Practice Connect #128

30 September 2021

Welcome to Practice Connect, a fortnightly update for practice managers, nurses and practice administration staff on relevant issues, upcoming events and education.



IT STARTS WITH ME campaign resources


The critical nature of the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and the need to protect our communities and reduce the impact of the pandemic, particularly on at-risk and vulnerable populations, has never been more apparent.

We are calling upon the West Australian community to take strong leadership roles within their workplaces and communities to get the #JABDONE.

With zero cases of COVID-19 in the WA community, now is the time for everyone to be vaccinated without delay.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Walk the walk – book your own vaccine appointment today, if you’re not already vaccinated
  • Empower your staff – encourage your staff to get vaccinated, and make it easy for them to do so
  • Work your contacts – amplify the message and encourage your networks and peer groups to get on board and get vaccinated
  • Reach out – consider practical ways to help people book an appointment and get to vaccination centres
  • Have the conversation – talk to family and friends, and tell them to speak to their GP if unsure about getting vaccinated

One small action from you today that will combine with the subsequent actions of other Western Australians to become a powerful movement.

Campaign Resources

Download our useful resources and help us get the #JABDONE in Western Australia.

Book your free vaccination


COVID-19 vaccine stock redistribution process

WA Primary Health Alliance has a new process to support practices to organise COVID-19 vaccine stock redistribution between vaccine providers.
We appreciate that despite best efforts in stock management, practices occasionally have a need for additional stock, or may have excess stock on hand that is at risk of expiring.
If your practice requires assistance to redistribute stock, please complete the new stock redistribution form to help WA Primary Health Alliance allocate the appropriate support required for your practice.          


Patients with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms can be referred to GP Respiratory Clinics

There are a number of GP Respiratory Clinics located across Western Australia that can assess patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms and conduct COVID-19 testing.

The full list of Western Australia’s GP respiratory clinic can be found here.



Spikevax (Moderna) fact sheet

The Australian Department of Health has published a Spikevax (Moderna) fact sheet
It contains information on dosing intervals, who can receive the vaccine and benefits of the vaccine.  



Assisting vulnerable patients with proof of vaccination

General practices can help vulnerable patients who may have difficulty in obtaining a printed copy of their COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
Visit the Services Australia website for more information on how to help these patients obtain proof of vaccination.


Register now for Primary Care management of Myocarditis and Pericarditis following mRNA vaccines and latest updates on Spikevax (Moderna) webinar

WA Primary Health Alliance is hosting a webinar for general practitioners on Wednesday, 6 October at 6.30pm.
Hosted by Geraldine Mellet and WA Primary Health Alliance Chair Dr Richard Choong.
Featuring a panel of expert speakers including: 
  • Professor Paul Effler: Senior Medical Advisor, WA Department of Health Communicable Disease Control Directorate
  • Dr Jamie Rankin: Head of Cardiology, Fiona Stanley Hospital

Webinar topics include: 

  • Primary Care Management of Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Latest updates and emerging data on Spikevax (Moderna)
Register here



COVID-19 HealthPathways Updates 

The following content updates have now been published on the HealthPathways site: Added new section - Exemptions to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination which includes: 

► Information on and process for medical and temporary (non-medical) exemptions.

► Links to relevant forms and exemptions guidelines for RACF worker and healthcare worker. 

Recently Reviewed Pathways
To access HealthPathways, email the HealthPathways team at



COVID-19 Vaccination Training Modules Updated

Significant updates have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Friday 17 September. Module progress and completion have not been affected.  Please note that certificates will display the date that the module was originally completed and will not be updated if the module is repeated.

You are expected to log-in and view the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the COVID-19 Training Announcement Board. 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.

Please see the COVID-19 Training Announcement Board for more details


How to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination - flyers and posters available

Services Australia have a range of resources available to support employees and the community get proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations. There are also specific resources for Indigenous and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities. Printed products can also be ordered including the Get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination flyer and poster.  Visit the Services Australia website for further information and to view the resources available.

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Reminder to record batch numbers for COVID-19 vaccines

mandatory-reporting-of-national-immunisation-program-vaccines-to-the-australian-immunisation-register-began-on-1-july-2021.jpgServices Australia has identified a number of AIR records where the COVID-19 vaccine batch number has been entered incorrectly or left blank. 

Under the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 (AIR Act) it is mandatory for all vaccination providers to report to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) any COVID-19 vaccinations administrated on or after 20 February 2021, including:

  • personal information: Medicare number (if applicable), name, contact details, date of birth, gender
  • vaccine information: brand name, dose number and batch number, date of administration, for COVID-19 vaccines - vial serial number (if known)
  • provider information: provider number, name and contact details

Providers and sites may be contacted by Services Australia to update these details.
Providers and locations providing COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged to check that clinical software is up to date to support efficient and accurate integration with AIR.

Further information is available on the Australian Government Department of Health website including links to the detailed information in the Australian Immunisation Register Rule 2015.



AusVaxSafety launches new-look COVID-19 vaccine safety data web pages


COVID-19 active vaccine safety surveillance data have been updated on the AusVaxSafety website to enhance readability and user experience. The new data display now showcases dose 1 and dose 2 COVID-19 vaccine safety data side-by-side, and allows users to filter by population group and vaccine brand/type most relevant to them.
These data provide individuals with a short-term adverse event profile of what to expect in the days following COVID-19 vaccination and are a great resource to assist immunisation providers when counselling patients or answering questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination.



Amendments to National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator

The National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator (NICC) has undergone minor updates and refinements based on the feedback received from stakeholders. Some of the updates that have been made are related to:

  • scheduling of catch-up appointments
  • pneumococcal vaccine dose recommendations
  • acceptable date formats
  • antigen entries with same names
  • recommendation of Hib dose at 18 months of age
  • hiding/removal of superfluous and undefined doses from vaccination history
  • minimum age for first dose of Pneumovax 23.

If you identify any issues with the updated NICC, please contact the Handbook Team or email Immunisation Handbook inbox of the Australian Government Department of Health.



Closure of AIR authentication files - 30 September 2021

Authentication file access to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) will close on 30 September 2021 for all providers. A Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account is required to access the AIR via the Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS) portal.  To set up AIR access:

Health professionals with a Medicare provider number

Medical practices with an AIR provider number

For assistance call the AIR Internet Helpdesk on 1300 650 039 Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm local time.



WA general practices applying for a DPA classification can request a letter of support from WA Primary Health Alliance

The Australian Government has announced a new review process to allow general practices to challenge the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification for their area.
Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie, announced the new exceptional circumstance review with the intent that the review process will help regional and rural areas respond to unforeseen workforce and population changes affecting local GP services.
The review process has been welcomed by the RACGP and the AMA. Similarly, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), Rural Health West and WAGPET support the opportunity this affords practices to bring critical GP workforce shortages in specific regions to the attention of the Australian Government when considering DPA status.
WA general practices applying for a DPA classification review can request a letter of support from WAPHA, which will support applicants who can demonstrate the following:

  • The applicant practice has a data sharing agreement with WAPHA.
  • The applicant practice is accredited through an independent accreditation agency.
  • Evidence of Rural Health West support/endorsement of the application.
  • Evidence of working with WAGPET for recruitment of GP Registrars if the practice is a teaching practice.
  • Evidence of effort in recruitment/retention of GPs and working with Rural Health West on this effort.
  • Evidence of data collection to demonstrate:
►  GP numbers (example: a net loss of 5 full-time equivalent GPs from the catchment area in the last 3 months)
►  patient waiting times for appointments at the practice
►  population demographics (particularly evidence of at-risk populations)
►  patient numbers (how many patients you are turning away each day due to a lack of GPs)
►  other practices in the catchment area (how many practices have recently closed or lost GPs).

To request a letter of support from WAPHA, general practices are required to email their request with the above information to and it will be escalated to the Strategy and Engagement team.
For further information about the DPA exceptional circumstance review, refer to the media release and assessment criteria from the Australian Government Department of Health­.
To find out more about the review application process, visit the Rural Health West website or email



Commonwealth-funded places for Nurse Immuniser course available

A limited number of fully funded places are available for the University of Melbourne 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.




Upcoming regulatory changes to nicotine vaping products

Vaping-Social-Tile-(1).JPGFrom 1 October 2021 consumers will require a prescription for all purchases of nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine. This includes products purchased both in Australia and from overseas.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is undertaking a program of communication and education activities to inform consumers and health professionals about the changes to how nicotine vaping products can be accessed, prescribed, and supplied in Australia from this date.

Download the communication pack to share through your practice’s communication channels.


TGA Webinar Invitation for Health practitioners

Nicotine vaping webinar for Health practitioners registered to practice in Australia
Thursday 14 October, 2021

Register here



NPS MedicineWise new topic - Anticholinergic burden: the unintended consequences for older people

NPS MedicineWise are now taking bookings for their new educational visiting program topic on improving the safe use of medicines with anticholinergic effects for older people.


Older people on multiple medications are at greater risk from cumulative anticholinergic burden. This occurs when the anticholinergic effects of individual medicines add together to produce unintentional consequences.

Some of the side effects of this anticholinergic burden, impact on quality of life, but others, particularly dizziness and falls, can be far more serious.  Exposure to high anticholinergic and sedative burden has been associated with a 60% increase in fall-related hospitalisations.

This educational visiting program has been developed to:

  • help GPs recognise the extent to which different medicines contribute to anticholinergic burden
  • support better outcomes from existing resources and pathways, such as Medication Management Reviews
  • provide a range of tools to assist with reducing anticholinergic burden, such as a fact sheet, decision aid and action plan for patients and their carers.
Educational visits are free, accredited by RACGP & ACRRM and available as:
  • One-on-one: a 30-minute in-practice discussion for GPs.
  • Small group: a 1-hour group discussion for GPs and practice staff.
  • Virtual visits: via video call for convenience.

To book please click here  



GP podcast series from Dementia Training Australia

Dementia Training Australia (DTA) has released a series of podcasts about improving the lives of people living with dementia. The content is designed for GPs and primary health care professionals by GPs.

Dementia in Practice: Now we’re talking! features GPs, Dr Hilton Koppe, Dr Marita Long and Dr Steph Daly as they share their professional and personal experiences with dementia to help other GPs better understand what dementia is and how to prevent it, diagnose it, manage it and live with it.

There is a suite of “Cognitive Impairment and Dementia” HealthPathways.



Closing the Gap Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Co-payment Program Registration Grace Period

The Department of Health has extended the grace period for the Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Program until 31 January 2022. A significant number of eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have not yet been correctly registered for the Program. The grace period will continue to prevent CTG annotated PBS prescriptions being rejected at the time of dispensing if the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person is not formally registered for the Program through Services Australia. Read the full update here from Australian Government  Department of Health.



NSQHS Standards User guide for health service organisations providing care for patients from migrant and refugee backgrounds

The NSQHS Standards User Guide for Health Service Organisations Providing Care to People from Migrant and Refugee Backgrounds aims to support health service organisations to implement the NSQHS Standards and provide safe and high-quality care that meets the needs of people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Download the user guide here.



2022 WA Rural Health Excellence Awards


Nominations for the 2022 WA Rural Health Excellence Awards are now open!

The 2022 WA Rural Health Excellence Awards recognise and acknowledge health professionals who have dedicated their careers to caring for rural communities, and celebrate the achievements of health professionals who have enhanced the range and quality of medical care available in Western Australian rural locations.

Having access to quality healthcare is extremely important for rural communities and these awards are an opportunity to shine the spotlight on health professionals who have contributed to rural health in Western Australia.

Categories for the 2022 WA Rural Health Excellence Awards are:

  • General Practitioner (GP) of the Year
  • Clinical Leadership
  • Rural Researcher or Educator
  • Specialist of the Year (Non-GP)
  • Metropolitan-based Bush Champion
  • Rural Nurse/Midwife of the Year
  • Rural Allied Health Professional of the Year
  • Rising Star
  • Building Healthy Country Communities
  • People's Choice
  • Chairman's Award

Additional information on each of the award categories and the criteria is attached and can be found on the 2022 WA Rural Health Excellence Awards website.

Nominate Now

Nominations close Monday 8 November 2021.

Should you have any enquiries, please contact the WA Rural Health Excellence Awards Coordinator at or 08 6389 4500. Thank you.



Help patients experiencing hardship to eliminate court fines through addressing underlying issues

People experiencing hardship often lack the financial and legal capability to address court fines, which can result in adverse consequences that compound their level of disadvantage.
This includes single parents, people in disadvantaged housing, people on government benefits, people with a disability and unemployed people.
The WA Government’s Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme offers an alternative pathway for people experiencing hardship to reduce or eliminate their court fines by participating in activities or treatment provided by approved sponsors, including their GP.
For example, GP’s can sponsor patients through recording their participation in mental health, drug or alcohol treatment. 
The Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme is a joint initiative involving Department of Justice, Legal Aid WA and Aboriginal Legal Service WA.  Download the  Sponsor Application Fact Sheet or visit the Department of Justice website for more information.



Practice Assist Resource Library

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:

COVID-19 Resources

Digital Health

Programs & National Schemes

If you have an idea for a new resource or feedback on our current resources, please email with ideas and comments.



Health Promotion Events

Sexual Health Update - Spotlight on syphilis

Wednesday 6th October at 6pm (WST)

This webinar will provide Western Australian health professionals with the information and tools required to improve syphilis screening and care for at-risk and key affected populations. The update will use clinical vignettes to illustrate the implications of the infectious syphilis outbreak in WA on health professionals’ practice.

View the flyer here


Shingles Prevention and Immunisation webinar 

Wednesday 6 October at 4pm (WST)

This free webinar presented by the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) provides nurses with useful skills in the identification, immunisation and prevention of shingles (herpes zoster)
Register here


Foot Health Week

Monday 11 to 17 October

This 2021 Foot Health Week campaign will run from 11-17 October with the theme, ‘Love your feet and… they’ll love you back! highlighting how taking care of your feet can positively impact the rest of your body and encouraging better overall health outcomes for all Australians.

View the patient resources here and further information here.



Upcoming NCIRS webinar- Weighing up the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination: a focus on safety

Webinar-icon_resized-and-recolored_0.pngWednesday 13 October  -  9.30am to 11am (WST)

Are you interested in hearing more about COVID-19 vaccine safety? Or need more information to support your patients in making decisions? Perhaps friends, family or colleagues are asking questions or you are still unsure and want more information? 

In this next National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance(NCIRS) webinar:

  • learn about the US experience of COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring and assessment of benefits compared with risks
  • hear about the latest COVID-19 vaccine safety data for children, adolescents and young adults
  • get an update on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) COVID-19 vaccine and myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination
  • consider the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination and learn strategies for discussions with your patients, friends and family. 

Register here


GP Consultation – Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care Forum

Wednesday 20 October 

WA Primary Health Alliance, in partnership with the WA Department of Health, invite metropolitan-based GPs with an involvement or interest in the delivery of care within Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) to participate in a Forum on end-of-life and palliative care in WA RACFs

Who should attend? GPs in metropolitan areas of WA with are providing care to people who are living in RACFs.

The Forum will bring together metropolitan-based GPs to consider primary care in the RACF setting and how future service improvement projects can best support them to meet the end-of-life and palliative care needs of RACF residents and their families.

Further information on this forum here


Heart Failure Masterclass Workshop

Multiple dates September to November

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


Annual Review of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes (ARMED) 2021 

Saturday 30 October 

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: 

  • Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Workshop: Tailoring Type 2 Diabetes Treatments
  • ​Workshop: Diabetes Remission
  • Workshop: Issues for Diabetes in Pregnancy, pre and post
  • Diabetes Foot Disease
  • HealthPathways and Primary Care Resources

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. 


Rural Health West Aboriginal Health Conference 2021


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:

  • Aboriginal health workers
  • Medical practitioners and medical officers
  • Medical registrars
  • Aboriginal health practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Allied health workers
  • Health and medical students
  • Health organisations and stakeholders

Please visit the website for further information.


TADPole education module: Enhanced understanding of specific drugs and comorbid conditions

Green-tadpole.pngPerth 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 to register your interest.


Education and training

Visit our Webinars & Workshops page at for the events calendar.

Webinars & Workshops

GP Breast Disease Education 
Presented by ACRRM and RACGP
Saturday  2 October
Sustainable Health Review - SHR4 Forum
Presented by Department of Health
Friday 22 October
STI and BBV Nursing: Management and Care 
Presented by ASHM
Multiple dates (October)
Advance Care Planning Workshops: Residential Aged Care
Presented by Cancer Council & PaSCE
Monday 25 October

Sexual health update: Spotlight on syphilis
Presented by ASHM
Wednesday 6 October

Workshop: Ophthalmology
Presented by RACGP
Thursday 28 October
ENT Update
Presented by RACGP
Thursday 7 October
Chronic Disease Care Planning
Presented by Benchmarque Group
Friday 29 October
Heart Failure Masterclass
Presented by PSA and WA Primary Health Alliance
Multiple Dates
Annual review of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes (ARMED) 2021
Presented by Health Pathways
Saturday 30 October

Mental Health Week Opening Ceremony in Bunbury
Presented by WA Association for Mental Health
Saturday 9 October

Advance Care Planning Workshops: Residential Aged Care
Presented by Cancer Council & PaSCE
Monday 1 November
Adolescent eating disorders 
Presented by RACGP
Tuesday 12 October
Advance Care Planning Workshops: Residential Aged Care
Presented by Cancer Council & PaSCE
Monday 15 November
Weighing up the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination: a focus on safety
Presented by NCIRS
Wednesday 13 October
Aboriginal Health Conference 2021
Presented by Rural Health West
Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 November
Nicotine vaping webinar for Health practitioners registered to practice in Australia
Presented by Therapeutic Goods Administration
Thursday 14 October
AAPM State Conference
Presented by AAPM
Date to be confirmed
Chronic Conditions of the Foot
Presented by Benchmarque Group
Friday 15 October
APNA Conference Roadshow (WA)
Presented by APNA
Friday 25 to Saturday 26 February 2022 





Online Training

Foundations of Spirometry in Primary Health Care
Presented by APNA
Immunisation Endorsement Pathway (Nurse Immuniser)
Presented by Benchmarque Group
GP Framework for Child Mental Health Assessment
Presented by Emerging Minds
Medico-legal concerns and My Health Record
Presented by RACGP
Diabetes in Practice for Nurses
Presented by Diabetes Qualified
Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Ageing online program
Presented by APNA
Electronic Prescribing online training
Presented by ADHA
Safety Through Reporting
Presented by Department of Health & TGA
RACGP webinar - Phone and Video consultations
Presented by RACGP



Allocation of surgical masks from the National Medical Stockpile

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:

  • There is no local supply available commercially.
  • The people coming to your practice are more likely to have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Your practice has an unusual number of patients who have respiratory symptoms.
WA Primary Health Alliance will provide surgical masks to community pharmacies if they meet both of the criteria below:
  • There is no local supply available commercially.
  • Staff have significant contact with people who have fever and respiratory symptoms.

If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining PPE from a commercial supplier, please email WA Primary Health Alliance via addressing the above points.

Practice Assist acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country and recognises the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.