DArcy Photography Leanne Beagley 070 cropped and resized2

SafeScript across our area from October and STEPMI starting in July

I am delighted to announce that the Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) catchment will be the study area for the Victorian Government’s real-time prescription monitoring system called SafeScript. This follows last year’s announcement of Western Victoria PHN leading a consortium to develop and deliver training and education on the system for prescribers and pharmacists across the state. The system will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines, and selected Schedule 4 medicines, because of their high risk of misuse.

The SafeScript system training for prescribers and pharmacists in western Victoria will be a mixture of online modules and face-to-face sessions and will commence from September this year. It will be implemented across western Victorian medical clinics, pharmacies and hospitals from October 2018. Safescript will be rolled out across the rest of Victoria from April 2019.

This week we also announced the lead contract providers of ‘Services and Treatment for Enduring and Persistent Mental Illness’ (STEPMI) services that will commence across the region from 1 July 2018.

The four STEPMI commissioned lead providers are:

  1. Uniting Ballarat in the Ballarat Goldfields region
  2. Neami National in the Geelong Otway region
  3. Australian Primary Mental Health Alliance across the Wimmera Grampians region and the Great South Coast region

We look forward to working with these organisations to ensure services provide the best options for the community, and create the best outcomes in the lives of people living with mental illness and their families, as well as for health care professionals.

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

General

GoShare update – Improved functionality and new topics added
Buruli ulcer epidemic
Western Victorian Practice Nurse Study: better understanding Primary Health Network practice nursing
Aneill Kamath appointed new Western Victoria PHN Great South Coast Senior Manager
Statement on 2018 seasonal influenza vaccines administration
Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea detected in Australia
2018 government-supplied influenza vaccines: eligibility and age recommendations
Women's Health Survey: every response counts
GPs and GP nurses: have your say about cancer malnutrition for your chance to win a $100 gift voucher
2018 AAPM Practice Manager of the Year Awards
New 'End of Life Directions for Aged Care' website
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association's 10th annual conference:
'Nurseforce for the Future'
Can-Sleep: Improving Night-time Sleep for Cancer Survivors

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Immunisation providers meeting
Brief intervention for pharmacists
Mental Health First Aid for Pharmacists
Wound Closure and Suturing workshop

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update
Upper Limb Management for Neurological Patients workshop
Vestibular Rehabilitation introductory course
Immunisation providers meeting

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update
Wellness and Life After Cancer program
Domestic violence awareness session
Statins: optimising therapy, addressing intolerance

General 

Western Victoria PHN logo

GoShare update – Improved functionality and new topics added

As the roll out of GoShare across western Victoria continues additional health topics and functionality improvements are being added to support health practitioners and health organisations provide timely, efficient and measurable sharing of evidence based health resources to patients empowering them to play a more active role in their healthcare.

New health topics added this quarter:

  1. Early parenting series (adjusting to parenthood, breastfeeding a newborn, sleep and settling, understanding your baby)
  2. Prostate cancer - advanced
  3. Breast cancer - metastatic
  4. Bowel cancer
  5. Oesophageal cancer.

Functionality improvements developed this quarter:

  • To improve the application of GoShare within practices, the ability to create organisational bundles and programs has been implemented. Shared content bundles may now be created and made available between users within an organisation
  • Improved search effectiveness by increasing the number of tags for patient stories.

Coming soon:

  • The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) have given Healthily approval to host My Health Record patient information on GoShare. This means that GoShare will support general practices and other healthcare providers to give their patients information about My Health Record very quickly and easily.

If you would like to know more information on the latest updates to GoShare please contact your Primary Care Consultant or contact Sophie Bond.

Buruli ulcer epidemic

There has been a substantial amount of media coverage this week on the worsening epidemic of Buruli ulcer in Australia. This followed a recent publication in the Medical Journal of Australia by local Infectious Disease Physicians Daniel O’Brien and Eugene Athan on the increase in cases of Buruli ulcer.

Dr O'Brien noted that Victoria had seen a 400 per cent increase in Buruli ulcer cased and called for a significant increase in funding to research the cause and improve prevention strategies. 

For assessment and management advice see HealthPathways Suspected Bairnsdale Ulcer. For referral information see HealthPathways Infectious Disease Referral Infectious Disease Referral.

Western Victorian Practice Nurse Study: better understanding Primary Health Network practice nursing

Deloitte Consulting has released a report on the Australian nursing workforce, forecasting increasing demand, expanded roles and higher pay for nurses. The release coincides with reported concerns throughout western Victoria about the general practice workforce and the difficulties of succession planning for GPs considering retirement.

What is the situation for practice nursing in our region?

The Western Victorian Practice Nurse project, funded by the Western Alliance, is setting out to explore these issues. The study is run by a research team from the School of Nursing at Federation University, the Deakin School of Medicine, the Western Victoria Primary Health Network and the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association. It will survey every practice nurse in our region in an effort to identify if we may be developing a shortfall in our practice nursing workforce.

Other planned outcomes include an analysis of what practice nurses currently do and the tasks that GPs, nurses and patients feel practice nurses could appropriately do in the future to better support patients and GPs in improving our regional health status. Nurses in the Western Victoria PHN will shortly be receiving our survey. The information will be vital to identify how we might best support practice nurses.

If you are a practice nurse working within the Western Victoria Primary Health Network region and do not receive an invitation to participate please contact the Western Victoria Primary Health Network.

For more information please contact Deakin University Chief Investigator Professor Gerard Gill.

Aneill Kamath appointed new Western Victoria PHN Great South Coast Senior Manager

Aneill Kamath

Aneill Kamath has been appointed as Western Victoria Primary Health Network Great South Coast Senior Manager.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network Director of Service and System Integration Rowena Clift says 'Aneill brings a wealth of primary care experience to the position and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his leadership in digital health and as the interim senior manager.'

Rowena also acknowledged Western Victoria Primary Health Network Warrnambool staff for their support and teamwork during this transition.

Statement on 2018 seasonal influenza vaccines administration 

Health.gov.au

The Department of Health's Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has released a clinical advisory on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines. The department recommends that the advice be considered in conjunction with the current online version of The Australian Immunisation Handbook available on the Immunise Australia website.

DHHS logo

Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea detected in Australia

Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea infection have been detected in Australia. The emergence of this strain, resistant to ALL antibiotics that have been in routine use to treat gonorrhoea, is a major public health concern.

Victorian gonorrhoea notifications have increased over the last few years in men who have sex with men (MSM) as well as in heterosexual men and women.

Read more

2018 government-supplied influenza vaccines: eligibility and age recommendations

The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging health practitioners to check you are giving the correct brand of vaccine to the correct patient age cohort and to consider how you can arrange the flu vaccines in your fridge to avoid confusion.

It is recommended health practitioners colour print and display a flu vaccine packages and age eligibility poster as an easy reference guide. Additional recommendations from the Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre are available online.

Health practitioners can also order seasonal influenza vaccines for all cohorts online (during this period, the vaccine distribution can take a little longer than usual to be delivered).

Women's Health Survey: every response counts

Jean Hailes logo

The Jean Hailes annual Women’s Health Survey is one of the country’s most revealing insights into the health concerns, fears and needs of women in Australia. Results are used in many ways; from identifying gaps in health information, to helping health professionals better understand their patients, to encouraging women to make practical, positive changes to their lives.

The survey can be completed online before Tuesday 5 June.

For more information please see this flyer.

GPs and GP nurses: have your say about cancer malnutrition for your chance to win a $100 gift voucher

PeterMac

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre's Malnutrition in Victorian Cancer Services program convened in 2011 to address cancer malnutrition in the acute health sector. However, practices relating to the management of cancer malnutrition in the primary care and community sector remain less understood.

General practitioners and general practice nurses working in Victoria are invited to participate in an online survey which aims to investigate current practice and education needs relating to cancer malnutrition. More information about the Malnutrition in Victorian Cancer Services program can be found online.

2018 AAPM Practice Manager of the Year Awards

AAPM

Applications for the 2018 Practice Manager of the Year Awards are now open. The awards are an opportunity to be recognised and rewarded for your special contributions to medical, specialist, dental or allied health practice management.

Practice managers may be nominated by practice owners, principals and colleagues using the online nomination form. The nominated practice manager will then be invited to complete the online application form. Practice Managers can complete the application form without being nominated.

Each State Practice Manager of the Year will receive flights, accommodation and registration for the 2018 National Conference in Canberra. The recipient of each State Award will also be a finalist for the National Practice Manager of the Year Award.

The 2018 National Practice Manager of the Year will receive a $5,000 travel voucher. Applications close Tuesday 8 May 2018.

Read more

New 'End of Life Directions for Aged Care' website

AHHA

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association's new ' End of Life Directions for Aged Care' website provides practical information for palliative care and advance care planning. The new is part of a three-year project funded by the Department of Health which aims to improve the care of older Australians through advance care planning activities and palliative care connections.

The site features a set of five online toolkits developed by palliative care, aged care, primary care and legal experts covering residential aged care, home care, primary care, working together, and legal matters.

Read more

Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association's 10th annual conference:
'Nurseforce for the Future'

APNAlogo.155329

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association will host its 10th annual conference next month. The conference will offer tailored professional development for nurses working in primary health care around Australia, including keynote presentations from nurses leading the way, interactive workshops and collaborative sessions from nurses making a difference in the field.

Date: Thursday 10 May - Saturday 12 May
Time: 9am - 5pm (Thursday), 7am - 5pm (Friday), 7am - 5pm (Saturday)
Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Corner Merivale and Glenelg Streets, South Brisbane, Queensland

Read more

Can-Sleep: Improving Night-time Sleep for Cancer Survivors

PeterMac

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will host a workshop in May to provide health practitioners with: 

  • An overview of common sleep problems, and causes of sleep problems in people with cancer
  • Useful screening tools to assess sleep problems
  • Detailed information on the most effective Cognitive Behavioural Strategies to improve sleep problems in people with cancer.

Date: Wednesday 23 May
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 7B, Level 7 Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre VCCC building 305 Grattan Street Melbourne

For more information please see this flyer.

Ballarat Goldfields

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Post-acute stroke care
  • Familial genetic counselling
  • Pain management programs
  • Cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Memory assessment
  • Cough in palliative care.

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

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

New on HealthPathways:

  • Neutropenia
  • Coeliac disease in adults
  • Cough in palliative care
  • Post-acute Stroke Care
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • B12 deficiency.

Recently reviewed and updated:

  • Immunisation - childhood
  • Pain management programs
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Familial genetic counselling referrals
  • Memory assessment.

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

Immunisation providers meeting

DHHS logo

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will convene a meeting of immunisation providers in western Victoria next week. The forum will provide information on policy and project developments, including vaccine changes and new resources. Attendees will also receive an update on Western Victoria Primary Health Network's Immunisation Program Report.

Date: Tuesday 24 April
Time: 9.30am - 1.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Bayside City Plaza, 24 – 36 Fairy Street, Warrnambool 

Please RSVP to Eileen McCormick, DHHS Divisional Public Health Officer.

Participants wishing to attend the meeting via webinar can register online.

Brief intervention for pharmacists

Western Victoria PHN logo

Western Victoria Primary Health Network will host a presentation on brief intervention pathways and services for AOD using consumers, including ice, heroin and prescription medication this month. The presentation will assist participants identify when early intervention is appropriate and how and when to refer consumers. It will also cover:

  • Early recognition of AOD use and withdrawal pathways
  • Brief intervention and referral pathways
  • Support from the PHN and Naloxone with high risk opioid using clients.

Date: Monday 30 April 
Time: 5.30pm - 7pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 131 Myers Street, Geelong

Read more

Mental Health First Aid for Pharmacists

Western Victoria PHN logo

The Mental Health First Aid for Pharmacists Course is delivered via blended learning, a combination of 5-6 hours eLearning and 3.5-hours follow-on face-to-face training. Through evidence-based course content, scenarios and films specific to the pharmacy environment, you will learn practical skills to give initial support to a customer or colleague developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.

Date: Wednesday 16 - Thursday 17 May
Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, 131 Myers Street Geelong

Read more

Wound Closure and Suturing workshop 

Benchmark Logo

A new workshop next month will examine the knowledge and skills required for nurses, general practitioners and relevant allied healthcare workers to safely assess the need for and to perform wound closure in a variety of settings.

The two-day course will cover 

  • Wound assessment
  • Identifying and managing different types of wounds
  • Using local anaesthetic
  • Closure methods and selection of appropriate materials Demonstrations
  • Simulated wound closure
  • Practical techniques and simulated assessment tasks
  • Documentation and follow up and referral.

Date: Thursday 31 May - Friday 1 June
Time: 8.45am - 4.30pm
Venue: Geelong Conference Centre, Adams Court, Eastern Park Gardens, East Geelong

For more information please see this flyer.

Great South Coast

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently updated with localised information:

  • Pain management programs
  • Memory assessment
  • Q Fever
  • Benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Alcohol brief intervention
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and support
  • Pain specialist assessment (non-acute, advice)
  • Cognitive impairment and Dementia
  • General medicine referrals – acute, non-acute and advice.

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

South West Healthcare

Upper Limb Management for Neurological Patients workshop

South West Healthcare will host a half-day workshop in Warrnambool this week focusing on best practice for upper limb management for neurological patients. Neurosciences physiotherapist Thao Nguyen (The Royal Melbourne Hospital) will facilitate the event, designed to provide physiotherapists and occupational therapists with the opportunity to update skills and theoretical knowledge in the management of the upper limb in neurological patients.

Discussions will cover: 

  • Management Tool for Acute Hemiplegic Shoulders (MTAHS)
  • Strapping
  • Collar and cuff
  • Positioning and stretching
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Splinting
  • Serial casting
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Modified constraint induced movement therapy.

Date: Thursday 19 April
Time: 12.15pm - 4.30pm
Venue: South West Healthcare, 25 Ryot Street, Warrnambool

For more information and to register, see this flyer.

Vestibular Rehabilitation introductory course

South West Healthcare will also present a two-day introductory course on vestibular rehabilitation, in May. The training aims to introduce clinicians to common vestibular disorders such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Vestibular Neuritis/ Labyrinthitis, Ménière's Disease, Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction, Migraine Associated Dizziness, and central vestibular pathologies.

The course will cover: 

  • Vestibular assessment and differential diagnosis
  • Unilateral vestibular pathology: recovery mechanisms and implications for treatment
  • Audiology Testing
  • Anatomy and Pathophysiology of BPPV
  • Assessment and Management of BPPV
  • Introduction to Central Vestibular Disorders.

Date: Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 May
Time: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: South West Healthcare, 25 Ryot Street, Warrnambool

For more information and to register, see this flyer.

Immunisation providers meeting

DHHS logo

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will convene a meeting of immunisation providers in western Victoria next week. The forum will provide information on policy and project developments, including vaccine changes and new resources. Attendees will also receive an update on Western Victoria Primary Health Network's Immunisation Program Report.

Date: Tuesday 24 April
Time: 9.30am - 1.30pm
Venue: Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Bayside City Plaza, 24 – 36 Fairy Street, Warrnambool 

Please RSVP to Eileen McCormick, DHHS Divisional Public Health Officer.

Participants wishing to attend the meeting via webinar can register online.

Wimmera Grampians

HealthPathways update

HealthPathways

Recently updated with localised information:

  • Post-acute stroke care
  • Non-acute neurosurgery assessment
  • Cognitive impairment and dementia.

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

Wellness and Life After Cancer program

cancercouncilvic.102039 smaller

The Cancer Council Victoria is conducting an exercise and supportive care program from Thursday 26 April  in the Wimmera Grampians region. The eight week program intends to help participants: 

  • Increase fitness and strength
  • Perform daily tasks
  • Learn how to cope with life now
  • Connect with others
  • Better manage fatigue
  • Access local services.

Full program details can be obtained by telephoning Rural northwest Health 5396 1315, Stawell Regional Health 5358 8630, or Wimmera Health Group 5381 9333.

Domestic violence awareness session

Lifeline logo DV Alert logo

Interactive presentations in Horsham and Stawell will afford participants an opportunity to talk about domestic violence and what they can do to help make a difference. The discussions will help participants:

  • 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.

Horsham
Date: Monday 30 April
Time: 1pm -3.15pm
Venue: Wimmera Business Centre Meeting Room 62 Darlot Street Horsham

Register online.

Stawell
Date: Tuesday 1 May
Time: 9.45am - 12pm
Venue: Stawell Health and Community Centre 8-22 Patrick Street Stawell

Register online.

Statins: optimising therapy, addressing intolerance

NPS Medicinewise

NPS Medicinewise invites health professionals throughout the Wimmera Grampians region to briefing focusing on statins.  'Statins: Optimising therapy, addressing intolerance' will be facilitated by Anna McIntyre, NPS Medicinewise Clinical Services Specialist and will cover:

  • The role of overall absolute cardiovascular risk approach in patients with dyslipidaemia
  • What is involved in adequately trialing a statin to optimise lipid lowering before adding a second agent
  • Recognising that true statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS) are less common than expected and rarely life threatening
  • Assessing suspected SAMS systematically and refer appropriately for further management.

Date: Tuesday 1 May
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Arapiles Meeting Room Arapiles Building Wimmera Health Care 83 Baillie Street, Horsham

Please RSVP by Thursday 26 April to Anna McIntyre, telephone 0448 314 739.