27 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.
We would like to congratulate Lagoon Medical Centre for being our very first practice to sign a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) and join WA Primary Health Alliance on the Primary Sense transition.
Following discussion with her Primary Care Navigator, Bridget (Practice Manager) saw the opportunity to submit her Expression of Interest, quickly submitting it as she was intrigued to work with something new and exciting that could involve her whole team.
We spoke to Bridget about what she is most looking forward to following the transition to Primary Sense. When you speak to Bridget it is obvious, she has a genuine passion for Quality Improvement and analysing data to achieve positive patient outcomes and support her team through the use of data. Bridget said she is “looking forward to bringing the whole team along in the Quality Improvement journey and helping them to better understand the importance of data”.
“Practice staff have previously found other data extraction tools challenging and as a result it has predominantly fallen on me to obtain the data and then present it to the team at our QI meetings”.
“I believe that the process of data analysis and quality improvement is an essential key to providing positive patient outcomes which as a result has a positive impact on not only the financial stability of the practice but the practice as a whole”.
Quality Improvement coach Kara Thomas spent some time with Bridget (Practice Manager) looking at the next steps in her practice’s transition to Primary Sense and how this can best be implemented to involve the whole team.
There is still time for practices to take part in the Primary Sense onboarding. Submit your Expression of Interest here. If you would like further information visit the Primary Sense Tool Kit or 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
Once your expression of Interest has been completed, you will be sent a practice checklist to complete and then lookout for the webinar invite coming soon.
160 general practices have expressed interest to switch to Primary Sense, WAPHA’s data tool of choice that extracts de-identified data from practices and uses evidence-based algorithms to help GPs deliver the right care to patients at the right time.
The de-identified data extracted from practices via Primary Sense is secured in a lockbox hosted on Primary Health Insights (PHI), a Primary Health Network (PHN) owned data storage and analytics platform used by 27 of the 31 PHNs nationally. PHI uses best in class data security, governance and privacy in line with the Data Sharing Agreement (DSA).
In November, more than 60 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 online Practice Checklist form to commence the onboarding process.
To join the growing number of practices making the switch to Primary Sense, follow the steps below:
For further information about Primary Sense, visit the Primary Sense webpage in the Practice Assist Tool Kit or contact the Practice Assist team by emailing email@example.com or calling 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
Feature Topic - Cancer Screening
Screening tests for a disease when a person doesn’t have symptoms. Discovering cancer at an early stage can increase the chances of successful treatment and improved survival rates.
There are 3 population-based cancer screening programs in Australia:
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to reduce deaths from bowel cancer by detecting the early signs of the disease. Eligible Australians from 50 to 74 years of age are sent a free, simple test that is done at home.
Health professionals and providers play an important role in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Patients are more motivated to take part in a program if a primary care provider recommends participation.
The National Cancer Screening Register enables a single electronic record for each person in Australia participating in cervical and bowel screening. It gives healthcare providers better access to quality health information and makes it easier for program participants to take control of their health.
Health Professionals can use the National Register to:
Find out how to gain access to participant information.
National Cancer Screening Register – For Healthcare Providers
This campaign is focused on maximising the uptake of cervical screening by increasing the awareness, understanding and confidence in self-collection for cervical screening. With two options for cervical screening now available, this campaign is a strong reminder for women and people with a cervix to prioritise their health by booking their Cervical Screening Test.
A downloadable Communication toolkit is available with a range of PDF resources, FAQ’s and posters that can be printed and displayed in clinic, as well as options for articles that can be placed in newsletter and social media. Access the toolkit now
If you don’t have a social media platform and wish to run a NCCAW activity such as a display stall or cervical screening clinic, please reach out to Bethwyn Chigwada at WACCPP and she will support your efforts with resources and merchandise such as pens, mirrors, emery boards and bags.
Her details are firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 6458 1748
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 develop strategies to increase screening rates.
For further information contact us via Practice Assist.
We know cancer screening saves lives, but only around 50% of Australians eligible complete the tests for the three national cancer screening programs; BreastScreen Australia, National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and National Cervical Screening Program.
Research shows that strong primary health care involvement is associated with greater cancer screening participation rates.
You play a critical role in encouraging patients to take part in screening!
The Practice Assist Quality Improvement (QI) Toolkit can assist you in understanding and developing QI activities within your practice.
Our Quality Improvement Coaches are available to assist practices with continuous quality improvement, please contact our team via Practice Assist to discuss how we can tailor the support to best meet the needs of your practice.
HealthPathways can assist GPs in consultation with patients and act as a reference for other health care professionals.
The clinical pathways on the site include:
To gain access go to 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.
Late stage diagnosis survival rate is only 29%, whereby early diagnosis has a 92% survival rate, but there is no early detection test available so knowing your risk factors and possible signs and symptoms are the best way of detecting the disease.
Symptoms are often vague and similar to many other medical conditions.
The most commonly reported symptoms for ovarian cancer are:
It is important to remember all the symptoms mentioned can be caused by other, less serious medical conditions.
Visit the Ovarian Cancer Australia website for a full range of resources and a helpline with a dedicated ovarian cancer nurse available.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation also has a range of resources available, and can be contacted via phone 1300 682 742 or email email@example.com
Cancer Australia’s Yarn for Life is the first national cancer awareness campaign developed for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This is important because cancer is the second leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are, on average, 40% more likely to die from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.
The Yarn for Life website encourages yarning about the disease to reduce its impact on First Nations communities. It contains personal stories of courage, to support people to feel comfortable discussing any changes in their body with family or community members and health workers.
The website includes information about healthy choices you can make to prevent cancer, the importance of screening to detect cancer early, and how talking about cancer can help people and their families cope with the symptoms and treatment of the disease.
Check out the resources on the Yarn for Life website here.
For more information about cancer in Australia, visit the Department of Health and Aged Care.
The following public COVID-19 testing clinics will close at 4pm this Friday 28 October:
Rockingham General Hospital public drive-through closed last week (21 October).
Clinic closures reflect reduced demand for PCR COVID testing and the availability of rapid antigen tests (RATs).
COVID-19 PCR testing is available at remaining public clinics in metropolitan and regional WA and private pathology clinics. GP referrals are needed for testing at private providers. Find your closest COVID-19 testing clinic at COVID-19 testing (healthywa.wa.gov.au).
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test (RAT) should register their result online with WA Health.
For RAT registration help, call 13 COVID (13 268 43).
People who register their positive RAT result or who test positive by PCR will receive an SMS (text message) from WA Health with more information. Don’t delete this text message – it can be provided as evidence of COVID-positive status and can’t be re-sent later by WA Health.
In preparation for resumption of cruises and vessels, measures have been outlined with steps to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. Passengers and crew who disembark in WA for the purpose of shore visits are required to follow WA Public Health rules.
Aboriginal women have a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer. Yet adolescent coverage for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is lower for Aboriginal adolescents compared to non-Aboriginal adolescents. Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC), the Public Health Unit for Perth, has recently started a program called Moorditj Teens, working with Aboriginal families to help overdue adolescents catch up with HPV vaccination.
An MCDC Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer (AHLO) will speak with the families of overdue adolescents to answer questions and link them with immunisation service providers. While these adolescents may sometimes be able to attend a school vaccination clinic, this is not always possible, and the adolescent may attend a General Practice or Aboriginal Medical Service. The MCDC AHLO may assist the family by booking their appointment.
If an overdue Aboriginal adolescent attends your practice, this provides an excellent opportunity to improve vaccine coverage and close the gap in cervical cancer rates. Practices can improve the cultural safety of immunisation services by using the clinical yarning approach, in which patient-led storytelling creates an opportunity for a relaxed conversation.
It is important to follow up with families who do not attend these appointments. Vaccines administered should be entered into the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) so that school immunisation teams following up missed school program vaccines are aware that the adolescent has been vaccinated. Adolescents may also be overdue for other NIP vaccines and require free catch-up according to the Australian Immunisation Handbook. If practices need assistance with catch-up schedules, contact MCDC at NM.MCDCImmunisationTeam@health.wa.gov.au.
For more information on Moorditj Start, contact Tamara (MCDC AHLO) or Naomi (MCDC Aboriginal Health Coordinator) on 9222 8500. Information on HPV vaccine is available from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
Data sources: NCIRS Annual Immunisation Coverage Report 2020 & AIHW National Cervical Screening Program monitoring report 2021
Join Angela Newbound for this webinar which will provide an update on Shingles epidemiology and current trends in vaccination rates.
Low shingles vaccination rates in Australian adults impact the epidemiology of the disease.
This webinar explores what current guidelines advises regarding improving shingles vaccination rates in Australia, and therefore reducing disease burden and complications.
It discusses the two shingles vaccinations available in Australia, comparing efficacy, safety, dosage regimens and indications for each vaccine.
To register and for further information click here
Australia saw its first case of monkeypox in May 2022, followed by declaration of monkeypox as a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.
Vaccination continues to play an important role in the ongoing public health response.
This NCIRS webinar will explore the Australian experience of introducing a new vaccine against an emerging disease within a global landscape of rapidly emerging evidence and vaccine supply constraints.
Important Practice Updates
Pioneer Health is a general practice located in Albany in the Great Southern. The practice employs 25 GPs, a women’s health physiotherapist, a midwife and lactation consultant, and now a non-dispensing pharmacist.
General Manager, Jeni Anning, has only positive things to say about their experience of integrating a non-dispensing pharmacist into the practice. She explains that the co-location of a non-dispensing pharmacist has been highly successful.
“Bree has been a wonderful addition to our practice team. She provides critical practitioner support in regards to medication management, education and collaborative patient care. Bree has identified a number of areas of improvement, particularly around transition of patient care between hospital and home, and developed and implemented strategies that improve outcomes for patients and further support of our GP team”.
Bree first arrived at the practice in January 2021, after Pioneer Health was successful in their EOI application to WAPHA to be one of few practices in Country WA to host a non-dispensing pharmacist for 6 months.
Non-dispensing pharmacist Bree at Pioneer Health. Bree is seen here talking to a patient who was recently discharged from hospital, to ensure their medication needs are met seamlessly during their transition from hospital to the local pharmacy
At the completion of the funding period, the practice opted to employ Bree on a part-time basis to continue the work that had been undertaken. She is currently working on a project to improve the discharge process of patients from the local hospital to reduce the risk of medication related problems and possible admission.
Bree says that being a part of the large team has meant she has been involved in many different models of patient care.
“I really enjoy being able to work closely with the doctors and nurses, to be able to provide a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. I have been able to explore a variety of areas while working at Pioneer Health including case conferencing in aged care, providing patient education during care plans and developing medication related policies for the practice. I work closely with our local community pharmacies and the strengthening of these relationships assists our patients as they navigate between primary care providers and when transitioning from hospital. This role has allowed me to feel like I am working to the full scope of practice for a pharmacist.
Jeni says that having a non-dispensing pharmacist has been recognised within the practice as being a great example of an innovative workforce, and aligns with the patient-centred medical care model as well as meeting the quadruple aim.
“Bree has become a valued team member working across a variety of projects ranging from working closely with our nurses and Junior Doctors on our Pioneer in the Home program to identification and implementation of enhancements to our Care Planning model at the practice. The inclusion of a GP Pharmacist at Pioneer Health has been hugely successful, for our practice, staff and patients”
Even though tobacco smoking rates are declining, tobacco use is still the largest cause of preventable death and disease in Australia. In a bid to prompt people who smoke to quit, Cancer Council WA’s Make Smoking History Program will re-run the emotive campaign, Worried About You, across Western Australia.
This narrative campaign, produced by Gatecrasher, focuses on a daughter who is worried that her father will become ill from smoking. The television advertisement uses an emotive and powerful story to remind people who smoke to think about how their smoking affects their loved ones. Research commissioned by Make Smoking History found that a key motivator to help people quit smoking is to remind them how smoking impacts their relationships with the people who matter most.
The campaign will appear across various media channels including television, radio, audio streaming services, out-of-home, and digital platforms until Tuesday 4 January 2023.
To complement this campaign, Make Smoking History will continue to promote the recently developed interactive quit planner to further support people on their quitting journey. To try out the quit planner, visit makesmokinghistory.org.au/quit-planner.
For more information about the Make Smoking History Campaign or resources to help people quit smoking, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Make Smoking History Campaign is an initiative of Cancer Council WA and is funded by the Department of Health WA, Healthway and Cancer Council WA.
North Metropolitan TAFE is looking for suitable opportunities for its final stage students to complete a Primary Health Care placement. The 40 hour (one week) placements can be completed in a range of settings within clinics or the community. Clinical facilitation of one hour per student per day (or the equivalent by negotiation) will be provided. As an added incentive, funding of $600 per student is currently available through a program funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development. Placements anywhere within the Perth metropolitan region are suitable.
If you are able to offer clinical placements, please contact:
More information on the Diploma of Nursing at NMTAFE is available here
Trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACES) – like poverty, abuse, neglect or witnessing violence – are common. In the absence of support, they can disrupt children’s healthy development and increase their risk for physical and mental health difficulties now and into the future.
We all have a shared responsibility to buffer the impact of trauma and adversity on children. This is why Emerging Minds has developed a suite of free online learning courses and resources to assist different practitioners – from students and volunteers through to specialist practitioners – to understand and support children and families who have experienced trauma.
Along with online courses you will also find a wide range of trauma-focused practice papers, podcasts, webinars, animations, practice demonstrations and more, to help support your work. These free resources have been created in collaboration with practitioners, academics, child and family services, child mental health experts, and family members with lived experience of trauma and adversity.
Visit the Emerging Minds website to access the resources today.
The Type 1 Diabetes National Screening Pilot program to screen children for type 1 diabetes is being rolled out in South Perth, Melville & Canning. Until November 2023, children aged 2, 6 and 10 years living in specific catchment areas can be screened for type 1 diabetes as part of the Type 1 Diabetes National Screening Pilot. Eligible children will be offered free screening by a finger prick dried bloodspot test which is used to detect the presence of islet autoantibodies (early markers of type 1 diabetes).
Over 280 families have received their at-home test kit and they may ask their local GP for assistance to collect their child’s sample. General Practices can register with the Screening Pilot for reimbursement and will receive $30 per finger prick bloodspot sample collected.
This is a national study, funded by JDRF and led by a research team at the University of Sydney, aimed at finding the best way to screen children for type 1 diabetes before they develop any symptoms. It is our overarching vision that in the future all children will be routinely screened for type 1 diabetes as part of a national program.
More information about the Pilot (including eligible suburbs) and type 1 diabetes is available via our website. Alternatively, you can call our helpline and speak with our Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Genetic Counsellor and Researchers.
If you would like to express your interest in registering your practice for reimbursements, please email info@KidsDiabetesScreen.com.au
The East Metropolitan Health Service has recently opened a new public day hospice for palliative care patients in the catchment.
Offering a 12-week social and therapeutic programme of care, the day hospice can help to address symptom control and support your patients physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
It can also provide an environment where patients can relax and meet others living at home with a life-limiting illness.
See the patient brochure for more information or download a copy of the GP referral form.
Send completed referrals to email@example.com
Researchers within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University (Burwood campus) are pursuing GPs to participate in a new study that aims to co-design a post-fracture care pathway, for the primary care setting that will enhance detection of osteoporosis in older adults and improve adherence to fracture prevention strategies.
We are seeking GPs to take part in a semi-structured interview to elucidate information regarding their current clinical practices and experiences with osteoporosis treatment/secondary fracture prevention. The interviews will explore GP views about selection of osteoporosis medicines and use of different treatments; beliefs and perceived role in secondary fracture prevention; and potential barriers and enablers to the implementation of a post-fracture care pathway in their clinics.
Interviews can be conducted in-person, via telephone, or via video-conferencing (Zoom) and will run for approximately 20-30 minutes. Anything you tell us in the interview is confidential.
If you are interested in participating in this study or have a colleague that might be interested, please contact Dr Jason Talevski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9244 5116. For a detailed description of the study you may also read the Plain Language Statement here. This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (Project ID: HEAG-H 56_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.
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
Presented by South Metro Health Service, Rockingham Peel Group in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance
Saturday 12 November (9.00am to 4:30pm AWST)
This GP Educational Event is an opportunity to develop relationships with the specialist staff at Rockingham General Hospital in an interactive, supported learning environment. With the number of changes to services, and the availability of new therapies, this event aims to inform general practitioners what Rockingham General Hospital has to offer.
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
Collaborating with the workplace to enable good work for your patients
Presented by Mental Health Professional's Network and Comcare
New and Revised WA Advance Health Directive-Webinar Series General Practice
Presented by Palliative and Supportive Care Education
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