Practice Connect #168

20 April 2023

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.



Strengthening Medicare General Practice Grants Program


Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program: important update for eligible practices

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

Find out more

 *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 


Take advantage of the Primary Sense desktop

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 or call 1300 572 165 8am-4pm Monday to Friday. 

How can practice managers make the most of the desktop app?

  • Generate reports by simply double clicking the pre-loaded report in the menu
  • Monitor performance through real-time generated reports
  • Identify activities for continuous quality improvement

Suggested resources:

How can GPs make the most of the desktop app?

  • Access patient care prompts and medication alerts specific to the patient at the time of consultation where appropriate. A prompt will not necessarily be received for every patient or at every appointment.
  • Generate reports based on real time data focusing on clinical outcomes

Suggested resources:

How can nurses make the most of the desktop app?

  • Access reports by simply double clicking the pre-loaded report in the menu.
  • Generate reports based on real time data focusing on clinical care
  • Identify activities for continuous quality improvement

Suggested resources:

You can find additional guides and videos on the Primary Sense Toolkit page on the Practice Assist Website. Scroll down to Primary Sense Resources.
For further support, please connect with your local WA Primary Health Alliance Primary Care Navigator or Quality Improvement Coach via Practice Assist


Feature - Immunisation


Reducing vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable populations with 360 Street Doctor’s outreach workers

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 or calling 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478).



World Immunisation Week 2023

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.

Influenza Vaccine

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.

  • It is advised that influenza vaccination clinics should be scheduled after your practice has received enough vaccine doses.
  • For information on the 2023 WA Influenza vaccination program, please visit
Vaccine Update 321 Early advice for 2023 seasonal influenza immunisation.
Vaccine Update 323 – Government -funded Influenza immunisation program
  • General information about the 2023 influenza immunisation program can be found on the WA Health website.

Quality Improvement (QI)

Identifying patients at risk from influenza
The PIP QI Incentive rewards practices for participating in continuous quality improvement activities in partnership and with the support of their local Primary Health Network. There are ten specified Quality Improvement Measures (QIM) to assist practices meeting their requirements for PIP QI, three of which are listed below and directly relate to immunisation against flu. 
  • Proportion of patients aged 65 and over who were immunised against influenza.
  • Proportion of patients with diabetes who were immunised against influenza.
  • Proportion of patients with COPD who were immunised against influenza.
WAPHA’s Practice Quality Improvement (QI) Coaches can offer support in utilising your clinical software or data extraction tool to identify patients at your practice that may be at risk of influenza and therefore require a flu vaccine. Please reach out to Practice Assist as below to be connected with your local QI Coach.
If you would like to discuss any of these activities further, please contact Practice Assist and one of our friendly team will connect you with your QI coach. If you haven’t seen it previously, we encourage you to visit our Quality Improvement Toolkit , developed by our QI team to assist you with your journey.




HealthPathways WA –   Immunisation

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:

For service information see the following request pages: 

*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 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, or use the “Send Feedback” button at the bottom of each page on the site.


COVID-19 Updates 


Vulnerable Populations Vaccination Program Information 2023

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).

About the funding

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:

  • Aboriginal Torres Strait Islanders
  • Culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse populations
  • People living in rural and remote communities
  • People living with a disability
  • Those experiencing homelessness

Learn more here

View the flyer here



COVID-19 resources for people with disability – Winter Planning 2023 Stakeholder kit

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 



Increase in travel associated vaccine-preventable disease

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.



Measles Alert for Perth

The Department of Health advised via a media release this week that a case of Measles had been reported in a returned traveller.

This person became infected overseas, and was infectious when they first returned to WA, between 7 and 13 of April.

Whilst infectious, this person travelled extensively on metropolitan public transport and people are being asked to watch for signs and symptoms of measles if they were travelling at the same time.
Measles is highly contagious and complications from measles can be severe.

Those most vulnerable to infection include infants too young to be vaccinated, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women, who are not already immune through vaccination or previous infection.
Further information can be found in the current media release



Immunisation Myths Campaign

Vaccination remains one of the most successful and cost-effective advances in global public health, protecting children against serious diseases including measles, whooping cough and diphtheria.

To help counteract some of the myths surrounding vaccines and reassure parents they are safe, we have prepared a series of six easy to watch videos and social media posts as part of a campaign called Immunisation Myths.

These short, colourful one minute videos are aimed at debunking immunisation myths such as vaccines are unsafe, vaccines cause autism and too many vaccines overwhelm a baby’s immune system.

These videos can be watched, shared and posted to social media.




Patient Vaccination Resources

The below is a list of valuable and current resources on vaccines, and vaccine preventable diseases that can be used when talking to your patients about vaccinations.

Department of Health and Aged Care
Healthy WA website
Talking about Immunisation (SKAI)
Immunisation Coalition
Immunisation Foundation of Australia



2023 WA Influenza Update – Recording available now

On Thursday 6 April, the Immunisation Program hosted the 2023 Influenza Update for all immunisation providers in WA.

The recording and slides are available on the WA Department of Health website.

Refer to Influenza immunisation for more 2023 WA Influenza program information.



HPV in 2023 – Latest vaccine recommendations and research

Presented by NCIRS
​5 May 2023 (2:00–3:30 pm AEST)

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) are hosting a webinar on the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine after recent changes to the immunisation schedule.
Leading researchers and policy experts will present on:

  • the HPV vaccine and its impact in Australia and globally
  • a roadmap for cervical cancer elimination in Australia and our region
  • changes to the Australian HPV vaccination schedule and their implications
  • initiatives designed to maintain high levels of HPV vaccine coverage. 
  • initiatives on cervical cancer elimination globally 

This webinar will be recorded and available on the NCIRS website in the days following the session. Register to receive the link to the recording via email when it becomes available. 
Learn more here



Adult Immunisation Forum

Presented by Adult Immunisation Forum (AIF)
Thursday 22 June 2023 (8am – 4:30pm AWST) Pan Pacific Perth 

The Adult Immunisation Forum (AIF) will take place in Perth on June 22, immediately following the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) Communicable Diseases and Immunisation Conference. It is a 1 day event, presented as a hybrid meeting. 

The meeting is ideal for GPs, practice nurses, and other immunisation specialists.

The vaccines to be covered will include pneumococcal disease (PCV 15,20,21), RSV in adults, pertussis in older people, herpes zoster, influenza, Covid-19, Strep A, travel vaccines, as well as paediatric vaccines.

Chaired by Prof Robert Booy, confirmed speakers include Professors Tony Cunningham, Peter Richmond, Chris Blyth, and Paul Van Buynder. Information is being updated regularly on the Immunisation Coalition website here

It is free to attend, with refreshments and lunch provided.

Learn more here


Practice Updates 


Heart Week (1-7 May)

This Heart Week (1-7 May), start a conversation with your patients about heart health and the positive steps they can take to reduce heart disease risk.
Every 30 minutes, one Australian loses their life to heart disease. It takes 30 minutes or less to conduct a Heart Health Check.
Don't delay prevention. Take three simple steps to help keep more Australian hearts healthy:

  1. Download or order your free Heart Week resource pack
This resource pack contains a variety of resources to assist you in engaging your patients to have a Heart Health Check. Set up a heart health display at your workplace and enter the creative display competition to win one of two $500.00 vouchers!
  1. Use the Heart Health Check Toolkit to streamline CVD prevention
The Toolkit provides practical templates and resources to help you integrate Heart Health Checks into routine preventative care and keep more Australian hearts healthy. Look out for newly developed resources to enhance your clinical practice and patient engagement.
  1. Register for Heart Foundation’s residual CVD risk webinar on 3 May

Tune in to the Heart Week clinical webinar, "Risky business: Understanding and managing residual CVD risk," on Wednesday 3 May, 7-8 pm AEST. The expert panel will discuss the latest evidence on residual cardiovascular risk and how polygenic risk can enhance current screening. 

Visit the Heart Week webpage to get involved.



Injury Matters - Resources

Injury Matters leads the way in preventing injury and supporting recovery by providing programs and services that enable Western Australians to live long and healthy lives.

Falls Resources and Presentations
The Injury Matters eDirectory can connect you or your patients with a number of organisations, programs and services across Western Australia. The e-directory which has many injury areas although a large number relate to falls prevention activities.

Alcohol Resource
Injury Matters is also launching the Injury Matters Alcohol and Medication Interactions resource. Co-developed with Ya Ping Lee (B Pharm (Hons) PhD AACPA) of Curtin Medical School and Curtin enAble Institute (Dementia and Ageing) Injury Matters would like to thank her for her contributions to this resource. The purpose is to educate the Injury Prevention workforce sector about how alcohol can interact with medications increasing the risk of injury. It is not a community-facing resource (due to language complexity). Please email Sam Menezes with any questions or comments at



Alcohol and other drug services for veterans

Do you have a patient who served in the Australian Defence Force and may need support managing alcohol and/or substance abuse?

Veteran Gold and White Card holders can access the following services for treatment for alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse disorders:

  • general medical
  • psychiatry and psychology
  • relationship support
  • hospital care for detox support
  • occupational therapy
  • Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling

Learn more here



New Ophthalmology Referral Access Criteria mandatory from 24 April 2023

Referral Access Criteria are now available for public adult ophthalmology outpatient services in WA on:
Referrers are encouraged to commence using the Referral Access Criteria immediately.

From Monday 24 April 2023, referrals not meeting the Referral Access Criteria (RAC), or are missing mandatory information, will be returned to the referrer with advice and what information is required for successful submission. Patients will not be provided with an appointment or placed on a waitlist until a completed referral consistent with the RAC is received. 
Patients who require immediate review (within 7 days) are not to be referred via CRS and should be discussed directly with the appropriate hospital. 
All other adult ophthalmology outpatient service referrals from GPs to metropolitan public hospitals should continue to be submitted via CRS. Referrals from Optometrists and referrals to WA Country Health Service should continue to be sent directly to the specific hospital site.   
The CRS will ensure all mandatory information has been provided, as per the RAC, prior to the referral being allocated to the appropriate hospital. Clinical triage is then the responsibility of the receiving hospital.
Specialties with RAC implemented include: 

  • Urology 
  • Neurology 
  • ENT (Adult & Paediatric) 
  • Direct Access Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 
  • Ophthalmology (Mandatory from 24 April 2023) 

For queries please email  
Bookmark the WA Department of Health RAC webpage available here 



Education & Events 



Eating Disorders: Beyond the Surface

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance
6 May (8.00am-1.00pm AWST) ECU Mount Lawley Campus

This interactive educational workshop at ECU Mount Lawley Campus is designed for GPs and other community clinicians working with people with eating disorders.

It will provide a practical approach to assessing and managing patients with eating disorders including interventions that can be undertaken in the GP’s office.

Presenters include the WA Eating Disorders Outreach and Consultation Service team, GPs with a special interest in the area, a dietitian and psychologist.

Event Speakers:

  • Dr Lisa Miller - Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Dr Senaratne Sivanthi - General Physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Dr Suzannah Robinson - GP at GPs on Bayview
  • Dr Susan Cann - GP at GPs on Bayview
  • Dr Bronwyn Raykos - Clinical Psychologist
  • Dr Nicola Cummings - Dietitian

View the flyer here
Register now


Healthy weight masterclass series  

Following the recent launch of WA Primary Health Alliance’s SHAPE (Supporting Holistic and Person centred weight Education) website and Conversations About Weight online training, WA Primary Health Alliance, in partnership with local WA healthcare professionals and lived experience voices, is pleased to present a six-part masterclass series on supporting patients with weight concerns to improve their health and wellbeing. 

These sessions are open to all healthcare professionals, including GPs, practice nurses, allied health practitioners, and hospital based medical practitioners. 

Session 1: The science of obesity and weight stigma 
Wednesday 17 May 2023 (6.00-7.30pm AWST) Via Zoom 

The first session will provide attendees with an understanding of: 

Weight bias and weight stigma, including: 

  • The impact of weight stigma in the healthcare setting 
  • Patient experiences of weight stigma, including lived experience perspectives 
  • How to practice using an approach free from weight stigma 

The interplay of the multiple, complex factors contributing to weight and overall health. 

Register now  

Session 2: The role of general practice in supporting people with weight concerns
Wednesday 14 June 2023 (6.00-7.30pm AWST) Via Zoom

The second session will provide attendees with an understanding of:

  • The role of general practice in supporting patients with weight concerns.
  • How GPs, practice nurses (and other healthcare professionals) can overcome the risk of providing unsolicited advice when initiating conversations about weight.
  • How to incorporate a behaviour change and motivational approach to chronic disease care planning.

Register now


Free Event: What’s new in heart failure? Case studies for southeast metropolitan GP Practices

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) in partnership with East Metropolitan Health Service (EMPHN)
Wednesday 24 May (5.30pm to 8.00pm AWST) Kelmscott

Join East Metropolitan Health Service and WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) for an interactive session focused on sharing experience and understanding in the management of patients with multimorbidity across health service providers, with a focus on chronic heart failure (CHF). 

View the flyer here

Register now


LGBTIQA+ Diversity and Inclusion Training

Presented by Sexual Health Quarters, this training aims to increase people’s knowledge of LGBTIQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual or otherwise diverse in sex, sexual orientation or gender) diversity, and increase their confidence to work inclusively with LGBTIQA+ clients and colleagues.

In consultation, this training is tailored to the needs of your workplace or team and can be delivered face-to-face or online.

For more information view the flyer here 


Mooditj Leader Training

Presented by WA Country Health Service
9 to 12 May (Kalgoorlie)

Mooditj Leader Training (MLT) is a 4-day hands on course that builds your knowledge, skills and confidence to run Mooditj groups for young people.
MLT is designed for Aboriginal community members or people who work with Aboriginal young people in their community. Non-Aboriginal people need to partner with an Aboriginal person to run Mooditj, as training together is recommended.

For more information view the flyer here 

Other Webinars, Events & Workshops

Telehealth Clinical Skills Program
Presented by ACRRM
Multiple Dates

What's new with the flu? Influenza and COVID update
Presented by RACGP
20 April

ACRRM Webinar (members only): How best to support patients with their Advance Care Plans
Presented by ACRRM
26 April

Breast Screen WA visit to Armadale
Presented by Breast Screen WA
27 April to 26 June

Alcohol & Other Drug Network: A Project ECHO Initiative Session 12Cannabis
Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance
28 April 

Wound Management:Advance Practice (Joondalup)
Presented by Benchmarque Group
1 May
Wound Management:Advance Practice (Rockingham)
Presented by Benchmarque Group
2 May

Wound Management:Advance Practice (Bentley)
Presented by Benchmarque Group
4 May

Talking About Suicide in General Practice (Online Interactive Webinar)
Presented by Black Dog Institute
5 May & 8 June

Curing Hepatitis C in Primary Care 
Presented by ASHM
13 May

ACRRM Webinar (members only):If only I could access my patient results
Presented by ACRRM
16 May

Gwandalan worksop - Perth
Presented by Gwandalan National Palliative Care Project
22 May
Hepatitis B for Nurses & Midwives
Presented by ASHM
23 & 25  May
Project ECHO Session 13
Presented by WAPHA - Alcohol & Other Drug Network
25 May

The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited
26 June

The Benchmarque Group Pty Limited
29 June

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.