In light of this week’s lockdown and the upcoming rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination, we would like to remind you of the support and resources available to your practice.
The WA Primary Health Alliance are pleased to support you by:
Western Australian Department of Health information:
While general practices are not among those businesses required by the WA Government to maintain a contact register, they are encouraged to do so.
The WA Government has provided a SafeWA guide for business that includes the necessary steps to set up a contact register.
To ensure inclusive access, businesses opting to use the app must also have a manual method of registering visitor details, such as a paper-based register. The WA Government has developed a suggested format for businesses to use for paper-based registers.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided advice about influenza and COVID-19 vaccines which aims to provide guidance for immunisation program coordinators and immunisation providers on the relative timing of scheduling and giving influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. The advice is available on the Department of Health website and will be updated as new information becomes available.
The Preparing for COVID-19 Immunisation webinar is a panel discussion aimed to provide GPs and providers with information about the rollout strategy at both a state and national level.
Topics included: the role general practices will play, operational considerations, vaccine safety and efficacy, the state rollout plan and the expression of interest process.
Recorded on Thursday 28 January, and hosted by Geraldine Mellet, the panel discussion featured Dr Richard Choong, Professor Paul Effler and WAPHA General Manager Bernie Kenny.
To watch the recording please click here.
In preparation for Australia’s vaccine rollout, authorised immunisation providers must complete COVID-19 vaccination training. This will ensure our workforce is competent in the safe management and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Australian Government has partnered with the Australian College of Nursing to develop and deliver free and accredited training modules.
Training will also be available for non-clinical and administration staff. They will be able to access the non-clinical modules of the training such as handling, storage and administration.
The training modules are expected to be released soon and will be available here
The following content updates have now been published on the HealthPathways site:
To access HealthPathways please email the HealthPathways team at email@example.com
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) will deliver two COVID-19 Vaccination webinars in preparation for the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia.
Friday 12 February 2021 12:30pm – 2pm (AEDT)
To Register click here.
Friday 19 February 2021 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (AEDT)
To Register click here.
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 Stockpile.Ops@health.gov.au.
Many areas to the north east of Perth are in a state of bushfire emergency, with devastating impacts for those communities. WA Primary Health Alliance, along with the Australian Red Cross, WA Department of Communities and St John Ambulance, are supporting the WA Department of Health with the health response.
We are also reaching out to general practices in those areas to see how we can assist them and their patients. More details on this will be available as the situation develops.
The National Bushfire Recovery Agency was established to lead and coordinate a national response to rebuild communities affected by bushfires.
You can stay up to date on the services and assistance you may need to rebuild and recover from the bushfire on the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website. This includes support for small businesses provided by this agency which you may not be aware of.
The Australian Government Support for Business Help for Australian bushfire affected businesses page has information on support for businesses affected by bushfire. Much of this information is state specific, with links to the relevant information.
For further information with supporting your patients and staff with their mental health during this time, please also visit the Health Pathways website, which has the following helpful pathways:
COVID-19 Mental Health
Mental Health Service Requests
Disasters can be very stressful for those directly impacted, as well as those involved in disaster management efforts. Mental health consequences can be experienced in the short and longer term, and health practitioners need to be prepared.
Developed by Phoenix Australia in collaboration with Primary Health Networks and other key partners, the newly launched Disaster Mental Health Hub website provides access to free disaster mental health information, resources such as tip sheets and videos, and online training programs.
The Disaster Mental Health Hub has a wealth of information, resources and training to help mental health professionals support individuals, families and communities during the three phases of disaster response: preparation (before), response (during and immediately after), and recovery (medium and longer term). Visit the website to explore the fantastic resources.
The Disaster Mental Hub has also included a timely resource on Supporting medical centre staff accessible here to assist you with supporting your practice staff during this period.
Join Phoenix Australia for an interactive webinar where they will introduce you to the wealth of content on the hub, and a panel of experts will discuss evidence-based strategies for supporting recovery after disaster.
Thursday 18 February 2021, 4-5pm (AEDT)
For further information and to register click here.
This guideline from the Australian Psychological Society (APS) provides a summary on the three levels of psychological support that can be offered to people affected by disasters.
It is important to remember that the large majority of people affected by disasters have no experience of needing helping agencies or understanding of why they should accept help.
Therefore, care needs to be taken to assist them to become clients of the recovery system and to provide education regarding their needs. Contact with people affected by the disaster should always be non-intrusive.
It is vital that psychological support is integrated with formal coordinated recovery efforts and provided with an understanding of the devastating impact that disasters have on the social cohesion of communities.
View the guidelines here.
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.
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.
Here are some of our new and updated resources:
If you have an idea for a new resource or feedback on our current resources, please email email@example.com with ideas and comments.
A new resource has been published by the Department of Health, Primary Health Networks (PHN) Immunisation Support Program: Supporting and understanding delegations in HPOS to enable access to the Australian Immunisation Register.
The resource aims to provide support and information for immunisation providers to assist them in understanding delegations in Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) to enable access to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for nurses and other support staff.
Please note that this resource is also available on the Practice Assist website here.
From June 2021, all health professionals will be required to access government online services such as the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) via the new online identity system called ‘PRODA’ (Provider Digital Access)
Find out more:
This useful factsheet from the Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) covers the current recommendations for vaccination against meningococcal disease. Included in the factsheet is an overview of meningococcal disease, the different vaccines available, and the recommended brands and scheduling for different subgroups.
On 24 January the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, issued a Media Release saying that Australian families have clearly demonstrated that we are a vaccination nation, with childhood immunisation rates reaching record levels in December 2020. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, parents followed expert health advice and continued to take their children to receive their shots, pushing five-year old vaccination rates beyond the aspirational target of 95 per cent coverage. Australia’s immunisation rates are world leading. In fact the December Quarter of 2020 took Australia's coverage rate for five year old children to 95.09 per cent which exceeds the estimated World Health Organisation international average immunisation coverage rate of 86 per cent
The full media release can be read here.
The vial presentation of M-M-R®II and ZOSTAVAX® will soon change:
Tools and resources are now available on the new MumBubVax website to improve conversations about vaccination between health care providers and expectant parents.
MumBubVax is a new evidence-based communication package to use in primary care or maternity services. It aims to improve conversations about vaccination between health care providers and expectant parents and provides eLearning modules for providers and a website for expectant parents. The new website can be accessed here.
Changes to the Guidelines for the clinical management of women at Intermediate Risk of cervical cancer will come into effect from 1 February 2021. This follows the Cancer Council Australia Clinical Guidelines working party review of national data from the first two years of the renewed program.
A review of the national clinical program data shows that women at Intermediate risk whose follow-up test is HPV (not-16/18) positive, Liquid Based Cytology prediction negative, possible or low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion will have a low likelihood of histologically-confirmed high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (CIN2/3) or worse.
Please note that it is now recommended that:
Women with a 12-month follow up HPV (not-16/18) result with LBC prediction negative, pLSIL or LSIL (Intermediate risk result) should be recommended to undertake a further HPV follow up test in 12 months’ time following their previous HPV test instead of referral to colposcopy.
Some groups of women may be at higher risk of harbouring a high-grade abnormality and should be referred to colposcopy if HPV is detected at 12 months, regardless of the LBC result. These include:
East Perth - Mardalup Clinic is the first BreastScreen clinic in Australia to be co-named with a traditional Aboriginal designation.
Mardalup is a Noongar name and was selected in consultation with local Aboriginal Elders and the Western Australian Museum as this was the traditional name of the location of the new clinic.
East Perth - Mardalup Clinic will replace Perth City Clinic on Murray Street which permanently closed on 27 November 2020 after 25 years of service.
A launch was held on Friday 13 November officiated by the Hon. Alanna Therese Clohesy MLC and the clinic opened to the public for screening on Monday 7 December 2020.
All women aged 50-74 years are invited to have a free screening mammogram every two years. To book an appointment at East Perth - Mardalup Clinic you can book online or call 13 20 50.
NPS MedicineWise accredited, evidence-based education and professional development topics are available to be delivered by video call.
Sessions are free and can be booked via the NPS website for individuals or small groups.
Please visit the NPS MedicineWise Professional Education page for further information
The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health (NWC) is conducting a national workforce survey for family, parent and child mental health. The survey seeks to understand the current levels of awareness and most pressing challenges facing professionals in supporting children’s mental health in their everyday practice.
It will provide a baseline measure for improving the way the NWC supports children’s mental health and meets the needs of professionals working across a range of professionals. Take the 15-minute survey here.
Cautionary advisory Label D is attached by pharmacists to antimicrobials being dispensed. This label will change from “until all used/taken” to “Take for [the number of] days as advised by your prescriber” in the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook (APF 25) released in January 2021.
The change to labelling for antimicrobials is aimed at supporting the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The label change will reinforce the PBS changes to repeats for antibiotics that the Commonwealth made in April 2020, see further information here.
It is important for prescribers and pharmacists to make patients aware that this new advice to take the antibiotics for the prescribed duration of therapy may be inconsistent with the advice that is currently in Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) for the antibiotic.
More information on Antimicrobial stewardship in primary care can be found here.
A brief reminder to all practices participating in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) that the quarter commenced on 1 February. 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 FAQ page or speak with your Primary Health Liaison or Comprehensive Primary Care Facilitator.
The Digital Health Team continue to provide support for all General Practices with access to the HealthDirect Video Calling platform. To setup your clinic with the platform, please register here. Further information on the use of telehealth can be found on Practice Assist.
Practices using Best Practice or Medical Director are now able to start sending electronic prescriptions via their practice software. For further information, please contact the Digital Health Team, or see the resources on the Best Practice or Medical Director websites.”
In response to the growth in telehealth services and to ensure continuation of quality support, Statewide Telehealth Service Desk has merged with WACHS ICT Help Desk.
The Telehealth Service Desk email address remains the same Telehealth.Servicedesk@health.wa.gov.au and you can also access the self-service portal on HealthPoint to log a job.
The new number to call for service is 1800 794 748.
They are very keen to evaluate acceptability with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community themselves and from all around the country outside the Pilbara, so please share with interested contacts. These resources can also be found on their website hrt.how/Pilbara
They have loaded this heart check animation onto a video brochure for use by WA health professionals with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in primary care settings (such as remote clinics where internet access is an issue). To order a FREE video brochure please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Australia Primary Health Limited (NAPHL) have recently developed a free Veteran Health Education Program for GPs, Practice Managers (PMs) and Practice Nurses (PNs).
This education is part of the Enhancing Primary Health Care for Veterans Project that aims to equip General Practice professionals across Australia with the knowledge, confidence and resources to deliver effective and appropriate health care for defence veterans.
The live online education events have been very successful, reaching GPs, PMs and PNs across Australia.
This education resource was developed by Dr Kerry Summerscales, a GP and recently transitioned defence member, Julie Randall, a Registered Nurse, Practice Nurse and Clinical Researcher and Dr Michael Clements a GP and reservists in the RAAF, and NAPHL Chairman.
For further information and registration click here.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is encouraging health providers within the current WA lockdown areas of the Perth Metropolitan Area, Peel and South West regions, who are supporting veterans and their families, to access their website resources on treating veterans during COVID-19.
These resources include information on support services for mental health, prescriptions and pharmaceuticals and shopping assistance.
See COVID-19 information for healthcare providers on the DVA website for further information.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 early last year and the impact this had on practice’s ability to see patients face to face, including those patients seeking appointments through GP Urgent Care, the State Government of Western Australia and the WA Department of Health agree that extending the GP Urgent Care Network Pilot for three months to allow for additional time to evaluate the pilot. The GP Urgent Care Network Pilot will now be extended until the 30 June 2021.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment to the GP Urgent Care Network Pilot during an extraordinary time.
WAPHA have recently received new ‘A Frame’ signage for GP Urgent Care practices. These will be available to new practices and as replacements for any damaged ones.
For GP Urgent Care participants, a reminder that all MEDrefer uploads of patients that have presented to your practice for under GP Urgent Care are now due.
Please ensure that prior to upload you check the following, as this is crucial to the pilot evaluation process:
All training information is available on the WAPHA GP Urgent Care webpage:
Interested in becoming part of the General Practice Urgent Care Network Pilot?
Any queries please email email@example.com or call Cheryl Bell on 0429 126 925
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!
This interactive accredited activity provides opportunities for collaboration and an understanding of a variety of professional perspectives on pain assessment and management.
Participants invited to this event include GPs, practice nurses, occupational therapists, addiction counsellors, psychologists, pharmacists and neurological nurses.
View the flyer here
This coming February Heart Research Australian invite you to wear RED for someone close to your heart to help keep families together for longer. Whether it’s a family member, wife, husband, or that special friend who means the world to you, or in memory of someone you loved who sadly passed away due to heart disease.
REDFEB - Honour those close to your heart. Raise money for life-saving research, raise awareness for heart disease and help keep families together for longer. Getting involved is as simple as wearing red and donating. #wearredanddonate
In 2021, Teal Ribbon Day will be held on Wednesday 24 February. It’s a day to support Australians affected by ovarian cancer, honour those lost, and raise awareness of this deadly disease to change the story for future generations.
Visit our Webinars & Workshops page at www.practiceassist.com.au for the events calendar.