22 December 2022
As 2022 comes to a close, WA Primary Health Alliance would like to thank all of WA’s incredible general practice teams, who have worked tirelessly throughout the past 12 months to ensure our community can continue to access high quality primary health care. Your ability to keep your doors open in the face of constant change and critical workforce issues is truly remarkable. Primary care has been instrumental in supporting the shift away from pandemic management to living with COVID and your contribution is greatly valued.
We wish you and your families a safe and happy festive season and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2023.
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.
The number of general practices that have successfully installed the Primary Sense data tool continues to increase in both metro and country locations.
The team at WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has been working hard to streamline the installation process, which currently takes less than an hour to complete with no impact on the capacity of the practice’s server.
After the installation of Primary Sense, depending on the size of the practice, it can take a few days to a few weeks to start extracting data and accessing it on workstations within the practice.
General practitioners have been providing positive reviews about Primary Sense’s clinical decision support, real-time medication alerts and patient-care prompts.
To find out more about the benefits of Primary Sense for clinicians, register for the upcoming webinars on Thursday 12 January or Tuesday 24 January next year.
View the meeting recording and Primary Sense - Benefits to General Practice slide information pack here from our previous webinars.
For further information about Primary Sense, visit the Primary Sense Tool Kit, email the Practice Assist team via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
From Tuesday 3 January 2023 VOC regular operating hours will resume:
COVID-19 vaccine and consumables delivery dates 2023:
To ensure the community continues to have access to COVID-19 testing, the WA Government Health is providing RATs for your patients and staff at no cost, via single drop off or arranged collection by tomorrow, 23 December 2022.
Requestors can complete sections 1, 3, 4 and 5 only (not Section 2: Invoicing details) of the RAT Request Form and email it direct to RATRequest@health.wa.gov.au. Eligible recipients will not be invoiced for RATs.
For requests of one pallet (5,000 RATs) or more, the WA Department of Health may be able to deliver the RATs to your organisation via a single drop or you may arrange to collect the RATs from their warehouse.
For amounts of less than 5,000 RATs, organisations may collect the RATs from a WA Government drive-through in metropolitan or regional locations listed here.
Requestors will need to confirm the RATs can be stored appropriately (between 4 and 30 degrees, in a secure location).
WA Health has released its latest COVID-19 Bulletin.
Read the full COVID-19 Bulletin here
The Australian Government has confirmed that the distribution of PPE through the Living with COVID measure will cease on 31 December 2022 and no deliveries will be made after this date.
Due to the Christmas holidays and lead time for processing of orders, the last day for submission of orders to the department from PHNs was COB 14 December 2022.
Some PPE distribution measures will continue, including support for residential aged care facilities (RACFs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) with more information about these measures to come.
Some GP Respiratory Clinics will remain open over the holiday period, with an operational extension to help with the current COVID-19 wave across Australia.
Find a WA GP Respiratory Clinic and check availability here.
Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates
The NCSR have launched a new National Cancer Screening Register website.
All URLs from the old website will automatically re-direct to relevant pages on the new website. However, it’s advisable that you update any links on your website to pages, webforms or PDF assets from the old National Screening website at your earliest convenience.
ATAGI has updated their clinical guidance on the use of smallpox vaccine for protection against mpox virus infection.
Read the update here
Support is available to people diagnosed with blood cancer from diagnosis.
The Leukaemia foundation have blood cancer support coordinators in all metro locations and some rural areas.
Health care professionals are encouraged to complete the referral form to assist your patient with the following care:
NCIRS provided free webinars in 2022 covering the following topics:
These webinar are all available for viewing now here
Important Practice Updates
The RACGP has released its updated Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines, to provide general practices and other office-based and community-based practices with practical guidance on managing infection risks. Topics include advice on:
The update includes changing the name and intent of the document from “standards” to “guidelines” - recognising that practices will not be accredited against the ICP guidelines, but may refer to them in meeting criteria for the broader Standards for General Practices. In particular the Guidelines aim to assist practices with planning and implementing high standards of infection prevention and control in their workplaces.
The RACGP intends to manage the Guidelines as a living document, with updates as new evidence and review outcomes become available.
The Guidelines will support GPs to provide care to patients with COVID, as well as other infectious diseases.
The Guidelines of the management of comorbidity state patients who have experienced discrimination and stigma, will hesitate to share their desired need of help, in relation to their AOD use. Adopting an equitable, judgement-free, culturally safe approach, will calm distressed patients, turning a confrontational situation to a soothing one.
With the holiday season approaching, it is an opportune time to ensure patients with Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) challenges are safe to share their concerns, whether related to their AOD use or other health concerns. It is fundamental patients feel safe, respected, and protected; to feel their condition does not define them.
A local WA Addiction Medicine Specialist shared tools and tips during an early session of the Alcohol & Other Drug Network:
A tool to support the significant others of patients with AOD substance use disorders:
If you wish to engage with AOD services supports for GPs over the holiday season, please refer to the list below:
On Thursday 27 October, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 (Bill) was introduced to Federal Parliament in what’s being called the most significant proposed change to Australian industrial relations legislation for many years. This Bill will have direct implications for all workers and seeks to create job stability, fair pay and gender equality, and new protections for employees with the long-term aim of boosting productivity gains and economic output. Read more here.
The RACGP’s recently launched Summer Planning Toolkit gives practices information on emergency preparedness, epidemics and chronic disease, along with advice on keeping you and your patients safe and healthy during summer. It also identifies the accreditation alignment and requirements within the Standards for general practices (5th edition).
Access the Summer Planning Toolkit
The Pocketbook of Sepsis is a digital library of high-impact, evidence-based lectures from peer-reviewed international experts aiming to put world-expert knowledge in the pockets of health professionals, and in particular those working in lower resource settings.
In the lead up to the January 2023 launch of the Pocketbook of Sepsis we bring you a free weekly presentation from an international speaker.
This week Professor Tom van der Poll presents a 'Sepsis Immunology Overview'.
Watch the video here
The My Aged Care contact centre (1800 200 422) and provider and assessor helpline (1800 836 799) will be closed on the following national public holidays over Christmas and New Year:
An intermittent issue may have affected the medication section of the PDF of WA Health discharge summaries generated between 28 September 2022 to 23 October 2022. These may have been sent to practices via secure messaging, fax and/or as a printed letter.
It has been identified that, where a page break interrupts the patient medication list, the name of the last medication on the previous page may have been repeated immediately above the name of the first medication on the next page.
WA Health is going to resend all potentially affected summaries that were generated during this period that were sent via secure messaging or fax (where they have not already been replaced by a newer version).
You will be notified in advance of the data of this resend. Please check any summaries received on that data and replace your existing versions as required.
If you receive a summary that appears identical to one you’ve already received before, please check the medication section for errors at the tops of pages and delete the previous summary from your system if the medication error above has occurred.
If you find any other discharge summary affected by the above issue that requires correction and a resend, please contact HSS.ClinicalSummariesSys@health.wa.gov.au. These will be manually updated and re-sent to you.
The TGA has made a Serious Scarcity Substitution Instrument (SSSI) to assist with timely access to oral amoxicillin medicines currently in shortage.
There is a shortage of oral amoxicillin medicines in Australia. All strengths and presentations of oral amoxicillin medicines are impacted by the shortage and there are likely to be periods of unavailability of each presentation until May 2023.
More information about the SSSI can be found on the TGA website: Serious Scarcity Substitution Instruments (SSSIs).
The TGA will publish updates about the supply of amoxicillin medicines on the Medicine Shortage Reports Database.
Visit the TGA medicine shortages page for more information about shortages.
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
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. It is easy to use with little or no training to get started, and includes the world’s leading population health analytic software, real-time medication safety alerts and patient care prompts. Primary Sense was designed by GP’s for GP's in conjunction with data experts and researchers. WAPHA invites Practice Principals, Practice Managers and Practice decision makers to this interactive webinar for the opportunity to learn more about Primary Sense and how it could benefit the clinicians at your practice.
View the flyer here
Register 12 January
Register 24 January
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