After significant consultation and discussion within our organisation, WA Primary Health Alliance is moving to a hybrid or flexible way of working.
This means that while the majority of our staff will continue to work remotely, from September, we will be opening our metropolitan and country offices for meetings, collaboration and other tasks.
We will also be resuming face to face visits with general practices when it would be beneficial to meet at the practice rather than meet virtually.
However, we will continue to engage with you virtually where this is practical and useful, for example where people are located in multiple places.
Safety has always been and will continue to be our highest priority, so you can be assured that we will be putting in place a number of safeguards to protect our staff, your practice staff and your patients. More details will be provided in due course.
These safeguards and our other systems and processes will mean we can quickly respond by walking back our strategy and implementing tighter controls, if community spread of COVID-19 arises in WA.
Our practice support team will continue to support you and are available to answer your questions at any time, either individually or through Practice Assist by calling 1800 2 ASSIST or emailing email@example.com
You can read our detailed FAQ here.
A brief reminder to all practices participating in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) that a new quarter commenced on 1 August. To be eligible for this quarter, practices must undertake continuous quality improvement and share data with WAPHA at least once each quarter.
If you have any questions, please visit the updated Practice Assist FAQ page or speak with your Primary Health Liaison or Comprehensive Primary Care Facilitator.
The rollout of ePrescribing continues and WA Primary Health Alliance are supporting practices with this process. If you are interested in joining a Community of Interest, please contact the Digital Health Team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has created a range of resources for practices to support their patients and these may be requested via the Practice Assist website. For updates on the status of ePrescribing across Australia, see the ADHA website.
To help your practice save time with the documentation of quality improvement activities and to have these listed in the one place for your practice staff to access. The Primary Care Support Team have created two new resources to assist your practice in recording quality improvement activities.
The ‘Quality Improvement Register’ template and ‘Quality Improvement PDSA Log’ template (plan, do, study, act) log have been designed to help you document the changes you have implemented in practice. These will be helpful in tracking the progress and outcomes against each of the activities, and importantly highlight to practice staff the key priority areas the practice is working towards.
We understand that each practice will have their own systems and approach to recording quality improvement activities as per the RACGP 5th Edition Standards on Quality Improvement (QI Standard 1). With this in mind, these resources may be used as a guide to create a tool that best suits your practice needs or an opportunity to review current documentation processes you have in place.
If you would like support in using these tools please contact your Primary Health Liaison, Comprehensive Primary Care or Health Care Homes Facilitator.
As part of our support for general practices, Practice Assist maintains a library of useful resources in our Practice Assist Resource Library. These resources range across different topics from GP Accreditation, Practice Incentives Program, to the latest in resources around COVID-19.
At present we are reviewing and updating all of our resources to ensure that we have current, accurate and useful information available when needed.
Professional and personal pressures can arise for general practice teams at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic.
To support GPs and practice staff to look after themselves and take the necessary steps to support their wellbeing, WA Primary Health Alliance is offering three free confidential counselling sessions via its Wellness Program.
Provided through AccessEAP, and available to all WA-based general practice staff, the program offers confidential sessions with a counsellor who can offer information and assistance in navigating the COVID-19 response as well as other personal and professional issues.
Issues that can be addressed during counselling sessions include:
Vaccination of breastfeeding mothers is generally safe. Besides protecting the mother from vaccine-preventable diseases, some vaccines given to a breastfeeding mother also provide passive immunity to the baby. Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) has developed a new reference page that details different vaccines and scenarios for consideration when vaccinating a mother who is breastfeeding.
There is a new patient information sheet developed by the Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia on vaccinations in rheumatic disease.
The sheet has been written for people with certain types of arthritis (known as rheumatologic conditions) to provide general information about vaccination. It can be viewed here.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, says Australia’s childhood immunisation rates have risen to record levels, with coverage for all five year olds now at 94.77 per cent. Immunisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have increased even more. All six categories made positive gains, with coverage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at five years 96.90 per cent. This is higher than the national coverage rate for all five-year-old children. One-year-old and two-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander coverage rates also jumped significantly. The two-year-old rate climbed to above 90 per cent for the first time since December 2014, increasing to 90.03 per cent.
Read the full media release here.
Injection site reactions (ISRs) are one of the most common adverse events following immunisation. ISRs include pain, itching, swelling or redness around the site of injection. Most ISRs are mild and usually last for 1–2 days. However, some ISRs can be more severe with swelling extending from joint to joint (e.g. shoulder to elbow) and can often be confused with cellulitis. ISRs do not require antibiotics or antihistamines. Treatment should focus on symptom relief with oral pain relief and cold compress as required. ISRs may occur after administration of any vaccine but are more common after booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTPa/dTpa). They are not a contraindication to further vaccination with the same or another vaccine.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have an injection site reaction factsheet here.
Community health nurses monitor and promote the health, wellbeing and development of children by engaging with parents through a series of scheduled contacts. The first ‘universal’ contact occurs in the child’s first 14 days, with subsequent contacts at eight weeks, four months, 12 months and two years.
All parents are also offered access to the following free, evidence-based groups to support optimal child health and development:
Parents can be encouraged to find more information and to book into a group by visiting healthywa.wa.gov.au/parentgroups.
Safe, highly curative, short course, direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapies are now available to treat chronic hepatitis C. DAA therapy is freely available to all adults chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Australia. However, since the introduction of funded DAA treatment, uptake has been suboptimal.
Researchers from University of Sydney and the Telethon Kids Institute with funding from WA Health are looking to engage GPs in a hepatitis C treatment registry study called PLATINUM C. The PLATINUM C Study aims to facilitate the prescribing of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy and collect information on real-world outcomes of individuals treated for hepatitis C.
If your practice is interested in being part of the study, please contact Jessica Ramsay for further information.
For further information on Chronic Hepatitis C, please also visit the HealthPathways Chronic Hep C pathway.
GPs play a vital role in caring for patients, connecting with public hospital services when required, and continuing care following discharge or outpatient review. The East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) wants to hear from you about your experience of communicating with our public hospitals, and what needs to be improved. Your feedback is essential to target action to the issues that matter to you most.
Feedback obtained through the will identify where hospitals have improved their communication with GPs and what requires further attention and help increase access to public hospital services.
GPs can find out more and provide their feedback through Primary Health Exchange by 5pm, Monday 21 September.
A routine audit has identified patients previously been seen in Royal Perth or Bentley outpatients who do not have any further appointments booked or planned with that specialty but have not formally had their outpatient care discharged from our database.
Letters will be sent to the recorded GP of any patient who will be discharged under this audit. Patients will receive a letter if their last outpatient appointment with that speciality was in the past two years. If your patient requires further outpatient care that was not envisaged at the time of last outpatient review, please re-assess the patient and send an updated referral to the Central Referral Service.
NPS MedicineWise is offering two (2) free, online small group educational sessions for Pharmacists in WA via ZOOM.
These sessions will focus on important differences between diagnosing and managing asthma in preschool and school-age children, and how children’s asthma differs from that of adults.
Information and resources provided as part of this educational visit
You can self-record this educational visit as part of your CPD portfolio.
To book your place, please complete the details in the attached form.
NPS MedicineWise has information and resources to promote being Medicinewise, as well as regularly updated evidence-based information on COVID-19 topics. We encourage you to share and use these resources with your patients and communities.
The GP Urgent Care team held its first Network Pilot Project Review and Discussion Webinar on 13th August 2020, facilitated by Dr Mike Civil, with presentations from Dr Babu GP, Practice Nurse Sarah Mugglestone RN, Richard Varhol WAPHA and Sharon Safstrom RACGP WA.
Thank you to Dr Mike Civil for facilitating the evening, and the presenters for their valuable insights and experience of the network pilot.
The feedback from participants and stakeholders was very positive and encouraging, with great examples of practice experience with positive impacts for the clinical teams and the patients.
Expressions of interest are now open for General Practitioners to participate in the Mental Health Criteria Working Group. HealthPathways WA is partnering with Metropolitan Health Service Providers to create referral criteria for Adult Community Mental Health Services in Perth metro. These criteria will provide referring clinicians with an understanding of the scope and limitations of services and will be published on HealthPathways WA. The working group will be held on the 15th of September 2020 at 7am until 9am, the venue is Technology Park Function Centre.
Commitment to a HealthPathways Working Group consists of:
WA Primary Health Alliance continues to operate a significant logistical strategy to distribute masks during the COVID-19 pandemic to general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, pharmacies and allied health practices that meet the criteria of the Department of Health Tranche 4 guidelines.
For mask requests, visit the Practice Assist website.
Please note, re-orders will not be accepted within five business days (Mon-Fri) of the previous request, except in exceptional circumstances.
Please send all general queries in relation to the National Medical Stockpile to
Our highly skilled phone line responders are there to support families, carers and individuals through these sometimes confronting and time-consuming processes.
The Palliative Care WA website also has details of upcoming education events for families, carers, individuals and medical professionals.
This WA service is available 9am to 4:30pm 7 days a week. Call: 1800 573 299 or visit the website: palliativecarewa.asn.au
Dementia affects close to half a million Australians. That number is set double in the next 25 years.
Many Australians will start experiencing the impact of dementia amongst their own family and friends in the coming years.
The concept for Dementia Action Week 2020 has been developed in consultation with Dementia Advocates, who have a lived experience of dementia. The stories and voices that will feature across Dementia Action Week are real.
Dementia Australia’s research and engagement with advocates shows that there is a prevailing attitude that people living with dementia are overwhelmingly very old, frail and living in care. That once diagnosed with dementia, people have a complete loss of independence – and ultimately a very sad life.
These misconceptions lead to judgements about capacity and condescending behaviours. These mistaken beliefs cause significant discrimination against those living with dementia.
Dementia Action Week 2020 will demonstrate that many people living with dementia can continue to live well for many years after their diagnosis - and live rich and active lives.
Community organisations, partners and supporters will be able to amplify the campaign activities and messages by sharing the provided content across their own channels and networks throughout the week.
As part of Dementia Action week, Dementia Australia will be releasing a new tip each day on how we can help people living with dementia live well.
As a supporter of Dementia Action Week, you can register to receive your campaign kit containing:
All events are listed on our Webinars and Workshops page.
Respiratory health in a changing climate
Presented by WAPHA and RACGP