20 April 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.
Strengthening Medicare General Practice Grants Program
As part of the Australia Government’s Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program, one-off grants of $25,000, $35,000 or $50,000 will be available to general practices (based on practice size and accreditation status) to make improvements to expand patient access and support safe, and accessible, quality primary care.
In Western Australia, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) will administer GP Grants to general practices.
Yesterday, WAPHA contacted all eligible Medicare general practices* about the GP Grants Program with a request to confirm their intent to apply for a Grant by updating their practice details via an email survey.
This is a vital part of WAPHA’s application process that ensures it has an authorised practice representative to receive communications about the Program and triggers the next stage of the GP Grant application process.
WAPHA encourages all eligible practices to apply for a GP Grant.
Practices are urged to update their details in the email survey by 5pm Friday 21 April to receive Grant funding quickly and ensure maximum time to undertake investment activities.
If your practice is eligible to receive a GP Grant and you did not receive the email survey earlier this week, please contact the Practice Assist team on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or via GPgrants@wapha.org.au.
*Medicare general practices, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) that deliver general practice services and are not owned or operated by a state, territory or local government agency or body. Please note eligible ACCHS will be able to apply for the GP Grants through the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
Primary Sense Update
Did you know Primary Sense offers a useful desktop application to support general practices in their data-driven quality improvement activities, in addition to its ability to extract deidentified patient data safely and securely?
The desktop application includes access to ready to go reports based on real time data allowing you to monitor performance and focus on clinical outcomes, as well as patient care prompts and medication alerts.
These features and functionality can support roles across the practice team, so we recommend installing the application on all GP, nurse and management desktops so you can unlock the full potential of Primary Sense.
You can find more information on how to use the desktop in the Primary Sense Desktop Navigation Guide.
For support and troubleshooting when installing your individual desktop applications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 572 165 8am-4pm Monday to Friday.
Feature - Immunisation
Vulnerable populations in our community can be hesitant about receiving vaccinations for numerous reasons, including lack of understanding, language barriers, social circumstances, misinformation and lack of access to primary health care.
To help reduce vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable populations across Perth, 360 Street Doctor provides a mobile GP service from a purpose-built clinical truck with outreach workers to engage and support people who might be street present or experiencing homelessness.
Lisa Winter, Senior Manager Allied Health & Community Services 360 Health & Community, explained that 360 Street Doctor’s outreach workers provide one of the service’s most important engagements because they are the first point of contact for people accessing the mobile clinic.
“The outreach workers quickly build trust and rapport with patients so they can prioritise needs and coordinate the necessary support services. While assisting patients, the outreach workers have a unique opportunity to engage in conversations about health promotion and prevention, including vaccinations,” Ms Winter said.
The outreach workers at 360 Street Doctor work alongside the GP, nurse and Aboriginal health practitioner to assist patients, alleviate any fears and reinforce the importance of vaccinations for them and their families, which can often involve numerous conversations.
“Vulnerable populations have a prevalence of underlying medical conditions and they are predisposed to complications from influenza. With influenza season fast approaching, 360 Street Doctor’s outreach workers are currently engaging with patients and their families to discuss any barriers they may have to receiving the influenza vaccine,” Ms Winter said.
For further information about reducing vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable populations, contact Practice Assist by emailing email@example.com or calling 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).
World Immunisation Week is 24 - 30 April, and promotes the collective action needed to protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with partners to accelerate rapid progress in countries to get back on track to ensure more people, particularly children, are protected from preventable diseases.
2023 is our global opportunity to catch-up on lost progress in essential immunisation. We need to reach the children who missed out on vaccines, restore essential immunisation coverage to at least 2019 levels, and build lasting protection in communities and countries.
The goal of World Immunisation Week is for more children, adults – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, allowing them to live happier, healthier lives.
Click here to visit the website.
Vaccination against Covid-19 and influenza is important this year and every year with many members of the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the viruses.
With increasing international and domestic travel to WA, we all need to get protected. Cases of Influenza are already soaring in Australia. According to federal health data flu cases in Australia are 100 times higher than they were a year ago.
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated). The National Immunisation Program (NIP) funds influenza vaccines for people most at risk.
Vaccination is encouraged from mid-April to ensure the best protection at the peak of the season which is usually between June and September.
Government-funded influenza vaccines are now available for ordering, subject to availability.
HealthPathways WA have developed a suite of pathways relating to immunisation. 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.
Clinical pathways localized to WA include:
*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.
WA Primary Health Alliance has been given additional Federal government funding to support access to
COVID-19 primary course and booster vaccinations to Vulnerable Populations (VP).
With this round of funding, we have been directed to focus on the following vulnerable populations and we are
looking to engage with organisations that work with:
Learn more here
View the flyer here
Disability Gateway has released an information and resources kit to support disability providers and organisations that deliver services to people with disability. The kit will help communicate the continued importance of preventive behaviours to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19, leading up to, and during winter. It will help you locate shareable information, including links to videos and factsheets. You can get the kit from the Disability Gateway under COVID-19 support.
Immunisation & Cancer Screening Updates
The Health Department of WA through the Immunisation program recently released information around an increasing number of overseas-acquired typhoid, paratyphoid and hepatitis A infections that are being reported in Western Australia, particularly among those staying with family in endemic countries.
This included a reported case of the measles travelling on public transport in Perth last week.
Travellers should be up-to-date with all routine vaccinations. Receipt of two doses of measles-containing vaccine should be confirmed in all persons born since 1965 prior to international travel.
Children typically receive measles-containing vaccine at 12 and 18 months, but infants travelling to countries where measles is endemic, or where measles outbreaks are occurring, may receive a measles vaccine from as young as 6 months of age, after an individual risk assessment.
Travellers should also consider receiving additional travel vaccinations based on their itinerary, activities, and likely risk. Typhoid fever and hepatitis A are commonly overseas-acquired vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccination should be considered for people travelling to areas endemic for these diseases, particularly those visiting family.
Further information about vaccination for international travellers is available in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.