Practice Connect #157

10 November 2022

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

Acknowledgement of Country 

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 wellbeing 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.


Primary Sense


Congratulations Lagoon Medical Centre – the first practice to start using Primary Sense in WA

During November, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) will commence installing the Primary Sense data tool for the first group of general practices that have completed the steps in the onboarding process.
The first practice to start using Primary Sense in WA will be Lagoon Medical Centre, which was the first practice to sign the Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) as reported in the last edition of Practice Connect.
Practices are excited to start using Primary Sense because the software can:

  • produce simple, on-demand, self-service reports with one click
  • report on PIP QI improvement measures
  • develop CQI action plans (making it easier to meet PIP QI documentation requirements)
  • provide GPs with clinical decision support via medication alerts and patient-care prompts
  • be installed on multiple workstations in the practice
  • be used by clinical and non-clinical staff at the same time.
To join the growing number of practices making the switch to Primary Sense, follow the steps below:
  • Step 1: Complete and submit the online Expression of Interest form.
  • Step 2: When your nominated contact person receives the response email, complete and submit the online Practice Checklist form.
  • Step 3: After receiving, reviewing, signing and returning your new Primary Sense Data Sharing Agreement (DSA), complete and submit the online IT Checklist form.

For further information about Primary Sense, visit the Primary Sense Tool Kit or contact the Practice Assist team by emailing or calling 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).



Primary Sense Practice Managers Breakfast

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance
17 November 2022 (7:00am – 8:00am AWST) WAPHA Offices - Level 2, 1 Hood St Subiaco

Primary Sense is an easy-to-use clinical decision support, population health management and data extraction tool that helps GPs deliver the right care to patients at the right time. WAPHA invites Practice Principals, Practice Managers and Practice decision makers to this interactive breakfast for the opportunity to learn more about Primary Sense and how it could benefit your practice.

Places are limited so book now!

View the flyer here
Click to register



Feature Topic - Antibiotic Awareness, Disability Awareness & NDIS


National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

NDIS provides funding to eligible people with disability to gain more time with family and friends, greater independence, access to new skills, jobs or volunteering in their community and an improved quality of life. NDIS connects persons with a disability to services in their community.

NDIS provides funding to eligible people with disability to gain more time with family and friends, greater independence, access to new skills, jobs or volunteering in their community and an improved quality of life. NDIS connects persons with a disability to services in their community.

NDIS link for WA website.

Link to Western Australia Partners in the Community PDF document, offering services in local government area.

The National Contact Centre is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (local time).  

Phone: 1800 800 100

Visit HealthPathways for further assessment and request information on the NDIS. 



International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December 2022.  IDPwD is a United Nations observed day aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

The theme for IDPwD 2022 is Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world” The theme covers innovation for disability inclusive development in employment, sport and reducing inequality.

IDPwD is an opportunity to listen to the stories and experiences of people with disability and reflect on our attitudes and assumptions. This is an opportunity for all of us to make positive changes to lives of the 4.4 million Australians with disability.

Remember: Disability is not always visible.



World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18 to 24 November 2022

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is a global campaign that is celebrated annually to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance and encourage best practice.

The overarching slogan is  Antimicrobials: handle with care and the theme for 2022 is Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together  for the food, animal, agriculture and human health sectors.

Key messages for Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022

  • Antimicrobials are a precious resource, but their usefulness could be lost without appropriate use.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is happening now – it is a worldwide problem that affects human and animal health.
  • Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria stop an antibiotic from working effectively – meaning some infections may become impossible to treat.
  • Few new antimicrobials are being developed to help support this challenge.
  • Misuse of antimicrobials contributes to antimicrobial resistance.
  • Whenever antimicrobials must be used, they must be used with care.
  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in HealthCare: Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia Surveillance Systems (AURA)  2021 report offers many key finding on antibiotic use.
Read the report in full here.




COVID-19 Updates


Infection prevention and control guidelines

Following the end of WA’s State of Emergency, individual healthcare facilities, including GP clinics, should adopt their own in-house policies and practices to protect against COVID-19.
WA Health’s updated COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control guidelines for Western Australian Healthcare Facilities provides a useful guide that GPs and Practice Managers may wish to adapt for their own clinic needs, as appropriate. Further information is available in the latest Clinician alert.

Practices requiring support with transition to business as usual are encouraged to contact Practice Assist, call 1800 2 ASSIST or email
Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 information for health professionals.


COVID-19 clinic closures 

Testing –Joondalup COVID testing clinic will close 4pm Friday 11 November. Murdoch drive-through clinic and private providers remain open. Referrals are needed for PCR testing at private providers. Find a testing clinic at HealthyWA COVID-19 testing (
Where local testing clinics are no longer available, patients can be directed to private pathology or GP Respiratory clinics
Vaccination – The Kwinana and Mirrabooka public COVID-19 vaccination clinics closed on 6 November. COVID vaccination is available at participating GPs and pharmacies, and mobile pop-up clinics. Visit Vaccine Clinic Finder to find a clinic.



Expanded access to COVID-19 oral antivirals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

A reminder that from Tuesday, 1 November, eligibility for COVID-19 oral treatments through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, has been widened so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, aged 30 years or over, will require only one risk factor (from the current list of risk factors) instead of two, to meet the definition of high risk.

To support prompt treatment of patients as of 1 November 2022, medical practitioners and nurse practitioners will be able to add Lagevrio® and Paxlovid® to their Prescriber Bag supplies.

A complete list of current Prescriber Bag medicines is available on the PBS website.



New ATAGI recommended COVID-19 vaccines and doses

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a series of posters on ATAGI recommended COVID-19 doses and vaccines for general, immunocompromised and special populations. It includes infographics outlining which vaccines and doses are recommended for each age and population group.
Download a copy from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged care website here  




Translated COVID-19 vaccine decision aids — Digital communications kit

COVID-19 vaccine decision-making tools are now available in five new languages: Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Greek. There are two decision aids available:

  • for adults and adolescents aged 16 years and over and
  • for parents of children aged 5 to 15 years.

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has developed digital communications materials for use by medical practices, public health organisations or community service organisations who work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. 

These materials are available in the same languages as the COVID-19 vaccine decision-making tools, and are intended for use for:

  • social media channels
  • electronic direct mail (eDM)
  • websites

Access them here


Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates

National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week

Together we can #MakeCervicalCancerHistory – will you help?

Australia has led the world in cervical cancer prevention for the last 20 years and now, we are close to becoming the first country to eliminate it.

National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week 7-13 November 2022 provides a strong platform to raise continued awareness of cervical cancer and unite Australians to take action to help Australia make cervical cancer history.

The National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week aims to:

  • Remind Australians of the trailblazing efforts in cervical cancer prevention, meaning elimination is now within reach
  • Reinforce the need to maintain best practice in preventative measures
  • Keep the cervical cancer elimination timeline on the national health agenda
  • Support efforts to improve equity in access to cervical cancer prevention measures for women and people with a cervix to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on elimination.

Everyone can play a role in helping make cervical cancer history. This includes:

Women and people with a cervix aged 25-74

  • Ensure they are enrolled in the National Cervical Screening Program and screened every five years.
  • Advise them to speak to a healthcare provider if any symptoms arise between screenings.
​​​​​Parents of young people aged 12-18
  • Ensure all children get their full course of vaccination at school or see their GP (or accredited immunisation provider) for any missed vaccination doses.

General Practice, Government and other organisations

Help amplify the key messages that promote best practice in cervical cancer prevention and ensure every Australian knows that we have the opportunity to make cervical cancer history.

For further information visit the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation website.



Be a “powel” to bowel cancer screening

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to reduce deaths from bowel cancer, by detecting the early signs of the disease. Eligible Australians, 50 – 74 years of age, are sent a free, simple test that is done at home. The test can detect tiny amounts of blood in your poo that can be a sign of bowel cancer.

Screening for bowel cancer is incredibly important, as the screening test can help find bowel cancer before you notice any symptoms. If found in the early stages, treatment is much more likely to be successful.

Everyone’s help is needed

By being a ‘powel’ to bowel screening, you simply encourage your peers and patients to do the simple, free home bowel cancer screening test when they receive it in the mail.

We know that many people avoid doing the test or aren’t aware how important it is. Having a friendly face, or someone they trust tell them, is often the best way to get them to do the potentially life-saving test. Not only will they participate in bowel cancer screening, but hopefully it will have a ripple effect on their wider network too.

You don’t need to be an expert in bowel cancer screening, Cancer Council WA are here to help along the way! A social media post, newsletter article, or poster on the wall could reach someone who might otherwise not get tested.

If you can encourage just one of your peers to take part in screening, you could save a life.

More information available here



Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that an Australian family loses a loved one to lung cancer every hour?

Lung cancer is our nation’s biggest cancer killer, but in recent years, funding and awareness have increased survival rates and given hope to those living with lung cancer and their families. This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, you can help #ShineALight on lung cancer and support ground-breaking research.

Together we can create a brighter future for Australians diagnosed with lung cancer.

Visit for more information.



Immunisation coverage data sources and AIR

Immunisation coverage data is an important measure to determine the percentage of children, adolescents and adults who have received all age-appropriate vaccines recommended on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule. The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) website includes the Immunisation coverage data sources resource  which outlines available immunisation data sources which may help in identifying and planning immunisation activities and strategies.

Keeping your practice and it’s patients up to date with AIR is an important data tool.

The Practice Assist website has a Programs & National Schemes Tool Kit page with dedicated information on the Australian Immunisation Register, inclusive of how to navigate the site, upload encounters and overseas vaccinations.

Learn more here.



Help shape the future of vaccine safety surveillance in Australia – GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists needed

Researchers at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) are conducting a study investigating the current utilisation of vaccine safety surveillance systems by immunisation providers across Australia. To help inform this study, you are invited to participate in a short telephone or videoconference interview to share your experiences – good, bad or non-existent – with vaccine safety surveillance systems in your daily practice.
The findings from this study will help improve vaccine safety surveillance systems in Australia, ensuring they are fit-for-purpose for the needs of you and your patients in the future.
Click here to register your interest
Participants will be given a voucher for their time and interviews can be scheduled at a time that suits you to ensure there is no impact on your ability to see patients. Interviews will take place throughout October and November.
For further information or if you have any questions about the study, please email NCIRS Senior Program Officer, Nicola Carter at
Expressions of interest close 30 November 2022.


Important Practice Updates

Transition of the Australian General Practice Training Program

Reminder to General Practice - It’s time to register for Training Support Payments!

As part of the transition of the AGPT program, training support payments will be paid through a Services Australia payment system. The new support payments will commence from semester 1 2023. The new support payments will be available to accredited training practices, supervisors and registrars. For more information on how to do this and the back ground of the National Consistent Payment please see the attached information.

Department of Health & Aged Care
Q&A-style Webinar - National Consistent Payments (NCP) and Flexible Payments for GP Training 

Presented by Martin Rocks - Assistant Secretary, Health Workforce Division, Australian Department of Health and Aged Care

Tuesday 15 November 2022 (17:00 - 18:00 AWST)

Register here

Submit questions to Martin here


Martin Rocks - Assistant Secretary, Health Workforce DivisionAustralian Department of Health and Aged Care



Do you need to update your National Authentication Service for Health (NASH)?


What is NASH?

All healthcare provider organisations must transition to NASH SHA-2 by 31 December 2022 to maintain access to important digital health tools such as electronic prescribing, secure messaging and My Health Record.

NASH is a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) solution used to access digital health services such as:
  • Electronic prescribing
  • My Health Record
  • Secure messaging
  • Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service

How to update your NASH Certificate

To check if you have the required SHA-2 certificate or for further details on how to update your certificate, please click here.


Need further assistance?

If you would like further information please visit our Digital Health Tool Kit page on our website, or contact the Practice Assist team on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 22 77 478).



Introducing Emerging Minds Families: free infant and child mental health resources for parents, families and practitioners

Emerging Minds has recently launched Emerging Minds Families – a brand new range of resources for parents and families looking for information and support about infant and child mental health. 
The resources – including videos, factsheets, animations and podcasts – are free and have been developed in collaboration with families, practitioners and researchers. They are designed for practitioners to share and use with the parents and families they work with, or for parents and families to access directly. 
Topics include: 

  • Supporting parents and families living with mental illness 
  • Responding to and managing the impact of natural disasters including floods, bushfire and drought  
  • Understanding and managing anxiety in children and young people, and 
  • Infant mental health and wellbeing. 

Visit the Emerging Minds website to access the resources and subscribe to the Emerging Minds Families newsletter for the latest updates and releases.


What does it take to provide culturally competent and safe health care services? We want to hear from you! 

Given our vision of better health together, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is working with communities, primary health care providers and partners across the health system in Western Australia to ensure everyone has access to culturally competent and safe health services. 

Through our strategic planning process, WAPHA identified the need for an organisational cultural competency framework for multicultural Western Australia.  

The Framework will: 

  • assist WAPHA in the provision of training and resources to support General Practice in the delivery of culturally safe care and services to culturally and linguistically diverse patients.
  • build capability and measure the performance of internal and commissioned activities, to ensure cultural competency and safety for staff and people accessing WAPHA commissioned services. 
  • be accompanied by a range of supporting materials including an Implementation Plan and a Commissioning Toolkit.  
  • be a companion to the WAPHA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTQIA+ frameworks, implementation plan and commissioning guidelines for cultural competency, equity and inclusion currently in development. 

To help inform development of the Multicultural Cultural Competency Framework we would value your input via this short 3-question survey. Please ensure to submit your responses by Monday 19tDecember. 

For more information, please contact Susan Kay, Senior Advisor – Strategy and Policy or visit our Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks Customer Voice page.  



Recording available: Improving Aboriginal Cultural Security during virtual appointments virtual forum

A recording of the East Metro Health Service (EMHS) Virtual Forum on Improving Aboriginal Cultural Security during virtual appointments is now available on YouTube to view and share.
Link to recording: EMHS Virtual Forum




Practice Assist Tool Kit

The Practice Assist website is home to resources developed to support general practice covering a range of topics including Aboriginal Health, Accreditation, Business Management and more. 

Click through to find out what's new today! 



Education & Events



Is it Asthma or Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction?

Presented by Asthma WA
17 November 2022 (1:00pm – 2:00pm AWST) online webinar

You are invited to register to attend a free webinar on 'Is it Asthma or Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction?' Presented by Kate Baumwol, Senior Speech Pathologist, Voice & Airway Specialist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH).

Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction (ILO) also known as vocal cord dysfunction is often mistaken for asthma with similar symptoms, such as dyspnoea and cough. It is also common that ILO can coexist with asthma. Register for our webinar to learn more about ILO. 

This webinar will cover:

  • What is EILO/ILO and who does it affect 
  • How do we diagnose
  • Symptoms 
  • What can trigger an episode 
  • What are the treatment options  
Presenter: Kate Baumwol, Senior Speech Pathologist, Voice & Airway Specialist, SCGH 
Click to register


Heart-healthy eating simplified: A recipe for effective behaviour change 

Presented by Heart Foundation
22 November 2022 (4:00pm AWST) online webinar

Hosted by the Heart Foundation in partnership with the World Heart Federation, this webinar will seek to explore the latest evidence on heart healthy eating patterns and strategies and tools to make translation and implementation of heart healthy eating patterns easier for your patients.

Our expert panelists' discussion will translate the latest evidence, focus on practical ways to support nutrition intervention for heart health, and strategies to improve the primary prevention of CVD through improved dietary eating patterns.

Discussion will include:

  • Latest evidence on nutrition recommendations and CVD
  • How to translate nutrition recommendations to practical food choices
  • Personalising eating habits; advice and tools to overcome barriers to make heart healthy choices easier.
  • Behaviour change techniques targeting nutrition & lifestyle intervention for heart health.

This webinar has been accredited by the RACGP for 2 CPD points. (Activity no. 377730). Education provider: Scius Healthcare Solutions.

Click to register


Rainbow Gate project and workshops for promotion

Come and show your support and learn about the Rainbow Gate project- a project that will create a chatbot, resources and specially trained referral options for the Western Australian LGBTIQA+ communities who may be worried about the safety, equality and/or health of their relationships and seeking places to reach out for connection and support.

Warmly welcoming LGBTIQA+ community members, anyone who works in family violence, health, mental health, health education, social services, as well as state and local government.

More information available here


Aboriginal Health Conference 2022 - Register NOW!

Presented by Rural Health West
19 & 20 November 2022 (Esplanade Hotel Fremantle)

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:

  • Mental health
  • Sexual health
  • Cultural competency in health
  • Chronic conditions; and
  • Health across the life stages.

For more information, including details of travel support available, please visit the conference website  or contact the Events Team on 08 6389 4500 or


Youth Mental Health Masterclass

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance
25 November 2022 (8am arrival (tea/coffee available) for 8.30am start - 4.00pm (Networking drinks 4.00pm - 5.00pm)
Deloitte Perth, Tower 2, Level 9, Brookfield Place, 123 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

Calling all youth mental health clinicians and professionals!

Join us for a full day, interactive Youth Mental Health Masterclass and hear from leading clinicians and researchers about the latest evidence, research, and best practice for working with young people with mental health concerns.

Find out more and register here today

Other Webinars, Events & Workshops

BreastScreen WA visit to Narrogin
Presented by BreastScreen WA
14 November to 16 December
Data Driven Practice Improvement:  Chronic Kidney Disease Case Study
Presented by Kidney Health Australia
15 November
Obesity Prevention in Early Childhood from Pre-Conception to 4 Months
Presented by Karitane & Healthy Beginnings
16 November

WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum
Presented by Rural Health West
18 November 

Hepatitis B Prescriber Update
Presented by ASHM
18 November
Wound Closure Course - Perth
Presented by The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited
18 November
Aboriginal Health Conference 2022 
Presented by RHW
19 & 20 November

Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention - Online Workshop
Presented by Black Dog Institute
Multiple dates

How to Support Parents with Starting Solids: For General Practitioners
Presented by Karitane & Healthy Beginnings
23 November

Hepatitis B in Primary Care
Presented by ASHM
24 November

GP22 Registrations open
Presented by RACGP
25 to 27 November

Ear Wax Removal (Irrigation)
Presented by The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited
29 November

Course in Ear Wax Removal (Microsuction)
Presented by The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited
30 November

Hepatitis C in NSP Settings
Presented by ASHM
1 December
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.