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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.

2 JULY 2020


HealthPathways: Practice Management and Care Delivery

HealthPathways provides a script that can be used to seek epidemiological information from patients. This includes asking if the patient has travelled through an area where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred. Please see the COVID-19 Practice Management Pathway for more detail. 

In addition, refer to the NSW Health website for guidance in relation to people who have travelled from Victoria to ensure this is factored into any practice scripts.

Responding to COVID-19

The RACGP fact sheet is a great guide for practices: Responding to a COVID-19 Case in a Practice Team.

COVID-19 Stats for our Region

Local COVID-19 transmission in the last four weeks in the Nepean Blue Mountains region (as at 8pm 30 June):
Confirmed cases: 1
Cases with unknown source: 1
Tests: 18,255
Test rate per (100,000): 47

Watch this video about the services offered at Dianella Cottage 

Dianella Cottage: Community-Based Drug and Alchohol Support 

We commission Lives Lived Well (LLW) to provide non-residential rehabilitation support to men and women with addiction at Dianella Cottage in Katoomba and Lithgow. Services at Dianella also include a program specifically for women with co-occurring mental illness, and an Aftercare and Relapse Prevention program. In response to COVID-19 restrictions Dianella has continued to work with both existing and new clients through telephone and online supports. Group work for addiction treatment and Aftercare is also continuing online. LLW are committed to working with GPs in the best interests of their patients. If GPs make a referral, they will receive feedback about their patient's recovery journey. To refer a patient, call 4782 9265.

AIHW Report: AOD treatment services

The Alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services in Australia, 2018–19 report presents information about publicly funded AOD treatment services, the people they treat and the treatment provided. 1,283 publicly funded AOD services provided just under 220,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 137,000 clients. The four most common drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol 36%, amphetamines 28%, cannabis 20% and heroin 5%. Almost two-thirds 64% of all clients were male, and the median age of clients was 34 years.


GP Psychiatry Support Line

Do you need the advice of a psychiatrist to help a patient with mental health concerns? The GP Psychiatry Support Line is exclusively for GPs and provides psychiatry advice on the phone or via secure messaging. GPs in our region using the service have said:

“Received an immediate response.”

“The psychiatrist was very helpful in obtaining and communicating the appropriate information.”

“Very happy with service and advice.”

The Psychiatry Support Line is available Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm on 1800 16 17 18 OR you can submit your enquiry via secure messaging. Find out more...

COPD Collaborative

We are seeking practices to participate in a primary care collaborative for COPD. The collaborative supports practices to implement quality improvement activities which improves the diagnosis and management of patients with COPD. Practices involved will be eligible for participation and performance outcome payments as well as CPD points for the 2020-2022 triennium. Read more...

National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator

The National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator (NICC) is now available and is based on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) recommendations for Australian immunisation schedules. This version has been developed and designed for children less than 10 years old based on the NIP scheduled vaccines.The Calculator can be accessed via the Australian Immunisation Handbook website. Read more...


NSW Immunisation Schedule 

The new Immunisation schedule commenced on 1 July. The online version of the schedule has been updated to include solid lines between schedule points to clarify some previous confusion. There are now additional links on the NSW Health webpage to FAQs and the A3 Childhood Immunisation Schedule poster.

Hawkesbury District Health Service Survey

HDHS would like to work more closely with GPs. They have developed a short 5 min survey to understand how they can provide more coordinated and localised care, helpful resources for GPs and RACGP accredited events. GPs who complete the survey will go into a draw to win $500. To receive invitations to upcoming HDHS GP events or to request a visit, please email Katherine Filippi.

AIHW Report: Palliative Care

The AIHW Palliative Care report is an online report on the activity and characteristics of palliative care services across Australia. Data is presented under specific topic areas with detailed data available for current and previous years. 

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.
  • MYER Penrith: 585 High St Penrith, NSW  2750. Print poster.
  • Blue Mountains: Blue Mountains Hospital, Ground Floor, Cnr Woodlands Road and Great Western Hwy, Katoomba, NSW  2780. Print poster.


Read the latest news from Lizz Reay, our CEO:

University of Queensland Stroke Study

The University of Queensland need primary healthcare professionals to share their experience of stroke discharge planning. This study will describe the current practices of health professionals in stroke discharge planning, and the barriers and facilitators to engaging primary healthcare providers and undertaking a coordinated discharge planning approach. Contact Cai Ling Chai to find out more or arrange a Zoom video interview.

Spirometry Resources

The National Asthma Council Australia has released an updated set of spirometry resources to guide primary healthcare professionals in performing and interpreting this test. The 2020 edition of the Spirometry Handbook is free to download from the National Asthma Council website and offers practical guidance, presented in a clear and user-friendly format.

 Local healthcare positions

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pay our respect to Aboriginal Elders, past and present.

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