Six Commonwealth endorsed GP Respiratory Clinics are now active in WA, with the opening of two more clinics in Albany and Clarkson in the past week, adding to those already operating in Geraldton, Halls Head, Alexander Heights and High Wycombe.
The clinics are part of a national approach designed to limit the risk of vulnerable people encountering people who are positive to COVID-19 or seasonal influenza, and to protect the health workforce from infection.
While daily cases in WA have slowed, the clinics provide an alternative option to regular general practices or hospital emergency departments.
Patients visiting the respiratory clinic fit a narrow subset of the total number of patients who visit GPs.
They will see patients only by appointment and, with their permission, will share the results of their tests with their regular GP to ensure continuity and coordination of care.
If you have patients who you believe could be COVID-19 positive, or who present with acute respiratory symptoms that put you or other patients at risk of infection, you are welcome to refer such patients to the nearest GP Respiratory Clinic for testing.
The full list of clinics are available on the Practice Assist, Health Pathways or the Australian Government Department of Health website.
A serious shortage medicine substitution notice has been released for Metformin modified-release (also known as extended-release or XR) 500mg tablets.
Read the notice here.
Read more about Serious Shortage Medicine Substitution Notices here.
The GP Urgent Care Network Pilot has completed the first six months of the pilot phase. WA Primary Health Alliance ‘WAPHA’ would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all practices for their participation in the pilot project, particularly in line with the impact of COVID-19
This project is an important component of the State Government’s Putting Patients First Policy and will provide improved and integrated quality health care for patients in the close vicinity to where they live.
With the completion of MEDrefer into general practice, and the first wave of data uploading, submissions of data upload will be a monthly requirement for the life of the pilot. All pilot practices will receive an e-mail as a reminder to upload at the beginning of each month.
The WAPHA GP Urgent Care Team are working with the RACGP to develop relevant clinical webinars for the coming months for General Practitioners to attend. Further communications on these events will be coming out soon.
For all related queries to the GP Urgent Care Network Pilot, please contact Cheryl Bell, Project Officer by email at email@example.com or alternatively on 0429 126 925.
To help practices navigate through COVID-19 and beyond from a clinical, patient support and practice management perspective, the Practice Assist team has consolidated a number of useful resources into an online General Practice Information Pack on the Practice Assist website.
The pack, as part of Practice Assist’s dedicated COVID-19 section on our website, includes information and resources on topics ranging from:
We are always keen for feedback, so should your practice require additional resources please contact the Practice Assist Helpdesk on 1800 227 747 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On International Nurses Day, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released a key report based on Australian Practice Nurse Association data.
The report outlines the critical role primary health care nurses play in supporting general practice to provide patient centered care and improving health outcomes through ensuring continuity of care, which is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes the uptake of new Nursing MBS telehealth items available for telehealth and phone services, as part of the COVID-19 response.
Read A profile of primary health care nurses here.
WA Primary Health Alliance is offering FREE counselling support for all GPs and their practice staff across WA through the long established and experienced employee assistance program provider, AccessEAP.
To support WA general practice teams, navigate the COVID-19 response, and to help you deal with the pressures that arise professionally and personally, WA-based general practices can now access WA Primary Health Alliance’s General Practice Wellness Program.
General practice staff, as Members of WA Primary Health Alliance are offered three confidential counselling sessions free of charge.
More information is provided in the attached brochure.
You can use your sessions for a range of matters such as:
When you call to access the service, you must identify as a Member of WA Primary Health Alliance.
To book a phone or video counselling appointment, you can call AccessEAP anytime on 1800 818 728.
GPs and practice staff can also contact Practice Assist on 1800 227 747 with any questions about the program.
COVID-19 Maintaining Immunisation Services.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released Guiding principles for maintaining immunisation services during COVID-19.
WA Primary Health Alliance has also developed a Reference Guide to support practices with Influenza Vaccination during COVID-19.
WA Primary Health Alliance is supporting general practices as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many practices, and the teams who staff them, have had to change the way they operate to ensure quality care can be maintained.
Highland Medical is an example of how practices are adapting by offering patient care via drive through clinics and telehealth GP consultations, in preference to consultations inside the practice.
As a Health Care Homes practice, a model designed to support people with chronic conditions to better manage their health, this change is particularly important given Highland Medical’s patient profile is at greater risk of more serious illness, if they were to contract COVID-19.
To assist the team at Highland Medical as they work through these new challenges, WA Primary Health Alliance staff organised a virtual meeting to discuss how the practice could continue to provide ongoing support, where and how it was needed.
A key outcome of the meeting was to provide additional support for practice nurses to help them carry out care planning without a patient ‘in the room’.
Another great example of a general practice responding to patients’ needs is View Street Medical Centre in North Perth. The practice has instigated a number of infection control measures such as sneeze screens at reception, social distancing in waiting areas and a drive through influenza vaccination clinic which has been popular with their patients.
As part of the Government’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, critical work has been undertaken to ensure that all Australian’s can still access essential primary care services via telehealth during the pandemic.
The following information has been received in relation to the NBN Co’s latest complementary upgrade offers for telehealth providers:
For further information please contact the My Health Record Team by email on email@example.com.
AMA Medical Products are currently facilitating the purchase and distribution of PPE to out-of-hospital Western Australian health services.
You can view and order products here.
WA customers can use the discount code “AMAWA” to get 5% off their first order.
The Australian Digital Health Agency has advised that all public pathology laboratories in Western Australia are now connected to the My Health Record system, providing secure and convenient access to COVID-19 screening for patients and clinicians. Read the full announcement here.
The Australian Government is continuing to take action to help Australians whose mental health and wellbeing is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing an additional $48.1 million to support the Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan presented to the National Cabinet on 15 May. Read the full announcement here.
The Australian Government Department of Health has released a video featuring Professor Tom Calma AO, that can be played in your practice, or on your website and social media channels to remind Aboriginal patients to get their free flu shot. Access this video here.
COVID-19 telehealth pathway now available on HealthPathways
All events are listed on our Webinars and Workshops page.