GP Refresher 2019
This weekend we are delighted to be holding our GP Refresher 2019. This is our 10th anniversary and it looks to be the most successful GP Refresher yet. We have over 165 GPs attending the weekend event, and delegates are travelling from across our western Victorian region.
The theme this year is Supporting GP specialists – keeping patients in general practice.
The drive behind this theme is the recognition that general practitioners are pivotal for good health care across our communities. Our commitment is to support GPs and practices across our region to foster integration of services and to improve capacity and capability in primary care and general practice. The GP Refresher, and the many other CPD events we hold throughout the year, are part of this commitment.
Keynote speaker and live stream link
This year we have a special keynote speaker to open the GP Refresher – John Macaskill-Smith. John is a leader and innovator in primary care. As CEO of Pinnacle Ventures Ltd in New Zealand, John has worked to bridge the gap between technology and outcomes. He has introduced a range of new programs and technologies in the health care sector that are being implemented in New Zealand and in some cases internationally.
We are live streaming his presentation on the day – Saturday 16 March from 11.30am. If you are not coming to the GP Refresher but would like to watch John’s presentation at that time, here is the LINK
I look forward to catching up with as many of you that I can over the weekend and listening to many informative and thought-provoking presentations.
Dr Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer
Great South Coast
If you haven't already done so, please ensure you fill out our Professional Development Activities survey to provide your feedback as part of a review of how we deliver our professional development activities including the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program.
We are seeking your input on activities such as:
- Local education and training events with speakers
- Large, regional or central events with numerous speakers such as the GP Refresher weekend
- Online courses and webinars
- Peer groups of professionals meeting on a regular basis.
The survey is open until Monday, 18 March. You can access the survey here.
In the 2018-19 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced changes to streamline the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) and the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) into a single Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) as part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy.
Those changes will commence on 1 July 2019.
The WIP will provide targeted financial incentives to encourage medical practitioners to deliver eligible primary health care services in regional, rural or remote areas that have difficulty attracting and retaining medical practitioners. It also provides financial incentives to support eligible general practices to engage nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and allied health professionals, including non-dispensing pharmacists.
The WIP better targets incentives to address workforce requirements in specific geographic areas, giving patients in regional, rural and remote areas improved access to quality medical, nursing and allied health services. The WIP aims to strengthen team-based and multi-disciplinary models of care enabling collaborative arrangements to be put in place that will better support community needs.
Under the WIP, the GPRIP will transition to the WIP - Doctor Stream and the PNIP will transition to the WIP - Practice Stream. Medical practitioners and general practices participating in the PNIP and GPRIP on 30 June 2019 will automatically transition to the WIP.
For more information and updates, head to the Department of Health website.
The Cancer Council has launched Australia's first major national mass media campaign promoting bowel cancer screening and is asking GPs to throw their support behind the campaign.
Research has found GPs are a key source of information for patients eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program with two in three eligible adults saying they would talk to their doctor about bowel cancer screening.
Currently, only four in ten eligible Australians participate in bowel cancer screening. Cancer Council research shows if screening participation can be increased to just six in ten, around 84 thousand Australian lives could be saved over the next 30 years. Bowel cancer screening rates in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network region currently sits at just 41 per cent, well below both breast and cervical cancer screening rates.
Applications are now open for the Victorian Government's Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund for 2019-20.
The fund is designed to help Victoria's health sector effectively identify, scale and embed innovation. The 209-20 fund will focus on:
- Beyond the hospital walls
- Joined up management of chronic disease
- Community Mental Health
- Quality and Safety including shared decision making
- Digital Health including applying digital solutions to address patient level challenges in the areas of:
- Joined up management of chronic disease
- Community Mental Health
- Shared decision making.
More details are available from the Better Care Victoria website.
This year's VIctorian Rural Health Conference will focus on the hidden treasures of rural health including primary care initiatives, rural doctor mentors and strategies to improve access to health services for rural communities.
Registrations are now open for the conference to be held at St Kilda Novotel in Melbourne from 26 to 28 April.
Program highlights include a Beachside Battle to showcase of some of the best primary care initiatives currently in action from Rural Victoria.
A series of pre-conference workshops have been organised on Friday 26 April 2019 for rural doctors and/or their teams covering:
- GP Anaesthetics
- Practice Managers Workshop
- Medical Student Pre-conference Workshop
- Doctors in Training Clinical Leadership in Practice (CLiP) workshop
For more details and registrations, head to the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria website.
Cancer Australia has released national data on cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for colorectal (or bowel) cancer, which shows the five-year survival is 99 per cent if detected at stage 1.
The release of the data on survival by stage at diagnosis marks a significant advance in the reporting of national cancer information and is the result of collaboration with all the state and territory population-based cancer registries and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
This data forms part of Cancer Australia’s analysis of survival by stage for the top five high incidence adult cancers. The remaining data on breast, lung, melanoma and prostate cancers will be released in the coming months.
Access the data at ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au
Help patients prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke with the Diabetes Victoria Life! Program
The Life! program is a free Victorian lifestyle modification program to help individuals reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Group courses or telephone health coaching services run by health professionals are available for at risk patients to provide motivation and support to make and maintain positive changes, to adopt healthy behaviours and lead a more active lifestyle.
Download the flyer for more details.
National Diabetes Nursing Education Framework
The Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) is development a new National Diabetes Nursing Education Framework to provide a structured, nationally consistent approach to learning pathways and skills development for nurses interested in diabetes care and management.
ADEA is developing the framework following a national review of diabetes education. The review pointed to significant variation in the time spent on diabetes-specific contented by registered nurses in their undergraduate education and in student exposure to diabetes during clinical placements.
Download the Fact Sheet for more information.
New GP Online Palliative Care Learning Modules
The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach has announced new online learning resources to support knowledge and skills of GPs practice for palliative care delivery.
The free resources include six modules of learning covering topics such as:
- Principles of Palliative Care
- Communicating with peole with life-limiting illnesses
- Advance Care Planning
- Assessing and Managing Symptoms
- Asessing and Managing Pain
- Awareness of Self-care.
Access the modules from the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative website.
- Flat Feet in Children
- Pulled Elbow in Children
- Lateral Condylar Humeral Fracture in Children
- Metatarsus Adductus in Children
- Elder Abuse and Neglect
- Depression in Older Persons
To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways.
Western Victoria PHN will host a Lifeline DV-alert Awareness Session for Primary Health Care at our Ballarat offices in May. DV-alert awareness sessions are two-hour interactive presentations where individuals and groups can talk about the issue of domestic violence and what they can do to help make a difference.
The presentation will help those who attend:
- 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
- Have an opportunity to network with other individuals
- Receive tools and references for domestic and family violence support and referral.
The session will be held from 11.30am to 2pm on Tuesday, 7 May at 101 Drummond St North, Ballarat. Online registration is essential. For enquiries, contact Lifeline Ballarat on 5322 4996.
The Mental Health Professionals Network is looking to launch a trauma-focused network in Ballarat and is inviting local mental health workers to the first networking event on Wednesday, 20 March.
The session is open to all mental health workers, particularly in private practice, who are interested in forming a trauma-focused Community of Practice (CoP). The network will be a forum to share resources, ask questions of colleagues and support each other to increase confidence in working with trauma presentations.
The purpose of the first session will be to discuss and develop a framework for trauma CoP in Ballarat.
The meeting will be held between 6 and 8 pm on 20 March in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network training room, 101 Drummond St North. You can register to attend here.
Ballarat region GPs are invited to attend a free Eye Health Training session this month as part of the Vision Intiative.
The Vision Initiative is an integrated health promotion program funded by the Victorian government, and managed by Vision 2020 Australia. It aims to reduce avoidable blindness and vision loss in the Victorian community.
The program draws together health and eye health providers to deliver a coordinated and integrated response to improve eye health and vision care in Victorian communities most in need.
Registrations are now open for the session to be held at 5.30pm on Wednesday 20 March.
Western Victoria PHN's Geelong Otway team will trial a new network meeting model for 2019 as we aim to foster a team-based model of care within primary care.
We will be brinigng together Practice Managers, Practice Nurses and other interested practitioners from general practice and allied health practices in the region to provide opportunity for collaborating with your practice team and work toward a shared goal alongside networking with your peers.
The first meeting will provide an Infection Control Update and is scheduled for 6pm, Tuesday, 26 March in our offices at 131 Myers St, Geelong. Register here
Barwon Health's Emergency Department (ED) is upgrading its information system to Cerner’s FirstNet on Wednesday 20 March at 2am. The new system will improve the Emergency Department’s triage process, ED communication, documentation and management of patient deterioration.
As with the hospital's current information system, upon discharge from ED, the patient's nominated primary care provider will continue to receive discharge summaries. There will be some notable changes in the look and feel of these documents once FirstNet goes live. In particular, the patient plan and follow up for GPs iwill be located towards the end of the document.
Barwon Health is advising local health professionals that it is expecting a busy day during the changeover with an impact on hospital flow and appreciates everyone's patience during the adjustment period. Email EDISProject@barwonhealth.org.au for further information or download their Letter to GPs for wider distribution
The very first Geelong Supporting Blokes Group will meet on Tuesday, 19 March for men with a partner diagnosed with breast cancer.
Think Pink Foundation in partnership with the McGrath Foundation and Barwon Health and supported by Freemasons Foundation Victoria Ltd, is establishing the group to offer male partners and male family members a chance to share experiences, learn coping strategies and gather information to enable a better journey through breast cancer for themselves and their partner.
Download the flyer for more details and booking information.
Great South Coast
Adelaide Gynaecologist and Specialist Pain Medicine Physician Dr Susan Evans will be the key speaker at an Endometriosis - Pelvic Pain presentation and workshop in Warrnambool later this month.
Dr Evans has authored the book Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain and is Chair of the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia. Her research investigates novel ways to manage dysmenorrhea-associated pain.
She has widely contributed to education on pelvic pain in Australia including in medical journals and for Cosmopolitan magazine, radio and television. Participants will receive both an E-version and physical copy of Dr Evans' book as part of the registration fee.
The workshop will run from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, 30 March. Cost is $130 per particpant.
Go to our events pages for more details and registrations.
Western Victoria Primary Health Network in collaboration with The Royal Women’s Hospital, Women’s Health Grampians and Ballarat Community Health recently hosted information sessions on medical abortion for Primary Health Care Professionals in Horsham, Ararat and Ballarat.
Medical abortion is the preferred method of termination of nearly 50 per cent of women worldwide who experience an unwanted pregnancy. The procedure is as simple and safe as surgical abortion. However, despite the legal status of abortion in Victoria there remains limited access to medical abortion.
The keynote speaker was Dr Paddy Moore, Clinical Head, Abortion and Contraception Service, Royal Women's Hospital. Dr Kate Graham, HealthPathways GP Editor Dr Kate Graham, HealthPathways Lead Cara Miller and PCC Consultant Diana Carli-Seebohm also presented on HealthPathways.
Topics covered included an overview of training requirements for providing medical abortion and an update on medical abortion procedures, practice experiences, support and referral pathways for GPs who provide medical abortion.