Practice Connect #48

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 

Changes to National Immunisation Program Schedule 

From 1 July 2018, the Commonwealth government is introducing changes to the National Immunisation Program (NIP). These changes involve pneumococcal, meningococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines in the childhood schedule. In addition, the maternal pertussis vaccine will be added to the NIP.

A synopsis of the changes is as follows:
  • The 3rd dose of pneumococcal vaccine (Prevenar13) currently given at 6 months will be moved to 12 months of age for most children. Aboriginal children and children at increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease will continute to get a 3rd pneumococcal vaccine dose at 6 months and will get an additional 4th dose at 12 months. 
  • Meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Nimenrix) will replace the dose of Meningococcal C/Hib vaccine (Menitorix) currently given at 12 months. 
  • Menitorix (Meningococcal C and Hib vaccine)will be given at 18 months in WA until further notice. Eventually Menitorix will be replaced by Act-HIB at 18 months. 
  • In addition, maternal pertussis (dTpa) vaccination for pregnant women has been listed on the NIP to guarantee its ongoing access and availability. This change has no impact on practice in WA as there has been a state funded program in place since 2015.
For further information, please view here.

Updated WA Immunisation Schedule 

Please use the updated WA Immunisation Schedule from 1 July onward.


Royal Perth Hospital GP Notify update 

GPs need to reregister ​

GP Notify is now functional but a system reset was required, which means that to receive GP notifications in future, GPs will need to reregister.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. GPs or practice staff can contact the GP Notify Coordinator by phone on 9224 2810, fax 9224 2860 or email to request re-registration for some or all of admission, discharge and/or death notifications. For more information, click here
  2. Wait until you receive a GP notification in the mail – this will trigger the next time one of your patients is admitted, discharged or dies at RPH – and complete and return the attached GP Notify Confirmation form. You may miss notifications in the period before your reregistration is received and processed.

Notifications between 5 May 2018 and the date your re-registration is processed will not be resent, however other forms of communication, eg discharge summaries, have continued as usual during this period.

RPH apologises for any inconvenience.



My Health Record update

Preparing for opt-out 

The My Health Record Expansion Program has reached its pivotal stage, with the opt-out period running from 16 July until 15 October 2018.

Consumer communication materials 

As healthcare providers are a known trusted source of information for patients, you can expect more patients will be asking questions about My Health Record.

All efforts are being made to ensure general practices are adequately resourced to provide patients with information about My Health Record, so they can make an informed choice, if they wish to opt-out.

This includes a national mail out of consumer communications packs of posters and brochures. In addition, those practices who subscribe to the Tonic Health Media network will have My Health Record videos playing in their waiting rooms.

If you practice does not receive a pack in the second week of July, runs out of materials, or requires translated brochures if your practice services a culturally linguistic diverse community, please contact

Aboriginal consumer communication packs

These will be distributed to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations during the first two weeks of July.


HealthPathways update

HealthPathways have now published 407 pathways. The most recently published pathways are:  To access HealtPathways please contact your WAPHA Primary Health Liaison or email the HealthPathways team at


HealthPathways CPD Events 

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital GP Education Event – 21 July

Presented by North Metropolitan Health Service and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA. Topics for this event include: Anorexia Nervosa, Emergency Presentation with Mental Health Issues, Somatisation, Low Back Pain and many more. 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 13 July 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



New MBS rebate structure for non-vocationally recognised general practitioners 

The Australian Government is introducing new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item fee arrangements for non-vocationally recognised general practitioners (non-VR GPs). The new arrangements will affect claims for services provided by these doctors from 1 July 2018.

The changes will ensure that MBS fees payable reflect recognised levels of expertise, reward and incentivise investment in postgraduate specialist qualifications, and encourage more doctors to work where they are needed most.

Non-VR GPs already participating on one of the Other Medical Practitioner (OMPs) Programs will be largely unaffected by the changes at this stage due to grandfathering arrangements. The OMPs programs will, however, be closed to new entrants in late 2018.

There are no changes to the MBS fees payable to specialist GPs or to registrars training on the Australian General Practice Training Program, the Remote Vocational Training Scheme or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Independent Pathway.

Outline of the changes

Information about the new fee arrangements is provided in the Q&A sheet here. The main changes are:

  • A new MBS item group (A7), which will sit alongside the existing A2 and A19 item groups.
  • New rebate differentials of 80% and 60% tied to item access eligibility.
The application of these changes to individual doctors will depend on their practice location, based on the Modified Monash (MM) classification system. 

Non-VR GPs practising in regional, rural and remote areas (MM2-7)

Non-VR GPs practising in locations with an MM2-7 classification will have access to all items in the new A7 item group, which are set at a standard 80% of the equivalent GP item. (Note that some of these items, such as Mental Health, require the practitioner to have undertaken specific training).

Non-VR GPs practising in major cities (MM1)

Non-VR GPs practising in locations with an MM1 classification will be restricted to the existing A2 items for standard GP services, and A19 items for attendances associated with Practice Incentive Payments. These A2 and A19 items will attract rebates at the current 60% of the VR rate. For all other services they will be able to access the relevant items in the new A item group with an 80% rebate.

Non-VR GPs registered on OMPs programs (MM1-7)

Non-VR GPs who are currently registered on one of the Other Medical Practitioner programs (AHOMPs, MOMPs, OMOMPs, ROMPs) will be able to continue to access the MBS items they are currently billing until 30 June 2023. In addition, for services that are not covered under the OMPs arrangements, these doctors will now be able to access the new non-VR items listed under A7.

Further information



National Cervical Screening Program update

Release Two ​

Release Two of the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) will be live and operational from 29 June 2018. This follow the successful migration of information in the state and territory cervical screening registers to the NCSR and integration of post 1 December cervical screening results to the participant records.

From 29 June 2018, the NCSR will be able to provide healthcare providers with their patients’ full cervical screening history regardless of which state or territory their test was performed in.

Up until now healthcare providers have been contacting state and territory registers for cervical screening histories pre 1 December 2017, and the NCSR for cervical screening histories post 1 December 2017. There will be no need to contact state or territory registers for patient screening records from 29 June 2018.

To access national cervical screening patient records, healthcare providers can contact the NCSR directly on 1800 627 701. For more information, view here.


Emergency Response Planning Tool 

The Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT) is a cloud-based tool which assists general practices to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from, the impacts of emergencies and pandemics.  The RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) require practices to have a contingency plan for adverse and unexpected events such as natural disasters, pandemic diseases or the sudden, unexpected absence of clinical staff (Criterion C3.3). The ERPT is one way that general practices can meet this Criterion.

The ERPT guides practices through a series of planning templates where critical information about the practice is entered and saved. The critical information entered in the ERPT is used to create an emergency response plan which is individually tailored to the practice, providing a roadmap to recovering from emergencies.

The ERPT is managed by Healthpoint ANZ and was developed in collaboration with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). 

How much does it cost?

The WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is funding a limited number of licenses for the first-year subscription of the ERPT. Licenses will be available on a first come, first served basis.

This offer will save general practices in WA $300 plus GST.

How do I access the tool?

Register your practice by accessing the following link and complete the registration details.

For more information, see our fact sheet on the ERPT, contact your Primary Health Liaison or Practice Assist on 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or email



RACGP Green book 3rd edition - now available 

The RACGP has just released the third edition of the Putting prevention into practice: guidelines for the implementation of prevention in the general practice setting (the Green book). It is available for download here.

GPs, general practice teams, and other health professionals are encouraged to refer to the new edition Green book which now includes signposted information for easy reference, and links to helpful resources for further reading.

The Green book continues to provide easy to follow and practical advice with successful real-life examples of implementing evidence-based preventive activities. The resource encourages and reflects a collaborative, whole-of-practice approach to prevention.



The John Flynn Placement Program is seeking new members 

Rural Health West is looking for doctors passionate about rural medicine to mentor John Flynn scholars and inspire them to consider the unique practice offered in rural WA. The JFPP is highly competitive and successfully scholars are highly motivated, dedicated and resourceful medical students.

Scholars are matched with a mentoring doctor who they visit for two weeks each year for the length of their degree, typically four placements of two weeks over a 3-4 year period. Placement dates are organised between the scholar and their mentor at mutually agreeable times; primarily during university breaks.

What mentors can expect from the experience?

  • The opportunity to share your knowledge and inspire a future rural doctor 
  • PDP and CPD points
  • Mentor honorarium $300 per placement week 
If you are interested in becoming involved in the program, please contact Laura Humphry on (08) 6389 4500 or by email  

For further information regarding the program visit or watch a short video available here

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!


Perth Metro Speed Discussions - 11 July 

Organised by the Australian Association of Practice Management. Come along with your pressing issues and assist others with your own experience for one on one discussions with colleagues. Hosted by Simone Dorevitch.

Date:                     Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Time:                    5.45pm – 7.30pm
Venue:                 Dome Café – Victoria Park, 293 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park WA 6100
Cost:                      Free (food and beverage at own cost)
Register:             To register, please visit here


Mandurah and surrounding areas networking - 17 July 

The WA Rural Networking Group is a group designed to provide an opportunity to connect like-minded Practice Managers from all disciples to learn from each other by sharing ideas and experiences, giving perspectives and brainstorming any current issues. Meetings are casual and held in a relaxed atmosphere where you can network with other practice managers. Attendees are encouraged to attend with a few topics they would like to discuss but it is not essential. This event provides a great opportunity to provide support, inspire and empower Practice Managers. Hosted by Raelene Tully.

Date:                    Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Time:                    6.30pm – 8.30pm
Venue:                 Sanctuary Golf Resort, 100 Old Coast Rd, Pelican Point WA 6230
Cost:                      Free (food and beverage at own cost)
Register:             To register, please visit here



Cranbrook BreastScreen WA mobile - 31 July to 3 August 

If you are a woman aged 40 or over you can access the FREE screening mammography service in Cranbrook. Breast cancer is the most common life-threatening cancer for women and having a screening mammogram (breast x-ray) every two years significantly increases the chance of a woman surviving breast cancer and reduces the amount of treatment required. For more information, please visit the BreastScreen WA website

Date:                Tuesday, 31 July – Friday, 3 August 
Time:                8.30am – 5.00pm 
Venue:            Cranbrook Shire Hall, Gathorne Street, Cranbrook WA 6321
Cost:                 Free
Register:        Book online or call 13 20 50



GP Education Webinar: Cancer Screening for Diverse Populations - 19 July 

This webinar will assist GPs working with these groups to implement communication strategies and utilise resources and support services which may assist in improving participation rates. Learning outcomes include identifying relevant resources and services specific to each diverse group that GPs can access and refer patients to and many more. This education activity has 2 Category Two QI&CPD points attached.

Date:                    Thursday, 19 July 2018
Time:                    6.30pm – 7.30pm   
Venue:                 Live via webcast  
Cost:                      Free 
Register:             To register, please visit here


Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital GP Education Event - 21 July 

Presented by North Metropolitan Health Service and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA. Topics for this event include: Anorexia Nervosa, Emergency Presentation with Mental Health Issues, Somatisation, Low Back Pain and many more. 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 13 July 2018. To register, please visit here



WAPNA Seminar - 28 July 

This seminar is about The Bulging Obesity Crisis: Current Management Trend and Neurological Disorders: Useful Information, Therapy Solutions and neuro-Rehabilitation. This seminar provides 4 hours towards your CPD requirements.

Date:                  Saturday, 28 July 2018
Time:                  11.30am – 5.00pm    
Venue:               International on the Water Hotel, 1 Epsom Avenue, Ascot WA 6984
Cost:                   $55 for members; $85 for non-members  
Register:          To register, please fill out this form and email by  20 July 2018.


General Practice Conference & Exhibition - 28 to 29 July 

Join us in Perth for Western Australia’s leading CPD event for primary care. New for 2018, the GPCE Perth conference program has been designed to arm delegates with the cross-disciplinary skills that make a real difference to everyday practice, across the full spectrum of primary care. Choose from a range of 3 Active Learning Modules (ALMs) and/or a range of 1 hour, Category 2 education sessions and masterclasses to give you the skills needed to manage the growing burden of chronic disease in general practice.

Date:                     Saturday, 28 July – Sunday, 29 July 2018
Time:                     8.00am – 5.00pm  
Venue:                 Crown Perth, Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood WA 6100
Cost:                     $563 for GP 1 day pass; $378 for Nurses 1 day pass; $244 for Practice Managers 1 day pass; Free – Exhibition Only  
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:


Advance Care Planning Seminar - 21 August 

Presented by Advance Care Planning Australia, Palliative Care Network WA and Cancer Council Western Australia, this Perth-based seminar will be run by recognised leaders in the field of advance care planning in Australia. The topics covered include advance care planning across sectors, legal considerations and implementation. The event is recommended for professionals leading and implementing advance care planning in health services, residential aged care and primary care.

Date:                Tuesday, 21 August 2018   
Time:                9.00am – 4.30pm     
Venue:             Bendat Parent and Community Centre, 36 Dodd Street, Wembley WA 6014
Cost:                 $150 for early birds; $195 for standard
Register:         To register, please visit here



New Fellows Conference - 1 September 

RACGP WA New Fellows Committee invites you to a 1-day retreat in the Swan Valley, focusing on foundation skills for business, clinical practice and your career. This event has been designed for early career GPs with up to five years’ post-fellowship experience, including those Fellowed in 2018. The conference combines education with collegiality and culture. Throughout the day there will be opportunities to experience local art and food, finishing off with a sundowner. This activity has 12 Category Two QI&CPD points attached.

Date:                Saturday, 1 September 2018  
Time:                9.00am – 5.00pm (then Sundowner till 7.00pm)    
Venue:             Mandoon Estate, 10 Harris Road, Caversham WA 6055
Cost:                 $150 for members; $187 for non-members
Register:         To register, please visit here


Health promotion events in July 

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.

Is your community ready to walk happy? 

Heart Foundation Walking is a free community walking network that work with organisations across the country to establish and support local walking groups and to promote walking as one of the best ways to be happy and healthy.

The program focuses on increasing physical activity levels to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve health and wellbeing. On top of it has demonstrated outcomes in improving mental health and social connectivity in the community. Practices are well known and connected in the community and this program compliments the services they already provide. It will also bring more people to their facilities if walks start and end at their practice.

Heart Foundation Walking provides:

  • Tools, resources, training and support, and risk management policies and procedures to Local Coordinators,
  • Resources, merchandise and incentives for walkers,
  • Media templates and opportunities for Practices.

The program is free and most importantly, sustainable with an excellent retention rate of 83% after six months.

We also have a Walking app for Solo Walkers, as part for the Prime Minister’s 1 Million Steps Challenge:

Join us to get Australia moving. Find out how to become a Heart Foundation Walking Host Organisation by visiting or calling 13 11 12.

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.