Thursdays 10 September is R U OK? Day. This year the key message is:
R U OK? Day is our national day of action with a reminder to everyone that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.
2020 has been a challenging year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support those around us.
This R U OK?Day the key message is to help you to know what to say when someone says they’re not OK and guide them through how they can continue a conversation that could change a life.
Visit the R U OK?Day website to Learn what to say when someone says they're not OK, and Learn the signs it’s time to ask R U OK?
Further information is also available by downloading the Guide to Supporting R U OK?DAY, and additionally to request free materials and resources for your patients and practice.
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 GPs about their experience of communicating with our public hospitals, and what needs to be improved. Their feedback is essential to target action to the issues that matter to them most.
We especially want to hear from GPs who have had ANY patients attend one or more of Royal Perth, Bentley, Armadale, Kalamunda or St John of God Midland Public Hospitals in the past 12 months.
Feedback obtained through the survey will identify where hospitals have improved their communication with GPs and what requires further attention and help increase access to public hospital services.
Find out more and provide feedback HERE, by 5pm, Monday 21 September
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 Practice Assist FAQ page or speak with your Primary Health Liaison or Comprehensive Primary Care Facilitator.
Any practice that anticipates not being able to submit their PIP QI Eligible Dataset to WAPHA must advise the Department by 30 September 2020 via PIPQIexemptions@health.gov.au. These practices will be dealt with on a case by case basis and further advice provided at that time.
The rollout of ePrescribing continues and WAPHA 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.
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:
The Federal Government has launched the Ahead for Business initiative to ensure small business owners and their staff can access free support and resources.
Hosted by mental health organisation Everymind, the digital hub offers small and family businesses resources including articles, videos, podcasts and toolkits.
Anonymous peer-to-peer forums and an online wellbeing plan is also available.
Access the Ahead for Business digital hub here.
The Australian Government Department of Health is pleased to advise the extension of the COVID-19 Health Professionals National Disability Advisory Service initially set up in July for a trial 6-week period, to 17 November, 2020.
Health professionals involved in the care of people with disability diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can call the service during the new operating times of 8 am to 9 pm (AEST) Monday to Friday on 1800 131 330.
Calls to the service are answered by health professionals with disability service qualifications and experience working with people with disability.
Dr Michael Murray is the geriatrician lead at Austin Health and currently with VARC. He has started a zoom GP support group focused on geriatric care in general but with a particular focus on provision of care to residents in aged care facilities in the context of the COVID pandemic. The zoom meetings held to date have been attended by a large number of GPs but also include geriatricians and infectious control specialists to discuss all complexities of care.
All GPs are welcome to attend the sessions. Arrangements to join the existing weekly sessions can be made through Sachin@agedcaregp.com
The RACGP has developed this guide for GPs to support them in providing home-based care in a private residential home (including public or community housing) for adult patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
This document is generic, interim guidance for GPs and should be used to support any local or other more contemporaneous advice, acknowledging that in this rapidly changing pandemic environment, uncertainties remain in our understanding of the spread of COVID-19 and its management.
A guide, action plan and symptom diary is available to share with patients.
The University of Melbourne is undertaking a project to understand how the primary healthcare workforce engages with the national cancer screening program (bowel, breast and cervical). Findings from the study will lead to the development of materials and initiatives to assist in boosting cancer screening participation.
During the first phase of the project the researchers are interested in interviewing nurses, GPs and Practice Managers to understand more about their role, their go-to-resources when they need more information about the screening programs and resources they would like to have access to.
For information about how to become involved in the project please contact Ebony Verbunt, Research Assistant, University of Melbourne over email@example.com or phone 0429 928 039.
Kidney Health Australia have released the 4th edition of their handbook Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Management in Primary Care. This handbook provides health services with guidance and clinical tips for detecting, managing, and referring patients with CKD.
CKD Management in Primary Care is produced by Kidney Health Australia’s Primary care education advisory committee (PEAK) and has been endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) (accepted clinical resource), and the Australian Primary healthcare Nurses Association (APNA).
Download the digital version of the 4th edition handbook here.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have published a web statement to assist health professionals with choosing an alternative medicine for their individual patients during the shortage of particular oral contraceptive pills.
The TGA web statement includes a list of combined oral contraceptive pills and other prescribed products currently marketed in Australia which can be considered as alternatives. The benefits and risks of each option will need to be considered according to the individual needs and preferences of the patient, as well as their age and any co-morbidities.
Visit the TGA medicine shortages page for more information about current shortages.
From Monday 21 September 2020, letters from some RPH outpatient clinics will be automatically faxed to GPs. This will allow GPs to receive outpatient correspondence more quickly than by mail and is an interim measure while we work towards secure messaging of outpatient letters.
Where a fax appears to have been successfully transmitted, a hard copy of that outpatient letter will NOT be mailed. Letters from clinics that do not have this facility will continue to be mailed for now, as will letters from Bentley Health Service (unless manually faxed if urgent). Where we do not have your fax number or the fax is not able to be transmitted, the letter will be mailed by post.
Please be sure we have your correct fax number. If you currently receive faxed GP notifications or discharge summaries from Royal Perth Hospital, we have your correct fax number. If your contact details or list of doctors working at your practice require checking or alteration, please telephone 9224 3673, fax: 9224 2348 or email on RPH.GPN.Coordinator@health.wa.gov.au.
Every day in Australia, there are nearly 150 hospitalisations and 14 emergency department admissions relating to opioid use. Three people die from the harm that results. The majority of these admissions and deaths are from prescription opioids.
The Department of Health through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is continuing to implement a number of regulatory changes to reduce the harm caused by opioid prescription medicines to Australians.
The TGA have implemented regulatory changes that will require sponsors to:
The network pilot recognises that GPs, practice managers, nurses and reception staff may need opportunities to refresh their urgent care skills. The RACGP WA, Benchmarque, CTEC (UWA) and WAPHA will deliver a series of workshops over the life of the pilot which will focus on relevant skills and topics to support practice staff. These training opportunities can attract Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points. The delivery of these training opportunities may change due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Urgent Care Peer Group Learning (PGL) activity is designed to maximise the benefits of working and learning together in a peer group educational setting. These activities utilise peer support, interaction and reflection to enhance clinical competence, knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance of practices on specific urgent care topics. Completion provides CPD Accredited Activity Points.
Click HERE to complete an expression of interest in the Urgent Care: Peer group learning workshop.
The event flyer can be downloaded HERE for additional information.
Common presentations over the last month to GP Urgent Care Clinics have been:
Pharmacies that are located close to GP Urgent Care Practices will be given posters in the next few months to display in their stores to help with Consumer Awareness. Pharmacists and Pharmacy staff with be informed of the GP Urgent Care Network to help navigate patients to practices that are in the Network.
The following content updates have now been published:
WA Country Health Service ‘WACHS’ is pleased to advise updates to their website to improve feedback pathways for GPs and other external service partners, to be able to more easily submit feedback directly to the WACHS organisation from their website
The updated XML file for changes to the MBS is now available for download HERE.
Included in this update are description and eligibility changes for items in the Cardiac Imaging area. These changes are also outlined in our MBS Cardiac Imaging Factsheet and on the Services Australia Changes to MBS item numbers for cardiac imaging services page.
On 26 August, nbn™ launched a new series developed in collaboration with six Australian based ICT vendors called Presented by business nbn™. The aim is to help enable small and medium business navigate digital opportunities or challenges by drawing on the expertise of our partners. This series was designed to complement resources available on the Australian information industry association’s (AIIA) Australian Business Continuity website.
Each week, for the next six weeks, a new resource will cover a variety of business topics from eCommerce and logistics through to AI and collaboration.
The first is Telehealth, featuring some simple tips for best-practice set-ups. Presented by business nbn™ and Poly video conferencing advice:
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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
World Heart Day is a global campaign during which individuals, families, communities, and governments around the world participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others.
All events are listed on our Webinars and Workshops page.