News and networking

Changes to National Immunisation Program Schedule


From 1 July 2018, the Commonwealth government is introducing changes to the National Immunisation Program (NIP). 

These changes involve pneumococcal, meningococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines in the childhood schedule. In addition, the maternal pertussis vaccine will be added to the NIP.

A synopsis of the changes is as follows:
  • The 3rd dose of pneumococcal vaccine (Prevenar13) currently given at 6 months will be moved to 12 months of age for most children. Aboriginal children and children at increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease will continute to get a 3rd pneumococcal vaccine dose at 6 months and will get an additional 4th dose at 12 months. 
  • Meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Nimenrix) will replace the dose of Meningococcal C/Hib vaccine (Menitorix) currently given at 12 months. 
  • Menitorix (Meningococcal C and Hib vaccine)will be given at 18 months in WA until further notice. Eventually Menitorix will be replaced by Act-HIB at 18 months. 
  • In addition, maternal pertussis (dTpa) vaccination for pregnant women has been listed on the NIP to guarantee its ongoing access and availability. This change has no impact on practice in WA as there has been a state funded program in place since 2015.
For further information, please view here.

Updated WA Immunisation Schedule 

Please use the updated WA Immunisation Schedule from 1 July onward.

Get your NPS MedicineWise Virtual Visit


NPS MedicineWise Clinical Service Specialists (CSS) travel throughout WA metro and regional areas to deliver free, evidence based CPD to GP practices.

However, regional practices don't have to wait for an NPS CSS visit, because NPS CPD can be delivered at any time, via the internet as an interactive Skype Virtual Visit.

Virtual Visits give  general practitioners more options to book NPS CPD at a date and time that suits them. 

Virtual Visits are interactive discussions or topic content and as such, they qualify for RACGP and ACRRM accreditation, typically; 

  • Category Two  RACGP points in the QI&CPD program for the 2017-19 triennium and 
  • 1 Core point in the ACRRM PD program for the 2017-19 triennium. 

General practitioners and practice managers who would like to book an NPS Virtual Visit can book through the website or contact Nicole Humphry at WAPHA on (08) 6272 4921 or email


New clinical guidelines for care during pregnancy


The Australian Government Department of Health has released a revised version of the Pregnancy Care Clinical Practice Guidelines. 

The 2018 edition of the guidelines combines Module 1 and 2 of the Antenatal Care Guidelines, published in 2012 and 2014 respectively. A number of chapters were reviewed and updated for this edition, in accordance with NHRMC requirements for guideline development. 

The guidelines provide evidence based recommendations to support health professionals to provide high quality, safe antenatal care in all settings. They highlight specific approaches to pregnancy care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant and refugee women, and women with severe mental illness.

Among the changes is a new recommendation to encourage routine Hepatitis C testing at the first antenatal visit. Routine testing for Vitamin D status is now discouraged, unless there is a specific indication.

The guidelines recognise body mass index prior to pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy as important determinants of health for both mothers and babies. The guidelines are designed for all health professionals caring for pregnant women, including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals. 

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines can be downloaded here


Health Care Homes underway

Participating practices and patients can now contact the department on freecall 1800 290 637.

This number is included in the revised patient handbook, which is being mailed to all Health Care Homes' practices and will be available online. 

For more information on Health Care Homes, please visit here

Practice Assist acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the country on which we work and live and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community.

We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to Elders both past and present.