Last week, WA Primary Health Alliance undertook a state-wide delivery of surgical masks, as provided by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of a national distribution to general practices and health workers.
To the best of our knowledge, we have contacted all WA general practices to confirm their delivery status, with the majority of deliveries now completed. If you were not contacted, please let us know via Practice Assist, whose details are included below.
The national shortage of masks meant we had to prioritise the initial distribution to practices in areas whose demographic makeup indicated a higher risk category. This included but was not limited to having a relatively high number of foreign nationals including students and tourists, having a relatively large Aboriginal population, proximity to a port or airport, or having a relatively high number of patients with existing respiratory conditions.
We await further advice from the Australian Government Department of Health as to the release of further surgical mask stocks.
Queries about mask distribution
For answers to some common questions, please read our FAQ.
For any other queries about mask distribution, please contact Practice Assist on 1800 227 747 (Monday – Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm) or email@example.com
WA Health advises this is a rapidly changing situation and updates will be provided as any new information becomes available. We strongly encourage you to check back regularly with either of the websites below to ensure the information you have is up to date.
Department of Health WA – regularly updated information from both Commonwealth and State health departments for health professionals on how to deal with patients whose symptoms and epidemiological history are suggestive of coronavirus and the use of personal protective equipment.
HealthPathways WA – regularly updated clinical information. If required, email firstname.lastname@example.org for log on details.
healthdirect – information on the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus, including symptoms, spread, rate of infection, diagnosis and treatment.
healthdirect Symptom Checker – guide to the appropriate healthcare action, also available on the HealthDirect app.
Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for people with questions regarding prevention and the spread of coronavirus.
healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse who can provide advice, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Practices that have been granted an exemption must commit to meeting the requirements of the exemption, as well as the ongoing requirements for eligibility for PIP QI. While these practices are required to develop, within the exemption period, a data sharing solution that complies with the PIP QI Guidelines and PIP Eligible Data Set Governance Framework. WAPHA is not yet positioned to receive these data sets as we have not yet received, from the Department of Health the technical specifications for the data sets.
For practices, this means that we cannot yet provide you with appropriate guidance around the extraction and submission of the PIP Eligible Data Set by means other than our preferred data extraction tool (PEN CS). Therefore, we ask that you do not send us patient or practice data until we are able to provide you with the guidelines and mechanisms to do so in a manner that meets your PIP QI eligibility requirements and, most importantly, ensures secure transmission of the data.
This reminder is not limited to practices sharing data for the purpose of PIP QI: we have, in the past, received a range of data from practices that has been submitted to us erroneously, or via methods that cannot be verified as secure. We ask that you do not send any patient or practice data to us other than via methods (such as PEN CS) that have been verified as fit for purpose and secure.
WAPHA will communicate with practices regarding the technical specifications as soon as these are made available to us.
On 1 February 2020, the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) transitioned to the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) - Practice Stream.
The General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) transitioned to the WIP - Doctor Stream on 1 January 2020.
The WIP provides targeted financial incentives to encourage doctors to deliver services in rural and remote areas. The WIP also provides financial incentives to support general practices to engage the services of nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners, and eligible allied health professionals.
More information on the eligibility for the WIP, the rural loadings that apply under the WIP and payment levels is available at www.health.gov.au/workforceincentiveprogram
The Treating Alcohol and other Drugs in Primary Care ‘TADPOLE’ team of WA drug and alcohol specialists have developed educational resources to enhance the skills of GPs looking after patients with common alcohol and other drug problems e.g. alcohol dependence, benzodiazepines and methamphetamine use.
TADPOLE would like to offer you the opportunity of having a small group education session in your practice. This is free and qualifies for RACGP CPD points. The facilitator (an addiction specialist or a GP with a special interest in addiction) will give a short presentation about alcohol or other drug topics of interest followed by 30 minutes to talk through case studies or any concerns you have about your patients.
TADPOLE will supply lunch/ snacks and accreditation for 2 RACGP CPD points in the 2020-2022 triennium.
For more information please click here to view the TADPOLE flyer.
A suite of adaptable letter templates is now available to assist healthcare providers with the delivery of recall and reminder systems for cervical screening and follow-up.
Please click here to access this resource.
The Australian Government recently produced a series of videos, developed to inform students about the vaccinations they receive through school-based vaccination programs. The videos are available for schools as an educational resource to be shown to students either on the day of, or prior to, vaccination. It is hoped the videos will allay any concerns of the students and outline the process for receiving each vaccine.
The videos are available on the Department of Health’s website as well as on Youtube (links below). Please feel free to use or share these videos as part of your immunisation programs.
Videos on Department of Health website
Australian Digital Health Agency and the Health Information Society of Australia are developing a Digital Health Capability Framework to support nurses and midwives in the digital workplace.
Nurses and midwives across Australia will be consulted on:
Consultation will include an online survey, webinars, face-to-face consultations and the ability to provide written submissions.
The WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP) is pleased to announce that scholarships are available for eligible nurses and midwives working in the private and publicly funded sectors who are committed to delivering cervical screening in their workplace.
The WACCPP will consider applicants’ requests for funding to cover costs associated with completion of clinical placements. This may include travel and accommodation, or the engagement of SHQ services necessary for the completion of clinical placements. The scholarship funding will be agreed with scholarship recipients on an individual basis, at the discretion of the WACCPP.
Applications for 2019-2020 are open now and will close June 2020.
For further information on this scholarship program and the application form please click here.
Health professionals with a Medicare provider number can now delegate their AIR access to another person, for example, a practice manager or practice nurse, to act on their behalf. This delegation is set up using the delegation’s function in Health Professionals Online Service (HPOS) and mirrors the process for Medicare access.
To become a delegate, an individual must have their own PRODA account and an RA number. Once set up, they can perform the same actions as the health professional:
You can find more information about AIR HPOS delegations by visiting the Services Australia website.
As of 18 January 2020, the AIR has changed how new vaccination providers access the AIR site. Authentication Files will no longer be issued, and providers need to use Provider Digital Access (PRODA) (which uses a username and password) to login.
During the registration process, new vaccination providers receive two welcome letters.
1. One letter contains the new AIR vaccination provider number
2. The second letter contains a unique AIR linking code which is required as part of the
PRODA registration process. This will link the account to Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS) which allows access to the AIR secure site. These letters are sent separately for security purposes and it’s important that providers keep these letters to enable reference to the provide number and linking code.
These changes only apply to new AIR vaccination providers. Existing vaccination providers using Authentication File to log on to the AIR site are encouraged to transition to PRODA now before the Authentication File method of access is ceased on 30 June 2020.
For instructions on how to register for a PRODA account and link it to the AIR, visit the Services Australia website.
Now well-established in Australia, the Optimal Care Pathway resources are a national standard of cancer care, designed to reduce inequalities, help all health professionals and people affected by cancer to navigate the healthcare system, and provide a framework to measure performance.
Developed in consultation with patients and carers, the Optimal Care Pathways are endorsed by Cancer Australia, the National Cancer Expert Reference Group (NCERG), the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), and all states and territories.
Cancer Council WA is pleased to share three Optimal Care Pathways to join the existing suite of national resources, now 19 different cancer types in total.
Developed to set the benchmark for consistent, high-quality cancer care for all Australian patients, the new editions include:
1. Cervical cancer
2. Sarcoma (bone and soft tissue)
3. Cancer of unknown primary (collaboration with Cancer Institute NSW)
HealthPathways WA has recently published the 550th pathway! HealthPathways WA covers the largest geographic area in Australia so this is a significant accomplishment. Since the launch in 2015, HealthPathways WA has evolved significantly, localising, reviewing and mapping services for general practitioners across the region.
Thank you to everyone who helped us to achieve such a milestone.
To access HealthPathways please contact your WAPHA Primary Health Liaison or email the HealthPathways team at email@example.com.
Newly localised pathways:
The HealthPathways team have now localised 550 pathways. The most recently localised pathway is:
In recognition of a GPs contribution and time taken away from usual practice, remuneration will be offered at $120 + GST per hour ($360 + GST in total) for which an invoice template will be provided on receipt of the pathway review feedback. Attendees will also be eligible for 6 CPD points through RACGP.
Visit the Project site to submit an expression of interest, and an invitation to participate in the working group will be sent to selected GPs.
Could you be missing important differences between diagnosing and managing asthma in preschool and school-age children, and how treatment of children's asthma differs from that of adults?
NPS MedicineWise are offering an accredited GP Educational Visit topic on Paediatric Asthma.
This educational visit provides clarity on the latest guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of paediatric asthma, including the differences between diagnosing and managing asthma in preschool and school-age children, and how treatment of children’s asthma differs from that of adults.
Discussion will also cover when regular preventer treatment is required and how to optimise different preventer options for the two age groups.
Educational visits are free and available as:
Please visit the NPS MedicineWise website to book a visit Paediatric asthma: breathing new life into diagnosis and management
Advance care planning is an important step in ensuring a person’s preferences and values are known at the end of their life. General practice has an opportunity to start these discussions with patients because trust has already been established.
WA Primary Health Alliance is working with Hammond Care to support Western Australian general practices to implement a team-based approach to initiating advance care planning and palliative care into everyday clinical practice. The Advance Project is a practical, evidence-based toolkit and training package, specifically designed to support general practices to deliver team-based care.
The Advance Care Project would like to invite you to hold an information session for all practice staff. The event will be held at your location and convenience, where possible. The session will take 1 hour depending on questions you may have. If this is something you would be interested in, please speak to your WA Primary Health Alliance Liaison or Coordinator, or alternatively please contact The Advance Project Lead directly: Roseanne.Adamson@wapha.org.au
Please click here to view The Advance Project flyer on these information sessions.
World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. It coincides with Hearing Awareness Week in Australia.
All events are listed on our Webinars and Workshops page.
Rural Health West Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Presented by Rural Health West