Practice Connect #183


16 November 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.



Feature - Antiobiotic Awareness


Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week 18-24 November

Preventing antimicrobial resistance together

Antimicrobial stewardship programs emerged in the late 1990s and were the earliest coordinated programs to steward the use of a specific class of high-risk medicines. Antimicrobial stewardship programs are now well established in Australian health care and promote the judicious use of antimicrobials to improve patient care while also reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections.

In hospital settings, these programs have been shown to reduce antimicrobial resistance by 34%, reduce mortality by 35% through adherence to treatment guidelines, and improve patient safety by avoiding drug-related adverse events. (Australian Prescriber: Medicines stewardship Aug 2023). 

Further information regarding the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA) surveillance System can be found here

Resources available


Quality Improvement Activities

Suggestions and QI Activities to Promote AMR Awareness:


Preventing antimicrobial resistance together (WA event)

Presented by RACGP
Wednesday 22 November (6:30pm to 8:30pm AWST) 
RACGP WA, 34 Harrogate Street, West Leederville 6007
CPD: 1.5 EA hours (plus optional back-in practice measuring outcome activity)

Antimicrobial resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections. The primary care sector has an important role to play in improving the safe and appropriate use of antimicrobials, reducing patient harm and the risk of antimicrobial resistance in Australia.

For World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week, RACGP invite you to join them for an
evening of conversations on preventing antimicrobial resistance in primary care.

Hear from Consultant Clinical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician Dr
Jonathan Chambers, and Paediatrician and Infectious Diseases Physician, Dr Daniel
Yeoh, as we discuss the contemporary use of antibiotics and the role of the GP in
reducing the risk of resistance, changing prescribing patterns and educating patients.

Register here


Immunisation & Cancer Screening


What to do if you find a Cold Chain Breach

A cold chain breach has occurred if vaccine storage temperatures have been outside the recommended range of 2°C to 8°C. It excludes fluctuations up to +12°C, lasting 15 minutes or less, which may occur when stock taking or restocking refrigerators. All excursions below 2°C are considered a cold chain breach and must be reported.

When a cold chain breach incident occurs follow the WA Cold Chain Breach protocol:

  • In the case of power outage, immediately put a sign on the refrigerator stating "Power outage. Do not use vaccines. Keep refrigerator door closed"
  • Immediately isolate the vaccines from use and label "Do not use". Store at 2°C to 8°C if possible
  • Do not use or discard any vaccines until you have discussed the breach with the public health unit who can provide advice on what to do with vaccines affected
Report the cold chain breach and obtain advice and further instructions:
  • For government‑funded vaccines, contact the regional immunisation coordinator (RIC) at your local public health unit and complete a Cold Chain Breach (CCB) and Vaccine Wastage Form. The RIC will also require a copy of your data logger report in table view showing 5 minutely temperatures from before the temperature went out of range through to after the temperature is restored to normal range
  • For privately purchased vaccines or other medications stored in the fridge, contact the manufacturer directly
  • Determine if anyone has received a compromised vaccine. If this has occurred, seek advice from the regional immunisation coordinator (RIC) at your local public health unit and report a vaccine administration error to the Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance system (WAVSS).
  • Take steps to minimise risk of further cold chain breaches

Further information



Promote self-collection during National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week

This year, the WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP) is implementing a campaign in November to coincide with National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week (13 – 19 November).

The campaign focuses on maximising the uptake of cervical screening by increasing the awareness, understanding and confidence in self-collection. With two options for cervical screening now available, this campaign is a strong reminder for women and people with a cervix to prioritise their health by booking their Cervical Screening Test. 


WA communications toolkit

Download the communications toolkit designed for you to use during November. Inside you will find:

  • A link to download high-resolution social media tiles and assets
  • Links to videos and animations
  • The recommended hashtag: #CervicalScreeningWA
  • Sample texts for e-newsletters and articles

Social media assets 

  • High resolution copies of social media assets (as well as Twitter and EDM versions).
  • Cervical screening frequently asked questions (PDF) to provide key information and support feedback for social media comments and questions.

Register an activity

We encourage you to host a cervical screening clinic or promote self-collection with some giveaways and print resources. Complete the registration form to get started.

Order resources and borrow equipment

The WACCPP offers resources specifically developed for WA women, including Aboriginal women. To order resources or borrow equipment for your National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week activity, please complete the resource order form and/or the equipment loan form.



Improving Immunisation for Aboriginal Children in General Practice

WA Primary Health Alliance, in collaboration with the Department of Health, have produced an informative Tips Sheet to help guide general practices to offer culturally safe and accessible immunisation for Aboriginal Children.

It asks practices to create a welcoming environment, provide catch ups for missed vaccinations, participate in cultural awareness training and offers suggestions on obtaining further information.
You can find the tips sheet on our Practice Assist website in the Aboriginal toolkit or simply click here.



NCIRS resource: Zoster vaccines – frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Shingrix replaced Zostavax on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) on 1 November 2023 and is now the preferred vaccine for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles).

It is the only funded zoster vaccine that is available for free for eligible groups under the NIP.

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has published a zoster vaccines FAQs page that includes key points and useful links.
Read more here



Shingles vaccination program resources

The Department of Health and Aged Care has released new shingles resources including a health professionals' kit, fact sheets for providers and consumers and resources for First Nations people.
Access the resources here.




Beyond Prostate Cancer: Management and Monitoring

Presented by Cancer Council of WA 
Tuesday, 21 November 2023 (7.00pm to 8.00pm AWST)

The General Practice Cancer Education Team from Cancer Council of WA are hosting Dr. Jeffrey Thavaseelan (Urologist) for this webinar event.

Dr Thavaseelan will discuss strategies that GPs can implement for managing bladder and sexual side effects that may occur after prostate cancer treatment.

He will delve into monitoring PSA for relapse, covering topics such as the recommended testing frequency and the criteria that warrant a referral to a specialist. 

For more information and to register click here



Webinar: Overseas Vaccinations and Catch ups

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance
Thursday 30 November (5:00 PM - 6:00 PM AWST)

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:

  • Overseas Vaccination records
  • Catch up plans
  • And encounter recording in AIR 

View the flyer here

Register here   


COVID Updates


COVID-19 Immunisation Recall and Reminder Grant for General Practice

The COVID-19 Immunisation Recall and Reminder grant activity is now underway. 

To be eligible for the grant payment we require two data sets – one at the beginning of the activity and one later at the end of the activity.

The activity will close on December 8. This is the last date you will be able to submit your second data set after the activity time. 

Your practices first data set is due NOW!
Please complete the survey to complete the data requirements as soon as possible.

We have the below resources to assist you with completing your data set.


If you have any questions or require further assistance please contact Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478 or 08 6278 7900) or email



Downloading a 42a report

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) has recently introduced a new Covid- 19 immunisation report e-learning module.

This module explains how to request, modify, view, customise and interpret the 42a report.
A simulation of the 42a report has also been released
Access the e-learning here


Practice Updates


Patient registration for MyMedicare is now open

Earlier this year, the Australian Government introduced MyMedicare – a voluntary new patient registration system that aims to formalise the relationship between patients, their general practice, general practitioner (GP) and primary care teams.
Now that patients can register in MyMedicare and select their preferred GP, health professionals who haven’t already done so are encouraged to register their general practice in MyMedicare to access the benefits.
When a general practice and their patients are both registered, additional government funding is available to the practice to support them to provide the care their patients need.
MyMedicare practices can access more information about regular patients, making it easier to tailor services to fit the patient’s needs. Registered practices can also access the new longer telehealth items linked to MyMedicare, including:

  • longer MBS-funded telephone calls (Levels C and D) with their usual general practice 
  • triple bulk billing incentive for longer MBS telehealth consultations (Levels C, D and E) for children under 16, pensioners, and concession card holders.

The Australian Government has introduced MyMedicare as part of an ongoing
commitment to strengthening Medicare for all Australians.

Where can I find more information?

For more information on registering your practice, visit the Services Australia Health Professional Education website.
A communication kit has been developed with a range of resources to support health professionals in having conversations with patients, including FAQs, factsheets, a brochure and posters. Download the communication kit here.
Find out more here.
Subscribe here for more updates on MyMedicare.



Better Health, Together - Urgent Care Clinics complementing general practice and supporting integration with local health services

Watch our latest Better Health, Together video, as Tim Koh, GP and practice owner at Ocean Keys Family Practice, shares his insights into establishing the Clarkson Urgent Care Clinic, and the role general practice can play in relieving pressure on hospital emergency departments through Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.

Learn more here



GPs benefit from Silverchain’s education event – ‘When Chronic Disease and Mental Illness Coexist’

Perth GPs and practice managers recently attended a free Silverchain GP education series event ‘When Chronic Disease and Mental Illness Coexist’.

The session included presentations by Dr Stefan Schutte, Head of Psychiatry, St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals; Dr Michael Christmass, Consultant Addiction Medicine, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Next Step Drug and Alcohol Services; and Jaclyn Geraghty, Program Manager, Primary Care and Chronic Disease at Silverchain.

Designed to provide attendees with ways to effect integrated care and improve the quality of patient outcomes, event attendees were able to self-log CPD hours.

The event also focused on referral pathways for the WAPHA funded Care Plan Support and Coordination Service.

This service, for adults living with long term health conditions who also have mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues, is available to patients seeing a GP within the City of Wanneroo.

Silverchain’s GP Liaison, Dr Siobhain Brennan, said that this service provided wrap-around support to help patients manage their health and wellbeing.

“Our service is designed to help high risk and vulnerable people to take pro-active steps to manage their conditions. In turn, our assistance helps free up valuable general practice time,” Dr Brennan said.

“Our Silverchain nurses work together with eligible patients, and their GP, as well as community health and social services to provide varying levels of care coordination and health coaching depending on the patient’s health care needs.

“We maintain regular contact with patients to check on their condition and can speak to family members on their behalf if requested.”

If you are a GP in the City of Wanneroo with patients who can benefit from this service, please email, or you may contact Dr Siobhan Brennan, GP Liaison on 0476 841 116, or Jaclyn Geraghty, Program Manager Primary Care & Chronic Disease on 0477 353 720.

For more information on the next Silverchain’s GP Education Service event, visit:

Left to right: Jaclyn Geraghty, Dr Stefan Schutte, Dr Michael Christmass


Building Nurse Capacity - improving patient outcomes

Are you a nurse working in primary health care with a big idea for improving the health and well-being of your patients but aren't sure where to start? APNA's Building Nurse Capacity Program is here to help! 


About the program

Building Nurse Capacity helps primary healthcare nurses develop their own nurse-delivered, team-based care models, also known as nurse clinics, from the ground up. Successful nurse clinics will receive 18 months of expert support from APNA and a $12,000 incentive payment, with the possibility of a 6-month extension for selected clinics.

Who can take part?  

The program is open to nurses working in primary health care anywhere in Australia. We especially encourage expressions of interest from nurses working in rural and remote communities and from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Nurse Practitioner workforces to apply.

Ready to apply?

You have until 5 January 2024 to complete an expression of interest form, with the program starting in April. To learn more about Building Nurse Capacity and complete the EOI form visit the website


Veterans to receive better access to a GP 

Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Matt Keogh, says the Albanese Government is committed to ensuring the veteran community is provided with the best possible services and supports. With increasing costs of living and rising costs for business, the veteran community has told us they are finding it harder to find GPs who will treat them without out of pocket costs. From 1 November 2023 it will be easier to access a GP for more than 276,000 Australian veterans. In line with the tripling of the bill billing incentive, the Albanese Government is investing $33.3 million to triple the Veteran Access Payment (VAP) for certain GP services. The VAP is an incentive payment GP's receive, in addition to the Medicare rebate, when treating veterans who hold a DVA Gold or White Card.

Learn more here


The Wandjoo Gateway (‘no wrong door’) program

The Wandjoo Gateway pilot will commence late January 2024 for youth accessing mental health services in the Peel region. The program seeks to provide support and advice for workers when referring and navigating young people (12-25 years) with mental health concerns. It embodies a no wrong door approach where every door is the right door for young people. The model works by ensuring that if the young person is not appropriate for a particular service, they are held by that service and helped to navigate the system to find the right service for their needs, with a warm handover once accepted.

The program is designed for any worker who may interface with young people in their usual activities such as teachers, youth workers and GPs. The pilot will run for six months and currently has six agencies confirmed to participate from different sectors.

As 34% of referrals to acute public mental health services for young people in the Peel region come from medical practitioners, we are seeking interest from local GPs to trial the approach. If you are interested in being involved or would like to find out more, please email:

The pilot is just one of the initiatives driven by the Peel Mental Health Taskforce (PMHT). The PMHT was established in 2021 as an avenue for interagency communication, collaboration and joint decision-making. For more information on the Taskforce please click here


Health Promotion


"Grow a Mo” for Men's Health

Movember awareness months is 1 to 30 November and is our time to unite.  Let’s change the face of Men’s Health

Whether you Grow, Move or Host there is something for everyone to support Men’s Health in conjunction with Movember.

Mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer – Movember is taking them all on. Globally, men die on average 5 years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can all take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

From humble beginnings in Australia in 2003, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over 6 million participants around the world.

Movember's success can largely be attributed to the strength of the global community. Regardless of the city in which participants live, they’re part of something bigger, united by a commitment to help change the face of men’s health.

Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men.

Movember is committed to keeping things fun, fresh and inspiring. So whether you choose to ‘Grow a Moustache’, ‘Move for November’, ‘Host a Mo-ment’ or even ‘Mo your own way’ there is something for everyone to support Movember.

Get together with your friends and family and support Movember to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives.

Your donation could help save a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a partner, a man’s life.

To sign up, register your event or find out more information visit the Movember Fundraising page.

If you would like to download a poster to display in your practice, or view the resources available, click here


Education & Events


Paid online GP training session – two workshops in one online session

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance
28 November (6.00pm to 8.00pm AWST) & 12 December (6.00pm to 8.00pm AWST)

WA Primary Health Alliance is providing GPs in WA with paid IAR-DST training covering two workshops in one online session.

GPs and GP registrars who attend the two workshops in the one online session will be remunerated $300 and CPD hours are available.

CPD hours and payment apply only upon successful completion of both workshops and the follow-uptraining outcome surveys.

Workshop One
Workshop One runs for 30 minutes and involves viewing a pre-recorded video.

The training topics will include:

  • Introduction to the IAR and the development of the IAR national guidance
  • Orientation to the domains, levels of care and the DST

Workshop Two
Workshop Two runs for 90 minutes and includes an interactive training session.

The training topics will include:

  • Application of the IAR in assessment and in take settings (practical group activity using vignettes)
  • Discussion and reflection from groups
  • Clinical judgement and supported decision making, care preferences and care type

Register for an online training session

View the flyer for more information


Family & Domestic Abuse - Lunch & Learn Series

Presented by RACGP
17 November (12.00pm to 1.00pm AEST) & 16 December (12.00pm to 1.00pm AEST)

The RACGP’s Lunch & Learn Series is a new knowledge-sharing network created to help frontline primary care professionals develop skills and confidence in responding to family violence.

You’ll be learning alongside other primary care professionals keen to make a difference to women and children.

Held on the 3rd Friday of every month from 12pm-1pm (AEST), Lunch and Learn provides an excellent opportunity to gain insights and support in managing family violence.
This is a complex area of practice and it’s vital that we learn from one another’s lived experience of trying to support those affected.

Each Lunch & Learn session involves:

  • Three panel members
  • A presentation on a different aspect of family violence
  • De-identified case presentations (submit your own case too)
  • Q&A / discussion time. 
Register here


Skin cancer diagnosis workshop

Presented by RACGP
2 December (8.30am to 4.30pm Technology Park Function Centre Bentley)

This workshop explores the diagnosis and treatment of the various types of skin cancer and information on histopathology report formats, terminology and the correlation of the dermatoscopic features of skin lesions and the corresponding histological findings.
Presented in partnership with Sonic, we'll cover:

  • diagnoses and appropriate management of the various types of BCC, SCC and Melanoma
  • pattern analysis to recognise malignancy
  • dermatoscopic analysis to identify the key features of non-melanoma and melanoma skin lesions
  • how to use clinical clues to diagnose melanoma

This advanced workshop does not include suturing.
Register now



Other Webinars, Events & Workshops

Aboriginal Health Conference 2023
Presented by Rural Health West
18 November & 19 November
Talking About Suicide in General Practice (Western Australian GPs only)
Presented by Black Dog Institute
21 November, 25 November & 30 November
IUD Training – online seminar
Presented by SHQ
23 November
Using Social and Emotional Wellbeing Tools with First Nations Peoples
Presented by Black Dog Institute
23 November
BreastScreen WA visit to Nannup
Presented by BreastScreen WA
24 November to 5 December
Integrating Digital Resources into Mental Health Care
Presented by Black Dog Institute
28 November
Short Mental Health Interventions: Recognising PTSD in Practice
Presented by Black Dog Institute
28 November
Supporting Children with Fussy Eating Behaviours
Presented by Karitane
30 November
BreastScreen WA visit to Kambalda West
Presented by BreastScreen WA
27 November to 4 December
National C the Whole Story Forum: Hepatitis C in Housing and Homelessness, Mental Health and AOD Settings
Presented by ASHM
30 November
2023 Awards and End of Year Celebration
Presented by RACGP
2 December
Skin cancer diagnosis workshop
Presented by RACGP
2 December
BreastScreen WA visit to Northam
Presented by BreastScreen WA
4 December to 9 February
BreastScreen WA visit to Norseman
Presented by BreastScreen WA
5 December to 7 December
AAPM Western Australia End of Yearh Breakfast Celebration
Presented byAAPM
8 December
WA Hepatitis B Prescriber Update
Presented by ASHM
13 February
National HIV s100 Peer Support and Case Discussion Session
Presented by ASHM
6 March

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.