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Practice News is a fortnightly publication for GPs and general practice staff. Please share it with any healthcare professionals in your practice.

4 JUNE 2020


Ross River and Barmah Forest Virus Alert

Since April, there have been over 55 cases of Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV) in Richmond, Windsor and the lower Blue Mountains. Recent flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region has been associated with an increase in mosquito activity. All cases report being bitten by mosquitoes whilst outdoors in the 7-14 days before becoming unwell.

Support is available to assist GPs working in Residential Aged Care Facilities in order to quickly identify, test and isolate residents with COVID symptoms
COVID-19 Assessment and Management in
Aged Residential Care


COVID-19 Stats for our Region

  • Local COVID-19 transmission in the last four weeks in the Nepean Blue Mountains region: Confirmed cases 2, Cases with unknown source 2, Tests 13,042, Test rate per (100,000) 33 (as at 8pm 2 June)
  • Latest updates and statistics by LGA 

NBMLHD Medical Imaging Services Return 

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District medical imaging services are returning to business as usual as restrictions introduced in response to COVID-19 ease. Patients can be referred to all services across the including MRI, CT, ultrasound and x-ray. COVID-safe measures and physical distancing are still in place. 

Lithgow Clinic Opening Hours

As of Friday 5 June, the Lithgow Hospital COVID clinic will shorten its operating hours. The clinic will operate between 9am – 12pm, seven days a week.

Hawkesbury Drive-Through Clinic

The new LHD operated drive-through COVID clinic operating from Hawkesbury Showgrounds replaces the walk-in clinic at Hawkesbury Hospital, which is now closed. Patients do not need a referral to access this service

Free COVID testing for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community

COVID-19 Clinic now open for Penrith residents at Koolyangarra Aboriginal Family Centre at Cranebrook. Both a drive-through and walk-up service is available. No Booking and no call ahead is needed. GPs can refer, or a GP onsite can also provide referrals. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm daily. (CLOSED Saturday and Sundays and CLOSED the Public Holiday 8th June).

PPE Suppliers

We have updated our PPE supplier list, which now also includes Healthone and SSS Australia. View contact information for all PPE suppliers on our website.

It's OK to Visit Your GP Campaign

This week we have launched a social media campaign to encourage people to visit their GP. The key messages of the campaign are:

  • Don't put your health on hold or avoid your doctor
  • It is okay/safe to visit your doctor
  • There are several options available to consult your GP

Please consider sharing this campaign on your social media platforms. 

Virtual Wellbeing with Be & Co.

Be & Co. is an online social connection event that's helping people stay connected during COVID-19. Every Thursday from 10am - 11am webinars are facilitated by two qualified Mental Health Professionals who help start healthy, positive discussions in a safe environment. If you have any patients who may feel isolated or alone, encourage them to join this event via this zoom link.

RACGP Recognising Excellence in Practice

Nominations are now open for the 2020 RACGP Awards. If you know an extraordinary GP, GP in training, GP supervisor, or general practice going above and beyond to improve their health of the community, nominate them for an award today.

AIHW Reports

National Cancer Screening

The latest cancer screening participation rates and trends for Australia’s 3 national cancer screening programs are presented by states, Primary Health Network areas, and for more than 300 smaller local areas across Australia. New activity data for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program are also presented. Explore the interactive visualisations.

Australia’s Mothers and Babies in Brief

Australia’s mothers and babies 2018—in brief presents key statistics and trends on pregnancy and childbirth of mothers, and the characteristics and outcomes of their babies. This report is designed to accompany complementary online data visualisations.


Read the latest news from Lizz Reay, our CEO:

Screening for Atrial Fibrillation and other Arrhythmias in Primary care

Atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias are common medical problems of increasing prevalence which are often identified and managed by GPs. Researchers at the University of Sydney conducted a survey late last year to explore the views, knowledge and practices of GPS with respect to cardiac arrhythmia. The GPSAFER survey findings are freely accessible on BMC Family Practice website.

Higher Education Relief Package 

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is offering a selection of their graduate certificates at subsidised rates under the government scheme. Certificates will commence on 15 June and must be completed by 1 December, apply now to secure a place. The certificate is a full qualification at AQF level 8, but it can also provide a pathway to a Masters Degree in universities across Australia.

Haemochromatosis Australia

Haemochromatosis Australia launched a podcast series, Iron Matters to coincide with World Haemochromatosis Week (1-7 June). The podcast is part of a suite of educational materials. Haemochromatosis is a genetic disorder whereby people absorb too much iron from their diet. If left untreated the extra iron can cause liver disease, arthritis and diabetes.

Transition to Practice Program

The Transition to Practice Program provides an evidence-based framework of support over 12 months to nurses who have transitioned to primary health care and feel they would benefit from additional support. The program will support a maximum of 150 nurses Australia wide, who have recently transitioned to primary health care. There will be four small groups and intakes, over a four year period (2018–2022).
BreastScreen NSW has resumed breast screening, following a short suspension of eight weeks. Capacity at some sites will be limited initially, a staged approach to resumption of service is planned and the mobile screening fleet will be directed to areas of greatest need.  
  • Hawkesbury: BCI Sunflower Clinic St John of God Hospital Hawkesbury District Health Service 2 Day St, Windsor. 16 June to 22 July 2020. Print poster.

Local healthcare positions

Upcoming local events

We are cancelling or postponing all face-to-face CPD events until further notice.

Resources for General Practice

Follow us to keep up-to-date with our latest news

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work and
pay our respect to Aboriginal Elders, past and present.

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