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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.

18 JUNE 2020


COVID-19 Stats for our Region

Local COVID-19 transmission in the last four weeks in the Nepean Blue Mountains region (as at 8pm 17 June):
Confirmed cases: 0
Cases with unknown source: 0
Tests: 13,051
Test rate per (100,000): 33

COVID-19 testing and collection advice

New guidance is available on COVID-19 swab collection (DoH) and collection of nasal and throat swabs for respiratory virus testing (NSW Health).

Come work, live and the Nepean Blue Mountains. Workforce campaign video

In recent years, most areas in our region have lost the District of Workforce Shortage status, meaning there is no longer the same incentives for GPs to practice here.

However, GPs have told us that they need more doctors in their practice to ease the workload and more allied health services are needed for their patients. We have received similar feedback from the community who say they want better access to a doctor, particularly outside of normal business hours. 

In an effort to attract more GPs, nurses and allied health professionals to our region, we've created the Come work, live and the Nepean Blue Mountains campaign which features a video highlighting the work-life benefits of living and working in our region. This video will be shared on social media and through other channels over the next 12 months. 

We ask that you to share this video with your networks to encourage more health professionals to practice in our region. 

GP Psychiatry Support Line Turns One!

Do you know about the GP Psychiatry Support Line? It’s a free service exclusively for GPs that helps you manage patients with mental health concerns by providing psychiatry advice on the phone or via secure messaging. The service supports GPs in eight PHN catchment areas across NSW. This service is not a continuation of the Commonwealth-funded GP Psych Support – it’s a totally new service.

This financial year, there have been 948 consultations across the service catchment and over 70% of GPs in our region have registered to use the service. Have you?

Registration takes two minutes and once registered, you can call the Psychiatry Support Line on 1800 16 17 18 Monday to Friday between 9am - 5pm.

You can also submit your enquiry via secure messaging to ProCare Waratah (via Argus, Medical Objects, HealthLink, E-Referral) with the option of a call back or reply via secure messaging. Find out more...

My Aged Care e-Referral for GPs Updated 

GPs can now refer their patients to My Aged Care electronically directly from Best Practice, MedicalDirector and Genie practice management systems. The e-referral form is easy to use and accessible through the patient’s electronic medical record. By pre-populating patient information, the focus is on screening the patient, making it the quickest and easiest way to refer patients. Once submitted, the e-referral form is securely sent to My Aged Care.

Data Quality of Vaccine Encounters 

Our immunisation support program team has developed new resources designed to assist in enhancing data quality of vaccination encounters recorded in practice software and on the AIR register. Access immunisations news and resources on our website.

The NDIS Transition Support Website 

The TSP for all website provides information, resources and tools on mental health and the NDIS. It recognises that the needs of people with psychosocial disability may be quite different from those people with other disabilities. The website has a specialised section for clinicians with training modules and case studies.

Have Your Say in Community Based Health Services Planning

GPs and practice nurses are invited to have a say in the development of a 10-year plan for health services based in the community, by attending an online consultation forum on Wednesday 22 July at 7pm. The plan will guide future planning of community-based services and infrastructure aligned with changing patterns of community needs and expectations. Participants will be remunerated for attendance.

Chronic Pain 

A new AIHW report provides insight into the experience of managing chronic pain. It explores the latest national data on the proportion of people with chronic pain, as well as its impact, treatment and management.

In conjunction with the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation we offer a free 6 week Community Chronic Pain Management Program. Patients must meet the program eligibility criteria and be referred directly to the appropriate program facilitator using the referral forms provided on our website.

AIHW Report: Cancer Data 

Cancer is a major cause of illness in Australia and has a substantial social and economic impact on individuals, families and the community. The AHIW report contains interactive data visualisations that represent over 30 years of Australian cancer trends, by sex, for around 60 different types of cancer.  

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:

Why Practices Need Nurses More Than Ever 

A new guide for practices explains how to make the most of the nurse role during COVID-19. It also shows how nurses attract revenue streams that will sustain practices today and into the future. It has been endorsed the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, the Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) and the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association.

New Security Awareness Course Now Available

Due to the current circumstances there has been a increase of using digital solutions to deliver healthcare. To support people who work in healthcare to increase their security awareness, the Australian Digital Health Agency has developed a free Digital Health Security Awareness eLearning course.

Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease

The AIHW report presents data from the National Rheumatic Heart Disease data collection, collated from the acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The report shows that ARF rates increase with remoteness, and that rates are highest in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Australians, females and in young people aged 5-14 years.

Local healthcare positions

Upcoming local events

Resources for General Practice

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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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