Winter Strategy 2022

Winter Strategy 2022

Support with getting your practice prepared for the winter season. 
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See your GP – Keep your health on track campaign: communication tools for practices

A new campaign for general practices to reassure and educate patients, about changes to the way primary health care is being delivered, and the importance of keeping their health on track.


View campaign here


                  
                         

See your GP – Keep your health on track campaign: communication tools for practices

See your GP – Keep your health on track campaign: communication tools for practices

See your GP – Keep your health on track campaign: communication tools for practices

WA Primary Health Alliance has prepared a new See Your GP campaign to help patients keep their health on track.
 
In a rapidly changing and challenging environment, general practices are busier than ever. Many practices are involved in delivering COVID-19 vaccinations, facing staff shortages, and all have had to put new procedures in place to manage infection risk.
 
Simultaneously, some patients are putting off routine checks for chronic conditions. Others may be confused about how to access their GP, if they should be making routine appointments, and have concerns over their exposure to COVID-19 when visiting the practice.
 
Patients need to understand and navigate changes to the way primary health care is being delivered. They need to feel comfortable that their heath care needs can still be met in a safe and effective way. Additionally, as we move into our first winter where we are living with COVID in the community, it is more important than ever to remind patients of the importance of having their influenza vaccination.
 
This campaign is designed to support practice staff with tools and resources to educate and reassure patients to keep their health on track.
 
It was informed by feedback from members of a GP Advisory Panel WA Primary Health Alliance runs in partnership with RACGP WA and Rural Health West.
 
This campaign is designed for your practice to use on your own communication channels such as website, social media, in practice and voicemail. Many of the resources can be customised to meet your practice’s needs.

It includes;
  • Content for your website
  • Social media imagery
  • Explainer videos on the way care may be different, telehealth, e-prescribing, and the importance of continuing regular care.
  • A script for your on-hold phone recording and voicemail
  • Links to useful websites, and more.


We will be adding new resources from time to time so please check back over the next few weeks. 

Access our See your GP Campaign Resources here
 

Videos to share with your patients

Find a range of videos and images below to share on social media with suggested messages, wording for your Practice website, a patient guide, an on-hold recording script, and more.

VIEW CAMPAIGN VIDEOS HERE


The 2022 Influenza Immunisation Season

The 2022 Influenza Immunisation Season has now commenced

The 2022 Influenza Immunisation Season has now commenced

Vaccination against influenza is important this year with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus.
With the easing of international and domestic public health measures arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic, a resurgence of influenza is expected in 2022, with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus this Winter.

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Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated). The National Immunisation Program (NIP) funds influenza vaccines for people most at risk.

The public are encouraged to start to book their appointments from mid-April to ensure the best protection at the peak of the season which is usually between June and September.

Influenza Immunisation – available clinical resources for practices

Influenza immunisation – available promotional resources for practices

Influenza Immunisation – available promotional resources for practices

Promotional materials including posters and brochures are being distributed to General Practices and Aboriginal Medical Services nationwide, with extra resources available to be ordered. Please see here for available resources:
   

Getting vaccinated against influenza – Resource collection

Influenza can be a very serious disease. To protect yourself and others from the flu, you should get vaccinated every year.

The Australian Government Department of Health has provided the below resources which provide information about getting vaccinated against influenza in 2022, including information on:

  • why and when you should get vaccinated against influenza
  • who is eligible for a free influenza vaccine under the National Immunisation Program
  • influenza vaccine safety
 

Influenza

Winter booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Winter booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines

ATAGI recommends an additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase vaccine protection before winter for selected population groups (see below) who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and who have received their primary vaccination and first booster dose. 

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Click on image to download or download here


ATAGI recommends the rollout of the winter dose for the above groups commence from April 2022 which will coincide with the rollout of the 2022 influenza vaccination program.

On the 25 March, the Australian Government advised that the additional winter COVID-19 vaccine dose can be:
  • given from 4 months or longer after receipt of a previous booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine OR
  • given from 4 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection if this has occurred since the previous booster
  • In special circumstances, individuals may be able to receive their winter dose at a shorter interval, for example, in vaccination in-reach programs to aged care, disability care or remote communities, where some flexibility of the minimum interval may help vaccinate a larger proportion of individuals
  • co-administered with influenza vaccine.

Read the ATAGI statement


 

COVID-19 vaccination – Winter COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

This fact sheet, in English, explains that people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should get an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster dose called a 'winter dose'.

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ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines

ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has developed advice for immunisation providers regarding the administration of 2022 seasonal influenza vaccines.

It includes information about:

  • the influenza vaccines available for use in Australia in 2022, by age
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​influenza virus strains included in the 2022 seasonal influenza vaccines
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​timing of vaccination, including for travel and co-administration with COVID-19 vaccines
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​vaccination for pregnant women
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​eligibility for influenza vaccines funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​medical conditions that are associated with an increased risk of influenza complications.

Access here

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Help stop the Flu in 2022 - This year, it’s even more important to get the flu vaccine

Help stop the Flu in 2022 - This year, it’s even more important to get the flu vaccine

As the public health measures are eased in WA, it has been highlighted that we may see a steady rise in the Influenza rates this year. Some of the most vulnerable patients in our communities will be at high risk of contracting the flu. This year it is even more important to get the flu vaccine and practices may consider looking at how they will deliver their flu vaccine program in 2022 and ensure they are not missing any of their patients that fall into the high-risk category.  A poster identifying who is eligible for a FREE Flu vaccine and many other resources are available at Department of Health.

The PIP QI Incentive rewards practices for participating in continuous Quality Improvement activities in partnership and with the support of their local Primary Health Network.  There are ten specified Quality Improvement measures (QIM) to assist practices meeting their requirements for PIP QI, three of which are listed below and directly related to immunisation against flu.

4. Proportion of patients aged 65 and over who were immunised against influenza.
5. Proportion of patients with diabetes who were immunised against influenza.
6. Proportion of patients with COPD who were immunised against influenza.


General practices sharing unidentified patient data with WA Primary Health Alliance or their local PHN, have been provided access to the Pen CS suite of tools. Using Pen CS practices can access recipes to identify various cohorts of patients and patient groups to assist with their Quality Improvement activities.

Should you require any assistance, please contact Practice Assist 1800 2 ASSIST (277 478) or practiceassist@wapha.org.au and our friendly team will put you in touch with your QI coach and Navigator who will be more than happy to support your practice.
 

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COVID-19 Vaccination – Video – Dr Aleeta explains why you should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose

COVID-19 vaccination – Video – Dr Aleeta explains why you should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose

Dr Aleeta explains why you should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

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Click on image to view the video or click here

Co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines

Co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines

Please be reminded that a COVID-19 vaccine can be co-administered with other vaccines, including an influenza vaccine and routine childhood and adolescent vaccines, if required. There have been reports of families being advised to book separate appointments for COVID-19 and other vaccines.

ATAGI advises that there are no minimum intervals between COVID-19 vaccination and other routine vaccination (i.e. HPV, dTpa, or meningococcal ACWY vaccines) on the basis that the benefits of ensuring timely vaccination to protect from vaccine-preventable diseases outweigh any potential risks associated with immunogenicity, local adverse reactions, or fever. 

When co-administering a COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine, it is recommended to administer the vaccine in different limbs. 

For more information on the clinical recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

See useful patient resources here

Winter Strategy Practice Essentials – Getting your practice ready

Winter Strategy Practice Essentials – Getting your practice ready

This year, with the potential for a high number of influenza and other respiratory pathogen cases, it is all the more important to review aspects of your practice which could be impacted by COVID and the Flu. The Winter Strategy Practice Essentials Checklist includes important considerations for your practice for the coming winter season.

View the checklist here
 

GP Respiratory Clinics & COVID Care at Home

GP Respiratory Clinics available to see your symptomatic patients face-to-face

GP Respiratory Clinics available to see your symptomatic patients face-to-face

As the WA health sector responds to the increase of COVID-19 infections in the community, GP Respiratory Clinics (GPRCs) are available to see your symptomatic or COVID positive patients (both adults and children) face-to-face and via telehealth. GPRCs provide assessment and management for COVID-19, and are not just testing centres. They can follow up with COVID-19 positive patients who require clinical support.

This may be a good option if your practice cannot see them safely, reducing the risk of infection to staff and other patients. It also provides an option for COVID-19 positive telehealth patients that you think may need a face-to-face examination that cannot be done at your practice


Read more and book an appointment here

COVID Care at Home

COVID Care at Home

On 31 January, the WA Department of Health launched COVID Care at Home  

The free service delivers home monitoring care for COVID-positive people who require it due to having risk factors which put them at greater risk of requiring hospitalisation.

WA COVID Care at Home will enrol patients based on risk factors such as age, vaccination status, medical history and social factors.

COVID Care at Home patients will receive calls from the health care team to check their vital health signs and welfare. 

COVID Care at Home patients may be provided with a pulse oximeter.

Patients can find COVID care at home via the Managing COVID-19 at home and in the community webpage which has advice on symptoms, infection prevention, testing and self-care. 
 

HealthPathways

HealthPathways WA Immunisation pathways

HealthPathways WA Influenza Immunisation pathways


Influenza HealthPathways

In preparation for flu season the HealthPathways WA team is currently undertaking a review of the following pathways within the immunisation suite:


COVID-19 HealthPathways

Antiviral Information

Antiviral information can be found on the COVID-19 Assessment and Management pathway under the heading ‘Antiviral and Monoclonal Antibody Reference Guide’. Information listed of particular interest includes how to access treatment and the WA Department of Health (WA Health) COVID-19 Emergency Treatment Approval Forms which enables access to WA Health’s supply from the National Medical Stockpile. Please note these forms can only be completed by registered medical practitioners and the form links cannot be shared, bookmarked, or saved.


To gain access to the HealthPathways website email the HealthPathways team at healthpathways@wapha.org.au
 

2022 Influenza immunisation – education & training

2022 Influenza immunisation – education available for immunisation providers

There are several webinars and online modules available to update providers on the 2022 influenza immunisation program.
 

Immunisation Update for Practice Nurses - Register NOW

Thursday 5 May 2022 - 6.00pm to 7.30pm (AWST)

Presented by WA Primary Health Alliance and Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (MCDC)
 
Join us for the return of our popular Immunisation Update for general practice staff.

More information here

2022 WA Health Influenza Online Education Module – now LIVE

The WA Department of Heath 2022 influenza online education module is now LIVE. The influenza module has been developed to support immunisation providers to undertake an annual refresher on this topic and provides the user with up-to-date information for the upcoming 2022 influenza season.

In order to access the influenza module, as well as the full library of Immunisation Update modules, users are required to complete a registration form. Your request will be responded to within 3 working days. Please note: please look out for an email from Rise Education with a link to complete the modules.

Once access is provided, users will have two weeks to complete the module and obtain a copy of their certificate. Please note: user access to the platform will be automatically removed at the end of the two-week period. WA Health does not keep a record of any assessments or certificates, and it is up to the user to save a copy for their records
 

Managing seasonal respiratory viruses: Flu and SARS-CoV-2 Winter 2022

This webinar hosted by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) was recorded on Tuesday 05 April 2022, and chaired by Professor Kristine Macartney. Watch the recording to find out what you need to know to be prepared for influenza and COVID-19 vaccination in 2022.

View the webinar here
 

WA Immunisation Program 2022 Influenza Update - Recording now available

On Wednesday 23 March 2022, the Immunisation Program, Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Department of Health hosted the ‘2022 WA Influenza Update’ for all immunisation providers in WA.

The full recording of the Influenza Update, as well as the presentation PDFs are now available to access on the Immunisation Education webpage, under the ‘Immunisation Education Update sessions’ heading.

View the Immunisation Education webpage here

The Immunisation Coalition’s 2022 Influenza Vaccination Webinar

The Immunisation Coalition’s annual update on Influenza Vaccination for GPs, Immunisation Nurses, Pharmacists, and other immunisation professionals.
This webinar provides the latest information on influenza vaccines for 2022, as well as everything you need to know about influenza vaccination during the pandemic.

View webinar here
 
 
 

Winter Preparedness Webinar for GPs – Recording now available

Winter Preparedness Webinar for GPs – Recording now available

This webinar, held on 2nd May, is for general practitioners/primary care providers. The panel provide key updates and answer the questions of participants on COVID-19 and influenza preventions and treatments.

The webinar recording can be viewed here

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.

Disclaimer
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.