Group

This groups aims to provide palliative care support to patients across the Greater Geelong Region including:

  • Private Palliative care practice
  • St John of God Hospital, Geelong
  • The Epworth Hospital, Waurn Ponds
  • Geelong Private Hospital
  • Anam Cara Geelong & Anam Cara Colac and
  • Community patients residing at home and in residential aged care facilities.

For more please email Geelongpalliativecaregroup@gmail.com.

Blood and guts: The Haematologist’s link to Gastroenterology

St John of God Geelong Hospital

You are invited to attend an education evening for GPs where presenters will speak on:

  • An overview of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Mr Neel Heerasing - Gastroenterologist
  • Iron and B12 deficiencies: Dr David Routledge - Haematologist
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound: Mr Alvin Ting - Gastroenterologist.

Date: Thursday 22 February
Time: 6pm for 6.30pm start
Venue: Education Room, Bridget Clancy Wing, St John of God Hospital Geelong

Light refreshments will be provided.

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

Great South Coast 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • General Medicine Referrals – Acute, Non acute and Advice
  • Alcohol Brief Intervention
  • Cannabis Use
  • Perpetrators of Family Violence
  • Transgender Health and Gender Diversity
  • Ear, Nose and Throat Referrals – Acute, Non acute and Advice
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling - public brief intervention services
  • Oncology Referrals - Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Paediatric referrals - Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Home and Community Support for Older Persons
  • Gynaecology Referrals - Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Bariatric Surgery Referrals.

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

Turning the Tide for Birth and Breastfeeding Conference

Warrnambool Breastfeeding Centre

This two day conference will explore and make sense of hot topics in lactation and birthing.

Topics include:

  • Human milk: A big player in the developmental origins of health and disease
  • Floppy poppies – Stiff necks, flat heads and breastfeeding
  • Managing slow weight gain in a breastfeeding baby – “Your advice really matters”
  • Can a baby be allergic to breastmilk? Lactose intolerance, allergies, sensitivities and galactosemia

Date: Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February
Time: 8am - 7pm (Friday), 8am - 4pm (Saturday)
Venue: Lighthouse Theatre, 185 Timor Street, Warrnambool 

To find out more, please see this flyer and information about sponsorship opportunities.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New to HealthPathways:

  • Acute General Medicine Referral
  • Non-acute General Medicine Referral
  • General Medicine Advice
  • Skin lesion excision
  • Established malignant melanoma
  • Pigmented skin lesions
  • Acute Dental Services Assessment
  • Non-acute Dental Services Assessment
  • Acute General Surgery Referral
  • Non-acute General Surgery Referral
  • General Surgery Advice.

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

Codeine changes - are you prepared?

Western Victoria PHN logo

Codeine has now been up scheduled to prescription only (from 1 February). This change will significantly affect a number of groups including consumers, pharmacists, general practice and the alcohol and other drug sector. This facilitated discussion is designed to bring these various groups together to discuss ways to best manage this change and the potential emergence of presentations of poorly managed pain and/or codeine dependence in primary care.

Discussions will be centred on how we can work together to get the best outcomes for these patients; appropriate referrals and what clinicians need in the form of support and education for the changes.

This change will affect everyone in primary care so it's important to be part of the conversation!

Panel discussions will be facilitated by Pene Wood, Opioid Management Clinical Advisor, Western Victoria PHN.

If you have a particular case study you would like addressed on the night please forward details to Vernetta Taylor, CPD Consultant, Horsham.

Date: Tuesday 13 February
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm - 9pm discussion
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven

To find out more or to register, please see this flyer.

Wellness and Life after Cancer

Wellness video

Do you have a patient who has finished, or are on long term cancer treatment such as Hormone therapy? They could benefit from the Wellness and Life after Cancer program being delivered in Stawell, Warracknabeal and Horsham.

The eight-week, two hourly program is delivered by local health professionals and includes personal assessment, exercise sessions and group education using telehealth. The program will focus on fitness and strength, performing daily tasks, coping with life and connecting with others.

“This program helped me make new friends, learn to breathe better and achieve my goal of cooking for myself again," Roger, 2017.

Programs are taking registrations now. Stawell and Horsham programs commence on Thursday 1 March, and Warracknabeal commences Thursday 26 April.

Participants can register by calling their nearest participating health service:

  • Stawell Regional Health - 5358 8630
  • Wimmera Health Care Group - 5331 9333
  • Rural Northwest Health - 5396 1315.

Cancer Council Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Grampians and Hume Regional Integrated Cancer Services.

My Aged Care: Information for health professionals

My Aged Care logo

My Aged Care is the entry point for older Australians to access information about aged care services. Health Professionals play a key role in supporting patients to access these services. This fact sheet provides you with information on your role in a client’s aged care journey and provides you with guidance in supporting client discussions.

Pathology results and surgery at Wimmera Base Hospital

Wimmera Health Care Group

If you have a patient that is requiring surgery, would you please ensure that you also list Wimmera Base Hospital as needing access to pathology results on Pathology Request forms. The hospital is unable to access GP ordered results on the electronic pathology system and this has resulted in repeat pathology tests being performed. Thank you for your assistance.

Dinner with the Federal Minister for Health

Andrew Broad

Andrew Broad MP, Federal Member for Mallee invites you to a meal and discussion with the Hon. Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health.

Date: Wednesday 21 February
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven
Cost: Food and drinks at bar prices

Please email or call 1300 131 620 with your response by COB Wednesday 14 February.

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Understanding and engaging with our stakeholders

As part of our Strategic Planning process, Western Victoria PHN executive and management are currently working on our stakeholder engagement plan. Our first step has been to understand more about our stakeholders and how we are currently interacting with them. Stakeholders like our GPs, other health care professionals, Federal and State governments, peak bodies, acute and community health services, disadvantaged and marginalised groups, local government, and many more.

We are looking at how we currently communicate and engage with these groups, and we are asking questions like;

  • Is there duplication and over-communication?
  • Is there a better way?
  • How do different groups want us to engage with them?
  • How can we be more efficient?

Through this process we will then identify and agree on priorities, next steps, potential barriers and resources required to implement and maintain a robust stakeholder engagement plan.

The year ahead will see a number of important federal and state government initiatives being implemented across our region (such as further roll out of My Health Record, SafeScript, PIP QI Incentive) and we want to ensure that information gets to the right stakeholder in the right way and at the right time.

If you have ideas about how we can communicate better with you and your team, let us know.

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Victorian PHN Alliance

General

Workshops are filling fast for our GP Refresher weekend
PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!
More practioners can now submit medical exemptions for vaccination
Quad-strain meningococcal vaccine to be added to National Immunisation Program
Gardasil® 9 vaccine is now available
Providing feedback and complaints to My Aged Care
Domestic Violence Awareness Sessions
The Magic of Collaboration: A workshop for Practice Manager and Nurses
Older Persons Mental Health First Aid: Ballarat and Geelong
Region-wide Pharmacist Administered Immunisation Service 101 Workshop
Register now for Victoria Rural Health Conference 2018
Registrations now open and call for abstracts: Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Travel and accommodation subsidy
GP Leader of the future
Managing Codeine dependence in Primary Care
Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update
Travel and accommodation subsidy
Turning the Tide for Birth and Breastfeeding Conference

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
Codeine changes - are you prepared?
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Dinner with the Federal Minister for Health

General  

Workshops are filling fast for our GP Refresher weekend

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Western Victoria PHN invites GPs and other health professionals to its flagship western Victoria CPD event - the 2018 GP Refresher.

The theme for this year will be 'Pain, Distress and Palliation'.  Topics include: 

  • Mental Health - Pain Management Strategies
  • Cardiology - Medical management of chest pain syndromes
  • Diabetes - Lower Limb Care, Neuropathic Pain
  • End of Life Distress - Palliation, Pain Management
  • Rheumatology - Rheumatological emergencies in the GP setting
  • COPD - Pulmonary Rehab
  • Orthopaedic Conditions - Paediatric Scoliosis
  • Geriatric dilemma - Deprescribing and maintaining quality of life
  • Paediatric Emergencies - Ketoacidosis
  • Obstetric Emergencies
  • CPR Update.

Date: Saturday 24 February and Sunday 25 February
Time: 11.45am - 4pm
Venue: Deakin University, Waurn Ponds

Please visit our website to register or contact CPD Geelong for further information or phone 5222 0800.

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!

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Come and visit the Western Victoria PHN table at the upcoming GP Refresher on 24 - 25 February to learn more about the PHN Learning Hub.

The PHN Learning Hub is Western Victoria Primary Health Network’s new online learning management system developed by Clinician’s Matrix. 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.

Health professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff can have access to a range of continuing professional development (CPD) learning options such as online courses, webinars, eLearning programs, and live online health related conferences as well as guidelines and decision support tools making the PHN Learning Hub the ‘central hub’ for educational resources. All features are optimized for mobile devices ensuring users can access the PHN Learning Hub at anytime from anywhere.

Health Professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff will enjoy the many features of the PHN Learning Hub including:

  • Increased accessibility to CPD through a catalogue of online courses and webinars as well as clinical tools and practice support resources that will be updated on a regular basis
  • Education that aligns with the RACGP CPD&QI requirements
  • Dashboard and detailed views of progress of completion across all learning activities
  • Repository and retrieval of certificates of completion at any time
  • Ability to self-generate Learning Plans
  • Activity completion logbook section to allow uploading of personal entries (e.g. face to face courses) and certificates of completion as well as the ability to link these to learning plans
  • Complete archiving ability and printing for submission for CPD purposes
  • Ability for a helpdesk to access any user’s site without the need for remote access to the user’s computer or mobile device (cloud-based impersonation).

Access
To access the PHN Learning Hub go to http://catalogue.wvphn.cliniciansmatrix.com, click on ‘Register’ and complete the registration form. 

Western Victoria PHN Members should have received their member numbers via post in December. If you have not received it or have misplaced it, please contact us to find out your member number.

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Enquiries
Please email learninghub@westvicphn.com.au or phone (03) 5222 0800. 

More practitioners can now submit medical exemptions for vaccination

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On 16 August 2017 changes were made to the Australian Immunisation Register and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017, enabling additional practitioners to notify of medical exemptions to immunisation to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). These include:

  • General practitioners (as defined in the Health Insurance Act 1973)
  • Paediatricians
  • Public health physicians
  • Infectious diseases physicians and
  • Clinical immunologists.

Medical exemptions can be notified using the AIR website. The medical basis for vaccination exemption is based on guidance in the Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition. Medical exemptions to vaccination can only be issued due to a medical contraindication or natural immunity. Medical contraindications to vaccinations are rare and limited to:

 Permanent

  • Previous anaphylaxis to vaccine/vaccine component; or
  • Significant immunocompromise (live attenuated vaccines only)

 

 Temporary

  • Acute major medical illness; or
  • Significant immunocompromise of short duration (live attenuated vaccines only); or
  • The individual is pregnant (live attenuated vaccines only).

Natural immunity to hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella must be confirmed via laboratory testing or physician based clinical diagnosis. Exemption to a combination vaccine on the bases of natural immunity is only valid if immunity is confirmed for all vaccine antigens.

Conscientious objection (vaccination objection on non-medical grounds) is no longer a valid exemption from the immunisation requirements for certain family payments.

For more information about the AIR, please call 1800 653 809 (call charges may apply).

Quad-strain meningococcal vaccine to be added to National Immunisation Program

Department of Health

The Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP announced last week that the Australian government would be adding a quad-strain vaccine to the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

The new vaccine (Nimenrix) covers against A, C, W and Y strains (MenACWY) and will be added to the NIP ahead of the next peak meningococcal season which, based on previous years, is expected to be in the second half of the year.

In recent years we have seen a rise in the number of invasive meningococcal cases in Australia. In 2017, there were 382 cases reported nationally, compared with 252 cases in 2016 and 182 cases in 2015.

Deaths associated with meningococcal have also risen, with 28 deaths in 2017, compared with 11 deaths in 2016 and 12 deaths in 2015.

Currently, infants aged 12 months are given a single-strain Meningococcal C vaccine.

To find out more, please see this Media Release.

Gardasil® 9 vaccine is now available 

VictorianGovernment logo

Please note that when placing your next routine vaccine order:

  • To only order Gardasil® 9 vaccine and not Gardasil®
  • Gardasil® 9 is being offered through the school program
  • You can order a maximum quantity of five doses.

Please see this Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation Clinical Advice for Gardasil® 9.

Providing feedback and complaints to My Aged Care

Department of Health 

Access to services and changes to referral processes via My Aged Care portal have met with challenges for health professionals.

To provide feedback or complaints directly to My Aged Care, view the Department of Health Newsletter – Information for Aged Care Providers – How to make My Aged Care complaints

Domestic Violence Awareness Sessions

Lifeline logo

Lifeline is committed to raising the awareness of domestic and family violence.

DV-alert awareness sessions comprise a two-hour interactive presentation where individuals and groups can talk about the issue of domestic violence and what they can do to help make a difference.

At the end of the awareness session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the different signs and forms of abuse that constitute domestic and family violence
  • Familiarise themselves with the Cycle of violence and Duluth wheels – power and control, equality and empowerment
  • Reflect on and share what they can do if they know someone who is experiencing domestic and family violence.

To find out more, please see below dates and links to register.

Ballarat: Tuesday 13 February, 9.30am - 11.45am | Peart Wing 105 Lydiard St Sth, Ballarat | Register
Daylesford: Thursday 15 February, 10am - 12.15pm | Daylesford Senior Citizens Rooms, 76 Vincent St, Daylesford | Register
Horsham: Monday 30 April, 1pm - 3.15pm | Wimmera Business Centre Meeting Room, 62 Darlot St, Horsham | Register
Stawell: Tuesday 1 May, 9.45am - 12pm | Stawell Health and Community Centre, 8-22 Patrick St, Stawell | Register 

The Magic of Collaboration: A workshop for Practice Manager and Nurses

aapm logo

This workshop aims to enhance the working relationship between Practice Manager and Practice Nurse. The Program includes sessions on:

  • The Workforce
  • Governance
  • Professionalism and Risk
  • APRHA Requirements
  • How to get your Practice Humming
  • The Nurses Career Framework.

Date: Friday 23 February
Time: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne, 328 Flinders St, Melbourne

To find out more and to register, please visit the AAPM website.

Older Persons Mental Health First Aid: Ballarat and Geelong

Mental Health First Aid small

Mental health first aid for the older person is aimed at the person 65 years + who is experiencing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the older person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.

At this two-day course participants will learn about:

  • Signs and symptoms of common and disabling mental health problems (Depression, Anxiety problems, Confusion and Dementia, Psychosis)
  • How to provide initial help
  • What sort of help has been shown by research to be effective
  • How to provide first aid in a crisis situation (suicidal thoughts, self-injury, panic attacks, severe effects of drug or alcohol use, severe psychotic states and aggressive behaviours).

Ballarat: Thursday 1 March and Friday 2 March
Geelong: Thursday 15 March and Friday 16 March

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

Region-wide Pharmacist Administered Immunisation Service 101 Workshop

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639  Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

This free event aims to support pharmacists, pharmacy staff and pharmacies interested in delivering a pharmacist administered immunisation service. The workshop provides an insight into the legislation and guidelines that govern this service and the practical considerations around implementation and promotion.

Pharmacists who are currently delivering this service will benefit from the promotional discussions that can help improve awareness and uptake of the service. The pharmacy team overall will find value in consolidating their understanding of effective cold chain management.

Geelong: Wednesday 7 March, 7pm - 9pm
Horsham: Thursday 22 March, 7pm - 9pm
Warrnambool: Wednesday 24 October, 7pm - 9pm
Ballarat: Wednesday 14 November, 7pm - 9pm

To find out more and register for these events, please see this Eventbrite website

Register now for Victoria Rural Health Conference 2018

Rural Doctors Association of Victoria logo

This conference includes Continuing Professional Development (CPD), discussion panels, live entertainment and a wide range of activities for your family in beautiful Creswick. Join fellow GPs, GP registrars, practice managers, practice nurses and medical students from across rural Victoria.

Date: Friday 27 April - Sunday 29 April
Venue: RACV Goldfields Resort, Creswick

To find out more, including speaker profiles, program and registration fees, please visit the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria website.

Registrations now open and call for abstracts:
Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference

Victoria State Gov logo

This conference will bring together allied health professionals to support discipline-specific and inter-professional knowledge exchange, optimise collaborative learning about practice innovations and service developments, and to celebrate allied health’s collective contribution to the overall health and wellbeing of the regions' diverse communities.

Date: Thursday 31 May 2018
Venue:
Warrnambool campus of Deakin University.

Abstract entries for this conference close 5pm, Friday 23 February. To find out more, please see the health.vic website or this flyer.

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Community Asthma Education and Support
  • Dietetics Referral
  • General Medicine - Acute, Non-acute & Advice
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Parkinson's Disease.

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

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare.160359

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felcity Harte on 5338 9144.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Lymphocytosis
  • Long QT Syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Parkinson’s Disease.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Palpitations
  • Chronic Hepatitis B
  • Ovarian Cancer - Established
  • General Medicine Referrals – Acute, non-acute and advice
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Cervical Screening
  • Pharmacy Management of Codeine Dependence.

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

Travel and accommodation subsidy

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria PHN is offering up to a $300 subsidy to GPs from the Barwon South West region to attend Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) training. 

MATOD training is a free full day training funded by the Department of Health and Human Service. In Victoria, Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence, also known as Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT), is a community-based programme allowing clients to receive ORT with their GP and pharmacist.

To prescribe methadone or to prescribe buprenorphine to more than five patients, GPs must be authorised in the treatment of opioid dependent persons. This MATOD training will provide GPs with the skills and required accreditation to prescribe ORT within the Victorian regulatory framework.

To find out more, please see this flyer or contact Salli Hickford on 5222 0809.

GP Leader of the future

Western Victoria PHN logo

Congratulations to Dr Janelle Bennett from The Cottage Medical Centre, for being selected as a participant in the RACGP Future Leaders Programme for 2018.

This recent initiative of the college has been implemented to help build the GP leaders of the future.

We were delighted to support Janelle’s application and wish her every success in her endeavours.

Managing Codeine dependence in Primary Care

Western Victoria PHN logo

Open to GPs and GP registrars, pharmacists and nurse practitioners, Dr Mark Davies from Western Victoria PHN's Opioid Management team will present on:

  • Pharmacotherapy of Codeine
  • Different clinical presentations
  • Identifying potential Codeine dependence
  • Management options for Codeine dependence.

Date: Thursday 15 February
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start - 8.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN, 131 Myers St, Geelong

To find out more please see this flyer or to register, please see the Western Victoria PHN website.

Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

Womens Hospital logo

You're invited to attend and participate in the next regional Maternal & Perinatal Mortality & Morbidity Committee meeting for the Barwon region. The role of the meeting is to:

  • Conduct timely peer review of all perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality across the region based on PSANZ guidelines
  • Review clinical management against current peer reviewed best practice management
  • Develop recommendations to improve clinical care in maternity services.

Date: Friday 2 March
Time: 1.30pm - 3pm
Venue: John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4 Kardinia House, Geelong Hospital, Bellerine St, Geelong

Please contact Apryl Geale to register on 9345 3911.

Great South Coast 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Alcohol Brief Intervention
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Pharmacy Management of Codeine Dependence
  • General Medicine Referrals – Acute, Non acute and Advice
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Community Asthma Education and Support
  • Ear, Nose and Throat Referrals – Acute, Non acute and Advice
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling - public brief intervention services
  • Paediatric referrals - Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Gynaecology Referrals - Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Bariatric Surgery Referrals.

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

Travel and accommodation subsidy

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria PHN is offering up to a $300 subsidy to GPs from the Barwon South West region to attend Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) training. 

MATOD training is a free full day training funded by the Department of Health and Human Service. In Victoria, Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence, also known as Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT), is a community-based programme allowing clients to receive ORT with their GP and pharmacist.

To prescribe methadone or to prescribe buprenorphine to more than five patients, GPs must be authorised in the treatment of opioid dependent persons. This MATOD training will provide GPs with the skills and required accreditation to prescribe ORT within the Victorian regulatory framework.

To find out more, please see this flyer or contact Salli Hickford on 5222 0809.

Turning the Tide for Birth and Breastfeeding Conference

Warrnambool Breastfeeding Centre

This two day conference will explore and make sense of hot topics in lactation and birthing.

Topics include:

  • Human milk: A big player in the developmental origins of health and disease
  • Floppy poppies – Stiff necks, flat heads and breastfeeding
  • Managing slow weight gain in a breastfeeding baby – “Your advice really matters”
  • Can a baby be allergic to breastmilk? Lactose intolerance, allergies, sensitivities and galactosemia

Date: Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February
Time: 8am - 7pm (Friday), 8am - 4pm (Saturday)
Venue: Lighthouse Theatre, 185 Timor Street, Warrnambool 

To find out more, please see this flyer and information about sponsorship opportunities.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New to HealthPathways:

  • Dietetics referrals
  • Community Asthma Support
  • Acute General Medicine Referral
  • Non-acute General Medicine Referral
  • General Medicine Advice
  • Skin lesion excision
  • Established malignant melanoma
  • Pigmented skin lesions
  • Acute Dental Services Assessment
  • Non-acute Dental Services Assessment
  • Acute General Surgery Referral
  • Non-acute General Surgery Referral
  • General Surgery Advice.

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

Codeine changes - are you prepared?

Western Victoria PHN logo

Codeine has now been up scheduled to prescription only (from 1 February). This change will significantly affect a number of groups including consumers, pharmacists, general practice and the alcohol and other drug sector. This facilitated discussion is designed to bring these various groups together to discuss ways to best manage this change and the potential emergence of presentations of poorly managed pain and/or codeine dependence in primary care.

Discussions will be centred on how we can work together to get the best outcomes for these patients; appropriate referrals and what clinicians need in the form of support and education for the changes.

This change will affect everyone in primary care so it's important to be part of the conversation!

Panel discussions will be facilitated by Pene Wood, Opioid Management Clinical Advisor, Western Victoria PHN.

If you have a particular case study you would like addressed on the night please forward details to Vernetta Taylor, CPD Consultant, Horsham.

Date: Tuesday 13 February
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm - 9pm discussion
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven

To find out more or to register, please see this flyer.

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare.160359

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felcity Harte on 5338 9144.

Dinner with the Federal Minister for Health

Andrew Broad

Andrew Broad MP, Federal Member for Mallee invites you to a meal and discussion with the Hon. Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health.

Date: Wednesday 21 February
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven
Cost: Food and drinks at bar prices

Please email or call 1300 131 620 with your response by COB Wednesday 14 February.

DArcy Photography Leanne Beagley 070 cropped and resized2

Bowel cancer screening gets new boost

There is a new provider and kit for bowel cancer screening that commenced in January 2018. Alongside this, Western Victoria PHN has been provided with $600K by the federal government (for over the next three years) to encourage more people to utilize test kits for bowel cancer.

The new kit (an Eiken kit - OC Auto-sampling Bottle 3 - using the Pledia analyser) and associated pathology service was selected by the Department of Health through an open market tender process. The new kit is included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and is already used widely in Australia and overseas. The new pathology provider is Sonic Healthcare Limited (Sonic).

Winning on the immunisations rates

Childhood immunisation rates across western Victoria (Grampians and Barwon South West) are the best in Victoria and very high when compared to the rest of the country.

  • For children at 12 months of age we have the fourth highest immunisation rate in the country with 95.73%; also the highest in Victoria.
  • For children aged 24 months we have the highest rates in Australia at 93.50%.
  • At five years, again the highest in Victoria and the 3rd highest in Australia at 96.13%.

Despite this good news, there are pockets within our communities that have low immunisation rates.

We will continue to work with GPs and the government to encourage all parents to immunise their children.

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Victorian PHN Alliance

General

Don't miss out: only 9 days until our GP Refresher weekend!
PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!
My Health Record expansion training for pharmacists
Statewide paediatric HealthPathways
Zostavax® vaccine available now nationally for people 70 - 79 years
Chief Health Officer Advisory: Increase in meningococcal disease in Victoria
Free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for young people in Year 10
Seasonal influenza survey
Resource to help women with transvaginal mesh complications
Providing feedback and complaints to My Aged Care
Simple steps to protect small healthcare businesses
2018 Practice Partners Program applications opening soon
The Magic of Collaboration: A workshop for Practice Manager and Nurses
Registrations now open and call for abstracts: Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Popular CPD event to be repeated in Ballarat: Prescribed Drugs of Dependence - Active Learning Module (ALM)
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Next Palliative Care Breakfast: Difficult nerve pain
Learn suicide intervention skills
Elder abuse forum
International Women's Day film event

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Management of complicated twin pregnancies
Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee
Older Persons Mental Health First Aid

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update
Turning the Tide for Birth and Breastfeeding Conference

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Dinner with the Federal Minister for Health
Information session: Home Care Packages and Commonwealth Home Support Program Interface

General  

Don't miss out: only 9 days until our GP Refresher weekend!

PHNWesternVictoriaLogo halfsize.094639

Western Victoria PHN invites GPs and other health professionals to its flagship western Victoria CPD event - the 2018 GP Refresher.

The theme for this year will be 'Pain, Distress and Palliation'.  Topics include: 

  • Mental Health - Pain Management Strategies
  • Cardiology - Medical management of chest pain syndromes
  • Diabetes - Lower Limb Care, Neuropathic Pain
  • End of Life Distress - Palliation, Pain Management
  • Rheumatology - Rheumatological emergencies in the GP setting
  • COPD - Pulmonary Rehab
  • Orthopaedic Conditions - Paediatric Scoliosis
  • Geriatric dilemma - Deprescribing and maintaining quality of life
  • Paediatric Emergencies - Ketoacidosis
  • Obstetric Emergencies
  • CPR Update.

Date: Saturday 24 February and Sunday 25 February
Time: 11.45am - 4pm (Saturday), 8am - 4.10pm (Sunday)
Venue: Deakin University, Waurn Ponds

Please visit our website to register or contact CPD Geelong for further information or phone 5222 0800.

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!

WPH9000 LMS TwitterAd 800x418px v2

Come and visit the Western Victoria PHN table at the upcoming GP Refresher on 24 - 25 February to learn more about the PHN Learning Hub.

The PHN Learning Hub is Western Victoria Primary Health Network’s new online learning management system developed by Clinician’s Matrix. 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.

Health professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff can have access to a range of continuing professional development (CPD) learning options such as online courses, webinars, eLearning programs, and live online health related conferences as well as guidelines and decision support tools making the PHN Learning Hub the ‘central hub’ for educational resources. All features are optimized for mobile devices ensuring users can access the PHN Learning Hub at anytime from anywhere.

Health Professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff will enjoy the many features of the PHN Learning Hub including:

  • Increased accessibility to CPD through a catalogue of online courses and webinars as well as clinical tools and practice support resources that will be updated on a regular basis
  • Education that aligns with the RACGP CPD&QI requirements
  • Dashboard and detailed views of progress of completion across all learning activities
  • Repository and retrieval of certificates of completion at any time
  • Ability to self-generate Learning Plans
  • Activity completion logbook section to allow uploading of personal entries (e.g. face to face courses) and certificates of completion as well as the ability to link these to learning plans
  • Complete archiving ability and printing for submission for CPD purposes
  • Ability for a helpdesk to access any user’s site without the need for remote access to the user’s computer or mobile device (cloud-based impersonation).

Access
To access the PHN Learning Hub go to http://catalogue.wvphn.cliniciansmatrix.com, click on ‘Register’ and complete the registration form. 

Western Victoria PHN Members should have received their member numbers via post in December. If you have not received it or have misplaced it, please contact us to find out your member number.

LMS Screen

Enquiries
Please email learninghub@westvicphn.com.au or phone (03) 5222 0800. 

My Health Record expansion training for pharmacists

Western Victoria PHN logo

Online training with CPD points is now available for pharmacists needing training on the My Health Record expansion.

This year My Health Record is moving to an “opt out” system, which means that all Australians will have a My Health Record created unless they choose not to. Previous trials indicate that around 2% of the population opt out given the opportunity. As such the majority of your patients will have a My Health Record created this year.

To prepare for this change the Australia Digital Health Agency has developed online training with CPD (Group 1 or 2) points attached.

To register for training and record your CPD points:

There are five modules each of which has been accredited for 0.5 hours of Group 1 CPD (or 0.5 CPD credits) suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan. These can be converted to 0.5 hours of Group 2 CPD (or 1 Group 2 CPD credit) upon successful completion of relevant assessment activities.

A certificate of completion will be generated on completion of each module providing that the questions are correctly answered.  We recommend pharmacists copy or print this certificate of completion and self-record it on their CPD plan.

A range of webinars have been developed on My Health Record. Both recorded and live webinars are eligible for self-recorded Group 1 CPD activity points. They can be accessed here: https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/using-the-my-health-record-system/digital-health-training-resources/webinars.

If you have trouble accessing this online training, please contact the Australian Digital Health Agency Help Centre by phone on 1300 901 001 or via email.

If you would like pharmacy training or support for registering for a My Health Record Western Victoria PHN is here to help. Contact Western Victoria PHN directly on 5222 0800 and ask to speak to a team member about My Health Record.

Statewide paediatric HealthPathways

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

WestVic HealthPathways has recently published 13 paediatric clinical pages and linked referral pages. This work was initiated by the Department Health and Human Services Paediatric clinical network, and aims to align paediatric HealthPathways with Royal Children's Hospital clinical guidelines.

In western Victoria the development and review of this round of statewide paediatric pathways has been led by the south-west HealthPathways team: Dr. Margie Morrice, HealthPathways lead and Dr Brendan Condon, GP Editor. They have been assisted by a local workgroup consisting of Paediatrician, Dr Christian Fiedler, GPs Dr Ami Thies and Rachelle Bassett, and Paediatric Care Coordinator Sarah Irving.

The first group of pathways focuses on low complexity and high volume respiratory and gastrointestinal conditions. A further 15 pathways will be developed in 2018.

Statewide pathways can be identified by this symbol at the top of the pathway:

Statewide pathways symbol

For further information, please see HealthPathways or this Media Release.

Zostavax® vaccine available now nationally for people 70 - 79 years

Department of Health Federal

Since November 2016, a free shingles vaccine program has been funded under the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program (NIP) for 70 year olds, with a time-limited catch-up program for people 71 to 79 years old until October 2021.

At the commencement of the program, the interest in the vaccine was unprecedented. Early shortages have been addressed and there is now ample stock available to meet ongoing demand under the program.

Zostavax® is available nationally and the vaccine is readily accessible to immunisation providers.

To assist in promoting the program and ensuring people 70 to 79 years old are protected against shingles, it is now timely that providers:

  • Follow up with patients or other eligible people 70 to 79 years old who would benefit from the vaccine and who may have missed out earlier in the program
  • Promote the vaccine to eligible people 70 to 79 years old through displaying the program posters and brochures in your clinic or health care facility
  • Report vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Zostavax® supplies can be ordered through the same process currently used to order vaccines for the NIP through your state or territory Health Department.

For further information, clinical advice and promotional materials for the National Shingles Vaccination Program are available for download online at the Department of Health’s Immunisation website.

VictorianGovernment logo

Chief Health Officer Advisory: Increase in meningococcal disease in Victoria

Since 2014, there has been an increase in the number of notifications of Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) due to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W (also known as serogroup W135) in Victoria.

All age groups have been affected, with bacteraemia the most common presentation. However several cases have presented with less typical presentations, for example septic arthritis or epiglottitis.

Be alert for presentations that could be due to meningococcal disease. Consider testing for Invasive Meningococcal Disease in older patients with atypical presentations (septic arthritis, pneumonia, epiglottitis).

Quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines (4vMenCV) provide protection against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W and Y and are available on private script. These are recommended for occupational exposures, travel and certain medical conditions, and can be offered to those who wish to protect themselves or their family from the disease.

A free, time limited school-based meningococcal ACWY (4vMenCV) vaccination program is available for all young people in Year 10 of secondary school, or those aged 15 or 16 years old, until 31 December 2018.

Read more

Free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for young people in Year 10

To continue to combat increasing cases of meningococcal disease, the Victorian Government is extending the offer of a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine program in 2018 for young people in Year 10 of secondary school in Victoria until 31 December 2018.

Most young people will receive the free vaccine through the secondary school-based immunisation program, however some may choose to access the free vaccine in a clinical setting.

To order vaccine use the Government funded vaccine order form online.

Immunisation providers not involved in delivery of the vaccine through secondary school- based programs are encouraged to order quantities of Menactra® sufficient for one month’s use for eligible young people who do not access the vaccine through the secondary school vaccine program.

For further information, please see this Frequently Asked Questions document for GPs and other immunisation providers.

Seasonal influenza survey

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a short survey (5 minutes) to help prepare for the upcoming influenza season and they'd appreciate your assistance in both completing the survey and promoting it to your networks.

The aim is to understand how the Victorian public and those who provide healthcare to them currently view flu and annual vaccinations, as well as other protective measures.

The information obtained through this survey will help them develop a communications campaign to address any knowledge gaps or other barriers to immunisation and ensure everyone understands how to protect themselves and those in their care from this serious disease.

A high number of responses will support a better informed and targeted campaign. Ultimately, this means the saving of lives of some of our most vulnerable Victorians.

Start survey

Resource to help women with transvaginal mesh complications

Safer Care Victoria have put together this resource to assist health professionals when dealing with women who come to them with concerns or for support following vaginal mesh surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

Transvaginal mesh is a medical product which has been used for over 15 years to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary stress incontinence. Some women have had serious and debilitating complications following such surgery. Recently the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) transvaginal mesh products that have the sole use as the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) by transvaginal implantation.

Providing feedback and complaints to My Aged Care

Department of Health 

Access to services and changes to referral processes via My Aged Care portal have met with challenges for health professionals.

To provide feedback or complaints directly to My Aged Care, view the Department of Health Newsletter – Information for Aged Care Providers – How to make My Aged Care complaints

Simple steps to protect small healthcare businesses

Information Security Guide image

The Australian Digital Health Agency has launched the ‘Information Security Guide for Small Healthcare Businesses’, which was developed in partnership with the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online program. The guide provides simple guidance for non-technical health professionals regarding issues such as privacy, passwords, software updates, back-ups and staff security awareness.

During Stay Smart Online Week 2017, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, reminded everyone of the importance of online information security.

“Cybercrime is estimated to cost our economy a conservative $1 billion a year, and the victims include mums and dads and small businesses,” Minister Tehan said.

“In 2017, there have been more than 51,000 online scams at a cost of almost $37 million, reported to Scamwatch. It’s vitally important that every Australian thinks about cyber security and takes precautions to protect themselves online," Minister Tehan said.

2018 Practice Partners Program applications opening soon

Health Issues Centre

Health Issues Centre (HIC) is pleased to announce that applications for the third round of funding for the Practice Partners Program will open on Monday 19 February and close on Friday 13 April.

The Program was established to encourage and support innovation among health services in the areas of consumer participation and person-centred care. Community organisations are invited to apply for a grant if they can demonstrate a direct benefit to public hospitals.

The Practice Partners Program involves HIC working with you by providing:

  • In-kind expertise and support of Health Issues Centre
  • Funding for the project.

The total value including in-kind support of the grant offered will be up to $12,000. Please refer to the application guidelines and application form for more information.

Applicants are invited to attend a complimentary two-hour workshop on Wednesday 28 February. Participants will be able to learn about the selection criteria including more information about developing and implementing innovative projects. Registrations for the workshop are free, but places are limited. Register at Eventbrite.

The Magic of Collaboration: A workshop for Practice Manager and Nurses

aapm logo

This workshop aims to enhance the working relationship between Practice Manager and Practice Nurse. The Program includes sessions on:

  • The Workforce
  • Governance
  • Professionalism and Risk
  • APRHA Requirements
  • How to get your Practice Humming
  • The Nurses Career Framework.

Date: Friday 23 February
Time: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne, 328 Flinders St, Melbourne

To find out more and to register, please visit the AAPM website.

Registrations now open and call for abstracts:
Barwon South Western and Grampians Allied Health Conference

Victoria State Gov logo

This conference will bring together allied health professionals to support discipline-specific and inter-professional knowledge exchange, optimise collaborative learning about practice innovations and service developments, and to celebrate allied health’s collective contribution to the overall health and wellbeing of the regions' diverse communities.

Date: Thursday 31 May 2018
Venue:
Warrnambool campus of Deakin University.

Abstract entries for this conference close 5pm, Friday 23 February. To find out more, please see the health.vic website or this flyer.

Ballarat Goldfields 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • General Medicine – Acute, Non-acute & Advice
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Community Asthma Education and Support
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Alcohol Withdrawal.

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

Popular CPD event to be repeated in Ballarat:

Prescribed Drugs of Dependence - Active Learning Module (ALM)

Western Victoria PHN logo Orticare.160359

Following on from the success of the 2017 event, Western Victoria PHN and Orticare are pleased to announce that we are repeating the Prescribed Drugs of Dependence Active Learning Module (ALM). This free CPD event has been accredited for 40 Category 1 points as part of the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017-19 Triennium (Activity: 106170).

The event aims to assist GPs in:

  • Identifying and managing patients with problematic use of prescribed drugs of dependence
  • Improving the quality and safety of prescribing of drugs of dependence in general practice
  • Understanding Schedule 8 permits, when they are required and how to obtain them
  • Understanding the implications of changes to over-the-counter codeine availability and the introduction of Real Time Prescription Monitoring
  • Understanding the role of allied health in managing chronic pain patients
  • Interpreting the RACGP clinical guidelines for drugs of dependence and understanding how they may be incorporated into general practice
  • Improved referral pathways between general practices and AOD services.

Dates: Thursday 22 March, Thursday 26 April, Thursday 24 May
Time: 6:30pm - 7:00pm (registration & light refreshments), 7:00pm - 9:00pm (event)

Please note that attendance at all three sessions is required to gain your 40 Cat 1 RACGP QI&CPD points.

For more information on this free CPD event, please see this flyer. To register, please follow this link. Please email Katrina Martin or Debra Harris for more information.

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare.160359

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felicity Harte on 5338 9144.

Next Palliative Care Breakfast: Difficult nerve pain

Ballarat Hospice

Ballarat Hospice Care invites you to join with members of the local palliative care community for breakfast while hearing Palliative Care Physician, Dr Eve Westland, talk about difficult nerve pain.

Date: Thursday 15 February
Time: 7.45am - 8.45am
Venue: The City Oval Hotel, Corner of Mair & Pleasant Streets, Ballarat

To find out more, please contact Ballarat Hospice on 5333 1118.

Learn suicide intervention skills

Lifeline and Assist logos

In ASIST, people learn to apply a suicide intervention model. It helps caregivers recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide. It then explores how to connect with them in ways that understand and clarify that risk, increase their immediate safety and link them with further help.

Date: Friday 23 February and Saturday 24 February
Time: 8.45am - 5pm
Venue: Peart Wing, 103 Lydiard St Sth, Ballarat 

To find out more, please see this flyer.

Elder abuse forum

Ballarat Community Health

Ballarat Community Health invite you to a forum to increase awareness and capacity to address elder abuse in the community. At this forum you will:

  • Hear from Seniors Rights Victoria about how older people experience abuse, the causes and statistics
  • Discuss forming a network of organisations and groups to work together to address the abuse of older people
  • Discuss practical ideas needed to support your organisation or group.

Ballarat Community Health will also launch their Elder Abuse Prevention Network Plan.

Date: Monday 26 February
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: 800 Norman St, Invermay Park.

Lunch will be provided. To find out more, please see this flyer.  

International Women's Day film event

Find your feet image

WRISC Family Violence Support, together with Women’s Health Grampians, are proud to present the film, 'Finding Your Feet', in celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March 2018.

The theme for International Women’s Day is 'Press for Progress: Friends, colleagues, communities – think, act, be gender inclusive'.

Full details on the evening’s celebration can be found on this flyer.

Tickets are $15 each (cash only) and can be purchased from WRISC Reception, 205 Dana St, Ballarat Central.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Lymphocytosis
  • Long QT Syndrome.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Weight Management in Obese Adults
  • Return to Work
  • Palpitations
  • Pharmacy Management of Codeine Dependence.

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

Management of complicated twin pregnancies

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Barwon Health invites you to hear Dr Stephen Cole, Obstetrician and Specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, speak on the management of complicated twin pregnancies. 

Date: Friday 23 February
Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Venue: Deakin Clinical School Lecture Theatre

Please contact Michael Shembrey if you have any queries.

To register for this free event, please email Melinda Baulch or phone 4215 2135 by Friday 16 February.

Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

Womens Hospital logo

You're invited to attend and participate in the next regional Maternal & Perinatal Mortality & Morbidity Committee meeting for the Barwon region. The role of the meeting is to:

  • Conduct timely peer review of all perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality across the region based on PSANZ guidelines
  • Review clinical management against current peer reviewed best practice management
  • Develop recommendations to improve clinical care in maternity services.

Date: Friday 2 March
Time: 1.30pm - 3pm
Venue: John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4 Kardinia House, Geelong Hospital, Bellerine St, Geelong

Please contact Apryl Geale to register on 9345 3911.

Older Persons Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid small

Mental health first aid for the older person is aimed at the person 65 years + who is experiencing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the older person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.

At this two-day course participants will learn about:

  • Signs and symptoms of common and disabling mental health problems (Depression, Anxiety problems, Confusion and Dementia, Psychosis)
  • How to provide initial help
  • What sort of help has been shown by research to be effective
  • How to provide first aid in a crisis situation (suicidal thoughts, self-injury, panic attacks, severe effects of drug or alcohol use, severe psychotic states and aggressive behaviours).

Geelong: Thursday 15 March and Friday 16 March

To find out more, including registration details, please see this flyer

Great South Coast 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • General Medicine Referrals – Acute, Non acute and Advice
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Community Asthma Education and Support
  • Paediatric referrals - Acute, Non-Acute and Advice
  • Alcohol Brief Intervention
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling - public brief intervention services.

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

Turning the Tide for Birth and Breastfeeding Conference

Warrnambool Breastfeeding Centre

This two day conference will explore and make sense of hot topics in lactation and birthing.

Topics include:

  • Human milk: A big player in the developmental origins of health and disease
  • Floppy poppies – Stiff necks, flat heads and breastfeeding
  • Managing slow weight gain in a breastfeeding baby – “Your advice really matters”
  • Can a baby be allergic to breastmilk? Lactose intolerance, allergies, sensitivities and galactosemia

Date: Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February
Time: 8am - 7pm (Friday), 8am - 4pm (Saturday)
Venue: Lighthouse Theatre, 185 Timor Street, Warrnambool 

To find out more, please see this flyer and information about sponsorship opportunities.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New to HealthPathways:

  • Dietetics referrals
  • Community Asthma Support
  • Acute General Medicine Referral
  • Non-acute General Medicine Referral
  • General Medicine Advice
  • Skin lesion excision
  • Established malignant melanoma
  • Pigmented skin lesions
  • Acute Dental Services Assessment
  • Non-acute Dental Services Assessment
  • Acute General Surgery Referral
  • Non-acute General Surgery Referral
  • General Surgery Advice.

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

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare.160359

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felcity Harte on 5338 9144.

Dinner with the Federal Minister for Health

Andrew Broad

Andrew Broad MP, Federal Member for Mallee invites you to a meal and discussion with the Hon. Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health.

Date: Wednesday 21 February 
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm start
Venue: Horsham Golf Club, 304 Golf Course Rd, Haven
Cost: Food and drinks at bar prices

Please email or call 1300 131 620 with your response by COB Wednesday 14 February.

Information session:
Home Care Packages and Commonwealth Home Support Program Interface

RAS assessors, ACAS assessors, CHSP providers and Home Care Package providers are invited to this information session to find out how service providers, package providers and assessment services can work together to support clients on Home Care Packages.

Date: Wednesday 21 March
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Venue: Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, 31-33 Lambert St, Ararat

To RSVP, please email or phone Pam Edwards on 0409 200 803 or Robyn Salt on 0476 283 625.

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Newly formed Councils meet

Last Friday our Board, Executive and senior managers spent a day with members from our newly formed Regional Integrated Councils. Late last year we announced that our Clinical and Community Councils would be restructured from eight to four, following surveys and feedback from Council members and Western Victoria PHN managers and staff. The new structure was announced last November.

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It was the first time we all had the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies and future planning more broadly. Council members also had the opportunity to discuss particular health issues and challenges in their regional sub site. The day focused on innovation in action to implement our Strategic Plan, especially in reference to priority one: building effective relationships and priority five: high performing PHN governance, systems and staff.

We were also delighted to welcome Dr Tony Hobbs (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) who spoke on ‘Clinical leadership in Primary Health Networks’ and Ms Belinda MacLeod-Smith of the Health Issues Centre who spoke about consumers and communities influencing health reform. We heard from Dale Renner from Latitude who gave a keynote address on ‘Innovation to Seed Growth’ and the Regional Integrated Councils spent some time together discussing how they would work together.

At Western Victoria PHN we look forward to working with Regional Integrated Council members throughout the year. It is through such effective collaborations and knowledge sharing, that we can achieve and maintain a high-quality, equitable and sustainable health system now and into the future for all our west Victorian communities.

Dr Leanne Beagley, Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Victorian PHN Alliance

General 

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!
New Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 in force
Chief Health Officer Alert: Confirmed measles case in Melbourne
Seasonal influenza survey
Support service for pharmacists
National Advance Care Planning Week: 16 - 22 April

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update
Popular CPD event to be repeated in Ballarat: Prescribed Drugs of Dependence - Active Learning Module (ALM)
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Vale Dr Jim Rossiter AM, Paediatrician
Barwon Health Outpatients fax number reminder
Referral process to Young Adults Transition Service (YATS)
New guidelines on wound infection seminar
Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
What’s New in Cancer – from Treatment to Survivorship
New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics
Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates

General  

PHN Learning Hub: Visit our table at the GP Refresher to learn more!

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Come and visit the Western Victoria PHN table at the upcoming GP Refresher on 24 - 25 February to learn more about the PHN Learning Hub.

The PHN Learning Hub is Western Victoria Primary Health Network’s new online learning management system developed by Clinician’s Matrix. 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.

Health professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff can have access to a range of continuing professional development (CPD) learning options such as online courses, webinars, eLearning programs, and live online health related conferences as well as guidelines and decision support tools making the PHN Learning Hub the ‘central hub’ for educational resources. All features are optimized for mobile devices ensuring users can access the PHN Learning Hub at anytime from anywhere.

Health Professionals, practice staff and Western Victoria PHN staff will enjoy the many features of the PHN Learning Hub including:

  • Increased accessibility to CPD through a catalogue of online courses and webinars as well as clinical tools and practice support resources that will be updated on a regular basis
  • Education that aligns with the RACGP CPD&QI requirements
  • Dashboard and detailed views of progress of completion across all learning activities
  • Repository and retrieval of certificates of completion at any time
  • Ability to self-generate Learning Plans
  • Activity completion logbook section to allow uploading of personal entries (e.g. face to face courses) and certificates of completion as well as the ability to link these to learning plans
  • Complete archiving ability and printing for submission for CPD purposes
  • Ability for a helpdesk to access any user’s site without the need for remote access to the user’s computer or mobile device (cloud-based impersonation).

Access
To access the PHN Learning Hub go to http://catalogue.wvphn.cliniciansmatrix.com, click on ‘Register’ and complete the registration form. 

Western Victoria PHN Members should have received their member numbers via post in December. If you have not received it or have misplaced it, please contact us to find out your member number.

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Enquiries
Please email learninghub@westvicphn.com.au or phone (03) 5222 0800. 

New Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 in force

Western Victoria PHN logo

From Monday 12 March 2018, this Act will give statutory recognition to advance care directives so competent Victorians can document treatment preferences for existing and/or future conditions. The Act will also simplify and contemporise laws relating to medical treatment decision making for people without decision making capacity. For more information read this Fact Sheet and flow chart from the Office of the Public Advocate. 

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Chief Health Officer Alert: Confirmed measles case in Melbourne

There has been one confirmed case of measles in Melbourne. The infection was acquired in Victoria and it is possible that the infection was acquired at Centrelink in Dandenong between Monday 22 January and Friday 2 February 2018. The case attended a number of locations in Melbourne whilst infectious (for a full list of locations read the full Alert). The department is attempting to contact people who may have been in contact with the individual while they were infectious.

Be alert for measles in patients presenting with a fever at rash onset, particularly if they attended any of the places listed above. Secondary cases may have symptoms start anytime from now until Tuesday 6 March 2018.

Manage suspected cases in the GP setting if appropriate and avoid sending to a hospital emergency department unless the patient is severe enough to warrant admission to hospital. Take blood for measles serology in all suspected cases and isolate suspected cases to minimise the risk of transmission within your department/practice.

Notify the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Section at the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 of suspected cases immediately.
Discuss whether to take nose and throat swabs for PCR with the department if your suspicion for measles is high. Approval is required prior to PCR testing at the reference laboratory. PCR testing for measles does not attract a Medicare rebate.

Read more

Seasonal influenza survey

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a short survey (5 minutes) to help prepare for the upcoming influenza season and they'd appreciate your assistance in both completing the survey and promoting it to your networks.

The aim is to understand how the Victorian public and those who provide healthcare to them currently view flu and annual vaccinations, as well as other protective measures.

The information obtained through this survey will help them develop a communications campaign to address any knowledge gaps or other barriers to immunisation and ensure everyone understands how to protect themselves and those in their care from this serious disease.

A high number of responses will support a better informed and targeted campaign. Ultimately, this means the saving of lives of some of our most vulnerable Victorians.

Start survey

Support service for pharmacists

PSSLogocoloured

The Pharmacists' Support Service (PSS) provides a helpline to support all Australian pharmacists, pharmacy interns and pharmacy students at times when they are distressed and needing to talk to someone who understands pharmacy. Support is provided over the telephone by trained volunteers who are all pharmacists or retired pharmacists. Callers can remain anonymous and the service is confidential. The telephone number is 1300 244 910 and the service is available every day of the year between 8am and 11pm. PSS is a small not for profit charity and their work is funded by donations from the pharmacy profession. There are no fees for using the service, apart from the cost of the telephone call. Please see their website for further information.  

National Advance Care Planning Week: 16 - 22 April

Advance Care Planning logo

Advance Care Planning Week aims to raise awareness of the need for Australians to start a conversation with their friends and family about what's important to them in terms of advance care planning. 

You can take part by hosting or attending an event, or simply help raise awareness of advance care planning by sharing your values and conversations on social media during National Advance Care Planning Week using #acpweek18. To find out more, visit the Advance Care Planning website.

Ballarat Goldfields 

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Anxiety and Depression in Adults
  • Chronic Pain
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Community Asthma Education and Support
  • Dietetics Referral
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • General Medicine – Acute, Non-acute & Advice.

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

Popular CPD event to be repeated in Ballarat:
Prescribed Drugs of Dependence - Active Learning Module (ALM)

Western Victoria PHN logo Orticare.160359

Following on from the success of the 2017 event, Western Victoria PHN and Orticare are pleased to announce that we are repeating the Prescribed Drugs of Dependence Active Learning Module (ALM). This free CPD event has been accredited for 40 Category 1 points as part of the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017-19 Triennium (Activity: 106170).

The event aims to assist GPs in:

  • Identifying and managing patients with problematic use of prescribed drugs of dependence
  • Improving the quality and safety of prescribing of drugs of dependence in general practice
  • Understanding Schedule 8 permits, when they are required and how to obtain them
  • Understanding the implications of changes to over-the-counter codeine availability and the introduction of Real Time Prescription Monitoring
  • Understanding the role of allied health in managing chronic pain patients
  • Interpreting the RACGP clinical guidelines for drugs of dependence and understanding how they may be incorporated into general practice
  • Improved referral pathways between general practices and AOD services.

Dates: Thursday 22 March, Thursday 26 April, Thursday 24 May
Time: 6:30pm - 7:00pm (registration & light refreshments), 7:00pm - 9:00pm (event)

Please note that attendance at all three sessions is required to gain your 40 Cat 1 RACGP QI&CPD points.

For more information on this free CPD event, see this flyer. To register, please follow this link or email Katrina Martin or Debra Harris for more information.

Orticare.160359

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felicity Harte on 5338 9144.

Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates 

Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network is offering scholarships to alcohol and other drug (AOD) nurse practitioner candidates working in the Grampians or Loddon Mallee regions. The scholarships provide financial support towards completion of a Nurse Practitioner Master's degree. To find out more, including guidelines and application form, see the Ballarat Community Health website. Applications close Friday 9 March 2018. Please contact Jacqueline Keevins, Orticare Manager, on 5338 0511 if you have any queries. 

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New on HealthPathways:

  • Increased Haemoglobin
  • Thromobocytosis
  • Abnormal Bleeding and Bruising
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Pain Specialist Assessment – non-acute, advice.

Recently reviewed and updated HealthPathways:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Support
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Skin Lesion Excision
  • Weight Management in Obese Adults
  • Pharmacy Management of Codeine Dependence.

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

Vale Dr Jim Rossiter AM, Paediatrician

Jim Rossiter

It is with sadness that we report the death of Dr Jim Rossiter AM, Paediatrician, who founded the Geelong Hospital Paediatric Unit in the 1960s.

He was a driving force in establishing child and youth welfare projects in the Geelong region, the latest of which was "The Courthouse Project".

He will be greatly missed.

Family and friends are invited to attend a service to celebrate the life of Dr Rossiter on Friday 23 February at 2.00pm at Belmont Uniting Church, Thomson Street, Belmont, Geelong. No flowers by request please.

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Barwon Health Outpatients fax number reminder

GPs and practice staff are reminded that the outpatients fax number for Barwon Health is 03 4215 1383.

Please note all details regarding how to refer to public outpatients departments including specific referral information, templates, referral method etc. can be found on HealthPathways

Referral process to Young Adults Transition Service (YATS)

YATS supports young people who:

  • Are 16-25 years of age
  • Have a complex disability or health condition
  • Live in the Barwon southwest region
  • Require support to move from paediatric services into adult services.

YATS will assist with:

  • Assessment and recommendations for linking with adult services
  • Support to refer to adult medical specialties
  • Assessment and recommendation for NDIA
  • Upskilling for adult independence
  • Support to access adult services
  • Support for inpatient stay in adult wards
  • Wheelchair and seating needs/complex equipment prescription.

You can direct referral to:

Dr Neil Crompton
Young Adults Transition Service
Email: McKellar.SACS.Referral@barwonhealth.org.ao
Fax: 4215 6376

Please contact Narelle Wilde, YATS Coordinator for more details on 4215 5315.

New guidelines on wound infection seminar

Three experienced wound care consultants from Wounds R Us will be running a one day education seminar on new guidelines on wound infection, including the importance of assessment and product selection. Recently launched Aseptic Technique Guidelines for Australia will also be examined.

Date: Wednesday 28 February
Time: 9am
Venue: Newtown Event Centre, 40 Read St, Geelong
Cost: $120pp.

Register 

Register to attend regional Maternal and Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Committee

Womens Hospital logo

You're invited to attend and participate in the next regional Maternal & Perinatal Mortality & Morbidity Committee meeting for the Barwon region. The role of the meeting is to:

  • Conduct timely peer review of all perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality across the region based on PSANZ guidelines
  • Review clinical management against current peer reviewed best practice management
  • Develop recommendations to improve clinical care in maternity services.

Date: Friday 2 March
Time: 1.30pm - 3pm
Venue: John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4 Kardinia House, Geelong Hospital, Bellerine St, Geelong

Please contact Apryl Geale to register on 9345 3911.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

HealthPathwayslogo.115903

New to HealthPathways:

  • Radiology Referrals
  • Chronic Pain
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Codeine Misuse and Dependence
  • Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • Dietetics Referrals
  • Community Asthma Support
  • Acute General Medicine Referral
  • Non-acute General Medicine Referral
  • General Medicine Advice
  • Skin Lesion Excision
  • Established Malignant Melanoma
  • Pigmented Skin Lesions.

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

What’s New in Cancer – from Treatment to Survivorship

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria PHN invites GPs, GP registrars, nurses, nurse practitioners, hospital medical officers and medical students to attend this seminar which will cover:

  • Medical cannabis
  • Cancer in 2018 and beyond
  • Supportive care program offerings at Cancer Council Victoria
  • Telehealth for supportive survivorship care (cancer exercise and education program)
  • Health Pathways (localised clinical and referral pathways).

Speakers include:

  • Dr Vishal Boolell – Medical Oncologist, Ballarat Health Services
  • Clare Sutton – Coordinator Supportive Care Projects, Cancer Council Victoria
  • Dr Kate Graham – HealthPathways GP Editor Horsham/Wimmera, Western Victoria PHN

Date: Tuesday 6 March
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue: Glen Logan Restaurant – 37 Dooen Rd, Horsham

A two course meal will be provided. Registrations close Tuesday 27 February.

To find out more, including registration details please see this flyer

New Rural Addiction Medicine and Pharmacotherapy Specialist Service (RAMPS) telehealth clinics

Orticare.160359

Orticare is excited to announce that A/Professor Mike McDonough will be offering fortnightly telehealth clinics for secondary consultations and shared care consultations, as part of our RAMPS service. The RAMPS service provides GPs, nurse practitioners and other clinical healthcare staff working in the Grampians and Loddon Mallee regions with access to advice and consultation by an experienced Addiction Medicine Specialist.

These sessions will be available every second Tuesday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Please see this flyer for details or contact Felcity Harte on 5338 9144.

Scholarships available for alcohol and other drugs nurse practitioner candidates 

Orticare Pharmacotherapy Network is offering scholarships to alcohol and other drug (AOD) nurse practitioner candidates working in the Grampians or Loddon Mallee regions. The scholarships provide financial support towards completion of a Nurse Practitioner Master's degree. To find out more, including guidelines and application form, see the Ballarat Community Health website. Applications close Friday 9 March 2018. Please contact Jacqueline Keevins, Orticare Manager, on 5338 0511 if you have any queries.