15 June 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.
General Practice GP Grants
Recognising some general practices have extenuating circumstances preventing them from finalising their application for a Strengthening Medicare GP Grant, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) can confirm these will still be considered after the 15 June 2023 deadline.
This includes practices that are part way through the application process in the WAPHA system and those logged for review with the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
Any practice that has not begun their application process with WAPHA by 15 June 2023 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
More than 96% of eligible* general practices in WA have applied for a grant, and we urge all practices not to delay completing their applications so they can access their grant funding as soon as possible.
Please direct any queries to the Practice Assist team by calling 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the GP Grants Program, visit the Practice Assist website.
*Medicare general practices, and 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).
For information about completing your GP Grant application, visit the Practice Assist website or refer to the manuals below to assist with completing steps 2 and 3.
Step 2 – Supplier Registration within the WA Primary Health Alliance ASPIRE System:
If you require further assistance completing steps 2 or 3, please email email@example.com
With many practices now in receipt of their Strengthening Medicare GP Grant funding, we have developed a guide with examples of investment activities your practice can consider under each of the three investment streams:
1. Enhancing digital health capability – to fast-track the benefits of a more connected health care system in readiness to meet future standards.
2. Upgrading infection prevention and control arrangements – to support the safe, face-to-face assessment of patients with symptoms of potentially infectious respiratory diseases.
3. Maintaining or achieving accreditation against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practices (5th edition), under the General Practice Accreditation Scheme – to promote quality and safety in general practice.
We would like to emphasise that the GP Grants Investment Stream Activities General Guidance resource provides guidance, rather than direction, on what to purchase and it is not exhaustive.
Primary Sense Update
More than 80% of eligible practices have now installed Primary Sense in their practice.
Primary Sense is a data extraction and clinical support tool that uses de-identified general practice data to give patients the right care at the right time, supporting practices to use data for quality improvement.
Now that you have Primary Sense within your practice, we have developed a resource to take you through the steps to successfully introduce the tool to your team by exploring and sharing your knowledge.
It has been designed to provide you with all the necessary links and support to ensure the installation is complete and will guide you through each step.
Download the Steps to using Primary Sense successfully in your practice resource and get started.
If your practice shares data with WA Primary Health Alliance for PIP QI and you are yet to install Primary Sense, contact Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature - Bowel Screening
In Australia, June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) and the importance of bowel screening for early detection.
According to Cancer Council Australia, bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Australia and we have one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Thankfully, over 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated when detected early.
Bowel cancer often develops without symptoms and bowel screening is the best way to detect early signs of the disease. As part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), eligible people aged 50-74 are mailed a free bowel screening test kit to be done at home every two years.
There are numerous resources available to support practices and patient education:
For further information about bowel screening, contact Practice Assist by emailing email@example.com or calling 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900).
In addition to the existing mail-out model for bowel screening test kits, GPs can now bulk order free NBCSP test kits via the alternative access model and offer them to eligible patients (50-74 years of age) during appointments.
Many patients are more likely to complete the test after discussing it with a trusted health care provider. You play an important role in helping your patients make informed decisions about bowel cancer screening.
The alternative access model will help remove barriers for unscreened/under-screened people and aims to address the lower participation rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
WA Primary Health Alliance is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from general practices that would like to implement the alternative access model. To find out more, view the EOI flyer.
To increase the participation of eligible patients in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), your practice can undertake and document the activities outlined below as part of your team’s QI journey.
Your local QI Coach can guide and support you in undertaking and documenting these suggested activities. To connect with your local QI Coach, contact Practice Assist.
With the 2023 booster dose now available, some people may need assistance to access COVID-19 vaccinations this winter. WA Primary Health Alliance has been given additional funding by the Department of Health and Aged Care to support the vaccination of people at greater risk of illness from COVID-19.
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:
Find out more
Download the flyer
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has released an influenza poster for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, which is available for general practices to download and display in their waiting rooms.
With influenza cases continuing to rise in the community, general practices are being asked to encourage all patients who have not yet received their influenza vaccine to do so during June, as part of the Western Australian Department of Health's free influenza vaccination program.
Further information about the free influenza vaccination program is available on the program webpage.