8 December 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 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.
WA Primary Health Alliance: Year in Review 2021-22
By targeting $5 million to general practice for individual support, digital integration and enhanced practice support programs, we continued to support practice teams to deliver the highest quality patient care. Additionally, our dedicated COVID-19 team supported 79% of WA practices to participate in the vaccine rollout.
Other highlights of our year include opening WA’s first adult Head to Health service and six new headspace services, supporting COVID-19 vaxathons to reach vulnerable communities, awarding suicide prevention grants to 10 local governments and providing GP innovation grants to 235 practices.
Read more in our Year in Review.
Over the past two weeks, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has been busy streamlining installations of the Primary Sense data tool with general practices that have completed the steps in the onboarding process.
The installation of Primary Sense currently often takes between 15 and 60 minutes with no impact on the capacity of the practice’s server. After installation, it takes a few days for the first extraction run to complete (depending on the size of the practice) and for data to be accessible on workstations within the practice.
Congratulations to the following practices that are having Primary Sense installed this week:
Practice Managers have provided feedback that their staff are looking forward to taking advantage of the many benefits of using Primary Sense. “This tool will increase productivity of our nurses by quickly running reports and working with patients,” one Practice Manager said.
Due to the upcoming Christmas break, WAPHA’s Primary Sense team will not be sending out Data Sharing Agreements (DSAs) for practices to complete after Thursday 15 December. If your practice has not submitted the Primary Sense online expression of interest form, you will receive an opt in/opt out letter to assist with WAPHA’s forward planning for next year’s Primary Sense installations.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has been providing funding to WA general practices for the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations for patients who do not hold a Medicare card or are ineligible for Medicare.
This funding is due to cease on Saturday 31 December 2022.
For all practices who are planning to submit a claim for this funding, please ensure your claims are submitted by this date to ensure your claims can be accepted.
Due to WA Primary Health Alliance’s shut down period, claims submitted during the final two weeks of December will be processed and paid in January 2023.
If your practice hasn’t submitted a claim before, but would like further information about how to do so, please contact Practice Assist, who will put you in touch with our COVID-19 Vaccination Team.
Note: WAPHA can only reimburse general practices to the value of the relevant MBS item number to support non-Medicare patients being vaccinated against COVID-19. To claim, practices will be required to declare reimbursement (ie. private fee charge) has not already been received for the services claimed.
From Tuesday 3 January 2023 VOC regular operating hours will resume:
In preparation for the upcoming holiday period, please be aware the last COVID-19 vaccine and consumables deliveries for 2022 will be delivered by Friday 16 December 2022.
Last orders for delivery before the end-of-year shutdown must have been placed by Friday 2 December 2022. This includes any requests for additional orders.
For deliveries from January 2023:
Orders placed from 7 January 2023 onwards will be delivered in normal delivery timeframes.
If your practice finds itself with a surplus of vaccines or in search of additional vaccines, we encourage you to reach out to your local networks to work together to complete a practice-to-practice stock transfer.
Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates
The December 2022 AIR update is now available and includes information about:
View the full update here
Cancer is a major cause of illness and death in Australia – there are 1.2 million people alive in Australia who are either living with or have lived with cancer (AIHW 2022b). Latest data shows that 7 in 10 people diagnosed with cancer survive at least 5 years after diagnosis, up from 5 in 10 around 30 years ago (AIHW 2022b).
Understanding and avoiding the risk factors associated with cancer can help to reduce the chance of getting the disease. Improvements in treatments and care are also important contributors to improvements in survival. Some cancers can be detected through screening. Cancer screening programs aim to reduce illness and death from certain cancers by allowing for early detection, intervention, and treatment.
For more information on screening click the link here
See all the latest data here
The World Health Organisation says it will start referring to monkeypox as "mpox" simultaneously, before phasing out the original name within a year. This has been prompted by concerns over racist and stigmatising language online during outbreaks earlier this year. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year, as the transition takes place.
More information can be found here.
This new page, published by NCIRS, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Japanese encephalitis vaccines.
Additional resources have been updated with the latest information and data, where available. Access here
This page provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions from clinicians and patients about monkeypox disease and vaccines.
NCIRS will update this page as new information becomes available. Access here
This is a short survey about your views and experiences of offering self-collection for cervical screening as part of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP).
Researchers from the University of Melbourne and The Daffodil Centre are seeking responses from clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers involved in the provision of cervical screening. Complete the survey here before 31 December 2022.
University of Melbourne HREC: 2022-24454-33001-1
Important Practice Updates
One-off grants of up to $50,000 will be available to general practices for a range of innovation, training and equipment purchases and to improve patient access.
Please sign up to our fortnightly Practice Connect newsletter to keep up to date on the grants program, about which more information will be shared as it becomes available.
Read Minister Butler’s Strengthening Medicare update.
WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) invites practices to consider expressing an interest (EOI) in having a non-dispensing pharmacist for two days a week from January to December 2023.
In partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), WAPHA have run several successful iterations of introducing non-dispensing pharmacists into practice. Each program has led to improvements in outcomes for patients and new sustainable service models in the practices who have continued the model.
This new program is to enhance multidisciplinary work within practices and to improve the quality use of medicines focusing on vulnerable populations.
The EOI contains information on both the program and its background which may help in your practice’s decision making. The EOI will result in a total of 12 practices receiving a non-dispensing pharmacist. Given the limited workforce available and subject to consideration of our Needs Assessment, we seek EOI’s from practices in the following areas:
Practices that are using software currently not supported by Primary Sense are encouraged to apply if they hold a current data sharing agreement with WAPHA.
Click here to access the EOI form and information.
WAPHA's primary care support team is committed to supporting practices to deliver the highest quality patient care. The Health Workforce and General Practice and Digital Health Report Cards showcase just some of the ways we have been delivering against the Health Priority areas set out for PHNs by the Australian Government during 2021-22.
You can read more about how we delivered against the seven Health Priority areas set out for PHNs by the Australian Government here.
The CareSearch Information Portal plays a vital role in providing evidence-based online palliative care knowledge for health professionals. CareSearch has recently produced a series of Guides for General Practitioners which highlight key CareSearch resources to deliver better palliative care within the community.
These guides provide you with access to practical information and resources that align with a GPs’ scope of practice. There are also specific Guides to help when caring for older people, people living within rural and remote areas, and to support families and carers.
CareSearch has also recently updated and expanded their Nurses Hub to reflect current practice and provide access to more practical information.
Visit the CareSearch Health Professionals Webpages to find further trustworthy and practical resources.
Do you see a child or family that would benefit from a fun, interactive program that focuses on healthy habits and lifestyle changes?
In partnership with the Department of Health Western Australia, Better Health Company are delivering free, healthy lifestyle programs to eligible families in Western Australia focusing on physical activity, nutrition and behavioural change.
Better Health Company are delivering two evidence-based programs:
If you would like physical referral forms, flyers or posters please email email@example.com
The Western Australian Trauma Training and Education Unit (WATTEU) are inviting rural and remote General Practitioners working in WA to participate in a Training Needs Survey, which seeks to assess trauma education programs across the WA Health Service.
A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) has recently been carried out by the WATTEU. The TNA was designed to identify any gaps in the delivery of trauma education across WA Health. This involves understanding what trauma education is being accessed, how it is valued, and any barriers or facilitators that occur in accessing trauma education.
The survey will take between 2 and 9 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous and unidentifiable:
Further information regarding this project can be accessed by emailing WATTEU@health.wa.gov.au
Community CAMHS have made changes to their on-line referral form and public website information to establish more clearly defined referral criteria for referrers and families.
These changes better describe Community CAMHS entry criteria and clearly outline what Community CAMHS is able to provide children and young people who meet referral criteria.
Please take the time to read these changes here and appropriately disseminate amongst your peer networks.
To check if you have the required SHA-2 certificate or for further details on how to update your certificate, please click here.
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).
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 view our resources!
Education & Events
Ambulance ramping, ED block, waiting lists blowing out – the headlines are all about hospitals when many of the solutions are outside in general practice.
What’s the role of general practice in reducing demand and getting the system to move from low value to high value care?
That’s what this National webinar is all about and includes world authority on low value care.
Hosted by Dr Norman Swan, joined by panelists Professor Adam Elshaug, Professor Euan Wallace, Professor Sarah Larkins & Dr Simon Towler, with Dr Wally Jammal joining for the Q&A.
2 RACGP CPD Activity points are available
Click here to register
RACGP members are invited to a celebratory evening of fine wine, canapés and catching up with colleagues as the sun sets over the Swan River.
We’ll also recognise the wonderful achievements of the 2022 WA RACGP Award recipients and take a moment to unwind after another unprecedented year in general practice.
ALL TOGETHER BETTER – Collaborative Mental Health Care in a Changing World
This fully online, interactive conference will explore how both our collective and individual experiences over recent years have affected mental health service providers and their clients, and provide a space for practitioners to reflect, learn and network in a structured and supportive environment.
The conference is free to attend for all Australian mental health professionals, however places are limited.
Register now to secure your spot