5 October 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.
MyMedicare is being rolled out by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care in a staged approach. Three key steps are required to begin registering your patients.
To take part in MyMedicare, general practices need to register their organisation and link their participating providers to the organisation in PRODA.
Information on practice eligibility and registration can be found here.
WAPHA’s Primary Care Quality Improvement (QI) Team is currently working to develop a range of practice readiness activities and PDSAs to support your practice with the implementation of MyMedicare.
Based on information provided from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, we have developed a MyMedicare QI Practice Readiness fact sheet, outlining the different ways WAPHA’s Practice QI Coaches can support your team with practice readiness activities.
Data cleansing activities have been identified as a key enabler for successful MyMedicare preparation. Data analysis activities include validating active patient lists, identifying patients with uncoded diagnosis, as well as patient cohort analysis.
WAPHA’s Practice QI Coaches can also work with your practice team to tailor the following MyMedicare PDSAs to your specific circumstances:
To find out more and connect with a WAPHA Practice QI Coach in your area, call Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or email email@example.com
The third in a series of webinars developed and delivered by the RACGP in partnership with the NSW/ACT PHNs, this webinar will focus on the MyMedicare initiative from the important perspective of consumers, including consumer considerations for MyMedicare, consumer registration, how practices can support consumers, and feedback received to date.
October, Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, provides an opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.
It is estimated that 1 in 7 women and 1 in 667 males will be diagnosed by the time they are 85, with 9 people losing their lives to the disease every day.
It is estimated that more than 20,600 people were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023. The average age at diagnosis is 62 years old.
Cancer Australia has developed six breast cancer online courses in collaboration with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
BreastScreen WA provides over 120,000 screening mammograms each year to Western Australian women. A screening mammogram is a low dose X-ray of a woman’s breast. Screening mammograms are performed on women 40 years and over, with no breast symptoms, for the purpose of detecting breast cancer at an early stage before it can be felt or noticed.
Breast cancer cannot be prevented, but the earlier a breast cancer is detected the better the chance of successful treatment.
A mammogram may detect a very small cancer before a patient or a doctor can feel it.
BreastScreen WA has permanent locations across the Perth Metropolitan area, as well as regional sites and remote visits. BreastScreen WA visits almost 100 rural towns every two years. Some towns are visited annually. In planning each visit the needs of the population and best use of resources is considered to ensure the whole region benefits.
See the BreastScreen WA website for more information and the locations and times for remote visits.
BreastScreen WA (BSWA) is seeking your support in promoting breast cancer awareness in October. This is the 22nd year BSWA has run this activity with GPs. It is an opportunity for GPs and staff to “be in the pink” for breast cancer, which affects 1 in 7 women in Australia and causes 3000 deaths annually. We suggest practices hold the event for the entire month of October.
A gift hamper prize will be awarded to the practice with the most decorative and innovative display that promotes BreastScreen WA and breast cancer screening.
Please email photographs (high resolution 300dpi JPEG, or minimum 1MB) of your display and staff to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10/11/2023.
Judges are looking for....
Photographs of the winners may be published on Facebook, websites and in print media.
October is an opportunity to promote and educate your community on the importance of Breast Cancer awareness and screening opportunities.
Our Primary Care Navigators and Quality Improvement Coaches can assist practices to use their practice data to identify patients in target groups as well as assistance with developing strategies.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, your practice may consider QI activities aimed at identifying those patients eligible for screening.
Primary Sense can help you identify your target patients for QI activities.
Keyword filter: Cancer
The Practice Assist Quality Improvement (QI) Toolkit can assist you in understanding and developing QI activities within your practice.
Our Quality Improvement Coaches are available to assist practices with continuous quality improvement, please contact our team via Practice Assist to discuss how we can tailor the support to best meet the needs of your practice.
Immunisation & Cancer Screening
WA Primary Health Alliance is pleased to host and present this third webinar in the series with Michele Cusack from Services Australia.
Following on from our successful Back to Basics and Encounters and Reports webinars, this webinar is aimed at Nurses and Aboriginal Health Practitioners, and will highlight the following:
Research has shown that a consistent recommendation from a healthcare professional plays an important role in parents’ decisions about childhood vaccination, and that health professionals are vital for communicating the benefits and safety of routine childhood immunisation and to counter misinformation.
The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care has produced a health professionals kit that is designed to support you in conversations with parents and carers about childhood immunisation.
The toolkit is available here.
Translated resources (FAQ and brochure) are also available.
For any queries about the resources in this kit, please visit the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website or contact email@example.com
Further information for parents, resources and campaign materials can be found here.
NCIRS has developed a new resource to support conversations between healthcare professionals and families about administering multiple vaccinations for children at the same time.
Access the resource here.
The new SKAI (Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation) website, skai.org.au, is a source of helpful, credible, evidence-based information that is designed to support conversations about vaccination between community members and healthcare professionals.
The new site consolidates information and resources that were previously spread across three separate websites.
There is content for healthcare professionals, parents and caregivers, and expectant parents.
The site will continue to be expanded through the addition of new resources, including materials to support healthcare professionals in communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as tackling the challenges of vaccination misinformation.
WA Primary Health Alliance are supporting practice nurses to complete the Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program (HESA Accredited). This Expression of Interest (EOI) is for Practice nurses who require training on immunisation. Please take the time to read the information below and in the link before completing the survey.
This Program aims to equip health professionals with knowledge and skills to competently deliver a high quality and safe immunisation service. It is self-paced but must be completed within a period of 20 weeks from the date of registration. The course requires access to the internet. The system requirements are listed and should be checked prior to purchase. Animation, interactivity and audio may not be supported on some devices such as iPads or iPhones.
Health Professionals must be registered with AHPRA to apply and those who successfully complete and meet all Program requirements will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. The course costs $350 inclusive of GST. Payment is made online through a secure PayPal system. On completion of the program, WA Primary Health Alliance will reimburse the cost of the course. All claims must be submitted to WAPHA prior to 31st December 2023.
For further information on the course please click here
The EOI will take approximately 3 minutes to complete. Please fill out the questions and submit in one session by COB Friday 10th of November 2023.
From 1 October 2023, the Department of Health and Aged Care will no longer be producing new COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules and the COVID-19 learning platform will close.
COVID-19 reference resources, including the COVID-19 Vaccines in Australia and ATAGI Recommended COVID-19 Vaccines Doses posters, will continue to be updated and available. For continued access to learning resources for COVID-19 vaccines, please visit COVID-19 vaccination training program | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
All primary care sites participating in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program must continue to either:
FAQ’s are available here
If you have any clinical questions regarding COVID-19 Vaccine administrations, please contact the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) on 1800 318 208 or COVID19VaccineOperationsCentre@Health.gov.au
On Saturday 2 September, the Garden Family Medical Clinic in Murdoch hosted its annual Teddy Bear Hospital with 120 children bringing in their special teddies (and favourite soft-toy animals, dinosaurs or cartoon characters) for a fun filled and educational afternoon.
Director Dr Andrew Leech explained that the vision for this year’s Teddy Bear Hospital was to have fun in a health care setting, raise funds for the charity Fair Game Australia and help reduce anxieties that children and their families may face when they visit the GP.
“The day would not have been possible without the collaboration with medical and nursing students from the University of Notre Dame Fremantle, who committed their time and energy into setting up each station and ensuring each teddy was given a thorough check over. We were also thrilled to welcome St John’s Ambulance and their volunteers who gave all our teddies a ride on their ambulance and a talk on what happens to people who need emergency care,” Dr Leech said.
The Teddy Bear Hospital also provided an opportunity for children to learn about the different treatments they might encounter at a general practice or hospital. On arrival, children created a ‘teddy-care card’ and explained their teddy’s presenting problem to a medical or nursing student. The teddies were then taken to the nurse treatment room for bandaging, immunisations or medicines. Some teddies required an x-ray or MRI before going to the surgical room for the reattachment of limbs, ears or eyes with use of IV lines and oxygen masks for anaesthetic.
“All teddies received a lollypop for their bravery and a special certificate with the treatment they had received. It is always so rewarding seeing the smiles on children's faces when we teach them such important messages about staying healthy and not fearing having check-ups, x-rays or bandages, but knowing that they will be ok, they are safe and that these procedures will help them get better. We look forward to next year's Teddy Bear Hospital and further expanding the types of experiences and stations we incorporate,” Dr Leech said.
The Teddy Bear Hospital volunteers from Notre Dame University, together with Dr Andrew Leech (right), director of the Garden Family Medical Clinic Murdoch.
The TPP, hosted by the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA), offers a 10-month, fully funded education framework for nurses transitioning to primary health care (PHC). It provides valuable clinical and professional support, and mentorship opportunities.
If you’re new to PHC care, this tailored program is designed to provide you with the support, knowledge, and tools nurses need to succeed in your career.
In the mentor role, experienced PHC nurses help shape the future of our profession. You will have the full support of APNA's experienced team, and you will be paid for your valuable time in the program.
Don't miss this incredible opportunity to grow you career in primary health care. Spots are filling with applications closing on Friday 6 October.
Attached is a TPP flyer to share with nurse peers and networks. Eager nurses can learn more about the program on the TPP website and can APPLY TODAY.
There is new guidance from Services Australia regarding the assignment of benefit and signature requirements for telehealth services. The changes that have been made provide guidance for health professionals to fulfill the legal requirements under the Health Insurance Act 1973 to obtain and record a patient’s verbal agreement to assign their Medicare benefit for bulk billing purposes. Visit the Services Australia website for more information or read the frequently asked questions.
The first stage of nearly 100 PBS medicines becoming available through 60-day prescriptions has started. Health care professionals able to prescribe PBS medicines can now decide if patients with ongoing health conditions, who are on stable treatment programs, should get 60-day prescriptions.
More information about 60-day prescriptions of PBS medicines is available on the Health website, or you can download the 60-day prescriptions Information Kit for prescribers.
Lung Foundation Australia are pleased to share information regarding their new support services for people living with silicosis, their carers and family. They understand a silicosis diagnosis can be overwhelming and often isolating. Through these free and confidential services, they aim to help people feel informed, supported, and connected.
Please see below information about these three services:
To access these services, click the links above or call the Information and Support Centre on 1800 654 301 (option 3).
GP’s in South Perth, Melville & Canning are encouraged to support a new pilot offering free screening for type 1 diabetes, for children aged 2, 6 or 10 years old. Until November 2023, eligible children will be offered free screening by a finger prick dried bloodspot test which is used to detect the presence of islet autoantibodies (early markers of type 1 diabetes).
Over 6,000 children have registered for their free screening kit via the Type 1 Diabetes National Screening Pilot. The test kit can be ordered online and done at home or they may ask their local GP for support and assistance to collect the finger prick blood test. GP Practices can also register to offer on-the-spot registration and screening to eligible families. Reimbursement is provided for all activities.
Screening for type 1 diabetes can identify very early signs of the condition, before children start developing any symptoms. Since 90 per cent of those diagnosed have no family history of type 1 diabetes it is important that all children are screened.
Parents of eligible infants are encouraged to take this opportunity to determine if their infant is at risk of developing type 1 diabetes in childhood.
This is a national study, funded by JDRF and led by a research team at the University of Sydney, aimed at finding the best way to screen children for type 1 diabetes before they develop any symptoms. It is our overarching vision that in the future all children will be routinely screened for type 1 diabetes as part of a national program.
More information about the Pilot (including eligible suburbs) and type 1 diabetes is available via our website. Alternatively, you can call our helpline and speak with our Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Genetic Counsellor and Researchers.
If you have any questions about the screening pilot, please email info@KidsDiabetesScreen.com.au
The Persistent Pain Program (PPP) is funded by WAPHA and delivered in the Rockingham area by 360 Health + Community where we recognise that chronic pain is not merely a physical ailment but a complex issue requiring a multidisciplinary solution.
360 Health’s Persistent Pain Program acknowledges that effective chronic pain management extends beyond medical interventions. Instead, it combines medical care with essential elements such as community support, education, lifestyle modifications, mental health services, and community engagement. By doing so, it equips individuals dealing with chronic pain with the comprehensive tools they need to lead fulfilling lives despite their condition.
Chronic pain often comes hand in hand with co-morbidities, intensifying the experience of pain and complicating treatment. This is where holistic and collaborative care steps in as a necessity.
360 Health + Community’s highly skilled practitioners include dieticians, exercise physiologists, credentialed diabetes educators, pharmacists, and psychologists. These experts pool their knowledge and experience, offering group and individual services funded through the Persistent Pain Program where clients gain valuable insights and strategies to self-manage their condition over the course of 12 months, all at no cost.
At 360 Health + Community, we believe that we can alleviate suffering and promote a higher quality of life for those living with chronic pain.
To refer your Rockingham patients to PPP, please call us on 1300 706 922 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To streamline care closer to home and ultimately improve patient access, the joint South and East Rheumatology service will transition to independent services delivered by South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) at Fiona Stanley and Rockingham Hospitals and East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) at Royal Perth and Armadale Hospitals. The existing suite of Outpatient Rheumatology Services will be provided at both SMHS and EMHS except for the Giant Cell Arteritis Specialist clinic which will continue to be provided at Royal Perth Hospital.
1. For continuity of service, rheumatology patients who have already been seen at or have an appointment already booked at a hospital will continue to access care at that site. Over time, rheumatology patients who would prefer to move their care to a site which is closer to home will be given the option of transfer to the other site.
2. Patients residing in a different catchment from the hospital which accepted the original rheumatology referral who have neither been seen nor allocated an appointment will be contacted to confirm they still need an appointment and that if so, informed their referral will be reallocated to a hospital closer to their home, and placed on the waiting list based on their original referral date. Patients will be asked to confirm they still require a rheumatology appointment and raise any concerns to their referral transfer. Sites will consider retaining patients with extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis e.g. high volume of appointments for multiple specialties at a particular site. If there is no response to the letter within 6 weeks, the referral will be closed, and both the patient and their GP will be notified as per current WA Health procedure.
For patients whose rheumatology referral is allocated to a new site, the patient’s nominated GP will be notified.
A phone number will be provided in letters for patients or GPs who have any concerns regarding these transitional arrangements to make contact.
Going forward, Rheumatology referrals sent to CRS will be allocated to sites based on catchment and service capabilities.
Due to the ongoing success of the redirection of North Metropolitan Health Service referrals to East Metropolitan Health Service for specific endoscopy procedures, the agreement between the two Health Service Providers has been extended until 31 December 2023.
This extension will assist NMHS in managing the high demand for endoscopy procedures within its catchment and improve access times.
It will continue to include referrals for Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, Diagnostic Gastroscopy, Diagnostic Colonoscopy, and both Diagnostic Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy. These cases will be redirected to either Kalamunda or Armadale Hospital.
The diversion will also continue to apply for patients residing in the NMHS postcodes 6005, 6006, 6007, 6008, 6016, 6017, 6050, 6059, 6060, 6061, 6062, 6066, and 6090.
Referrals should continue to be sent via the Central Referral Service, using the “Referring to Direct Access Endoscopy Services” referral form.
Research & Surveys
As the obesity rate continues to rise, there is a pressing need for innovative approaches to address this issue. One such approach gaining traction is meal timing, with increasing evidence and visibility, yet its acceptance remains uncertain. The University of Western Australia - UWA Human Research Ethics Committee are conducting research to explore primary care practitioners' perspectives on weight management and meal timing approaches, including time-restricted eating, and their utilisation in clinical practice. Their research method employs a mixed-method approach, including a 20-question survey and inquiries about your practice characteristics.
Additionally, participants have the opportunity to participate in focus groups or interviews lasting approximately 60 minutes. If you are a primary care practitioner providing advice to overweight patients, your insights are invaluable. Your participation can help shape effective obesity control strategies.
This study has received approval from the UWA Human Research Ethics Committee (No. 2021/ET000993). To contribute, please complete the brief questionnaire (approximately 10 minutes) through this link here.
View the flyer here for more information or if you have any questions or need further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact our research team at email@example.com
Emerging Minds is inviting health and social services workers to complete the 2023 National Workforce Survey for Child, Parent and Family Mental Health.
The survey captures current capabilities, practice challenges and learning needs for a broad range of workers in understanding and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and families.
Education & Events
An interactive Virtual Roadshow bringing a tailored approach of Cardiovascular Risk Reduction from the Heart Foundation in collaboration with WAPHA.
This interactive, live Virtual Workshop will bring together a specialist presentation followed by breakout groups and completed with live audience Panel Q & A with the following objectives:
In a world of ever-evolving challenges, it's crucial to embrace innovative solutions and prioritise the well-being of individuals and communities. Our conference theme, "Looking Beyond," will delve into the realms of People, Resilience, and Innovation, exploring new pathways to enhance mental health services and support in rural and remote areas.
To register and secure your spot, visit our conference website
For any inquiries or assistance, please contact us at RRMHC@ruralhealthwest.com.au or 08 6389 4500.
Hosted by Rural Health West, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health Council of WA and the WA Child Ear Health Strategy, the Forum will showcase current regional ear health initiatives, technologies and research in ear and hearing health through interactive discussions and practical upskilling opportunities.
Multidisciplinary health professionals with clinical roles or providers with a strong interest in ear and hearing health are invited to attend the Forum.
For further information or to register please visit WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum 2023 webpage.
We are excited to welcome health professionals from across rural WA to Walyalup, Fremantle on the 18 and 19 November for the 2023 Aboriginal Health Conference. The 2023 conference theme is Dedication: The Story of our Elders and will provide opportunity to learn from those who came before us, hear their stories, reflect on how we can move through the challenges faced by so many, and find a way forward together.
More information, including details on the travel support available for delegates and their families, can be found on the Aboriginal Health Conference website
The new antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s have been described as game changers, but are they really?
Watch this exclusive webinar where Dr Norman Swan and panellists Prof Leon Flicker, Prof Amy Brodtmann
and Dr Simon Torvaldsen discuss the latest advances in Alzheimer’s treatment. This session explores what
else is on the horizon, what other interventions should still be used and how the focus on intervention has shifted to early dementia.
View the recording here
Immunisation for Health and Life – Inaugural Primary Care Infectious Disease Meeting
Presented by Immunisation Coalition
Saturday 7 October