The International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD) is a United Nations observed day celebrated internationally. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
IDPwD is celebrated every year in Australia on 3 December to acknowledge the incredible contribution people of all abilities make to the community.
The annual International Day of People with Disability 2020 theme
The theme for IDPwD 2020 is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.
For further information on how to get involved please visit the IPDwD website and or view the resources available on the IPDwD website to assist with promotion of this health promotion event.
As a valued subscriber to our Practice Connect newsletter, we would appreciate your feedback on our publication to ensure it remains relevant and useful for practices.
The Practice Connect survey should take no longer than two minutes to complete. Your feedback will be used to guide future improvements.
Please submit your feedback to us by COB Friday 11 December.
For further information regarding this survey please contact the Practice Assist Team on 1800 2 ASSIST or firstname.lastname@example.org
CLICK HERE TO START THE SURVEY
We are just over halfway through this Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) quarter. We would like to remind practices to ensure that they have at least one successful data extraction before 15 January in order to be eligible for payment. If you are unsure whether your practice has successfully extracted this quarter or if you are having issues with data extraction, please speak with your Primary Health Liaison or Comprehensive Primary Care Facilitator.
The following content updates have now been published on the HealthPathways website:
To access HealthPathways please contact your WAPHA Practice Support team member or email the HealthPathways team at email@example.com.
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.
These are some of our newly, and or updated resources in our Resource Library.
We would appreciate your feedback on our resources for use in your practice use, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas and comments.
Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is a highly infectious bacterial disease that causes severe bouts of coughing. In adults, the symptoms can be mild, but if the infection is spread to a baby who is not yet vaccinated, it can be life threatening
Studies have found that whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective for both the mother and baby.
The whooping cough vaccine is currently rrecommended as a single dose between the mid-2nd trimester and early 3rd trimester of each pregnancy (ideally at 20–32 weeks) and should be given as early as possible (from 20 weeks) to women who have been identified as being at high risk of early delivery. Vaccination during pregnancy (preferably at 20-32 weeks) means your body produces antibodies that get passed on to your baby before birth. These antibodies will assist in protecting your baby until it receives their own vaccines at 6-8 weeks, 4 months and 6 months of age.
Whooping cough is a serious disease for babies and can be deadly. Vaccinating pregnant women is the best way to protect young babies against whooping cough. When you are vaccinated, your antibodies transfer from you to your developing baby. They receive protection from you when they are too young to be vaccinated themselves.
At the Brookside Medical General Practice in Wanneroo, Western Australia it was identified that not all pregnant woman in the practice had received the Whooping Cough Vaccination.
The nurse ran a report on all pregnant woman in the practice and ensured a recall was in place for all the women before they reached 20 weeks gestation.
Doctors are now having conversations with women earlier in their pregnancies and advising them to come back in to have the vaccination when they are between 20-32 weeks. The practice has also set up a reminder system to recall pregnant women to arrange an appointment for their immunisation.
A Quality Improvement activity was completed by the practice nurse using a PDSA plan template.
Stepping up to deal with COVID-19, supporting primary care and our funded services while continuing to deliver on our usual commitments are the key themes of our 2019-20 Year in Review.
This past year, like so many organisations, WA Primary Health Alliance has had to rethink many aspects of the way we work. And while this time has changed our workplace and work practices, it has only served to strengthen our commitment to achieving our vision – Better Health, Together.
Hear from our Chair and CEO about stepping up, silver linings and being here to stay.
This time has also served to strengthen and deepen our partnerships with peak bodies, state and local government, Health Service Providers as well as with our network of councils and committees as we advanced our aim to join up the health system and improve health equity through better access and outcomes for Western Australians.
Hear how we strengthened partnerships, supported primary care and listened to the community to increase health access and outcomes.
As a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation, WA Primary Health Alliance understands some of the unique issues impacting the LGBTIQ+ community during COVID-19. This includes a reduction in social opportunities (including less opportunity to see one’s ‘chosen family’ who may be different from their biological family) and, for young people especially, being forced to stay home in an environment that may not accept/affirm their sexuality and/or gender identity.
While this is currently less of an issue in WA than within other states, it does still have an impact.
It is also important to consider the prevalence of smoking in the LGBTIQ+ community, higher rates of HIV and cancer, and barriers to healthcare that prevent LGBTIQ+ people from seeking medical treatment.
Interested practices, and or GPs can find more about how they can support their LGBTIQ+ patients through resources including:
A new network in the Midwest is supporting health professionals to continue working in rural and regional communities by offering them a vital face to face opportunity for networking, education and professional development.
The fourth such group in regional WA, following earlier launches in the Pilbara, Goldfields and South West, the networks were born out of a recognition that facilitating new ways of delivering professional development opportunities was crucial.
The networks are in partnership with of Rural Health West, WA Primary Health Alliance, the Rural Clinical School of WA and locally in the Midwest the WA Country Health Service, and WA Centre for Rural Health.
WA Primary Health Alliance Country Operations Manager - North, Jodie Green said the networks ensure health professionals based in rural, regional and remote areas have greater opportunities to network, upskill, share information and collaborate.
“Attracting and retaining our regional health workforce can be challenging, so it’s important to do as much as we can to support health professionals on the ground.
“This is part of our commitment to promote and prioritise an integrated regional health system, and work in partnership with our fellow health agencies to deliver better health, together,” Mrs Green said.
“We believe it’s key to promote collaborative ways of working across the health system, as this makes for a better experience for clinicians and patients, improves efficiency and, most importantly, health outcomes.”
Networks are now being planned to launch in the Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Kimberley in 2021.
Services Australia have released two new guides to assist immunisation providers.
AIR Data Quality User Guide will assist vaccination and information providers to ensure the data they submit to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is accurate. Accurate information allows an individual’s immunisation history to be updated without delay.
The 10A Report Guide provides step by step instructions on how to request, download, save, customise and modify an AIR-010A Report. It identifies individuals seen for a Medicare service at a practice who, according to the AIR, are either due or overdue for a vaccination on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule and will identify vaccination details that are missing (or not yet recorded) on the AIR.
Aboriginal people have a higher risk of acquiring new hepatitis B virus infection than non-Aboriginal people. Although hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all non-immune Aboriginal adults, it is not funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP). WA Health has commenced a program to provide this vaccine for free in WA for people aged ≥ 20 years of age. Hepatitis B vaccines are provided free through the NIP for people aged < 20 years of age. All non-immune Aboriginal adults should receive a 3-dose schedule of hepatitis B vaccine. Prior to administering the hepatitis B vaccine, providers should order a blood test to determine the hepatitis B status of an individual (the request on the pathology form should be for "? chronic hepatitis B") The vaccine will be available to administer by immunisation providers through Aboriginal Medical Services, General Practitioners, Regional Public Health Services or opportunistic health service medical providers.
The WA Immunisation Schedule (effective 01/12/2020) has been updated to reflect this change and clarifications regarding the pneumococcal vaccinations. It is available to download.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have developed a new COVID-19 related webpage that answers some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. They will be updating the page regularly. It can be accessed here.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released preliminary advice on general principles to guide the prioritisation of target populations in a COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia. The advice is aimed at supporting planning by the Australian Government in the development of a strategy for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and program delivery.
The ATAGI advice can be read here
The Department of Health has released a document outlining the approach to providing COVID-19 vaccines in Australia. This includes an overview of the vaccines to be purchased for Australia, the prioritisation process, logistics and distribution, and more. The new policy can be read here.
The free WA Health Online Immunisation Update module has been revised with minor changes. CDCD developed this module to support WA immunisation providers in their practice.
Nurses with immunisation certification are required to undertake an annual update as a tool to increase their immunisation knowledge and to maintain currency in their certification. The online module can be accessed from the WA Department of Health Immunisation Education page.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has released its Annual Immunisation Coverage Report 2019 which shows coverage rates continued to increase, both in children overall and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in 2019.
Deloitte is seeking views from GPs, practice nurses and relevant policy officers involved in the screening and diagnosis of bowel cancer to participate in a short survey regarding their experience with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and will close on Friday 18 December 2020. Please click the following link to commence the survey: Take me to the survey
On 23rd November 2020, the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) held a webinar SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development: is there a finish line in sight? A recording of this webinar can now be viewed here.
WA Primary Health Alliance has become aware of an issue affecting practices using Best Practice software that may have resulted in under-dosage of Benzathine benzylpenicillin G, a medication used to treat the Streptococcal A (strep A) infection. Underdosage of this medication may lead to further strep A infections and damage to the heart valves (Rheumatic Heart Disease).
Your practice may have already received communication from Best Practice regarding this issue. The attached communique from the WA Country Health Service provides further explanation of the issue and the action that should be taken if there are patients at your practice that have received an incorrect dose.
If you have further questions regarding this issue, please contact the RHD Program on 1300 622 745 or email RHD.Register@health.wa.gov.au.
NPS MedicineWise is independent, not-for-profit, evidence-based and committed to supporting quality use of medicines to improve health decisions. The MedicineWise app is a free health and medicines management app that can:
Learn more about the MedicineWise app here or download the MedicineWise app from the App Store or Google Play.
The MedicineWise app can be a particularly valuable tool for your patients and their carers when they transition to and from different health care settings. Email email@example.com to find out how we can work together to support your patients.
This year, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) celebrates its 150th Anniversary. As part of this occasion, the RCH is proud to launch the 10th edition of the RCH Paediatric Handbook. The Handbook presents collective expertise of the hospital’s world leading clinical staff, including practical advice on the assessment and management of common and serious child health conditions.
An essential practical management guide to the health problems of newborn infants, children and adolescents, the Paediatric Handbook is a valuable reference for all medical students, hospital residents and community practitioners.
New chapters in this edition include:
The Paediatric Handbook 10th edition can be purchased from shop.rcg.org.au and www.wiley.com
The NDIS has recently added a page to its website collating resources specifically for GPs.
It includes practical resources, such as GP-sourced FAQs, an MBS billing guide, resources specific to psychosocial disability, multilingual patient information, and quick links to NDIS forms.
Please click here to visit.
The General Practice: Health of the Nation report gives a unique overview of Australian general practice. It reflects the experience of more than 1700 RACGP Fellows from across Australia and incorporates information from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey and various government publications.
The report provides information at a specific point in time and highlights longer-term trends across the general practice sector from the point of view of both patients and GPs.
This year, we’ve developed a fully interactive digital version of the report that you can read online.
DVA Gold, White and Orange health cards have been replaced with Veteran Cards. The Veteran Cards (Gold, White or Orange) have been issued to all DVA cardholders.
The Veteran Cards function the same way as the previous DVA health cards and cardholders’ health entitlements remain the same. Ensuring all DVA clients are now using the new-look Veteran Cards avoids confusion between the old and new style of cards and ensures they can be easily recognised by providers.
If a DVA client has not yet received a Veteran Card they can continue to use their existing DVA health card, which will remain valid until it is replaced. DVA clients can use MyService or contact DVA to arrange a replacement card.
Veteran Card holders may present digital versions of their plastic DVA White or Gold Cards to health providers, which clients can access through the online DVA portal MyService. Providers can check the digital card for health conditions covered by DVA for that client.
For further information
Visit DVA website: Veteran Card or phone 1800 555 254
Royal Perth Bentley Group (RPBG) is continuing to encourage the use of telehealth to all outpatients (where clinically appropriate to stay COVID-safe) and minimise the risk to the community, should there be a second wave community transmission in WA. This is also in response to positive patient feedback.
During the initial COVID-19 WA response, Telehealth consultations allowed RPBG to continue to deliver outpatient services while helping to reduce the risk to patients and healthcare workers.
Following feedback that patients enjoy telehealth and the associated benefits, the service has committed to offering telehealth appointments to outpatients where clinically appropriate. Some of these benefits include saving time from not having to wait in clinics, as well as reducing travel commitments – particularly important for regional and remote patients. While both video and telephone telehealth consultations are available, patients are encouraged to opt for video-consultations where possible.
Activity across all telehealth specialties at RPBG is steadily increasing. As patients are choosing to attend their appointments by telehealth more often, RPBG staff are continuing to develop their Digital Health services in collaboration with GPs and other community providers.
For more information about RPBG Telehealth Outpatient Services, please contact 9224 2417 or RPH.Telehealth@health.wa.gov.au
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
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:
GPs and practice staff can also contact Practice Assist by calling 1800 2 ASSIST or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the program.
For more information please visit the Practice Assist COVID-19 Well-being and Support webpage.
The Treating Alcohol and Drugs in Primary Care (TADPole) program is funded by the WA Primary Health Care Alliance (WAPHA) with the primary aim of increasing the capacity of the WA primary care workforce to provide alcohol and drug treatment and support.
From February 2021 the TADPole team will be delivering interactive small group lunch sessions for GPs and practice nurses on alcohol addiction and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, including information regarding parent child attachment from an Aboriginal culturally appropriate framework.
Lunch will be provided for this CPD activity which will attract 2 points as part of the RACGP CPD program.
For further information view the flyer here for full details and register your interest today!
These accredited one-hour sessions will equip Practice Managers and administrative staff with a sound knowledge of how to implement and maintain policies and procedures to govern access to the My Health Record within their organisation. These sessions are CPD Accredited and will attract five CPD points for AAPM members.
These sessions will be run multiple times each week and cover the following topics:
There will be 15 sessions available from 10 November to 10 December.
Click on the link here to see available session time and to register.
The virtual classroom sessions that the Provider Adoption team are conducting for clinicians to access My Health Record through various clinical information systems (Best Practice, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Genie and Communicare) have been accredited by:
For more information please contact the WA Primary Health Alliance Digital Health Team email@example.com.
For the month of December, Bowel Cancer Australia are encouraging you to get hairy while raising awareness and funds to help beat bowel cancer.
Face, head, legs, body - if it's hair - let it grow or let it go!
Get beardy or hairy (anywhere) - the options are limitless, and the choice is yours.
People living with or beyond bowel cancer and their loved ones have shared their empowering stories, you can read their Me, My Hair and Why stories on our bowel cancer stories webpage.
To find out more about Decembeard please click here or visit the Bowel Cancer Australia website for further information on Bowel Cancer.
Coming up soon.....
Visit our Webinars & Workshops page at www.practiceassist.com.au for the events calendar.
Virtual Classroom Sessions for Practice Managers - Understanding compliance requirements for accessing My Health Record
Presented by ADHA