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21 June 2018
In this issue
Changes to childhood National Immunisation Schedule
Update on influenza vaccine
My Health Record toolkits en route
Opioids and benzodiazepines project
Have the CHAT for lung health
Tasmanian RACGP award winners unveiled
Rural locum webinar
Medical Claims Review Panel changes
Reminder: Primary Health Information Network
In the south
Useful resources
Upcoming events
The Check Up with Cecily Igglesden
Changes to childhood National Immunisation Schedule
From 1 July 2018 the following changes will be introduced to the childhood National Immunisation Program:
  1. routine infant pneumococcal vaccination (Prevenar 13®) will now be given at two, four and 12 months instead of at two, four and six months. Children with a predisposing medical condition should also receive an additional dose of Prevenar 13® at six months
  2. at 12 months, Meningococcal ACWY conjugate vaccine (Nimenrix®) will replace Hib/MenC (Menitorix®)
  3. at 18 months, monovalent Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Act -HIB®) will provide the 4th Hib booster.
Further clinical advice and fact sheets will be provided in late June by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, and new Tasmanian Immunisation Schedules will be distributed next week.
Find out more
Update: Influenza vaccine tips and advice from Public Health Services
As you are aware, the uptake of influenza vaccines this year has exceeded that of previous years and DHHS Public Health Services (PHS) is closely monitoring vaccine supply.

The Tasmanian Government advises health professionals:
  • it is particularly important to prioritise your current stocks of FluQuadri® for children <five years (particularly those requiring their second dose) and for those <18 years who are eligible under the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
  • while supply issues persist, PHS may contact you to to discuss your vaccine order
  • additional supply of Afluria Quad® (18 years to 64 years) is anticipated to be available to order from mid-July for NIP-eligible adults
  • trivalent Fluzone High-dose®, vaccine for over 65s and FluQuadri Junior® for those aged less than three years is available to order. 
PHS thanks Tasmanian general practices for their ongoing understanding and collaboration in helping to equitably manage vaccine supply during this period. A reminder also, the Public Health Hotline number is 1800 671 738.
Find out more
My Health Record update: toolkits arriving shortly for July display
Tasmanian general practices will shortly be receiving a My Health Record toolkit of consumer collateral from the Australian Digital Health Agency.

While the toolkits are expected to arrive in coming weeks, the material is not to be displayed until the consumer opt-out period commences on 16 July.

My Health Record forums are also being organised to support provider readiness, and will take place in Ulverstone (10 July), Launceston (11 July) and Hobart (12 July). Please see the event listings below for more information.

Should you require a visit from a Primary Health Consultant to provide information regarding how to register for the My Health Record system, please contact Primary Health Tasmania via the button below.
Get in touch
Quality use of opioids and benzodiazepines project

Prescribing rates of opioids and benzodiazepines have been higher than national and state averages in some regions in Tasmania, according to the first Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation in 2015.

In response to these findings, Primary Health Tasmania began a Quality use of opioids and benzodiazepines project in collaboration with a number of practices in southern Tasmania. The aims of the project were to:

  • increase general practice knowledge of prescribing patterns of benzodiazepines and opioids within their region
  • raise awareness of the RACGP clinical guidelines for prescribing drugs of dependence, and incorporate the use of these guidelines as part of continuous quality improvement
  • identify and optimise management of patients on opioids and benzodiazepines for chronic non-cancer pain
  • increase general practice understanding of referral pathways, including alcohol and other drugs services.

As a result of the project’s findings, Primary Health Tasmania is currently revising its deprescribing resources. Updated resources are expected to be available later this year.

A reminder there are Tasmanian HealthPathways for opioid and benzodiazepine dependence, as well as codeine use, available (log in by clicking the button below with username: connectingcare password: health).

Find out more
Check out Tasmanian HealthPathways
Winter alert from Lung Foundation Australia: Have the CHAT

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations are the second leading cause of preventable hospitalisations in Australia.

Research shows patients with COPD are more likely to have a flare-up of symptoms during the winter months.

"Have the CHAT" is Lung Foundation Australia’s COPD exacerbation campaign for primary care health professionals, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to keep their patients well and out of hospital during winter.

Now is a great time to CHAT with your patients about the symptoms of an exacerbation, including:

  • Coughing more than usual
  • Harder to breathe than usual
  • Any change in sputum (phlegm) colour and/or volume
  • Tired more than usual (less active).
Lung Foundation Australia has also developed a suite of evidence-based resources to support health professionals in timely identification and management of COPD exacerbation.

A reminder there is a COPD Tasmanian HealthPathway available (login in by clicking the button below and using username: connectingcare password: health).
Find out more
Check out Tasmanian HealthPathways
Dr Columbine Mullins, Port Sorell Medical Centre win RACGP awards

Congratulations to Dr Columbine Mullins (Rosny Park Family Practice) and the Port Sorell Medical Centre for receiving 2018 RACGP state awards.

Dr Mullins was named Tasmanian General Practitioner of the Year, and the medical centre took out the Tasmanian General Practice of the Year gong.

"It's not expected at all," Dr Mullins told Primary Health Tasmania. “I have no idea who nominated me, but that’s certainly something I’m going to try to investigate!”

Click the button below to read more about their reactions to being unveiled as winners in the 2018 list.

Find out more
Upcoming RACGP webinar to focus on the 'art of rural locuming'
GPs interested in rural locum work are advised RACGP Rural is hosting a webinar on 9 August to provide insight into what the job entails and hear from those with experience in the role.

The webinar will run from 8:00pm to 9:00pm and cost $55 for non-members, $44 for members.

For more information or to register, click on the button below. 
Find out more
Changes to the Medical Claims Review Panel and related MBS items

A reminder there will be changes to the Medicare Claims Review Panel and related MBS items from 1 November 2018.

The changes, announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, mean the panel will be dissolved and changes made to the relevant MBS items.

The new rules will apply from 31 October.

Find out more
Reminder: EOIs sought for our Primary Health Information Network

A reminder Primary Health Tasmania is seeking expressions of interest from Tasmanian GPs across the state to join the Primary Health Information Network (PHIN) Advisory Group.

The PHIN enables participating practices to view aggregated practice information, such as immunisation coverage for their clinic, and compare with other settings in Tasmania. It will be available for free for all Tasmanian practices as a quarterly report.

We are seeking GPs from across Tasmania in different sized practices and urban or rural settings with an interest in health information.

For further information or to submit an expression of interest please contact Laura Edwards, Public Health Physician, via email or by calling 6213 8200.

Find out more
In the south
GPs wanted for out-of-hours service for vulnerable Tasmanians
Moreton Group Medical Services is looking for more GPs to join their team as well as RACGP Registrars to assist in providing access to out of hours medical care for vulnerable Tasmanians.

The service, funded by Primary Health Tasmania, was established in November 2016 and provides after-hours access to a GP from 6pm to 10pm Monday to Friday in the Greater Hobart area.

A purposely fitted out vehicle has been set up as a mobile clinic, providing a safe and secure environment for both the GP and the patient.

This service does not replace regular in-hours general practice service provision and attempts at all times to integrate with other primary health services, including after-hours services, and connect clients back into regular in-hours mainstream health services including GPs.

If you are interested in discussing these paid positions, contact Moreton Group Medical Services on 6278 3029 or via email.
Find out more
New edition of RACGP's prevention in practice guidelines

The RACGP has just released the third edition of Putting prevention into practice: guidelines for the implementation of prevention in the general practice setting (the Green book).
GPs, general practice teams, and other health professionals can refer to the new edition, which now includes signposted information for easy reference and links to helpful resources for further reading.
The Green book continues to provide easy to follow and practical advice with successful real-life examples of implementing evidence-based preventive activities. The resource encourages and reflects a collaborative, whole-of-practice approach to prevention.

Click the button below to access an online version of the Green book. Hard copies are expected to be printed shortly.

Download the Green book
New Medicare guide for Indigenous health services

A new guide is available to support health professionals with all aspects of Indigenous health services available under Medicare.

The guide was developed to support staff working in organisations that provide Medicare services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians by providing easy-to-understand advice about Medicare health services and programs.

It includes information on Indigenous-specific Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services and initiatives, and aims to assist health workers in identifying and using these MBS items in the right way to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Download the guide
Docs4Docs training workshop
Date: Thursday 28 June
Time: 6:00pm
Location: 5/11 High Street, Launceston
Host: Victorian Doctors Health Program and RACGP
GPs are invited to attend a meeting aimed at springboarding the Docs4Docs service across the state.
Structural heart disease education evening for GPs
Date: Thursday 5 July
Time: 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Location: Launceston
Host: Medtronic
RSVP: 28 June
Cardiologists and GPs are invited to this event, to be addressed by Dr Michael O'Keefe and Dr Matthew Brooks.

Click here for more information.
My Health Record: Privacy, security and medico legal info sessions
Date: Tuesday 10 July 
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Ulverstone
Host: Primary Health Tasmania and the Australian Digital Health Agency
RSVP: 2 July 

Date: Wednesday 11 July 
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Launceston
Host: Primary Health Tasmania and the Australian Digital Health Agency
RSVP: 3 July 

Date: Thursday 12 July 
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Hobart
Host: Primary Health Tasmania and the Australian Digital Health Agency
RSVP: 4 July 
Primary Health Tasmania has partnered with the Australian Digital Health Agency to support provider readiness, communications and community engagement for the My Health Record expansion across Tasmania.

We invite members of general practice and pharmacy to come together and explore security aspects of the My Health Record system, as well as some of the medico legal issues that are relevant to the use of My Health Record in healthcare organisations.

This forum will provide a good opportunity to ask questions directly of the Australian Digital Health Agency about a range of topics.

Register for one of the three events here.
The Check Up

Ask practice manager Cecily Igglesden to tell you about Prospect Medical Centre, and she’ll keep using one word: team.
It’s an attribute she says secured the practice a Business Excellence Award, amongst other accolades, and complements a workplace culture based on constantly seeking opportunities to “extend the skills and knowledge of our team”.
“You can’t do this job in isolation,” she says. “I really enjoy the team work, and am very lucky that I work with a fantastic team of people committed to the practice.”
After moving to Launceston when she was just 16 years old, Cecily worked in disability services, the education department and Ansett Airlines before taking up the position of practice manager at the Prospect site in 2005. She thought she was signing on for a six-month stint – but 13 years later, she’s still in the role.
“I enjoy the diversity of it, and the fact that you are always pushed to continually self-improve,” she explains.
The mother-of-two says being part of a local practice for years has also allowed her to forge lasting bonds with patients: “I like that I’ve seen patients grow up and then we begin providing care to the next generation of a family, it’s really nice.”
Here’s what else she told Primary Health Tasmania:

  • The challenge of keeping pace with change in practice management: “It’s a challenge keeping up-to-date with the very extensive number of legislation requirements, and standards, as well as all the other aspects of ensuring that the practice has safe, efficient and effective systems in place to meet patient’s needs and the needs of clinicians, staff, and practice principals. I believe working with a team invested in the practice and solid communication across all sections of the practice including patient feedback is vital.”
  • How the practice team get involved in the local community: “The practice team is actively involved in our local community through participation in events such as the Launceston 10, Relay for Life, Biggest Morning Tea, the Launceston Women’s 5k Run, the Beacon Foundation and others. It’s great to participate in these events with colleagues.”
  • Her end-of-year creative outlet: “Our GP who specialises in skin and I coordinate the production of a float for the Launceston Christmas Parade, so towards November I can be seen with some strange and very glittery paraphernalia.”

Do you know someone working in general practice who would be a good subject for The Check Up? Suggest them by clicking the button below and getting in touch!

Nominate someone for The Check Up
Contact us
1300 653 169
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Brought to you by Primary Health Tasmania (Tasmania PHN).
The information in this newsletter comes from a range of sources, and every reasonable effort is made to ensure it’s accurate.
While the Australian Government helped fund this document, it has not reviewed the content. The Australian Government and Primary Health Tasmania are not responsible for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided herein.
Copyright © 2018 Primary Health Tasmania, all rights reserved.

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