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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.

23 MAY 2019

Correct Recording of Vaccinations on the Australian Immunisation Register

The Department of Human Services has issued a reminder about the importance of correctly recording patient vaccination details. Incorrect recording of vaccinations may have serious repercussions for patients, their families and for your practice.
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HealthPathways Updates

New HealthPathways Available

Sexual Assault Counselling: Contact details for sexual assault counselling services covering telephone and online services, legal services, support groups and community services in all four Local Government Areas.

Opioid Replacement Pharmacotherapy by Unaccredited Prescriber: Have you ever wanted to know more about how to assess and manage patients requesting help with opioid replacement treatment? Did you know that you don't have to be an accredited prescriber to manage low risk patients? This pathway will help you navigate the tightly regulated process of managing patients who need opioid replacement pharmacotherapy and all the potential problems that may arise along the way.

Other new and updated pathways include:

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Need access to HealthPathways?
If you currently do not have access to HealthPathways, please contact the HealthPathways Team who will provide you with a username and password.

Already using HealthPathways?
Do you regularly use HealthPathways? How is it valuable to you? Please tell us your thoughts in this quick and easy two-minute survey.

Palliative Care Week (19 - 25 May)

NBMPHN undertook a needs assessment* which explored Advance Care Planning (ACP) and key issues facing people at end of life in the Nepean Blue Mountains region. The population in Nepean Blue Mountains region was just over 365,000 in 2015 and is estimated to grow to 377,000 by 2030.

Of note, the population under the age of 65 is expected to grow by under 2 percent over the next 15 years, while the population growth of those over 85 is expected to grow by over 12 percent.

With an ageing population comes an increasing need for future planning around palliative and end of life care for the region. We have listed below some key resources you can access.
*Nepean Blue Mountains PHN, 2017. Caring for People at End of Life [Online].
read more


HealthPathways relating to Palliative Care include Emergencies in Palliative Care, Palliative Care Pain Management, Management of the Terminal Phase and Palliative Care Referrals.

Palliative and Supportive Care Services in our Region

Local palliative and supportive care services:

  • The Palliative Care Home Support Packages (PEACH) Program - care packages to palliative care clients in selected Local Health Districtswithin NSW. Aims to support palliative care clients in the last days of their life in their own home.
  • Belong – Mid-Mountains Neighbourhood Centre – Blue Mountains Palliative Support Service is a free service that provides volunteers to support people who are terminally ill in their home, in local hospitals or (for limited periods) in aged care facilities.
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District from the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration – for inpatient palliative care services at Nepean Hospital.
  • Lemongrove Community Health Facility in Penrith and Lawson Community Health Facility in Blue Mountains provide palliative care predominately in people’s homes.

Upcoming Palliative Care Events in our Region

  • May 19 – 25 - Blue Mountains ‘Our Compassionate Community’ project holding an exhibition with the Blue Mountains Palliative Volunteer Service.  View community photographs at Springwood, Katoomba and Lithgow Hospitals based on the theme ‘What Matters Most’ to you around end of life care.
  • May 31 - Nepean Blue Mountains 30th Annual Supportive and Palliative Care Conference – NBMLHD at the Chairman’s Lounge, Panthers Penrith Stadium.
  • June 29 - Compassionate Communities - Join our next networking and training day at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre for the Willing Villagers Community Connectors program. Contact community development worker Niki Read.
  • June - July - The Advance Project: Initiating Advance Care Planning, Palliative & Supportive Care in General Practice workshops in June/July – Katoomba, Windsor, Penrith, Lithgow. General Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers can also access online training and resources as part of The Advance ProjectTM.
  • October 13 – 16 - the 6th Public Health Palliative Care International Conference at the Fairmont Resort, Blue Mountains. A public health approach to end of life care, views the community as an equal partner in the long and complex task of providing quality healthcare at the end of life. ‘Compassionate Communities in Action: Re-claiming Ageing, Dying and Grieving’.

Death Literacy Survey

We invite you to tell us what matters most to you as a Blue Mountains resident by contributing to our Death Literacy Survey. The Death literacy Index will tell us who we are and what we have as a community when it comes to caring for people at end of life, and show us ways in which to move forward.

take survey

Mental Health Updates

Additional Support for Consumers of Psychological Therapy Services

Formerly named the ‘ATAPS After Hours Suicide Support Line’, the All Hours Suicide Support Service (AHS) is a specialised service designed to complement allied health professionals working within our Psychological Therapy Services program.  

AHS provides support to clients who are low-to-medium risk of suicide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring all clients have access to professional support around the clock. 

AHS offers intermittent and short term professional telephone counselling for individuals who are at a low to medium risk of suicide, when their usual allied health professional is unavailable. The service can also support an individual as an outpatient, or when they are in the process of linking with a Psychological Therapy Services registered allied health professional. 

Individuals participating in the Psychological Therapy Services program can call the hotline on 1800 859 585 at anytime. In order for participating patients to receive outbound calls, a GP or participating allied health professional should refer that patient via email to the service at least twenty four hours prior to when the first call is due. 

Referral forms and further information can be found online or by contacting 1800 859 585. 

Individuals who require support but are not participating in the Psychological Therapy Services program can contact the alternate Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or visit

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Lithgow Information Night - Early Intervention Mental Health Programs

Marathon Health, in conjunction with NBMPHN, is coordinating an information night about new early intervention mental health programs in the Lithgow area.

The Information Night is for GPs and Practice Nurses to learn about referral pathways, available services and how client's can access these services. It is being held Tuesday May 28 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at Lithgow Library. Please contact Carolyn Fisher at Marathon Health (0428 414 041) to register to attend.

register to attend

Survey Reminder: Mental Health Training for General Practice

We are inviting General Practice to take part in a short, 5 minute survey to assist us better plan CPD events for those who would like additional mental health training.

take survey

No Second Chances: Controlling Risk in Cardiovascular Disease

The recent Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Report, contains some interesting and challenging data for primary and specialist healthcare providers in the NBMPHN region about secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).  

NBMPHN has developed a Summary of this report to make it easier for our GPs to understand how they can improve the quality of care of their patients as a result of the insights from this report. 

How is your practice improving care for patients in this cohort?

The report highlights that people in the secondary prevention group – those who have already experienced a serious event such as a stroke or an acute heart attack – are at high risk from another cardiovascular event. It also emphasises opportunities to significantly improve health outcomes and reduce health costs, including addressing modifiable risk factors, setting targets for medical therapy, and pursuing lifestyle modification in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

We encourage each General Practice to explore its own data for patients in this cohort, compare it to, and follow-up as appropriate in accordance with best practice guidelines.   

GPs should use the Australian absolute CVD risk calculator for patients with and without known CVD as part of either:

  • a comprehensive health assessment (MBS items 701-715) for those eligible, or
  • a heart health assessment (the new MBS item 699) for those not eligible for comprehensive assessments.

Practices are encouraged to discuss any queries, such as requesting assistance with the CAT4 tool or additional guidance about the new heart health assessment MBS item, with their Practice Support team officer at NBMPHN. 

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PIP and Annual Confirmation Statements

Practices need to complete their annual confirmation statement before PIP payments can be released.

All approved practices should receive their confirmation statement through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) or by mail unless approved during the payment quarter.

Practices should receive their confirmation statement by the end of May. If you haven’t received it by the due date, call the Incentive Programs enquiry line.

To receive payment, practices need to confirm their details, including any changes in practice arrangements. An authorised contact person or practice owner must complete the confirmation statement.

There are two ways practices can confirm their confirmation statements, including any changes to practice arrangements:

  • Through HPOS by 31 July, or
  • By faxing the completed statement and changes to practice arrangements to Incentive Programs for manual processing by 24 July.
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Read the latest news from Lizz Reay, our CEO:

Local healthcare positions

Upcoming local events

Resources for General Practice

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


C Change – An Important New Resource for Patients

General practice remains the first choice for treatment access for patients with Hepatitis C. The new C Change brochure provides patients with valuable information about the treatment choices available to them. Free supplies of C Change are available online or by email:
BreastScreen is free for all women aged 40 years and over, but is especially important for women aged 50-74 years. Appointments can be made by calling BreastScreen NSW on
13 20 50. More information about screening locations and opening times can be found on our website.
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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Copyright © 2019 Nepean Blue Mountains PHN, All rights reserved.

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