Practice Connect #47

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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National Cervical Screening Program update 

Clarification of cervical cancer symptoms 

Some healthcare providers are using low thresholds to determine whether a participant show symptoms indicative of cervical cancer. Pathology laboratories are getting requests for co-tests for participants with symptoms that are usually not indicative of cervical cancer. This has led to over-referral of participants for co-tests and unnecessary follow-up, where a cervical screening test would have been appropriate, if due. In order to address this issue, a set of more specific symptoms suggestive of cervical cancer has been developed by the National Cervical Screening Program clinical advisors. 

When filling out a Pathology Test Request Form, healthcare providers are required to describe the symptoms in more detail to help pathology laboratories understand why a co-test is required. 

The following signs or symptoms can be suggestive of cervical cancer and require further investigation: 
  • Participants with abnormal vaginal bleeding (post-coital, unexplained inter-menstrual or any post-menopausal) should have a co-test, and usually will be referred for gynaecological assessment. 
  • Any participants with unexplained persistent unusual vaginal discharge (especially if offensive and/or blood stained) should be investigated with a co-test, and subsequent referral for gynaecological assessment. 
  • Any participant with unexplained persistent deep dyspareunia (pain during intercouse) should have a cervical screening test (if due), and subsequent referral for gynaecological assesment.
Participants with symptoms suggestive of cervical cancer are tested and managed on a different clinical pathway from those who are asymptomatic. Symptomatic participants require diagnostic testing not cervical screening. More information on the cervical cancer symptoms is available on the National Cervical Screening Program website here.



HealthPathways update 

HealthPathways publishes 400 pathways! 

The HealthPathways WA team recently published their 400th pathway. As the largest geographical HealthPathways region in Australia, this is a significant milestone for the team, who have now published over two-thirds of all HealthPathways WA content.

The HealthPathways WA team has grown and evolved significantly since publishing the first 100 pathways in 2015. There are now five GPs working as HealthPathways Clinical Editors in WA, localising and reviewing the content in consultationwith local specialists. The team also consists of several dedicated coordinators who map local services and ensure all information in the "Request" section is accurate and up-to-date. HealthPathways coordinators engage extensively with stakeholders across the health system and work to identify the issues affecting primary care delivery, including gaps in services. 

The most recently published pathways are: 
  • Headaches in Adults
  • Influenza Infection and Control
  • Alcohol and Drug Advice
  • Medicines Information Advice
  • Specialised Burns Advice
  • Specialised Burns Management Requests
  • Neurology Nursing Services
  • MND Specialist Clinics
To access HealthPathways please contact your WAPHA Primary Health Liaison or email the HealthPathways team at

HealthPathways CPD Events


GP Education Event: Mental Health - 23 June 

Presented by East Metropolitan Health Service and Armadale Kalamunda Group in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA. This education session will include topics such as Managing Substance Abuse Disorders, Psychopharmacology, Mood Disorders and many more. This activity has 40 Category One  QI&CPD points. 

Date:                    Saturday, 23 June 2018
Time:                    8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registration)
Venue:                 Armadale Health Service, 3056 Albany Hwy, Mount Nasura, WA 6112
Cost:                      Free 
Register:             RSVP by Friday 15 June 2018. To register, please visit here


GP Education Event: Chronic Disease - 21 July 

Presented by North Metropolitan Health Service and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA. Education session will focus on assessment, early detection and management in primary care with interactive case studies to promote connections between primary and specialist care. This activity has 40 Category One QI&CPD points. 

Date:                     Saturday, 21 July 2018
Time:                    8.30am – 3.30pm (8.00am – Registration)
Venue:                 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, G Block, Level 8 Joske Seminar Rooms, Blue Lifts Hospital Avenue, Nedlands 6009
Cost:                      Free 
Register:             RSVP by Friday 15 June 2018. To register, please visit here

The National HealthPathways Survey 

An expert research group from across WA, Australia and New Zealand has developed an online survey to gauge the uptake of HealthPathways (HPW), and the barriers and enablers to its use within Australia and New Zealand.

The study is the first national investigation into the update of HPW and could be vital in determining future policy development and implementation strategies pertaining to HPW.

If you are, or know of, a practicing health professional and would be interested in being a part of the study, please follow the link below to have your say.


The Curtin University Human Resource Ethics Office has approved the study. HREC approval number SPH-09-2014-05. For further information please contact Richard Varhol at



NPS MedicineWise update 

Management of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

People with type 2 diabetes who already have established cardiovascular disease are at particularly high risk of future cardiovascular events - highlighting the importance of optimizing their cardiovascular risk factor and diabetes management. 

NPS MedicineWise are hosting a small group meeting activity to discuss the prevention of cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease. 

Date:                  Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Time:                  7.30am – 8.30am  
Venue:                WAPHA Offices, Level 2, 2-7 Tanunda Drive, Rivervale
Cost:                    Free 
Presenter:        NPS MedicineWise CSS Saloni Shah (BPharm (Hons)), MPS, Accredited Consulting Pharmacist AACPA)

Information and resources covered as part of this small group meeting: 

  • An independant roundup of the latest evidence and guideline updates.
  • Discussion on the pharmacological options available for glucose management in an increasingly complex primary care environment. 
  • Data about how this high-risk patient group is being managed in primary care. 
  • Australian blood glucose treatment algorithm for type 2 diabetes and comparative drug table. 
To register, contact Nicole Humphry with your details via email or phone (08) 6272 4921.  


A GP and Allied Health Professional's guide to the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have recently released a guide for general practitioners and other health professionals which you can view here.  

Visit to find out where the NDIS is currently available and how the NDIS is rolling out in your State or Territory.


Bentley Hospital Maternity Services continuation and GP update breakfast 

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Mental Health, Hon. Roger Cook MLA recently announced that Bentley Hospital's Materniry Service will continue to remain operational for at least another five years. Read statement here. East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) will be hosting: 



GP Update Breakfast: Maternity Services at Bentley Hospital - 28 June

Date:                Thursday, 28 June 2018
Time:                7.00am – 9.00am
Venue:             A Block Training Room, Bentley Health Service, 31-59 Mills St, Bentley WA 6102
Cost:                  Free 
Register:         To register, please visit here

For more information, please email: 

Bentley Hospital now offers GPs the opportunity to share antenatal care for low risk patients. The team are happy to accept low risk antenates who live out of catchment for GP shared care, including country antenates who may have family in the Bentley area, and would like to deliver there. For further information, please visit here


Depression and Anxiety Care - Implementation of the Target D tool 

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) are looking for ten general practices which operate in the Primary Health Network South metro boundary to implement the Target D toolkit. 

Mental health care can be complex and time consuming. Target D is an approach in which patients complete an online assessment and receive a treatment recommendation matched to their predicted risk of future mental health problems. 

The Target D approach has been developed based upon 15 years of research and investigation, by the University of Melbourne. The approach seeks to enhance the capacity of general practice to meet the needs of the people that seek their care. 

For further information on the implementation of the Target D toolkit, please see this flyer



Guide to Medicare for Indigenous health services 

The Department of Human Services have released a guide to support better use of Medicare in Aboriginal Health which you can view here

In the Guide you will find information on Indigenous-specific Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services and initiatives. Identifying and using these MBS items in the right way can help Indigenous patients access the most appropriate Medicare services, including for preventive health and the management of chronic disease. This is especially important in making sure Indigenous Australians receive the health services they need and achieve better long-term health outcomes. 

Disclaimer update: 

Please note a description mistake for Item No. 16591 found on page 41 of the guide which states, 

"Planning and management of a pregnancy that has progressed beyond 20 weeks , where the patient will be transferred to another medical practitioner for labour and delivery." 

This has been updated to 28 weeks on MBS Online


Education and training

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

These events are often in high demand, so we recommend registering as soon as possible so you don’t miss out!


Hepatitis C in Primary Care and Drug and Alcohol Settings Education Program - 1 July 

This course is designed to strengthen the capacity of clinical staff working in drug and alcohol settings or working with people who inject drugs to effectively test for, treat and manage HCV. The course will be delivered in three parts: Online learning modules, interactive face-to-face workshop and resources and toolkits to enable confident prescribing of new Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) medications for HCV. This activity has 40 Category One QI&CPD points attached. 

Date:                     Sunday, 1 July 2018
Time:                     8.30am – 4.30pm  
Venue:                 Mangrove Hotel, 47 Carnarvon St, Broome WA 6725
Cost:                      Free
Register:             To register, please visit here


Less Common Cancers Series: Get your head around CNS tumours - 5 July 

Signs and symptoms of CNS Tumours can be vague and not always obvious when a patient presents to their GP. If you would like to increase your knowledge and confidence in diagnosis, management and ongoing care for survivors for CNS Tumours, join us for this informative education evening. With a focus on adults, Dr Anne Long, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Lead of the WA Clinical and Palliative Care Network (WACPCN) Neuro-oncology Tumour Collaborative on diagnosis, management and Anne King will discuss long-term health issues faced by CNS tumour survivors. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide feedback and have their questions answered by the speakers. This activity has 4 Category Two QI&CPD points. 

Date:                     Thursday, 5 July 2018
Time:                     6.30pm - 8.30pm (6.00pm - Registrations & refreshments)
Venue:                 The Bendat Parent & Community Centre, 36 Dodd Street, Wembley 6014
Cost:                      Free
Register:             To register, please visit here.



Aboriginal Health Conference – 7 to 8 July

This year’s conference will share ways medical and health practitioners can educate and empower their Aboriginal patients to take the reins of their own health. The impact of digital health and the role health technology can play in patient empowerment will also be explored by conference presenters. This conference will also provide the opportunity to share ideas, socialise with colleagues and create new connections whilst experiencing all that Perth has to offer.

Date:                     Saturday 7 July – Sunday 8 July 2018
Time:                     8.30am – 5.00pm 
Venue:                 14 Mill St, Parmelia Hilton Perth, WA 6000
Cost:                      Free
Register:             To register, please visit here



Free mammograms for Kojonup women - 18 to 30 July ​

If you are a woman aged 40 or over you can access the FREE screening mammography service in Kojonup. BreastScreen WA’s mobile service will be located at Kojonup District Hospital, Spring Street from 18 to 30 July 2018. For more information please visit the BreastScreen WA website

Date:               Wednesday, 18 July – Monday, 30 July 2018
Venue:            Kojonup District Hospital, Spring Street, WA 6395
Cost:                Free 
Register:        For an appointment book online or phone 13 20 50  



ECG MasterClass - 21 July 

This masterclass aims to empower participants to easily interpret common and relevant electrocardiogram (ECG) patterns along with some rarer syndromes. Presented by Professor Rukshen Weerasooriya (cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist). This activity has 6 Category Two QI&CPD points attached.

Date:                     Saturday, 21 July 2018
Time:                    1.00pm – 4.00pm (12.45pm – Registration)
Venue:                 J Robin Warren Library, UWA Health Campus, Building ZZ, 17 Monash Avenue, Nedlands 6009
Cost:                      $99 for RACGP members; $129 for non-members 
Register:             To register, please visit here



Data in General Practice GP Breakfast Forum - 24 July to 29 August ​

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is inviting more practices to share their de-identified patient data to help us commission the right kind of services where they are needed the most to support you and your patients. This breakfast forum, tailored specifically for GPs and Practice Principals, will discuss why we need general practice data, as well as addressing key concerns around privacy, security and more.

Places are limited, register now to reserve your seat!

Nedlands Hilarys Secret Harbour
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 Wednesday, 22 August 2018 Wednesday, 29 August 2018
7.00am – 8.30am
(registrations from 6.45am)
7.00am – 8.30am
(registrations from 6.45am)
7.00am – 8.30am
(registrations from 6.45am)
Matilda Bay Restaurant (Roe Room) Hillarys Yacht Club Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club
Register here:
Register here:
Register here:


Health promotion events in June 

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 activites for the year by visit Practice Assist's health calendar

Have a CHAT with your patients this winter 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations are the second leading cause of preventable hospitalisations in Australia. Research show that your patients with COPD are more likely to have an exacerbation (flare-up of symptoms) during the winter months.

‘Have the CHAT’ is Lung Foundation Australia’s COPD exacerbation campaign for primary care health professionals, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to keep their patients well and out of hospital during winter. It encourages them to complete a simple six step checklist for each patient with COPD here:

Now is also a great time to CHAT with your patients about the symptoms of an exacerbation including: 
  • Coughing more than usual 
  • Harder to breathe than usual 
  • Any change in sputum (phlegm) colour and/or volume
  • Tired more than usual (less advice).
Lung Foundation Australia has developed a suite of evidence-based resources to support health professionals in timely identification and management of COPD exacerbations. 

Find out more at or phone freecall 1800 654 301.

Patient group education promgrams for Type 2 Diabetes 

Diabetes WA provide a range of group education sessions for patients living with Type 2 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 online into programs using the interactive calendar, or by contacting Diabetes WA on telephone 1300 001 880.


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.