WA Primary Health Alliance recognises that WA’s general practices are experiencing business and financial pressures due to a range of issues, and that due to COVID-19, many have been quieter than usual.
For some, there is concern that patients may be neglecting their regular medical care or not attending for appointments that are necessary for screening, prescriptions or immunisations.
To help GPs and patients, WA Primary Health Alliance has launched See Your GP, a campaign to remind people of the importance of regular medical appointments and reassure them of the availability of safe, essential health care at this time.
How can you help?
Your general practice can assist in our campaign by sharing the social posts, videos and flyer available here on your communication channels such as social media, newsletters, SMS reminders, online booking page or website.
A reminder to all practices participating in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) incentive that quarter 4 commenced on 1 May 2020. To be eligible for this quarter, practices must undertake continuous quality improvement and share data with WAPHA at least once each quarter or hold a valid exemption from the Australian Department of Health. The PIP QI incentive has also increased for this quarter to support the provision of face-to-face care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Practices that open for face-to-face services for a minimum of four hours a day (or for part time practices, an average of 50% of their normal practice opening hours) will have their next PIP QI payment doubled.
If your practice is interested in participating in PIP QI, you can find further information about the program here.
If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the PIP FAQ page, or speak to your Primary Health Liaison or Comprehensive Primary Care Facilitator.
For practices that have access to the CAT Plus suite of data extraction tools, there are new recipes available to help you to identify patients at risk of COVID-19. This can help your practice to understand how many of your patients are at greater risk of COVID-19 and can help you to provide more targeted support to these patients.
This fortnight, we are featuring the recipe to identify Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients with two or more chronic diseases. This recipe will enable you to create a list of patients that identify a Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander who have two or more chronic conditions. You can then use this list to recall patients for routine chronic disease care, a free flu vaccination, or to advise that telehealth appointments are available. To help ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with chronic disease continue to receive the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a number of temporary telehealth and phone MBS items available for GPs, practice nurses and allied health for Aboriginal health and chronic disease management. More information on these items is available here.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that practices continue to ask patients if they identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander because they are at most risk of COVID-19. The WA Department of Health provides information about identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. On the Practice Assist COVID-19 Resources page, you will find a range of helpful resources including a GP Factsheet and Checklist to support the care of your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients during COVID-19.
All of the recipes available from PenCS, including the COVID-19 recipes, are available on the PenCS website.
If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact our Practice Assist helpdesk on 1800 227 747 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or your Primary Health Liaison or CPC Facilitator.
In recognition that general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across the nation have been impacted by COVID-19, the Department of Health and Services Australia have undertaken work to implement a number of temporary measures under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) to help ensure business continuity.
These measures are designed to make it easier for practices to continue to manage the impact of COVID-19 and to continue providing quality care to their communities.
For further information please review the PIP and WIP – updated COVID-19 Business Continuity Arrangements from the Department of Health, and for further resources and frequently asked questions please visit the Practice Assist: COVID-19 Practice Management webpage.
WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and the WA Faculty of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) have represented WA GPs in discussions with WA Health and the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) to address the issues experienced by general practices in acquiring and maintaining sufficient supply of the 2020 influenza vaccine for patients aged 65 years or over.
Following concerns raised by practices with WAPHA and the RACGP as to the inability to acquire adequate vaccine supply, WAPHA comprehensively surveyed general practices across the State to assess the situation. Overwhelmingly, the response was that practices are experiencing great difficulty in getting the stock they need to meet patient demand in the current (and unique) environment of COVID-19.
Significant progress has been made to ensure the current situation is well understood and systems put in place to improve current and future supply, including:
WAPHA and the RACGP WA strongly encourage you to download the full details of this important agreement here and share with your practice staff to ensure you can be confident of a timely and appropriate supply of vaccines for your patients.
WA’s third Commonwealth endorsed GP-led respiratory opened, at 1 Elderberry Circle, Halls Head, in a stand-alone facility which is operated by Modern Medical Clinics. Opening hours will vary depending upon demand between Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
The clinic will operate strictly by appointment only. People can book online at HotDoc and search for Halls Head Respiratory Clinic, or they can call the clinic on 9582 7638.
This will allow people with a mild illness suggestive of coronavirus, such as an upper respiratory tract infection, to be assessed and, if required, tested for COVID-19.
In addition to the new clinic, people can continue to visit one of the metropolitan based COVID clinics or request a referral for a test from their usual GP.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Metropolitan Child Development Service (CDS) is moving to the provision of telehealth appointments where appropriate. Some face to face appointments may still be offered. CDS continues to accept new referrals and will continue to provide all services.
They will continue to receive and process referrals as usual during this time. Information on how to make a referral to CDS can be found here.
The latest newsletter includes updates on:
Read the latest edition here, and or subscribe to future editions here.
WA Primary Health Alliance is supported by a governance structure of councils and committees as we look system-wide at gaps, identifying ways to improve important primary care services and encourage innovation in the delivery of care.
The councils and committees have a core purpose to support health care integration, strengthen collaboration and increase transparency. They assist us in progressing our key priorities and help us listen to local communities to understand who they are, their unique health needs, and the ways in which their world is changing.
Clinical Committees in each of the seven country regions, and Clinical Councils in metropolitan Perth, have membership from health professionals, allied health practitioners, medical administrators, hospital executives and clinicians from all areas of primary care.
Are you ready to use your knowledge, experience and networks to support healthcare integration in your region? Nominations will open this Friday 8 May and close 17:00 on 8 June 2020.
For further information please click on the ‘Nominate Here Button’
For mask requests, visit the Practice Assist website.
Please note, re-orders will not be accepted within five business days (Mon-Fri) of the previous request, except in exceptional circumstances.
Please send all general queries in relation to the National Medical Stockpile to
Electronic prescribing is when a prescriber generates a script electronically in their clinical system, and then securely transmits it to a prescription delivery service so it can be accessed by the pharmacist's dispensing system.
Although the basic technology and infrastructure for the process has existed for a few years, there was still a legal requirement (under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) for a hardcopy script to be printed, before the medicine could be supplied. This legislation was updated by the Australian Commonwealth government on 31 October 2019, paving the way for implementation of ePrescribing nationally.
To find out further information about how ePrescribing will work for your practice and set up requirements please visit the HealthVital IT website., or visit the ‘Electronic Prescribing – For Prescribers‘ Australian Digital Health Agency webpage.
In response to a recent increase in enquiries related to vaccinations during pregnancy, NCIRS has prepared a summary of the vaccination recommendations for pregnant women.
Pregnant women are strongly recommended to receive a single dose of pertussis vaccine and a single dose of influenza vaccine in each pregnancy, irrespective of the interval between pregnancies.
The FAQ is available here. Further information on the WA Influenza immunisation program can be found here on the WA Department of Health dedicated webpage.
COVID-19 telehealth pathway now available on HealthPathways
All events are listed on our Webinars and Workshops page.