13 October 2022
WA Primary Health Alliance 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 well being of the whole community.
Throughout this newsletter, the term 'Aboriginal' is used to refer to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, unless stated otherwise.
Almost 140 general practices have already expressed interest to start using Primary Sense, WAPHA’s data extraction tool of choice that uses evidence-based algorithms to provide real-time medication alerts, reports and patient-care prompts.
From early November, these practices will be taking part in the first round of onboarding to install Primary Sense on their IT systems and computers using Best Practice or MedicalDirector.
If your practice has expressed interest to use Primary Sense, please ensure that your nominated contact person has received the response email and submitted the completed Practice Checklist to commence the onboarding process.
There is still time for other practices to take part in the first round of Primary Sense onboarding. To express your interest, contact WAPHA’s Primary Sense team by emailing email@example.com
For more information about the benefits of Primary Sense for general practitioners and practice staff:
If you would like to find out more about Primary Sense and the onboarding process, contact the Practice Assist team to book a time that suits your practice and staff. Call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature Topic - Cancer Screening
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness. This offers an opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community. Regular screening can help find breast cancer early, especially for woman who may have no symptoms.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Since the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) started funding research in 1994, the five-year survival rates have improved from 76% to 91%. However, there is still progress to be made and the NBCF is aiming to reach zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.
BreastScreen WA recommends that screening mammograms should be performed on women 40 years or over with no breast symptoms every two years. To book a free screening mammogram or for further information, visit BreastScreen WA.
Breast Screen services are located throughout Australia and can provide support to general practices and their patients. See below services for Western Australia:
Our Practice Assist website contains a library of useful information, factsheet and resources. Please view Practice Assist – Programs and Nations Schemes for more information on Breast Screening.
From 1 November 2019, Medicare rebates will be available for two new items for PET for the evaluation of breast cancer. View Department of Health and Aged Care – MBS Online – Factsheet – PET Breast for further information.
Our Primary Care Navigators and Quality Improvement Coaches can assist practices to use their practice data to identify patients in target groups as well as assistance with developing strategies.
For further information contact us via Practice Assist.
People with breast cancers detected through national cancer screening programs have better cancer survival outcomes than those diagnosed who had never been screened. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)
Establish and monitor cancer screening participation rates:
Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSAs) is a tool to assist with documenting Quality Improvement activities. The Practice Assist Quality Improvement (QI) Toolkit can assist you in understanding and developing QI activities within your practice.
For 1:1 support with Quality Improvement (QI) activities or the development of your practice Quality Improvement Strategy, please contact Practice Assist and one of our QI coaches will be in touch with you.
Cancer Council WA, supported by the WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP), has launched a campaign to encourage cervical screening participation among several priority populations as the self-collection option for cervical screening becomes available for all women and people with a cervix aged 25-74 years. The recent launch of the At Your Cervix: self-collection campaign might mean you could receive more queries about cervical screening and/or the self-collection option.
If you require support to ensure your practice is ready for self-collection, please contact the WACCPP at email@example.com
For more information, visit the ‘At Your Cervix: self-collection’ campaign website.
GP Liaison Officer - phone (08) 9323 6705 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HealthPathways WA has many pathways and request pages (service information) on cancer screening. These pages can assist GPs in consultation with patients and act as a reference for other health care professionals, if needed.
The clinical pathway on the site include:
To gain access, you can request a login via the HealthPathways WA Project Site and complete the ‘Request a login’ form, or email the team at email@example.com. You can use the search bar, located at the top of the webpage, or the left-hand navigation panel to search for information. To provide feedback email the HealthPathways team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of each page on the site.
BreastScreen WA's annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast is happening on Monday October 24th this year.
The event is held at Fraser's Restaurant in King's Park and will feature a delicious breakfast and talks from two incredible guest speakers. These will be the Hon Ayor Makur Chuot and Jane Armstrong.
Follow the EventBrite link here for more details and to purchase tickets to this fantastic event.
Associate Professor Jennifer Stone, Epidemiologist and Senior Research fellow, UWA will be presenting a webinar on the significance of breast density, its occurrence, how to discuss the implications of increased breast density with patients, and the way forward.
For further information and to register for this event please see the attached flyer.
WA Health has issued its latest Clinician Alert.
The alert contains details on mandatory isolation requirements and requirements of healthcare staff at public and non-public healthcare sites.
Note that healthcare workers at non-public healthcare sites will no longer be subject to isolation or exclusion mandates.
Face masks must continue to be worn by staff and visitors 12 years and over at healthcare settings
However, facilities may have their own policies in place.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has commenced a scale down of the Commonwealth GP-Led Respiratory Clinic Program (GPRC Program).
The Department used several factors to decide which GPRCs should cease operations at the end of the current contract (30 September 2022).
As a result, Alexander Heights Respiratory Clinic and High Wycombe Respiratory Clinic closed on September 30.
Nine remaining GPRCs will continue to operate until 31 December 2022.
If possible, respiratory patients in these suburbs should be managed in-house by local general practitioners or directed to a nearby GPRC (locations).
New temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) pathology items were introduced for pathology laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens.
Rebates for these items may only be claimed where a treating practitioner considers a test for COVID-19 to be necessary for the clinical management of their patient.
This should be explicitly stated in the request, including where testing for COVID-19 is requested alongside testing for other respiratory pathogens.
Download the factsheet here
Our two mythbusting COVID-19 booster videos shed light on what can be a confusing topic. Narrated by Dr Norman Swan these videos are useful for staff as well as patients. Please use widely.
A new training module for the Moderna (SPIKEVAX BIVALENT) booster vaccine (Additional Module 3c) has now been added to the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program.
Health professionals are reminded to complete the module prior to administering Moderna (SPIKEVAX BIVALENT).
Please note to access this module you must complete the core modules and the Moderna (SPIKEVAX) Additional Module 3.
The training website is still being updated weekly and all Health Professionals are advised to keep their training updated to remain current in this environment.
WA Health has secured a limited amount of the JYNNEOS vaccine to protect against monkeypox. More supply is expected to arrive in WA in October 2022, and 2023. The vaccine is available for people most at risk of getting monkeypox – see HealthyWA for most up-to-date eligibility criteria:
Widespread vaccination is not currently recommended due to the very low risk of infection for the general population.
As more vaccines become available in October 2022, the eligibility criteria will expand, allowing more people access to the vaccine.
People can register their interest to receive a monkeypox vaccine via VaccinateWA. They will be contacted if they are eligible, or when they become eligible, to book in for their vaccine. Alternatively, selected health clinics are also administering the vaccine - clinic names and contact details can be found on HealthyWA.
Further updates will be provided as soon as more information is available.
The Immunisation Coalition conducted a survey in June 2022 with questions covering Australian children and vaccinations. Parents of children who had not received an influenza vaccine most commonly believed that influenza is not serious enough for vaccination to be necessary. Immunisation providers and practice staff may find this resource titled ‘Why does my child need a flu shot’ useful from Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI )as childhood influenza immunisation rated in WA remain low when compared to other states and territories.
Important Practice Updates
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have welcomed the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) as a participant in Primary Health Insights, the platform developed for the secure storage and analysis of de-identified general practice and other health data by PHNs.
The AIHW is an independent statutory Australian Government agency. It produces authoritative and accessible information and statistics to inform and support better policy and service delivery decisions, leading to improved health and wellbeing for all Australians.
Primary Health Insights provides the AIHW with a ready-built, secure platform for the management of the National Primary Health Care Data Collection (PHCDC), a new long-required resource to be developed to support population health monitoring, research, policy and planning.
Like PHNs, the AIHW will have its own individually secure lockbox for data storage. It will not have access to PHNs’ data, including data shared by general practices, whether that data is stored in Primary Health Insights or otherwise.
Any data sharing between PHNs and the AIHW may only occur in line with agreements that define which data sets are to be shared and for what purposes, and which in turn comply with the Data Sharing Agreements held by PHNs with the general practices in their area.
Importantly, data shared by PHNs with the AIHW cannot be used, or allowed to be used, for any performance benchmarking or financial audit undertaken by a Commonwealth or State government agency or any other funding body.
For further information about the AIHW’s participation in Primary Health Insights please see the full article here.
A quick and simple process provides rural WA partners with financial assistance towards their own professional development.
To review eligibility criteria or to apply please visit Rural Health West Partner Education Grants.
A new suite of online training modules, Conversations About Weight, is empowering health professionals to play a more central role in supporting their patients to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, including guiding sensitive conversations around weight.
Conversations about weight can be challenging for both health professionals and patients alike. Hesitancy among health professionals to discuss weight, along with stigma, shame and other psychological factors often act as barriers to people seeking or getting the support they need.
This training focuses on the various aspects of weight management, including causes and support strategies taking the perspective of both patient and health professional. Each module provides insight into the complexity of this topic, to empower health professionals to support patients and guide these sensitive, yet important conversations.
Conversations About Weight will support you to:
Developed by Diabetes WA and CPD accredited by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Conversations About Weight includes six modules, approximately one hour per module, with two RACGP CPD points allocated per module.
Visit SHAPE get started.
Each year, at the beginning of Mental Health Month, the Black Dog Institute publishes a research report on a key topic to stimulate discussion about how we can better prevent and manage mental health issues in our society.
This year’s report, Turning the tide on depression: A vision that starts with Australia’s youth, focuses on depression in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Read the full report here.
The University of Notre Dame has recently launched a Health Care Literacy Guide developed by the University’s Senior Research Fellow, Dr Rachel Skoss.
Designed to support the health of people with a cognitive impairment or intellectual disability. Health professionals and supporters can download a copy here
Updated guidelines have been developed by the Lung Foundation Australia and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A summary of the guidelines encompassing 26 recommendations provide an update to the changes. Read more
Women and Newborn Health Service (WHNS) have recently published three new booklets on Abortion.
The new information on abortion includes information booklets for consumers and what the process entails in detail. There is also information on complications during pregnancy and support and counselling that is available for someone seeking abortion.
These are available on the KEMH website via this link: Pregnancy choices (including abortion)
For Health Professionals: King Edward Memorial Hospital - WNHS pregnancy choices and abortion care service for WA Health professionals
For Consumers: King Edward Memorial Hospital - Seeking an abortion (health.wa.gov.au)
The Abortion care: information and legal obligations for medical practitioners booklet (PDF) can be downloaded for further information on legal obligations for medical practitioners with the current law in Western Australia, as well as information about support services available at WNHS and in the community for people experiencing an unintended pregnancy. It includes requirements of informed consent, guidelines for care of dependant minors and people in vulnerable situations, for example those experiencing violence/sexual assault.
DVA’s new printable Compensation Quick Tips makes it easier to understand what's needed from you when asked to provide information in relation to your veteran patient’s compensation claim. Read more.
Are you a health or medical professional who sees males in your practice? Healthy Male wants to hear from you.
Healthy Male provides accredited training activities, evidence-based clinical resources, best practice guidelines and the latest news on male health. They've created a quick survey to ensure they continue to meet your needs effectively and efficiently as health and medical professionals.
Your responses will help them create and share the training and resources you require in your practice, enhancing workforce capacity and supporting generations of healthy Australian men.
We appreciate that spare time is rare as a health professional and your contribution to this survey is invaluable.
Complete the survey here before October 31, 2022.
Calling all Metro WA GP educators!
Curtin Medical School is looking for additional interested GPs to supervise medical students in 2023.
We invite you to join us for an information evening and dinner on 8th November at 6pm at the Bentley Campus. We will also be inviting our current supervising practices for feedback and discussion on this year's placements.
This event will be an excellent opportunity to find out more about medical student supervision opportunities, as well as meeting and sharing ideas with like-minded GPs. We will also be running some education on how to optimise your student placements and troubleshooting.
Please email Dr Bowron below to register your interest, or for a chat about further placement details.
Dr Katherine Bowron - Clinical Dean General Practice
Curtin Medical School - Katherine.email@example.com
Practice Assist Tool Kit
These resources are a compilation of fact sheets, user guides, checklists, business plans and posters. They can be found in the Tool Kit pages on our website. In addition to this there are a small number of resources available in our Resource Library.
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.
Education & Events
Project ECHO - Session 9
Thursday 27 October (6.00pm to 7:30pm AWST)
It’s not too late to join the Alcohol & Other Drug Network!
AOD experts Dr Simon Slota-Kan and Dr Rupert Backhouse will provide their advice on any questions or queries you may have.
Dr Simon Slota-Kan will interview Dr Rupert Backhouse, to discuss tips, tricks, and relevant resources in managing opioid prescription in managing chronic pain in patients.
As Session 9 is the last Alcohol and Other Drug Network Session for 2022, we invite all health professionals to attend and share discussions with our experts, about the best evidence-based approach to managing opioid prescription in general practice.
Unlike other learning platforms, the AOD Network is an opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field about managing real de-identified AOD cases. Participants and Panellists are encouraged to learn and build confidence and capability together, to support people in the community experiencing AOD issues enabling the all teach-all learn method.
We invite all health professionals to receive 2 points per drop-in session. GPs who have attended 5 or more sessions, will be eligible for 40 CPD points with RACGP and ACRRM.
View the flyer here
Registrations for the WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum are now open. Hosted By Rural Health West, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health Council of WA and the WA Child Ear Health Strategy, the one-day Forum will provide delegates with the opportunity to engage in education and upskilling sessions along the ear and hearing health pathway.
Who should attend: clinical practitioners, Aboriginal health workers and practitioners, audiologists, ear, nose and throat surgeons, ear health coordinators, primary health care service providers and researchers.
Please visit the website to view the WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum preliminary program and further information about the event. Click here to register - $120 including GST and includes registration to the post-event Networking Sundowner.
The Forum will coincide with the Rural Health West Annual Aboriginal Health Conference. Travel support may be supported for eligible delegates.
General practitioners - Ask the ENT
As part of the WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum program, Dr Francis Lannigan will facilitate a Q&A session for general practitioners. To assist with planning this Q&A session, general practitioners are invited to complete a short survey and provide information on ear and hearing health assessment, referral pathways and prescribing challenges their service/practice may currently experience.
For those unable to attend the Forum in person, the Q&A session will be recorded and available online.
If you have questions regarding the Forum please contact the Regional Services team on 08 6389 4500 or via email.
Following a sold out conference in 2021, the Aboriginal Health Conference 2022 will focus on healing from the past and strengthening the future. It will provide an opportunity to come together and learn from those who came before us, and reflect on how we can move through the challenges faced in the last two years. By learning from the past, we can strengthen our future.
The overall conference theme will be Aboriginal Health, with the following streams:
For more information, including details of travel support available, please visit the conference website or contact the Events Team on 08 6389 4500 or email@example.com
Held during EMHS Virtual Care Awareness Month, this forum will explore the importance of creating a safe virtual space to facilitate outpatient video appointments with Aboriginal patients. Come listen to healthcare leaders and academics in WA in a panel discussion of Aboriginal Virtual Care case studies.
View the flyer here
Imagined Futures Alliance Against Depression (IFAAD) is preparing to host their second GP Dinner Workshop for 2022. Building upon the success of the first event, this one will be held in a larger venue, to accommodate the increased number of GP’s anticipated to attend.
Guest speaker Dr Mat Coleman (Psychiatrist) will aim to improve GP’s knowledge of recommended approaches to treating depression in young people. The event will also provide an opportunity for GPs to connect with local mental health service providers and learn about referral options.
The event is limited to GPs and mental health professionals servicing the Local Government areas of Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville. This event is just one of IFAAD’s community-based activities that align to the Alliance Against Depression framework, informed by the evidence-based European Alliance Against Depression.
To reserve a place at this workshop, please contact Imagined Futures Alliance Against Depression by email at Ifaad@stpats.com.au
Navigating mental health challenges when living with a physical disability
Presented by Mental Health Professionals Network
Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention - Online Workshop
Presented by Black Dog Institute
Hepatitis B in Primary Care
Presented by ASHM
Ear Wax Removal (Irrigation)
Presented by The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited
Course in Ear Wax Removal (Microsuction)
Presented by The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited