North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1108: March 31, 2011
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
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In this issue:

Chronic Disease Management            Supermarket Tours, The Community Asthma Program update        

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      Pharmacy Guild encourages pharmacists to increase interprofessional collaboration

Information Management                  New MD template, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  GP assistance wanted, Pharmaceutical Opioid Analgesics – GPs expertise required, Clinical Haematology, GP Network News

News for Practice Staff                       Distance Education  

Paediatrics                                           Groin & Genital Issues in Boys        

Women’s Health                                  Update on Breast Surgery, Perinatal Depression: To screen or not to screen                     

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Chronic Disease Management

Supermarket Tours 

Diabetes Australia – Vic organises supermarket tours to help make shopping for food easier. As part of the two hour tour, local dieticians show you how to accurately read and understand food labels, select healthy food alternatives and identify products that are appropriate for people with diabetes. Participants will receive a show bag with the Diabetes Australia Healthy Shopping Guide, information sheets and other useful information. A tour is taking place at Safeway Market Place 33 Hutchison Street Lilydale on Monday 4 April at 10.00am. Cost: $10 members and $15 for non-members. Limited bookings are available for each tour. To make a booking, contact the Diabetes Info and Advice Line (DIAL) on 1300 136 588.


The Community Asthma Program (CAP) update

Current waiting times to be seen on the program are approx 6 weeks.

All CAP Asthma Educators attended the recent National Asthma & Allergy conference in Melbourne, confirming that CAP is up to date with evidence based practice.

The importance of Written Asthma Action Plans (WAAPs) was highlighted at the conference, as was the links between asthma and eczema.

See the Royal Children's Hospital WAAP and both the RCH clinic and the Community Health Eczema Clinic information.


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Continuing Professional Development

Term 1 GP Lecture Program

Meetings are held each Tuesday starting at 12.30 in the Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Pathology Building, Repatriation Hospital, Austin Health, West Heidelberg. Tea and Coffee provided. Allocated CPD: 2 points/hour.

April 5 - Update on Breast Surgery - Dr Sugitha Seneviratne

This is the final lecture for Term 1.


Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“Renal Denervation: Past, Present & Future” – A/Prof. Markus Schlaich

Wednesday 6th April, 12:30pm at John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Lance Townsend Building (opp. Medical Library), Austin Campus. Informal lunch at 1.15pm outside the Lecture Theatre.


Toxicology Autumn Forum

Friday 15th April, 9am – 1pm at Lecture Theatre, Level 4 Austin Tower, Austin Hospital. Target group: FACEM’s, EM Trainees, GP’s, Pharmacists, Clinicians interested in Toxicology. RSVP by April 11th to See flyer for more information.


CPR update

Wednesday 4th May 6.30-9pm (dinner from 6pm) at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. See next week’s eNews for flyer.


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Home Medicines Review

Pharmacy Guild encourages pharmacists to increase interprofessional collaboration

Funding of $344M is provided for Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPIs) under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. Announced at the 2011 Australian Pharmacy Professional conference on the Gold Coast recently the Guild has encouraged pharmacies to register for PPIs incentives which offer startup incentives and ongoing funding.  

The six priority areas are: Dose Administration Aids; Clinical Interventions; Staged supply; Primary Health Care; Community Services Support and Working with others.

The main purpose of providing an incentive for inter-professional collaboration is to encourage documentation by pharmacists to show they are making linkages with other health professionals. The pharmacy has to record outcomes from at least two different registered health professional groups in the interest in the care of a patient in the first year! This will cover Home Medicine Reviews, Dose Administration Aids, Disease State Management, smoking cessation, supply of Pharmacy and Pharmacist only medicines, Clinical interventions and other professional services, Further information is available in the Pharmacists HMR newsletter and the Pharmacy Guild website

Information about HMRs and medication matters contact Dr Jenny Gowan at NEVDGP Ph 9496 4333; Mobile 0417 506 944


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Information Management

New MD template

Melbourne Hand Rehab is a specialist hand therapy clinic (est. 20 yrs) Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists staff four clinics across Melbourne: Heidelberg, North Essendon, Richmond & Hoppers Crossing.

The new MD referral template can be downloaded from the NEVDGP website


Medical Director Tip - Disappearing medications

Sometimes you notice that a script disappears from the current medication list without any intervention from you. If this happens it is a good idea to check the following.

From the Tools >Options >Prescribing – under prompts make sure “Limited duration elapse” is checked. If this is not checked the limited duration medications are deleted with no record of this happening apart from going into old scripts.


This weeks IM problem - Recording Next of Kin

Question: Where do I record next of Kin in MD?

Answer: There is really no useful place to record the NOK other than in free text areas which you don’t want to do. NOK is usually recorded in your practice management software.


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Items of Interest

GP assistance wanted

The University of Notre Dame has set up a Clinical School based at Werribee Hospital and is looking for North Eastern GP's to assist with the education of third year students in General Practice. One student is assigned to a GP for 4 weeks, for a total of 4 days a week (the other 2 half-days, they attend 'back to base' activities at Werribee). It is perfectly acceptable to take a student for just 4 weeks per year, if this is more suitable. We do not require commitments until late next semester. The UND pays higher rates per session than those assigned by the government. Teaching materials are available to the practice that the students can use when the GP is busy. The students are graduate students who are mature, keen, knowledgeable, respectful and appreciative.

If interested, please contact Meredith at


Learning about patients using Pharmaceutical Opioid Analgesics – GPs expertise required

Victorian based GPs are invited to participate in a brief interview about their experiences with patients using pharmaceutical opioid analgesics (POA). The past decade has seen marked increases in the prescription and non-medical use of POA in Australia.  A new research project - Defining the ‘hidden population’ of pharmaceutical users aims to gain greater understanding of the population of POA  using patients and the challenges faced by GPs in managing their treatment and needs. We would greatly appreciate your valuable feedback on this issue. Interviews can be conducted over the phone, in person or via email correspondence if preferred.  If you are interested to participate or have any questions or comments about the study please contact Angela Harney ph:  03) 8413 8446 or email:


Clinical Haematology

Austin Health would like to advise GPs that it has recently expanded and improved its clinical haematology service to improve patient care. This includes reduced waiting times for outpatient appointments and more timely treatment & discharge communication back to the referring GP. A full time professorial clinical haematologist, an extra clinical registrar, a nurse counsellor and a transplant co-ordinator have all been appointed. There’s a major expansion of the clinical trial program and a complete review of the Haematology protocol manual to ensure that Austin Health’s policies represent best practice; this includes hospital approval to use a number of new drugs to enhance patient outcome.

For more information or to discuss any patient related issues GPs are welcome to contact the Director of the Austin Haematology Service – Professor Andrew Grigg on 9496 5093 or email:


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Medicare Locals; General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) Conference – Breathing New Life into General Practice; Medical Leadership – The View from Downunder; Medicare Australia Audit of the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP); Discounts for Doctors - $25 Off - Hertz; Post new comment


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News for Practice Staff

Distance Education

You can now ease your way into study by choosing Distance Education subjects at The College of Nursing. You can choose 2 subjects via Distance Education which will entitle you to advanced standing towards a Graduate Certificate. Graduate Certificates comprise of 4 subjects. So doing some subjects via Distance Education will save you time and money. Visit


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Groin & Genital Issues in Boys

Tuesday April 5th 7-9pm at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Most entertaining and highly knowledgeable speaker Mr Mike O’Brien will be giving an update on latest management & referral recommendations for balanitis, hypospadias, phimosis, paraphimosis and steroid cream use; circumcision; hernias and hydroceles; testes & acute scrotum.

More information & registration here


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Women’s Health

Update on Breast Surgery

See under CPD Tuesday lecture


Perinatal Depression: To screen or not to screen, including psychosocial care of the antenate

Dr Gaynor Blankley, Consultant Psychiatrist, Perinatal Mental Health, and Jane Middleton, Head, Social Work Department, Mercy Hospital for Women.

Tuesday 5th April, 7-9pm (Registration & Refreshments from 6.30pm) at Level 4, Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg.

4 (Category 2) points in the RACGP QI&CPD Program for the 2011-2013 triennium have been applied for. For further details and registration flyer click here or contact Merran Mackie on tel: 8458 4833 or


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Ivanhoe Medical Clinic - PT VR GP for 2-4 sessions/week - must include Thursday & Friday afternoons. Modern, large supportive group(10 GPs), FT nurses, computerised, CDMs, no A/Hs, friendly ,flexible, mixed billing. Good remuneration. Contact: Dr. Stephen Smith or Dr. David Doig9499 1245.


Northcote – FT/PT VR GP or Subsequent Trainee GP position. Fully accredited, computerised, long established doctor owned practice in a new purpose built facility with a fabulous work environment. Ancillary Health, Pharmacy and Pathology services on site. Inquiries Diane Cronin (Practice Manager) 9481 1214. Visit our website


North Melbourne - FT VR GP required to replace recently retired doctor in well established accredited family practice. Mixed billing. Excellent remuneration @ 70% of receipts. Hours negotiable. Contact Practice Manager 0438 125 118. 


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How's Your Day Going?

There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my mug of beer and gulps it down in one swig.
"Well, whatcha' gonna do about it?" he says, menacingly, as I burst into tears.
"Come on, man," the biker says, "I didn't think you'd CRY.  I can’t stand to see a grown man crying."
"This is the worst day of my life," I say. "I'm a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don't have any insurance. Then I left my wallet in the cab I took home. When I walked through the door I found my wife in bed with another man and then my dog bit me."
"So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a beer and drop a cyanide capsule into it and sit here watching the poison dissolve. Then you show up and drink the whole bloody thing!"
"But enough about me big fella, how's your day going?"


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And remember


            …Education: The path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.