10 February 2023
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.
An initial Registration of Interest (ROI) process is being undertaken to allow accredited general practices to review the information on the Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCC) before submitting their ROI.
Seven Medicare UCCs will be established in WA, with the first locations including Perth City, Joondalup and Rockingham. Practices in these locations and surrounding suburbs may wish to submit a ROI. A future tender will seek respondents from Midland, Murdoch, Bunbury and Broome.
As part of a staged rollout, ROIs are only being sought for the first three WA Medicare UCCs, which will be located in Perth City, Joondalup and Rockingham, and their respective surrounding suburbs.
Accredited general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services located within the three initial designated areas can submit a ROI from Friday 10 February until 12.00pm, Thursday 23 February 2023.
This approach is governed by a Commonwealth and State bilateral agreement and the staged roll-out is intended to enable effective development and implementation of the WA Medicare UCC model.
WA Primary Health Alliance will commission the WA Medicare UCCs, working closely with the Australian Government, the WA Department of Premier and Cabinet, WA Department of Health and local Health Service Providers.
The new clinics will be located within existing facilities, such as general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
Medicare UCCs will provide treatment for urgent, but not life-threatening, illnesses and injuries requiring same day assessment for people who may otherwise have visited an emergency department.
The clinics will have extended hours of operation, appropriately trained doctors and nurses, walk-in availability, access to a pooled network of resources and the ability to streamline referrals into local hospitals. They will be bulk billed, be open seven days a week and accept walk in patients.
If your practice is within the three initial designated locations and you have not yet received an email inviting you to register an interest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As this ROI is part of a competitive tender process, all queries must be sent to email@example.com
Over 70% of WA general practices that share data with WA Primary Health Alliance have already adopted the Primary Sense population health management, data extraction and clinical support tool.
Primary Sense is owned and operated by Primary Health Networks, including WA Primary Health Alliance, and the deidentified data it extracts is not commercialised.
Provided at no cost to general practices, Primary Sense delivers real time medical alerts and patient care prompts that can support GPs with clinical decision making at the point of care and assist practice staff to:
It can be quickly installed by your usual IT provider on multiple workstations, with the installation and initial data extraction having no impact on your system’s speed or usability.
To get Primary Sense in your practice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise your installation.
You can learn more about Primary Sense via these useful links:
Watch our latest Better Health Together video which is only 5 minutes long, where WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, speaks with Dr Walid Jammal, GP at Hills Family General Practice, about gold standard care, data and making a difference in general practice.
Contact your WAPHA Quality Improvement Coach via Practice Assist email@example.com or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) to identify ways for your practice to use your data to achieve a gold standard of care.
Read more here
One-off grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 (dependent on the full time equivalent GP number of the individual practice applying) will be available to accredited general practices. In WA, WAPHA will be administering these Grants to general practices across the State. WAPHA is currently working with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care to develop the grants processes and protocols. The grants provide general practices with an opportunity to:
A separate process, not administered by PHNs, is being managed for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations that deliver general practice services.
Information is available from the Australian Government Department of Health here.
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.
An integral part of asthma management at all ages is the development of a written asthma action plan for everyday and school use by the person with asthma and their carer, together with their doctor.
An asthma action plan helps the person with asthma and their carer or education giver recognise worsening asthma and gives clear instructions on what to do in response.
The process of developing a written asthma action plan is important, as this should be a discussion of the person’s individual asthma and its management. The written plan is a reminder of that discussion.
Written asthma action plans are one of the most effective asthma interventions available. Use of a written asthma action plan:
Doctors should consider developing a written asthma action plan when discussing asthma management with all people with asthma and their carers, every year before or just after the school year starts.
Perth Children's Hospital has designed an asthma action plan for children available here
Asthma Australia has an editable print out of Asthma action plans adapted for education and care services available here
Alternatively, the National Asthma Council of Australia also has downloadable action plans here
Many excited parents and children started school for the first time this last week.
Upon enrolling them, the school will have requested a copy of the child’s immunisation status for their records.
A child’s current Australian Immunisation Record (AIR) immunisation history statement can be accessed at any time by the parent/guardian through:
Individuals that are not registered with Medicare can still have an AIR record. An immunisation provider is able to assist in registering a child on AIR, as well as commence a child on a catch-up schedule for any missing vaccinations. If parents/guardians have had their child fully vaccinated but the child’s AIR immunisation history statement is not up-to-date, they are advised to contact their immunisation provider and ask them to update the information on the AIR.
The Western Australian Immunisation Requirements guide is here
Many parents will also have forgotten that there are vaccinations due under the National Immunisation Program when a child turns 4 years of age.
These vaccines include:
For an up to date immunisation schedule click here
If you would like further support with this important data-driven quality improvement (QI) activity, contact Practice Assist and one of WAPHA’s Practice QI Coaches will be in touch as soon as possible.
For assistance with clinical decision making, refer to the Childhood Immunisation pathway on HealthPathways WA.
HealthPathways WA have developed a suite of pathways relating to asthma in children, and childhood vaccinations. These contain region specific information on patient assessment, management, and referral pathways to assist clinicians in navigating patients through the complex primary, community, and acute health care system in Western Australia. These clinical pathways include:
For service information see the following request pages which provide referral information for health professionals to refer patients into:
*Disclaimer: Please note some of these clinical pathways and request pages are currently being reviewed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com, or use the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of each page on the site.
Following the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granting provisional registration for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) Bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4-5 COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer bivalent BA.4-5) vaccine for use as a booster dose in people aged 12 years and older, ATAGI has provided the following recommendations:
The Australian Government will include the Pfizer bivalent BA.4-5 vaccine in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program for boosters in people aged 12 years or older from 6 March 2023.
All sites currently participating in the COVID Vaccine Program will be onboarded for Pfizer bivalent BA.4-5 in the coming weeks.
Find out more
It is recommended that people who test positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test (RAT) register their result online with WA Health.
For help with registration, people can ask a friend or family member for assistance.
While it is recommended that people register their positive RAT result, registration is not mandatory and there is no penalty for those who do not register positive RATs.
During the COVID-19 response update for primary care webinar on 2 February 2023, it was highlighted to consider the expiry date when ordering and administering vaccines. The Commonwealth stock of Astra Zeneca is due to expire at the end of March 2023 with the last ordering cycle for GPs on 17 February 2023.
Watch the webinar
During February’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, please urge women to remain ever vigilant, as ovarian cancer symptoms are vague and women often think they are caused by other conditions and may ignore them.
Because it’s difficult to detect in its early stages, there are more deaths from ovarian cancer in Australia than any other gynaecological cancer.
Improving early detection of this disease by being aware of the symptoms is a good way to help improve ovarian cancer outcomes.
More information about Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month can be found on the Cancer Council WA website.
Ovarian Cancer Australia has a website full of resources and a helpline with a dedicated ovarian cancer nurse available.
Phone: 1300 660 334
Visit the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation for further resources and information
Phone: 1300 682 742
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. Your response will help inform the development of strategies, tools, and resources to support the implementation of self-collection into clinical practice, to ensure equitable access and increased participation in the NCSP. It doesn’t matter whether you have previous experience offering self-collection for cervical screening.
Complete the survey for the opportunity to enter a draw for one of four, $200 vouchers for Red Balloon!
Find out more, and complete the survey here before 28 February 2022
University of Melbourne HREC: 2022-24454-33001-1
Following on from recent changes, updated chapters of the Handbook are now live.
The updates include:
If you have ever tried to interpret immunisation or medical records from overseas, then this resource will come in handy. Let your patients know about this valuable free translating service.
Permanent residents and select temporary or provisional visa holders can have up to ten eligible documents translated, into English, within the first two years of their eligible visa grant date.
Click here for details
From 6 February 2023, the routine two dose HPV vaccine schedule for adolescents moved to a single dose schedule. The same Gardasil®9 vaccine will be used for this program.
People who are immunocompromised should still receive the recommended three doses.
The ongoing government-funded catch-up program for young people who missed HPV vaccination has also been extended to include those up to and including 25 years of age (increased from 19 years of age). Young people (except those who are immunocompromised) who receive a single dose before 26 years of age are now considered fully vaccinated and will not need further doses.
For more information, see WA Department of Health Vaccine Update #316 e-newsletter
In Summer, a lot of time is spent outdoors, but this is also when mosquitos breed and bite.
In the wet seasons of the north of WA, Murray River Encephalitis and Kunjin viruses can occur.
This season there is the added threat of Japanese Encephalitis due to the recent floods, increased stagnant water levels and detection of JEV in feral Pigs in the Northern territory.
Whilst it has not yet been detected in WA, the Department of Health has increased surveillance and response preparedness is underway.
Increased numbers of the JEV vaccine Imojev are available for use when and if they are needed.
The public is being advised to “Fight The Bite”
More information about Fight the Bite including resources is available here
Information regarding Japanese Encephalitis can be found here
Serpentine Medical Centre, located an hour’s drive southeast of Perth, has recognised the value of incorporating two accredited clinical pharmacists (also referred to as non-dispensing pharmacists) into its practice team.
The pharmacists, Maeen Alamin and William Safar pictured above, help provide coordinated and collaborative care by offering a range of professional services that deliver numerous benefits to the patients, the business and the overall practice team.
If you would like further information about strengthening your practice and improving patient outcomes, email Practice Assist via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
The Commonwealth Department for Health and Ageing has recently released a report supporting reform in practices that includes the use of multi-disciplinary teams. WAPHA will update you on new initiatives through this newsletter.
Read the report here
In 2022, MindSpot GP (formerly PORTS) launched a teletherapy treatment option to support Australian adults troubled by symptoms of depression, anxiety or stress, or alcohol use problems.
MindSpot Teletherapy is a clinically-validated, personalised service and ideal for those who prefer to talk directly with a therapist via phone. After completing a MindSpot assessment, a patient can access up to four sessions with a qualified MindSpot mental health professional.
The MindSpot Teletherapy Program has received encouraging feedback from patients.
Right click and download to add to your software: Best Practice rtf form (v13.0) / Medical Director rtf form (v13.0)
As you may be aware, until recently NPS MedicineWise operated the following pharmacy phone lines for the Department of Health and Aged Care (the Department):
HealthyWA has a range of resources available to share with patients about staying safe and healthy after flooding.
In order to manage the increased demand in Diagnostic Endoscopy at North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS), there will be a temporary redirection of referrals for specific Endoscopy procedures to East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS).
This includes all referrals for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, Diagnostic Gastroscopy, Diagnostic Colonoscopy, and both Diagnostic Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy to be redirected to either Kalamunda or Armadale Hospital. This will affect the following NMHS postcodes 6005, 6006, 6007, 6008, 6016, 6017, 6050, 6059, 6060, 6061, 6062, 6066, and 6090.
The diversion will commence from 6 February 2023 and is currently scheduled to conclude on 30 June 2023. Referrals should continue to be sent through the usual process via the Central Referral Service, using the “Referring to Direct Access Endoscopy Services” referral form.
No action is required from referrers for existing referrals.
The Alcohol and drug treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples review highlights the importance of culturally secure treatment, and of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and staffing. Treatment can include cultural approaches, mainstream approaches and adaptations that include the best of both. The value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in culturally secure and accessible health care has been widely recognised. Evidence also points to the value of cultural awareness training and cultural audits for non-Indigenous staff and mainstream services.
Read the full review here
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!
The WA Rural Health Conference 2023 is open to:
Rural Health West will provide the travel support for currently practising health professionals who work and live in rural and remote Western Australia, and one immediate family member. Find out if you are eligible here
Our children's program will help keep your little ones busy with fun-filled activities throughout the weekend. Find out more here
Register here now!
Following the recent launch of the ground breaking Transgender Health and Gender Diversity HealthPathway, WA Primary Health Alliance’s HealthPathways WA in collaboration with the Child and Adolescent Health Service, East Metropolitan Health Service and TransFolk of WA are pleased to present a three part webinar series on trans, gender diverse and non-binary (TGDNB) health. The sessions can be attended individually or as a series.
The Transgender Health and Gender Diversity pathway can be accessed here. For logon details for HealthPathways complete the ‘Request a login’ form here.
This first session will provide attendees with:
Find out more and register here
This second session will include:
Returning in the new year, we kick off 2023 with continued sessions of the Alcohol & Other Drug Network- A Project ECHO Initiative. WAPHA, along with our AOD subject matter experts, invite GPs and other allied health professionals across WA to virtually join in the sessions listed below. Attendance to previous sessions is not a requirement.
Register here for the Alcohol & Other Drug Network - A Project ECHO Initiative
For more information, please contact Project ECHO Officer Isobel Storey at Isobel.email@example.com