Thank you once again to all Western Australian general practices who submitted an expression of interest in taking part in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
We can confirm that the Australian Government Department of Health is in the final stages of the selection process.
Once that decision is made, WA Primary Health Alliance will issue letters to all practices who took part to inform them of the outcome.
HealthPathways WA has published the new COVID-19 Vaccination Information Pathway. This pathway compiles all of the relevant clinical information from both the State and Federal Governments that is currently available for GPs regarding the vaccination rollout, including:
GPs and practice clinical staff are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the content of this HealthPathway and to refer to it in the first instance for any queries they have about COVID-19 vaccination. There is also a comprehensive list of resources that GPs can provide for patients who may have questions about COVID-19 vaccination. This pathway is subject to continuing review by WAPHA’s GP Clinical Editors, and GPs should be assured that the information contained is as comprehensive, accurate and up to date as possible.
Article courtesy of Dr Linda Kohler and Dr Danni Rebetttes - WA Primary Health Alliance GP editors.
To keep you informed, please also visit the COVID-19 clinical and practice management pathways via HealthPathways including:
To access HealthPathways please email the HealthPathways team at firstname.lastname@example.org
To assist general practices with patient resources about COVID-19 we have put together some of the resources available for practices.
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.
In preparation for Australia’s vaccine rollout, authorised COVID-19 vaccination 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.
The training is available for all authorised COVID-19 vaccination providers. This will include:
Administrative or non-clinical staff can enrol to access non-clinical modules. To access COVID-19 vaccination training, visit covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted provisional approval to AstraZeneca Pty Ltd for its COVID-19 vaccine, making it the second COVID-19 vaccine to receive regulatory approval in Australia.
COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is provisionally approved and included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for the active immunisation of individuals 18 years and older for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2. The use of this vaccine should be in accordance with official recommendations and given in two doses 4 to 12 weeks apart. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has recommended that the interval between first and second dose is 12 weeks. However, if this interval is not possible, for example because of imminent travel, cancer chemotherapy, major elective surgery, a minimum interval of 4 weeks between doses can be used.
Read more here.
The AusVaxSafety system, coordinated by NCIRS and funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, will be conducting comprehensive safety monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines. This is to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and provide clinician and consumer confidence in the vaccination program.
As part of the national COVID-19 Vaccine Pharmacovigilance Plan, led by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Government, AusVaxSafety will work closely with the TGA, the COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce and all state and territory health departments to ensure that monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine safety is of the highest possible standard in Australia. Our active surveillance system complements other safety surveillance systems that rely on spontaneous reporting at the TGA and state and territory levels.
Read about Australia's COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring system here
Learn more about AusVaxSafety active vaccine safety surveillance here
The Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020 has passed both houses of Parliament. The amendments create a requirement for recognised vaccination providers to report to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) information relating to vaccinations they administer and vaccines they are notified about that were given outside Australia. The Bill also creates a power for the Secretary of the Department of Health to require a recognised vaccination provider to give information if they do not comply with this reporting requirement.
Friday 19 February 2021 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (AEDT)
To Register click here.
This resource is designed to assist health professionals improve vaccine communication and fight misinformation relating to COVID-19 vaccines. The handbook includes information on the COVID-19 vaccine development process, the broader factors which influence vaccine hesitancy, and more.
The handbook can be accessed here.
This statement has been developed by the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand as a guide for COVID-19 vaccination in people with allergy, immunodeficiency and autoimmune conditions, and will be updated when new information is available.
The statement can be read here.
From Wednesday 24 February, some users of mobile-friendly HealthPathways will be prompted to log in more often. This change is part of a project to improve the accuracy of the Google Analytics data that we use to help monitor the effectiveness of HealthPathways. This should only affect a small number of HealthPathways users overall and won’t affect you at all if you’ve previously saved your password at the login point. The username and password have not changed.
To avoid being regularly prompted to log in again, you can save the username and password by:
Note: If you regularly clear your browsing history, you’ll then be prompted each time to log in again with your username and password.
If you have any further questions, need help logging into HealthPathways, or cannot remember the login details, please contact the WA HealthPathways team via phone on 08 6272 4926, or email on 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas and comments.
An updated screening tool for Zostavax® contraindications has now been added to the resource section in the Australian Immunisation Handbook
The new tool can be accessed here and should be completed by the health care provider and patient (or guardian) prior to the administration of Zostavax.
Wednesday 24 February 2021: 3:00pm to 4:00pm AWST
The Immunisation Coalition's Meningococcal update is a free event for GPs, immunisation nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.
The Benchmarque Group have recently launched a course called ‘Immunisation Practice in Primary Healthcare’ which consists of online learning modules and a half-day workshop.
The Benchmarque Group have now scheduled their first workshops for this course in WA on the following dates:
Course information is available here. Please note, only students who have completed the Foundations of Immunisation Practice and at least one of the specialist programs are able to register.
For more information contact visit www.benchmarquegroup.com.au or call 1300 855 568.
NPS MedicineWise are now taking bookings for their new topic; Heart Failure.
Early diagnosis of heart failure and effective management in primary care prolongs lives, keeps people out of hospital, and improves quality of life.
This topic is accredited by RACGP and ACRRM and offered free to GP practices across Australia.
To book visit the NPS MedicineWise Professional Education page for further information.
On Sunday 21 February 2021, Make Smoking History will relaunch its graphic WA-made advertising campaign, ‘Voice Box’.
The television advertisement features footage from a real surgery to remove the voice box (larynx) of someone with cancer due to smoking. The campaign was developed following concern from WA health professionals about the low awareness that smoking causes head and neck cancers. Around 77% of laryngeal cancers are caused by smoking, and the treatment can be physically and emotionally devastating.
In the advertisements, Dr Rob Wormald, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon (who performed the surgery) and Dr Hamish Mace, Specialist Anaesthetist, explain how the surgery significantly changes a person’s life. Read more here.
For more information about the Make Smoking History campaign or resources to help your clients to quit, email email@example.com
Otitis media is a type of ear infection that commonly affects children. Sadly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience the highest rates of otitis media in the world. To help ‘close the gap’ in educational and social disadvantage associated to otitis media, the Centre of Research Excellence has released its 2020 Otitis Guidelines. Click here to read more.
The National Asthma Council of Australia has released an update to the My Asthma Guide. Health professionals will know of this resource as the National Asthma Council of Australia’s popular patient handbook designed to help people understand and manage their asthma. It includes information and advice based on the best evidence and provides practical strategies to help people with asthma and their families. The update to the My Asthma Guide can be accessed here.
Beyond the C – Hepatitis C Elimination in Your Practice project aims to increase the number of patients screened, tested, treated and linked to appropriate care for hepatitis C in General Practice.
The Project will equip eligible participants with the necessary skills and resources to conduct hepatitis C case finding and clinical auditing within their own practice to improve the identification of new cases, follow up, treatment and monitoring.
The Beyond the C project is led by a steering committee of primary care health professionals and ASHM staff.
If you are interested in learning more about the Project or to sign up, go to the Beyond the C website, or email BeyondtheC@ashm.org.au for further information.
The Forensic Mental Health Sub Network are seeking expressions of interest for steering committee members to contribute as part of the Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee.
Expressions of interest (EOI’s) are sort from various health professionals and consumers.
Applications close 9am Monday 22 February 2021.
For more information or EOI documents contact Bridget Harvey, Co-Chair, Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If not, please re-register for GP Notify by advising, or asking your practice manager to contact, the RPH GP Notify Coordinator by telephone on 9224 3673, fax 9224 2348 (*NEW NUMBERS) or email RPH.GPN.Coordinator@health.wa.gov.au, including:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is GP Notify?
GP Notify is an automated notification system that informs the patient’s nominated GP (where registered) about patient admission, discharge and death at RPH by email or fax.
I used to get GP Notify from RPH–why did they stop?
GP Notify needed to be reset in 2018 due to technical issues, and GP registrations were lost. A number of GPs and practices responded to notices that they needed to re-register, but it appears a large number missed the communication.
I asked to get GP Notify by email, but they are being faxed. Why and can I change this?
A technical issue led to all new GP Notify registrations over an extended period being defaulted to fax instead of email. If you would like GP Notifications to be sent to your practice by email, please advise the GP Notify Coordinator as above (noting that only one email address per practice can be used).
The GP Urgent Care Network Pilot has been an important component of the State Government’s Putting Patients First Policy and will provide better integrated quality health care for patients close to where they live.
Monthly MEDrefer Reminder
For GP Urgent Care participants, a reminder that practices are required to run a report on the GP Urgent Care patients seen, and then to ensure that this patient information is submitted through MEDrefer as a requirement for the Pilot.
GP Urgent Care Surgery Tips
The Practice Assist Resource Library has a My Health Record GP Urgent Care Workflow flow chart available for practices to assist with looking up a new GP Urgent Care patient, and covers off how to do an Event Summary upload for the patient having presented to your practice.
The advantages of this provide for an indication of a clinical intervention, improvement in a condition, or that a treatment has been started or completed.
Training for GP Urgent Care Practices
Benchmarque Group EOI Now Active for 2021
Almost 40 training sessions have nearly been filled which will be available across Perth Metro, South West and Country Regions from March 2021, consisting of online learning, face to face workshop delivery and post program student survey and summary.
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
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 main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives.
Building awareness of rare diseases is important because 1 in 20 people will live with a rare disease at some point in their life. Despite this, there is no cure for the majority of rare diseases, and many go undiagnosed.
Rare Disease Day events are down to hundreds of patient organisations all over the world who work on a local and national level to raise awareness for the rare disease community in their countries
Click here to see how to be involved in Rare Disease Day.
Click here for downloadable resources.
Visit our Webinars & Workshops page at www.practiceassist.com.au for the events calendar.