The National Cabinet met last week to discuss the recalibration of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
They agreed to a series of changes to the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy. These changes include:
For up to date information visit the COVID-19 vaccination information in HealthPathways or the COVID-19 vaccination program Phase 1b webpage
The Government of Western Australia Department of Health has commenced clinics under the WA COVID-19 vaccination program. This program is available to employees who are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19.
As health care workers (Phase 1b) in general practice you are invited to book in for a COVID-19 vaccination via specific Department of Health WA vaccination booking portal.
Details of clinics are released by the Department of Health WA as they become available.
To make sure you receive information on these clinics subscribe to our COVID-19 Update newsletters.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced this week that the Australian Government will invest more than $114 million to extend Telehealth services until the end of the year.
From March, 2020 to April 2021 more than 13.6 million patients accessed Telehealth and more than 83,540 providers have used Telehealth services.
Read more here.
Updated factsheets will be available soon.
On Friday 23 April significant updates occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program.
Module progress and completion have not been affected. You are expected to login and view the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the announcement forum. All changes within the modules are identified by 'NEW' in red. You can log-in to the training modules here.
The Australian Government Department of Health has advised that all MBS COVID-19 Vaccine numbers, including Suitability Assessment Service numbers, can only be accessed by general practices taking part in the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Further information can be found on the MBS item notes page on the Department of Health website.
It is now compulsory to record all COVID-19 and influenza immunisation encounters in the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). With many flu and COVID-19 vaccines currently being recorded, it is important that the correct procedure for recording in the AIR is used. This resource from Services Australia provides an outline of the process along with links to other relevant resources.
Login to PRODA to access your HPOS account. In HPOS, select My programs and then Australian Immunisation Register.
Once you’ve identified an individual. Select Record Encounter from the left-hand menu.
To record the encounter:
A message will display to let you know you successfully recorded the encounter and you’ll also receive a claim ID.
View the education module to get help recording an encounter.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have released a new resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - Influenza vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Download this new resource here.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have expanded their upcoming webinar to include the updated Australian Government plan for roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, and an update on thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
They will also discuss practical communication strategies for improving COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake.
Date: Friday 30 April 2021
Time: 10:30 pm – 11:30 am WST
In this webinar:
The following content updates have now been published on the HealthPathways site:
The the latest NPS MedicineWise podcast, NPS MedicineWise CEO Steve Morris interviews Leanne Wells, CEO of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) following the recent CHF Summit - Australasia’s inaugural consumer health summit.
They discuss what health organisations and health professionals need to do to move towards truly consumer-centred care,
Listeners are also invited to join two upcoming virtual events: the National Medicines Symposium on 18 May and the 2021 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting on 19 May. Read more here.
To support general practices across Western Australia, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has provided GP Innovation Grants of up to $1,500 per practice. Including GST, for ther purchase of information technology (IT) equipment to participate in virtual programs.
Grant applications closed on Friday 23 April 2021. Before purchasing IT equipment, you need to ensure that your practice’s grant application has been approved via the WAPHA portal and an approval email will be received from WAPHA with a purchase order number.
Once your practice receives its approval email, you need to purchase the approved IT equipment and upload a tax invoice from your practice with proof of purchase receipt/s via the WAPHA portal by Friday 21 May 2021.
Please upload your practice's tax invoice with proof of purchase receipt/s as soon as possible to enable WAPHA to efficiently process your grant reimbursement payment.
Should you require any further assistance with submitting your tax invoice to WA Primary Health Alliance to enable your reimbursement to your practice, please email Practice Assist or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
Improving outcomes for people diagnosed with heart failure is a key priority for WA Primary Heath Alliance.
In 2015/16, 6,207 potentially preventable hospital admissions to Western Australian hospitals were due to heart failure, with an average length of inpatient stay of approximately 6 days.
At an estimated average cost of $9,500 per episode, this represents a potentially avoidable cost of approximately $59 million per annum for the hospital system.
Up to half of these admissions are estimated to be avoidable with improved management in primary care including self-management.
GPs are ideally placed to diagnose people with heart failure and provide effective treatments that reduce hospitalisations and save lives.
WA Primary Health Alliance has put in place a program of activities to support GPs, health professionals and patients.
The latest of these is a campaign to raise awareness among the community of the signs and symptoms of heart failure and to encourage people to seek help from their GP.
The Know Your Heart campaign directs people to further information about heart failure treatment and support developed by NPS MedicineWise who have also developed resources for health professionals to help identify patients with heart failure and provide effective life-saving therapy.
General practices can also download and share the campaign resources to share on their own channels, to raise awareness and encourage conversations with their own patients.
Standard WA Health vaccine website is now open for influenza vaccine ordering.
When placing new orders, please review order history, consider stock on hand, fridge capacity, and forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines, particularly when ordering Fluad® Quad (for persons aged 65 years and over).
A reminder not to book influenza vaccination clinic appointments until vaccines have been received.
For more information visit the WA Health vaccine website or Practice Assist 2021 Flu Vaccination Program.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have a new fact sheet for patients that provides answers to common questions about influenza viruses and available vaccines, including the new influenza vaccine programs in 2021.
View the new factsheet here.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has developed a factsheet with key information about the 2021 influenza vaccines. The resource includes a summary of the vaccines available, recommended doses, age limits for the different vaccine brands, and more.
View the new resource here.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook has now been updated with all the relevant information for 2021 influenza vaccinations. The updated handbook contains advice on the new vaccines available, dosage and administration, contraindications, and more. View the newly updated section here.
Folk, an independent consultancy, has been engaged by the Australian Department of Health to conduct research to better understand people’s perceptions and experiences of using the:
The online survey should only take between 15-20 minutes to complete. To get started, please click here.
The findings from this survey and other research activities being conducted, will inform the Phase 4 development of the Immunisation Handbook website, mobile app, and the Calculator.
Survey closes COB on the 30 April.
The Australian Government Department of Health is currently undertaking a project to study Australia’s palliative care workforce and project the demand for, and supply of, palliative care services into the future. As part of this work, HealthConsult has been engaged to analyse the composition of the palliative care workforce, undertake workforce demand and supply modelling and develop strategies to address findings. This analysis will directly support and guide future palliative care workforce policy and strategies.
Two surveys have been developed to inform development of the workforce model; one for organisations providing palliative care services and the other focused on members of this workforce delivering palliative care services. We would be very grateful if you could complete these through the web link(s) below:
Please note that neither you nor your organisation will be identified in any reports or papers using information that is derived from these surveys. Your responses will be combined with those of all other respondents and the aggregated responses will form part of the overall data that will be provided to the Department of Health and will inform the workforce projections model.
The surveys will close on 7 May 2021.
If you need any assistance in completing the online survey please contact Erick Hansnata (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
WA Primary Health Alliance would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment to the GP Urgent Care Network Pilot during an extraordinary time.
Delivery of A Frame GP Urgent Care signage to practices in the Network will commence next week starting the 4 May.
Practice Resource: My Health Record – GP Urgent Care Workflow
Training sessions are still available in May across Perth Metro, South West and Country Regions, consisting of online learning, face to face workshop delivery and post program student survey and summary.
There are some available places for GPs and Practice Registered Nurses on:
26 June 2021 – 12 places per course
*Note for anyone attending the above courses, if you can’t attend, please notify WAPHA prior to the course commencement with at least 5 working days’ notice.
All training information available on the WAPHA GP Urgent Care webpage
Is your practice interested in becoming part of the General Practice Urgent Care Network Pilot? Please complete your expression of interest via here or email email@example.com
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 Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health to improve access to health services in rural and remote areas by helping health professionals to pursue ongoing study and development.
Funding is available for health professionals who provide primary care services to Western Australian rural and remote Modified Monash Model (MMM) 3-7 locations in the fields of medicine, nursing, midwifery, dentistry or allied health, including Aboriginal health practitioners or workers. Training and upskilling of health professionals must help meet an identified health need in the community.
Eligible health professionals are invited to apply for Round 8 of the Health Workforce Scholarship
Program. Applicants should read the Program Guidelines before applying, which is available on the website.
This year’s World Asthma Day theme is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”. The theme provides a call to action to address common widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that prevent persons with asthma from enjoying optimal benefit from the major advances in the management of this condition.
World Asthma Day is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, a World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative organization founded in 1993
WHO recognizes that asthma is of major public health importance. According to WHO, it was estimated that more than 339 million people had Asthma globally and there were 417,918 deaths due to asthma at the global level in 2016.
Visit the Global Initiative for Asthma website for more information and resources.
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.
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.
Visit our Webinars & Workshops page at www.practiceassist.com.au for the events calendar.