28 July 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.
Feature - Beyond the C Hepatitis
The word hepatitis simply means inflammation (titis) of the liver (hepat).
There are five types of viruses that can cause hepatitis.
Hepatitis Can’t Wait
World Hepatitis Day is 28 July 2023. To find out more about the National World Hepatitis Day campaign and the National Hepatitis Infoline, visit: https://www.worldhepatitisday.org.au/
Viral hepatitis remains one of the leading causes of liver cancer in Australia. This World Hepatitis Day (WHD) on 28 July, take a moment to consider the opportunities to manage and cure hepatitis C in primary care. The theme of WHD 2023 is ‘We’re Not Waiting’. We have the tools to eliminate the disease by 2030.
ASHM’s Decision Making in Hepatitis C resource is a 2-page guide that provides a concise and comprehensive overview of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow up of hepatitis C. The resource ensures you are engaging the latest strategies and guidelines in hepatitis C to support people to be cured of hepatitis C. For general practitioners, nurse practitioners, and other primary care providers, this resource can provide a simplified decision-making process, presenting a clear step-by-step approach to effectively manage hepatitis C care for an individual.
Page 1 outlines the indications for testing and provides guidance on interpreting hepatitis C serology results, allowing healthcare professionals to accurately diagnose hepatitis C. By following these guidelines, healthcare providers can ensure timely and accurate diagnoses, enabling prompt initiation of appropriate management strategies. Page 2 provides key considerations for assessing patients with hepatitis C and selecting the appropriate treatment regimen. Importantly, the resource includes indications for referral to a specialist, ensuring that patients receive timely and specialised care when necessary. As a primary care provider, you can utilise this practical guide to provide optimal care for patients and contribute to eliminating hepatitis C.
Download the resource here
Liver cancer is the fastest increasing cause of cancer death in Australia, with a 5-year observed survival rate of only 18%, which is well beneath the 70% average of all cancers combined. Chronic hepatitis C, along with chronic hepatitis B, are the leading causes of liver cancer. Hepatitis C (HCV) is curable and can be managed in primary care, meaning that primary care is critical to the prevention of liver cancer. A new national program aiming to help eliminate HCV in Australia, is calling on primary care services, to sign up and help locate the approximately 117,800 Australians who have hepatitis C as of the end of 2020. Following a successful pilot program, ASHM has launched its partnership program, Beyond the C, as part of a national initiative to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030.
You’ll have personalised support through our Practice Nurse Advisor, along with ongoing access to a suite of tools and resources to guide you to:
Download the flyer
General Practitioners play an integral role in achieving elimination of viral hepatitis in Australia, a key target of state and national blood-borne virus strategies.
In Western Australia, hepatitis C testing rates have remained stable whilst notification and test positivity rates have decreased, indicating a decrease in hepatitis C transmission. This is a positive step towards achieving elimination targets. However, ongoing effort is required for elimination targets to be reached.
The Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement (2022) developed by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia and the Hepatitis C Virus Infection Consensus Statement Working Group, provides important hepatitis C testing and treatment updates including:
Refer to the WA Health Silverbook for hepatitis C clinical guidelines.
Thank you for your on-going contribution to the elimination of hepatitis C in Australia.
This free training course is open to all primary healthcare GPs, nurses, practice managers and practice staff working in Western Australia. Register now to support Australia’s target to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030 and enhance health outcomes for people living with hepatitis C.
Presenters: Lisa Holden, ASHM; Dr Jessamy Stirling, Joe Staniszewski, Elena Donaghy (Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service)
Primary Sense Update
With over 85% of eligible practices now installed Primary Sense we have transitioned into looking at maximising the use of the tool in general practice. On Tuesday 18 July and Wednesday 19 July, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) hosted four Primary Sense Education Sessions at our Subiaco office.
The sessions provided Practice Managers, Practice Nurses and a small number of GPs with an opportunity to learn more about how Primary Sense can be best utilised in practice to access data, focusing on patient outcomes and support clinical decisions.
WAPHA’s Primary Care Navigators facilitated the sessions and stated the opportunity to meet face to face has proven to be a very rewarding experience for all involved. The first two days have seen 50 attendees with a further 60 registrations for the coming sessions.
In addition, the initial feedback from the attendees has been overwhelmingly positive:
Everyone who registered for the sessions will receive a copy of the resources presented on the day.
WAPHA’s Primary Care Navigators have planned an additional four sessions and registrations are still open.
Please register your attendance below as sessions are limited to 20 people.
For further information please contact Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or 08 6278 7900
A reminder that practices withdrawing completely from the COVID-19 Vaccination Program must inform WA Primary Health Alliance of their intention to withdraw via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Before practices can be withdrawn, please ensure no stock is on hand for each vaccine product. This can be achieved by:
Once actioned, CVAS will be updated, and practices will no longer have access.
Please note: Practices that only wish to withdraw from an individual vaccine type, or pause their participation, can do this on CVAS without informing WA Primary Health Alliance.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care is funding WA Primary Health Alliance to reimburse general practices to support non-Medicare patients being vaccinated against COVID- 19.
Practices can be reimbursed to the rebate value of the relevant MBS item number and reimbursement can be backdated to January 2023.
To make a claim, please complete the survey.
Please note: We no longer require an invoice to support reimbursement, only completion of the survey. For further information, contact Practice Assist.
On July 6, WA Primary Health Alliance hosted the webinar 'Immunisation: Back to Basics'.
Services Australia Business Development Manager, Michele Cusack, presented real time simulations on how to access and create a PRODA and an AIR delegation account.
She also presented on how to create a patient account and record an encounter.
This webinar was the first in a series that will look at all aspects of immunisation, data and QI activities.
The recording from the first webinar can be found on our Practice Assist website here.
The acting Chief Health Officer sent out a letter this week to all Immunisation Providers to get them to continue to encourage vaccination against Influenza for all ages, but especially in younger children.
This year, Perth Children’s Hospital has seen a significant increase in the hospitalisation of young children with influenza.
The Department of Health is urging Immunisation Providers to keep offering the flu vaccination to all age groups.
Read the letter here
The Department of Health and Aged Care has released new, improved resources for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
These resources remind parents of the benefits of vaccination and encourage them to vaccinate on time.
View the new resources here