Practice Connect #42

Welcome to Practice Connect, a fortnightly update for practice managers, nurses and practice administration staff on relevant issues, upcoming events and education.

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Immunisation update 

Measles alert 

The following advice has been provided via Virus Watch dated 25 March 2018:

Four unrelated overseas acquired cases have now been notified in WA residents during March 2018 (two infected in Bali, one in Malaysia and the other most likely in Thailand or Malaysia).

Other people could potentially have been exposed to these cases at health-care facilities (including Bentley, Royal Perth and Joondalup Hospitals, GP surgeries, and pharmacies) and other sites around Perth. Secondary cases might present up until around mid-April. Moreover, there may be an ongoing increased risk of measles infection in Bali at present. It is recommended that measles vaccine be considered for people travelling overseas who were born after 1965 and who do not have documentation of having had two doses of measles vaccine.

To subscribe for virus alerts, or view current and archived issues of Virus Watch, please visit here.

2018 WA Influenza Program launch 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released their influenza advice for the 2018 season.

The full statement is available here.

In addition, a letter from the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) has been distributed to immunisation service providers dated 29 March 2018 with specific program information and advice for optimal timing of vaccination delivery.

This season:

  • WA providers are encouraged recommend influenza vaccination during May and early June 2018. Providers may choose to vaccinate earlier, however it is never too late to vaccinate and providers should continue to offer vaccination as long as the influenza virus is circulating;
  • Eligibility for Government funded influenza vaccines in WA in 2018 is unchanged from 2017;
  • Two high immunogenicity trivalent influenza vaccines are available for individuals aged ≥65 years; and
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals aged 6 months and older are eligible to receive government funded influenza vaccine. 
  • CDCD will advise vaccine providers via fax and email when vaccine ordering is available, which is expected in mid-April.
A reminder also that all influenza vaccines should be recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register. 

This information has been provided by the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) via Vaccine Update 193.

The Commonwealth has released a suite of fact sheets and resources to support providers for the 2018 Influenza program. Please visit here.


Shortage of private Menveo supply 

The WA Department of Health (WA Health) has been advised that the supplier of Menveo, GlaxoSmithKline, will not be able to provide any more Menveo brand MenACWY vaccine for private market purchase throughout Australia until at least the beginning of 2019. There is presently only a small amount of private stock of Menveo available in WA through local pharmaceutical distributors.

The State-funded MenACWY programs, which are for children 12 months to <5 years, and for year 10 students, are not affected by this vaccine shortage. WA Health has enough stock for these programs.

While there is a shortage of Menveo vaccine, WA Health is able to assist children who have started but not completed a MenACWY vaccination course. In cases where the vaccine cannot be obtained privately, WA Health can supply Menveo for children aged under 12 months to finish a vaccination course that has already been started.

Please see further information below: 

  • There is no State or Commonwealth government funded program in WA to provide MenACWY vaccination to children aged less than 12 months of age.
  • The Menveo brand of MenACWY vaccine is the only brand registered in Australia for use in children less than 12 months of age.
  • In WA, if infants aged less than 12 months have already commenced, but not completed, a course of privately funded vaccination with Menveo, parents should contact their immunisation provider to receive the next vaccination.
  • While WA Health has stock, immunisation providers who wish to provide Menveo for children aged under 12 months to finish a vaccination course that has already been started will be able to order Menveo vaccine through the WA Health online ordering website for these children. An email will be sent to immunisation providers next week to explain the ordering process.
  • WA Health does not have enough Menveo to supply to infants aged under 12 months who have not already started a course of vaccination. If Menveo cannot be obtained privately, these children will be able to receive a free government funded MenACWY vaccination when they turn 12 months of age.


My Health Record update 

My Health Record Consumer awareness campaign 

To ensure your patients are informed about the benefits of My Health Record and the ability to opt-out, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) will supply informational materials to all general practices in WA.

The materials will be delivered in the lead up to the public awareness campaign which will take place during the second half of 2018. It will be coordinated by the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), in conjunction with the ADHA.

WAPHA is also collaborating with peak bodies and service providers in allied health and other specialties to train healthcare providers and deliver information to ensure they are ready for the My Health Record expansion.

My Health Record webinars and workshop for pharmacies 

Pharmacies play an important part in ensuring a patient’s My Health Record is up to date by uploading information on medicines dispended.

On Wednesday 11 April, The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia will launch the My Health Record Guidelines for Pharmacists in a live stream webinar from 9.30am WST. Watch it here.

On Monday 23 April, the Australian Digital Health Agency will be holding a national ‘My Health Record in Pharmacy’ accredited webinar for pharmacists at 4.30pm AEST. This will be presented by Shane Jackson, National President of PSA. Register here.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is running a free time training event in Bunbury for community pharmacists on Tuesday, 17 April. This activity, which is part of a state-wide drive to get as many pharmacies in WA using the My Health Record System, is accredited for up to 2 hours of Group 2 CPD and is suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan.

We are currently reaching out to pharmacies in the Bunbury area and would appreciate your support in letting your local community pharmacy know about this free workshop.

For more information, please visit here


HealthPathways update 

HealthPathways have now published 372 pathways. The most recently published pathways are: 

HealthPathways Gynaecology Working Group 2018 

Last week the HealthPathways team ran their first working group for the year. The event focused on the Gynaecology pathways and was highly successful. 11 general practitioners were in attendance including Gynaecologist, Dr Bernadette McElhinney from King Edward Memorial Hospital.

The working group enabled a frank discussion between GPs and specialists regarding the current issues faced by clinicians in managing and referring patients. The outcome of the working group was identification of practical solutions to improve the communication between primary and tertiary services, ways to increase the capacity of primary care to reduce waiting lists and the role HealthPathways can play in supporting comprehensive primary care for gynaecology conditions.

The feedback from GPs was outstanding, with many commenting it had improved their skills and provided an opportunity to discuss the issues they were experiencing with other colleagues and specialists.

HealthPathways are currently recruiting GPs for the following working groups scheduled for 2018 – dates will depend on availability of selected panel members:

  • Nephrology - May 2018
  • Rheumatology - May 2018 
  • Pregnancy - October 2018 
  • Breastfeeding - October 2018 
  • Urology - October 2018

In recognition of a GPs contribution and time taken away from usual practice, remuneration will be offered. Please see the HealthPathways Working Groups flyer for further information:


NPS MedicineWise update

Starting, stepping down and stopping medicines ​

Knowing when and how to step down or stop medicines safely and effectively is a key quality use of medicines (QUM) consideration. 

This educational visiting program uses proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), as one of the most commonly-prescribed, familiar medicines in general practice, to illustrate in detail what to consider at initiation, when to review, and when it’s appropriate to step down or stop.

Education visits are available as:

  • One-on-one tailored dicussions for GPs (30 minutes).
  • Small group meetings for up to 10 health professionals - GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists (one hour).

This activity is accredited for 2 Category Two points in the RACGP QI&CPD Program for the 2017 – 2019 triennium.

For further information, or to book an NPS MedicineWise Educational Visit, go to the NPS MedicineWise website or contact Nicole Humphry at WAPHA on (08) 6272 4921 or


New home test kit for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program  ​

A number of new Program resources are available on the NBCSP website. Broad utilisation of these resources will support consistent messaging for consumers and health professionals and reduce duplication of effort. The resources include:

If you would like to order more demonstration kits or have any questions please contact

Education and training 

Visit our Webinars & Workshops page at for more events in your area.


Benchmarque Education Sessions - 2 to 31 May 

The Benchmarque Group will be running a series of FREE education sessions in May which include Foot Health Assessment, Otitis Media Management, Chronic Disease Support and Nutrition Support.

Cost: Free. Registration essential – please view link for more information on each course.

Event Date Venue Time Register
Foot Health Assessment 2 May 2018 Waterhall Meeting Room, 9 Waterhall Road, South Guildford 6055 8.45am – 4.30pm
Otitis Media Management 9 May 2018 Currambine Community Centre, 64 Delamere Avenue, Currambine 6028 8.45am – 4.30pm
Chronic Disease Support 10 May 2018 Tuart Hill Community Centre, 164 Cape Street, Tuart Hill 6060 8.45am – 4.30pm
Nutrition Support 16 May 2018 Heathcote Cultural Precinct, 53/60 Duncraig Road, Perth 6153 8.45am – 4.30pm
Otitis Media Management 17 May 2018 Centenary Park Community Centre, 105 Daly Street, Belmont 6104 8.45am – 4.30pm
Chronic Disease Support Program 22 May 2018 Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, Secret Harbour Blvd, Secret Harbour 6173 8.45am – 4.30pm
Nutrition Support 23 May 2018 Fyre Park Pavillion, Main Hall, Clifton Street, Kelmscott 6111 8.45am – 4.30pm
Foot Health Assessment 31 May 2018 Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, Secret Harbour Blvd, Secret Harbour 6173 8.45am – 4.30pm


APNA National Conference: Nurseforce for the Future - 10 to 12 May 

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) will be holding their 10th annual conference, Nurseforce for the Future in Brisbane this May. The event has been developed by nurses for nurses. It promises to deliver invaluable education, over 20 hours of CPD, opportunities to share ideas and connect with peers and experts from across Australia and support primary health care provision in Australia. For more information, visit here

Date:               Thursday, 10 May – Saturday, 12 May 2018
Time:               9.00am – 5.00pm     
Venue:            Mantra South Bank, Brisbane 4101
Cost:                $749 for APNA members; $949 for non-members  
Register:        To register, please visit the following website.     


Perth Paediatrics Educational Meeting - 12 May 

Perth Paediatrics will be holding this event which includes speakers such as Dr Darshan Kothari (Paediatric and Fetal Cardiologist), Dr Parshotam Gera (Neonatal & General Paediatric Surgeon) and Dr Uma Ganti (Paediatric Endocrinologist). GPs can record unlimited numbers of Category 2 self-directed activities at the rate of two points per hour. For more information, see flyer here

Date:               Saturday, 12 May 2018
Time:               9.00am – 4.00pm     
Venue:            The Quality Hotel Lighthouse, 2 Marlston Drive, Bunbury WA 6230
Cost:                Free
Register:       To register, please RSVP Dee Soldat at      



Course in Ear and Hearing Health - 15 May 

The Benchmarque Group course in Ear and Hearing Health by aims to provide eligible students with specific skills and knowledge to perform ear health examinations and provide basic point of care hearing evaluations. Specialist skills include point of care hearing assessment, otoscopy and wax removal.

Date:               Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Time:               8.45am – 4.30pm
Venue:            VisAbility WA, The Perron Centre, 61 Kitchener Avenue, Victoria Park WA
Cost:                $475
Register:       To register, please visit the following website.         


Course in Wound Closure and Suturing - 17 to 18 May 

The Course in Wound Closure and Suturing by The Benchmarque Group is designed to develop the knowledge and skills required for nurses, general practitioners and relevant allied healthcare workers to safely assess the need for and to perform wound closure in a variety of settings.

Date:               Thursday, 17 May – Friday, 18 May 2018
Time:               8.45am – 4.30pm
Venue:            VisAbility WA, The Perron Centre, 61 Kitchener Avenue, Victoria Park WA
Cost:                $1245
Register:       To register, please visit the following website.         


Wound Management update - 21 to 22 May 

This comprehensive two-day course by the Australian College of Nursing is designed for registered and enrolled nurses who are engaged in providing wound care to their patients or residents. The content is appropriate for the settings of acute care, community and general practice nursing, and aged care. This face to face course is conducted over two days and is equivalent to 14 CPD hours.

Date:               Monday, 21 May – Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Time:               8.45am – 5.00pm  
Venue:            TBA
Cost:                $387 for ACN members; $430 for non-members  
Register:       To register, please visit the following website.                 


You had me at hello: Gold standards at the front desk - 24 or 26 May 

The Australian Association of Practice Management will be hosting this workshop for reception/administration staff. Program summary includes Creating Credibility, Scheduling to keep clinicians and patients happy, and Privacy and Confidentiality: it’s a cultural thing.

Date Venue Time Fee Register
Thursday, 24 May 2018 State Tennis Centre, Victoria Park Drive, Burswood 5.50pm – 9.00pm (Registration 5.30pm) $140 for AAPM member
$240 for non-members
Saturday, 26 May 2018 Abbey Beach Resort, 595 Bussell Highway, Busselton 9.00am – 12.00pm (Registration 8.30am) $140 for AAPM member
$240 for non-members

This event attracts 15 CPD points for AAPM members, which will be automatically allocated post event. 


Health promotion events in April 

Is your practice looking for a health promotion activity for your practice?  Each edition we provide a list of upcoming health promotion activities for the coming months along with resources and contact details.

You can also view all health promotion activities for the year by visiting Practice Assist’s health calendar.

World Autism Month 

The eleventh annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2018. Joined by the international community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world, light blue in recognition of people living with autism. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and foster worldwide support.

For more information, please visit:

National Advance Care Planning Week: Plan for tomorrow - live for today 

National Advance Care Planning Week will run from the 16th to the 22nd of April 2018.

National Advance Care Planning Week is a new initiative, which coincides with international events to raise awareness of Advance Care Planning (ACP) and to encourage Australians to sit down with their friends, family/carer and or those close to them, to have a conversation and plan for their future health care and treatment preferences.

The WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, in collaboration with the Office of the Public Advocate and the Public Trustee will be hosting two information sessions at the WA Department of Health, Royal Street on the 18th and the 20th of April to help promote National Advance Care Planning Week and raise awareness about Advance Care Planning, Advance Health Directives, Enduring Powers of Guardianship/Attorney and Wills.

These two information sessions are available for all health professionals, including those working within primary, acute and aged care sectors.

The event details are as follows:

Date Venue Time RSVP Register
Wednesday, 18th April 2018 Theatrette, WA Department of Health
189 Royal Street, East Perth WA
Via Video Conference
1:00pm to 4:15pm Tuesday, 10th April 2018
Friday, 20th April 2018
9:30am to 12:45pm Tuesday, 10th April 2018

For more information on Advance Care Planning, please visit

Patient group education programs for Type 2 Diabetes 

Diabetes WA provide a range of group education sessions for patients living with Type Two diabetes, throughout regional Western Australia and metropolitan Perth.

The SMART programs are a range of short group education sessions designed to help better manage patient’s Type 2 diabetes.  Bookings are essential, and attendance at all of the SMART programs is free for NDSS Registrants and Diabetes WA members.

The group education calendar can be found at

Bookings can be made on line into programs using the interactive calendar, or by contacting Diabetes WA on telephone 1300 001 880.

Heart Week 2018 

Heart Week provides a unique opportunity for the Heart Foundation to shine a spotlight on a selected heart health issue and to raise general awareness of the Heart Foundation and its role in leading the fight against heart disease on Australia.

Heart Week 2018, Sunday 29 April to Saturday 5 May, will focus on physical activity in the context of both primary and secondary prevention by seeking to increase the number of GPs, practice nurses and health professionals who:

  • Recommend physical activity to patients to help reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease;
  • Promote the benefits of exercise in preventing heart disease and its risk factors; and
  • Promote the role of physical activity in slowing progress and helping prevent recurrent cardiac events.

For more information, visit or call 9388 3343.                                                     

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.