WA Primary Health Alliance as one of the first organisations to move to remote working, we recognised the risk presented by busy workplaces to our staff and frontline health workers.
During this time, we have worked efficiently and effectively, and have been able to deliver and meet our organisational expectations and those of our many stakeholders.
For the practice support team, it has meant helping general practices through a time of disruption without visiting practices in person.
Most challenges that have come up have been overcome using technology, or simply by thinking and organising things a little differently.
There are practical reasons for keeping our distance, including the importance of not inadvertently exposing practice staff or GPs to anyone who might unknowingly be carrying COVID-19 or other viruses.
Given the immense importance of a well health workforce, it is incumbent on all of us not to put them at any greater risk, even if that risk is low.
For now, we will therefore continue to restrict face-to-face interactions. This will allow us to plan ahead and develop a way of working appropriate to the changed environment.
We want to ensure that practices remain — and feel — supported, so we are encouraging our practice support team to reach out to you using other channels to identify your needs and concerns.
While we are all looking forward to face-to-face contact in the future, we are considering many factors to make sure that when we do so, it will be as safe as possible for everyone involved.
While these issues are being worked through, working remotely remains the best option.
Our practice support team will keep you updated as we move closer to making these important decisions.
WA Primary Health Alliance has released a detailed FAQ on their approach to working remotely and planning ahead, that can be found here.
For further assistance please contact your Primary Health Liaison or the Practice Assist team via email firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 227 747.
Migration Council Australia has developed a free multilingual mobile app for Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities about COVID-19, its impact and available support.
With over 1 million people who speak little or no English and over 5 million who speak a language other than English at home, Australia’s diversity presents challenges in communicating public health information.
The app is available in 24 languages and can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play.
Read the full announcement here, or download a poster for your practice here.
Electronic Prescribing ‘ePrescribing’ will allow for fully digital scripts to be sent to a patient, removing the requirement for paper scripts for those practices who choose to use the system. The WA Primary Health Alliance Practice Support team will be contacting all practices with a checklist of requirements to help ensure that they are prepared to start using ePrescribing when it is released, including:
Additionally, as ePrescriptions are sent either via SMS or email, you may wish to confirm these details with your patients.
For further information on ePrescribing, please visit the Digital Health site or the Practice Assist ‘Electronic Prescriptions’ page for further information and frequently asked questions.
Alternatively for further assistance please contact the My Health Record Team by email on email@example.com.
BreastScreen WA has become the first breast screening service in Australia to connect to the My Health Record system, allowing women to see their mammogram results as soon as their test is assessed.
The service has been providing results to women electronically since last year through a portal, allowing them to download a PDF version. They can also choose to receive either an SMS or a letter, and their GP is also kept informed electronically if the patient consents [read more].
For further information about My Health Record please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WA Primary Health Alliance ‘WAPHA’ continues to support the use of Telehealth by Western Australian healthcare providers by providing free access to the HealthDirect Video Call platform. To date, 170 practices have registered to use the system, and over 1,800 hours of consultations have been held using the platform.
WAPHA continue to support practices who wish to register for HealthDirect, and more information as well as a link to register, may be found on the Practice Assist website.
The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association ‘APNA’ is seeking applications for transitioning nurses and clinical and professional mentors for the Transition to Practice Program. The APNA Transition to Practice Program will deliver an accessible, structured 12-month transition support program with 10 months of intensive clinical and professional mentoring.
The aim of the APNA Transition to Practice Program is to increase the confidence, competencies, skills and knowledge of nurses commencing work in primary health care settings.
Further information including selection criteria, program overview and funding arrangements can be found on the APNA website.
Pen CS has released a Research app in Topbar on Tuesday 5 May, which offers both practices and clinicians the opportunity to participate in eligible research studies.
The value of this Research app for the health sector lies in the app's ability to inform health professionals about the:
For further information, please visit the Pen CS CHIME-GP Research Study website.
The Safer Baby Bundle initiative have produced an infographic for women, and a fact sheet to help women and GPs recognise risk factors for Stillbirth during COVID-19, and action that can help reduce these risks.
They also have a free e-learning resource that GPs and midwives can do online here.
Download the fact sheet here.
Download the infographic here.
WA Primary Health Alliance continues to operate a significant logistical strategy to distribute masks during the COVID-19 pandemic to practices and pharmacies. We are pleased to announce that we have recently expanded our mask distribution to include allied health practices that meet the criteria of the Department of Health Tranche 4 guidelines.
To date we have distributed 159,300 surgical masks to GPs and ACCHOs, 2,182 N95 masks to GPs and ACCHOs and 47,550 surgical masks to pharmacies.
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
New MBS items have been introduced for telehealth and telephone services for anaesthetists:
More information can be found by vising MBS Online or visiting the Practice Assist ‘COVID-19 Telehealth’ page.
The WA Government has announced Phase 3 of the roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions in WA, with significant changes coming into effect from Saturday, June 6. This is due to success in limiting community transmission of COVID-19 in WA during Phase 2, and on the advice of the Chief Health Officer and State Emergency Coordinator.
As part of Phase 3, Western Australia will be the first State in the nation to implement a two square metre per person capacity rule for venues, replacing the previous four square metre rule, which is the current national advice.
Western Australians must continue to practice physical distancing and good personal hygiene at all times.
Read the full statement here.
A new campaign has launched to remind all Australians to be COVIDSafe by washing their hands, keeping their distance and having the COVIDSafe app.
Please visit the COVIDSafe app campaign resources page for further practice resources and posters. To watch the video please click here.
The Child Assessment and Management pathway has now been published on the HealthPathways site and contains information on how to assess, manage and refer suspected cases of COVID-19 in children.
COVID-19 HealthPathways Updates
The following content updates have now been published on the following pathways:
COVID-19 Assessment and Management
The Department of Health WA would like to gain an understanding of how COVID-19 may have impacted the experience of patients across the cancer care pathway, from diagnosis to treatment, survivorship and end of life. GPs are encouraged to promote this survey among their cancer patients to increase understanding of variations in the Western Australian experience of cancer care and to identify areas across the cancer care pathway that potentially need to be addressed during or following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Survey and further information via the following link: https://consultation.health.wa.gov.au/wa-cancer-and-palliative-care-network/covid19-cancer-patient-experience/
Correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All events are listed on our Webinars and Workshops page.