360 Street Doctor is a mobile GP service that provides primary care from a purpose-built clinical truck to vulnerable people who might be street present or experiencing homelessness. 360 Street Doctor’s patients often lead chaotic lives with family, cultural responsibilities and social circumstances taking priority over their own healthcare.
To help 360 Street Doctor provide its much-needed service, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) funded the placement of a non-dispensing pharmacist as part of the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Program.
Lisa Winter from 360 Street Doctor said the addition of the pharmacist to the team had an immediate and positive influence on their clinics.
“Kate was a welcome addition to the consulting team, contributing to improved compliance and health outcomes for each client. For example, suggesting alternative treatments for acute ailments that require less doses for people sleeping rough, increased the likelihood of completed treatments before medications were lost or stolen,” she said.
As 360 Street Doctor’s non-dispensing pharmacist, Kate also contributed to the chronic disease management of regular patients by ensuring continuity of care post hospitalisation, picking up and resolving hospital discharge errors, and improving medication reconciliation.
“Kate was able to sit with clients while they waited for the GP and assess their barriers and challenges to taking and understanding treatments. She also provided education without the time pressures faced by the GP. Often by the time a client was seen by the GP, Kate had already reconciled medications, highlighted any issues with medication compliance and suggested alternatives to improve compliance and understanding,” Ms Winter said.
In addition, Kate worked with 360 Street Doctor’s Aboriginal Health Practitioner to deliver culturally appropriate education sessions on the COVID-19 vaccines to patients who were unsure about getting vaccinated because of negative publicity in the mainstream media.
As a result of Kate’s successful placement as a non-dispensing pharmacist, 360 Street Doctor has successfully sourced further funding to employ her within the team.
“Kate has seamlessly integrated into the 360 Street Doctor team, making significant improvements to our processes, care coordination, management and planning, and ultimately patient outcomes. Her flexibility to adjust her professional practice to a unique, non-traditional setting and adapt to an outdoor outreach work environment, whilst supporting innovative, appropriate healthcare to the unique circumstances of our client group make Kate a valuable addition to our team,” Ms Winter said.
Vaccines delivered by general practice make up about half of the vaccines administered throughout WA, with the State total reaching 2,039,416 doses on 12 September.
More than 580 (79 per cent) of WA general practices are taking part in the rollout – with many now providing both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
This includes 14 Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics who are also delivering crucial services in the assessment and testing of COVID-19 in the community.
“GPs deserve to be recognised for the effort that has gone into reaching this milestone,” WA Primary Health Alliance CEO Learne Durrington said.
“We’d also like to acknowledge the work put in by nurses, receptionists and administration staff working within WA general practices.
“We express our sincere thanks to general practice not just for reaching this milestone, but for all the work done throughout the pandemic.”
On behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health, WA Primary Health Alliance has approached general practice to not only deliver the vaccine to patients but to conduct in-reach visits to residential aged care facilities, to people with disabilities and to homebound patients.
“General practitioners have risen to the challenge despite difficult circumstances, an increasing workload and limited vaccine supplies,” Ms Durrington said.
“Going forward we know general practice will continue to meet the challenges of vaccinating eligible people, increasing vaccination rates amongst culturally and linguistic populations and tackling vaccine hesitancy.
“WA Primary Health Alliance will continue to be there to offer support and guidance in the face of this massive task.”
Find out more about our work supporting the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
From Monday 20 September, West Australians aged 60 and over are eligible to book an appointment for a Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine at State-run vaccination clinics.
The Australian Department of Health has confirmed that while primary care providers (including general practices, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics, and Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services) are required to prioritise national eligibility (which is reflected in the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder), from 20 September:
Read Premier Mark McGowan’s announcement here
Immunisation providers are reminded to check the Australian Immunisaton Register (AIR) for each patient’s immunisaton history before administering a COVID-19 vaccine to avoid any vaccine brand or interval errors.
ATAGI currently do not recommend the administration of booster or third doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Please visit HealthPathways COVID-19 Vaccination Procedure for further information related to dose intervals of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) and Pfizer (Comirnaty).
If your practice has vials of COVID-19 vaccines that are about to expire, or excess stock that you cannot use, please contact WA Primary Health Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are:
Further information and instructions are available on the Services Australia website and the My Health Record website.
Alternatively you can call the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) on 1800 653 809 or ask your immunisation provider to print a statement for you.
Enhancements to AIR will be implemented in mid-September 2021 to ensure that people who have received a mixed vaccination schedule, in line with the ATAGI advice, can also access a COVID-19 digital certificate. A myGov notification will be sent to eligible individuals when their certificate becomes available.
Updates have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Friday 10 September. Module progress and completion have not been affected.
Staff at vaccinating clinics are expected to log-in and view the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the announcement forum. All new changes and updates within the modules for this week are identified by 'NEW' and 'UPDATED' in blue with white, all new changes relating to the Moderna (SPIKEVAX) vaccine are identified by ‘NEW’ in purple and white. All changes from previous updates will be identified as 'NEW' and 'UPDATED' in red and white.
You can log-in to the training modules here.
A limited number of fully funded places are available for the University of Melbourne, the Australian College of Nursing and the Benchmarque Group Pty Ltd online authorised immunisation courses. Registered nurses are encouraged to access the websites below for selection criteria and to register their interest by completing the Expression of Interest Form. Please note that some allocations may have been exhausted.
The transition of immunisation providers to the Onelink vaccine ordering system will be staggered during the week of Monday 20 September.
You will be notified by the WA Department of Health and Onelink when your account is making the transition to Onelink via email from Monday 20 – Thursday 23 September. Please check your emails to find out your planned transition date.
From Monday 20 September, there will be several changes to how you order and receive government-funded vaccines.
To support you through these changes, WA Department of Health have developed some frequently asked questions for your information. Please read these carefully.
Please ensure you have Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari or Firefox installed on the PC you use to place your vaccine orders.
In the meantime, please contact email@example.com with any queries.
Please note that these changes relate to National Immunisation Program (NIP) orders only and do not affect COVID-19 Vaccine Orders. Please continue to order COVID-19 Vaccines through the COVID-19 Vaccine Administrative System (CVAS)
Clear Health Psychology is working collaboratively with the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) to deliver in- reach support for older adults. Older adults can be at risk of isolation, loneliness and mental health concerns as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This service is fully funded, with no out of pocket costs, and can assist patients with
GPs or Allied Health Professionals can refer to the program by completing the referal form found at www.clearhealthpsychology.com under ‘Our Services’. Download the form and upload it to your clinical software now.
For further information on this service please view the Reconnecting Together Brochure patient brochure here. Don’t forget to share this information with your GP’s and Practice Nurses.
Primary care practitioners can now access free online training on managing youth suicide risk and self-harm.
Developed by Orygen, Australia’s centre of excellence in youth mental health, the one-hour training module aims to improve practitioners’ knowledge and skills when it comes to supporting young people at risk.
The training contains videos and interactive components and covers:
To complete the training, and provide valuable feedback on it, visit http://orygen.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3sfZ5OWh6XTA4UR
Lung cancer is Australia’s number one cancer killer, with more than 13,250 Australians being diagnosed each year. Some lung cancer symptoms may be easy to recognise, but others can be non-specific and challenging to differentiate from other conditions, resulting in diagnostic delays, more advanced stage cancer and poorer patient outcomes.
Lung Foundation Australia, in collaboration with Cancer Australia, is delighted to launch the CPD Accredited Activity, A Systematic Approach to Investigating Symptoms of Lung Cancer, to support primary healthcare professionals in their application of the clinical guide Investigating symptoms of lung cancer: a guide for all health professionals (the Guide). The eLearning introduces the Guide, underpins its key messages and supports the systematic application of its recommendations with rich, scenario-based learning. The key learning outcomes will assist health professionals in identifying lung cancer, facilitating early and rapid referral into the multidisciplinary diagnostic pathway.
To find out more and to enrol in the training, visit lungfoundation.com.au/LCtraining
Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, Trent Twomey, has welcomed extension of Digital Image Prescriptions from end September to end December 2021. Digital Image Prescriptions have been an option providing Australians with prompt access to their PBS medicines during COVID and allowing timely claiming by pharmacies. This has been particularly valuable when people have been in lockdown, as well as part of prescriber telehealth arrangements. It means that all Commonwealth COVID PBS arrangements will continue to the end of December 2021 - Digital Image Prescriptions, expanded Continued Dispensing, prescription signature exemptions and the home delivery service.
Despite the extension, practices are still strongly encouraged to transition to the use of electronic scripts as they are faster, secure and more convenient for prescribers, dispensers and consumers. For support or queries on the use of eScripts, please contact your software vendor or the Digital Health Team
Investigations by the Medicines and Poisons Regulations Branch (MPRB), at the Western Australian Department of Health, have identified a number of recurring concerns in relation to Schedule 8 (S8) medicines:
This telephone service is available Monday to Friday, 0830 to 1630.
Once Real-Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) becomes available to prescribers in early 2022, phoning the Branch will no longer be necessary as prescribers will be able to check the relevant information via links within their practice software.
MPRB also issues Patient Alerts for patients deemed to be at very high risk, because they are actively doctor shopping, using multiple aliases and/or forging prescriptions. Because MPRB only has verified contact details for registered pharmacies, these alerts are sent to pharmacies rather than medical practices. Pharmacists are asked to contact the Department if they receive a S8 prescription for a person who is subject to a Patient Alert and MPRB or the pharmacy will then contact the prescriber.
NPS MedicineWise offer a broad range of evidence-based education and professional development for GPs, Pharmacists and Nurses.
Topics are developed to promote discussion of the current evidence around a condition, with the aim of promoting the quality use of medicines, reducing overprescribing and improving health outcomes.
All activities are free and accredited and supported by resources that can assist health professionals in their conversations with their patients.
Choose an activity to suit areas of interest within your practice and your preferred format – online, face-to-face, virtual or group discussion. Topics and case studies are updated through the year. Activities are accredited for RACGP QI&CPD program points and in the ACRRM PD program for GPs. They can also be used as self-reported CPD by other health professions.
To review the topics currently on offer visit: https://www.nps.org.au/cpd.
WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), Rural Health West (RHW) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners WA (RACGP) WA (the Steering Group) have partnered to create a WA GP Advisory Panel.
The WA GP Advisory Panel will comprise a diverse range of GPs from across WA who will be able to provide timely guidance, advice or options to support the development and delivery of projects and initiatives being led, or input to, by WAPHA, RHW and RACGP WA.
We are calling for expressions of interest from General Practitioners across WA who are passionate about their fields of expertise and able to commit to quarterly meetings as well as occasional ad hoc consultations.
To express your interest in being part of this panel, please complete the Expression of Interest form by COB Thursday 30 September.
To discuss the Panel, please contact Jane Harwood, Stakeholder Engagement Manger at WA Primary Health Alliance by email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Monash University is conducting a survey on long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and medical termination of pregnancy (MTOP) and would like your involvement.
The survey aims to establish levels of knowledge and attitudes on current practices of LARCs and MTOP. The survey is aimed at general practice GPs, general practice nurses and primary care pharmacists. The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete and participants will be reimbursed with a gift card.
To complete the survey click here or view the flyer here for further information.
Are you involved in medication management? The Department of Health has engaged the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to review the two QUM publications relating to the National Medicines Policy, and would appreciate input with updating these publications:
The guiding principles support aged care facilities, clinicians and people taking medicines, and are focused on person-centred care.
Please review the updated publications and submit feedback by 27 September 2021 by visiting the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.
For more information, email email@example.com
Receptionists influence how patients view their medical practice. They provide that first vital impression, and go on to build trust, allowing for the exchange of sensitive information. Their effectiveness, as well as that of the doctors, protects the patients and the practice against adverse outcomes.
In a busy practice, staying welcoming, focused and accurate is challenging. Receptionists juggle many tasks while the phone rings and patients line up. It’s hard to find time to grow their knowledge.
What they need is quick bites of information, on a variety of topics, tailored to the medical receptionist role. This is why the RACGP has developed Reception Insider: a free online series of five-minute podcasts.
For more information on these podcasts or to contact RACGP please click here.
Don’t miss out on the next heart failure management workshop! This is your chance to hear from cardiologists on the latest updates, connect with primary health professionals and learn ways to change your patient’s approach to their heart failure management. From September to November 2021.
This masterclass has been designed for primary health care professionals: GPs, nurses, pharmacists, Aboriginal community health workers. The masterclass builds on understanding of current evidence and guidelines for optimising outcomes in heart failure patients within the primary care setting. Attendees will also learn and utilise principles of change management to establish a vision and strategies for ensuring optimised patient care for people with heart failure. Attendees will be challenged
by a diverse array of case study scenarios.
For more information view the flyer here or register here
The Annual Review of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes (ARMED) 2021 is presented by South Metro Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Diabetes WA in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA.
During this free event for general practitioners (GPs) the following topics will be covered:
Morning tea and lunch will be provided. For more information, refer to the event invitation.
To register, submit the online registration form by Monday 4 October.
Registrations are now open!
The Aboriginal Health Conference, hosted by Rural Health West will celebrate culture, strengths and successes in Aboriginal health – a time to reflect on past achievements and how we can address the challenges. The conference will provide a space to rejoice and reconnect with colleagues after a challenging year in terms of environmental impacts and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Aboriginal Health Conference is open to:
Please visit the website for further information.
Perth metropolitan general practices are being offered the opportunity by Edith Cowan University (ECU) to have a free education session in their own practice 'Enhanced understanding of specific drugs and comorbid conditions'. ECU will organise an addiction medicine specialist to visit your practice over your lunch hour to provide education on alcohol addiction, including information on the prevention of FASD and parent child attachment from an Aboriginal culturally appropriate framework. They will also provide lunch and submit RACGP points for the GPs too.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
Become a rural GP: Emergency medicine skills
Presented by RACGP
Wednesday 22 September
Expert Insights - Repetitive Negative Thinking: Understanding and treating rumination and worry
Presented by Black Dog Institute
Wednesday 29 September
WA Primary Health Alliance has been advised by the Australian Department of Health that the National Medical Stockpile is a strategic reserve and not a general supplier of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Stockpile is only intended to provide PPE where commercial supply is unavailable and there is a demonstrated need or clinical advice for its use.
We appreciate that some providers have been accessing the Stockpile regularly until now.
Due to the widespread commercial availability of PPE supply, as per Government advice, WA Primary Health Alliance will request a declaration from your organisation as proof it has been unable to source a commercial supply.
WA Primary Health Alliance can only provide PPE where commercial supply is unavailable and requests meet the following criteria:
If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining PPE from a commercial supplier, please email WA Primary Health Alliance via email@example.com addressing the above points.