North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1124: August 4, 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:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Editorial                                                Healthy Start for Kids Program and the Nurse Incentive Program 

Aged Care                                             Aged Care Interest Group

Chronic Disease Management            Getting Started, Inflammatory Arthritis      

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      Quinine Warning for Leg Cramps

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Optometry-Ophthalmology Workforce Collaboration Project, GP Network News

Mental Health                                      OCD & Anxiety Disorders Week 2011, Perinatal in Practice:  Managing Perinatal Mood Disorders in General Practice,      

News for Practice Staff                       Online Orientation Program for Nurses New to General Practice 

NPS                                                       August 2011 - NPS RADAR, Medicine Update

Paediatrics                                           Practical Paediatrics Program - General Paediatrics update         

Women’s Health                                  Monitoring Fertility: Assisting Conception, Managing Perinatal Mood Disorders in General Practice                     

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Healthy Start for Kids Program and the Nurse Incentive Program

One of the division’s main aims is to provide information and training on new initiatives or programs as they come to our attention. We are therefore organising 2 special events so we suggest you put the following 2 dates in your diary until we get more detail to you.

“Performing the 4 year old Health Check” - Thursday 15th September from 7 – 9 PM

A practical workshop demonstrating and discussing the assessment, including roles of the GP and nurses. Particular emphasis will be on the hearing, eye and dental assessments so that nurses, in particular, will have more confidence in performing these assessments. More information and flier to come next week.

“Understanding the Practice Nurse incentive Program” - Wednesday 21st September 7 – 9 PM

Understand the criteria for practices to access the PNIP and resources to support this new program.

For further information and/or clarification contact Noel or Wendy at the division.


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Aged Care

Aged Care Interest Group

Support and education in geriatrics for GPs who visit or are interested in visiting Aged Care Facilities.

Dementia - Diagnosis, Drugs & Future Directions. Speaker: A/Prof  Michael Woodward, Head , Aged Care & Residential Care, Austin Health.

Monday 8th August 1-2 pm (Light lunch 12.30pm) at Vasey House, 5 Tower Ave, Bundoora (near BECC)                                                           

Please RSVP to Lorraine on 9466 9615.


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Chronic Disease Management

Getting Started

A diabetes information session for people with type 2 diabetes who are newly diagnosed or have not had diabetes education in the past. The 3.5 hour session is run by our diabetes educator and dietitian, who will provide your patients with valuable information to get started managing their diabetes. Information sessions are held at DA–Vic Head Office, 570 Elizabeth Street, Level 1 (stairs only) Melbourne. Cost is $10 for DA–Vic members, or $15 for non-members. No referral is required but bookings are essential. For enquiries or to register, please phone the Diabetes Infoline on 1300 136 588. The next information session is scheduled Thursday 25 August 9 - 12.30pm. Encourage your patients to register and Get Started.


Inflammatory Arthritis

Arthritis Victoria is running two events at the Austin Hospital in August and September.

Signs, Symptoms and Solutions: This seminar is designed for those living with an inflammatory form of arthritis including rheumatoid, psoriatic and ankylosing spondylitis. Monday, 29 August 6 - 8:30pm at Education Centre Lecture Theatre, Austin Tower, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg. Cost: $10 ($8 for Arthritis Members) Family members and carers - no charge.

RSVP: Monday, 22 August. Places are limited. See here

Self-Management and Education Course

Mondays for 6 weeks, 10 - 12:30pm 5 September – 10 October at The Austin Hospital, Heidelberg. Cost: $62.00. RSVP: 22 August. See here

Please contact program administrator on 8531 8000 or email


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Continuing Professional Development

Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“What do you do…when cure is not an option?” Introduction: Dr Juli Moran, Director Palliative Care Services. Speaker: Dr Molly Carlisle

Wednesday 10th August, 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.


Harm Minimisation Forum

Your chance to discuss current topics on harm minimisation with other health professionals. Featuring :Margaret HardingDrug Court Magistrate, Dandenong Drug Court. Tuesday 16th August 7.30-9pm. Note no charge to GP members of NDGP and NEVDGP. Registration.


Travel Medicine for the Whole Family

Wednesday 17th August 6:30 pm-9pm (Dinner & Registration from 6:30 pm) at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Presented by: Dr Dr Mike Starr, Infectious Diseases Physician, RCH. Application Form.


CPR Update

Thursday 8th September 6.30 -9.30pm (Dinner from 6.15pm). Update your CPR skills in line with new ARC guidelines. Target Group: GPs, Practice staff and Practice nurses. Presented by: Mr David Bourke at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Flyer

A participant co-payment of $50 is required for this training.


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Home Medicines Review

Quinine Warning for Leg Cramps

The TGA says it still receiving 21 reports (see link) of thrombocytopenia in people taking quinine, presumably because doctors are continuing to prescribe the drug 'off label' for muscle cramps despite its PBS indication for leg cramps being withdrawn. Medicines Safety Update (2:108)

Dr Jenny Gowan consultant pharmacist advises doctors and pharmacists to document warnings given to patients about risks if quinine is being prescribed and dispensed for leg cramps to avoid litigation issues.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Adding a Recall Action

Recall Actions allow you to record a note that relates to a patient’s specific recall. For example, if you had sent a printed reminder letter to a patient and then followed up that letter with a phone call, SMS or Fax you can record the fact that you made the contact. This action can be recorded against the Recall within the patient's record.

1.                  With the patient record open select Clinical >Recall

2.                  Select one of the available Recall items and click on View Recall Actions…

3.                  Click on the Add button

4.                  Choose one of the actions from the drop down list, type in a Comment if required and click on Save.

Please note:

1.                  You can add as many Recall Actions as you like to a recall

2.                  Don’t confuse Recall Actions with Outstanding Actions (also known as the Action List)

The Recall Actions are another string to your bow to document your attempts to document follow up recalls/reminders for individual patients.


This week’s IM problem - Transferring recalls to another GP

Question: One of our GPs has left the practice. Is there a way of transferring her recalls to other doctors.

Answer: You can do this but you transfer the recalls to only one other doctor and this is a function of the HCN Maintenance program.

1.      Open HCN Maintenance and under Database tasks select Medical Director.

2.      Double click on Merge Search Lists and then click on the Recall List (Dr) radio button.

In the left panel select the doctor who has left the practice and in the right panel select the doctor to whom you wish to transfer the recalls. Click on Change and then OK to complete the action.


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Items of Interest

Optometry-Ophthalmology Workforce Collaboration Project
A new clinical trial is being undertaken at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in collaboration with the Australian College of Optometry.
The Optometry-Ophthalmology Workforce Collaboration Project will pilot an advanced triage clinic. Patients referred by GPs with an unclear referral will receive an initial work up by an optometrist under the supervision of a RVEEH ophthalmologist at the Australian College of Optometry’s Carlton site. The aim of the clinic is to determine the most appropriate clinical setting for patient’s care.
A recent audit of GP referrals identified that up to 30% of referrals (approximately 3000 new hospital visits per year) could potentially be treated in the community e.g. ‘for general eye check’. The anticipated benefits for patients are reduced clinic waiting times and swifter access to more specialised care should it be required. The hospital pilot clinic is anticipated to begin in October and you will be informed by mail if a patient of yours will be attending. If you would like further information please contact the Project Manager at


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Red Tape Survey; Expert Advisory Group on Mental Health Not Consulted; PIP Advisory Group; Senate Inquiry into Commonwealth Funding and Administration of Mental Health Services - tell the AMA your story; Telehealth for DVA Services; Federal Court Decision - PSR Panel and Deputy Director Appointments in 2005 and 2009 were Invalid; Sign the Online Petition Opposing GP Mental Health Funding Cuts; Great Savings with Powerbuy.


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Mental Health

OCD & Anxiety Disorders Week 2011

Annual Conference Seminars for OCD & Anxiety Week Sunday 7th – Saturday 13th August at various locations in Melbourne City and Eastern Suburbs.

OCD and Anxiety Week hopes to promote community awareness and knowledge about anxiety disorders. For full details & to register visit 

Email or phone 9830 0533 or 1300 269 438.


Perinatal in Practice:  Managing Perinatal Mood Disorders in General Practice

Saturday 10th September 9am - 4.45pm (8.45am registration) at General Practice Victoria, Level 4, 458 Swanston Street, Carlton. This workshop aims to introduce GPs to the current understanding of perinatal mood disorders and their management, using lecture, cast studies and interactive exercises. Enquiries: Anne Diamond on 0409 186 310 or Email: See flyer for registration.


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News for Practice Staff

The Online Orientation Program for Nurses New to General Practice

This program will be free to enrol until August 16, 2011. Once participants have enrolled in this window of time they can access it beyond August 16 for free, as there are no time constraints after enrolment. Click here.


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National Prescribing Service

August 2011 - NPS RADAR

The August issue of RADAR is now available.  It provides an independent review of dabigatran (Pradaxa), a direct thrombin inhibitor oral anticoagulant, for preventing stroke or systemic embolism in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillaton. Dabigatran is currently only available on private prescription for this indication in Australia, but is being promoted through a ‘patient familiarisation program’. Dabigatran is currently only PBS listed for short-term prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism after hip or knee replacement surgery.

Other items include:

Varenicline (Champix) safety update: possible increase in serious cardiovascular events

• 13-Valent pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (Prevenar 13) listed on the National Immunisation Program

Saxagliptin (Onglyza) tablets PBS listed for type 2 diabetes

Dutasteride with tamsulosin (Duodart) PBS listed for benign prostatic hyperplasia

Telmisartan with amlodipine (Twynsta) PBS listed

• Generic fentanyl patches (Denpax) PBS listed.

For the full August issue, go to (Email alerts will be sent to subscribers in August, and the print issue mailed to GPs, pharmacists and most specialists).


Medicine Update

NPS provides the online publication Medicine Update for consumers who are starting or thinking about starting a new medicine. A Medicine Update for dabigatran (Pradaxa) in non-valvular atrial fibrillation will be published August 1 while a second issue will review a prolonged-release version of melatonin (Circadin) for primary insomnia. Neither drug is currently PBS listed for the indication described.


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Practical Paediatrics Program - General Paediatrics update

Next Saturday August 6th 9am-12.30pm at the Royal Children’s Hospital.  Learning areas include UTI’s, nocturnal enuresis, the crying infant and persistent abdominal pain. Great speakers: Drs Jacinta Tobin, Harriet Hiscock and Susie GibbMorning tea kindly sponsored by Nestle.

More details and online registration here:


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Women’s Health

Monitoring Fertility: Assisting Conception 

An Active Learning Module is to be presented at Rydges Bell City, 215 Bell Street Preston, on Saturday 20th August, 9.15am – 4.30pm  by the Ovulation Method Research and Reference Centre for Australia Ltd. This is an ideal opportunity to update your knowledge on the signs and symptoms of fertility and infertility as well as to gain 40 Category 1 (Women’s Health) points for this current triennium.  For further information and registration telephone 1800 335 860 or click here.


Perinatal in Practice:  Managing Perinatal Mood Disorders in General Practice

See under Mental Health.


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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 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.


Ivanhoe - VR GP Required for regular weekend work (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) in fully accredited, computerised, private billing General Practice. Excellent renumeration and friendly environment. Hours negotiable (Practice is open Sat: 9 – 4 and Sun 10 – 12). Please contact Dr Peter Eizenberg (Principal) or Mary Howe (Practice Manager) on phone: 03 9497 1644 or email:


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


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A Desert Love Story

Once upon a time there was a very handsome male camel with two huge camel humps.

He fell in love and married a beautiful female camel who had one perfect camel hump.

As time progressed, they became the proud parents of a wonderful baby camel who had no humps.

They contemplated long and hard on what to call their beautiful little boy.

They finally decided on......


            'Humphrey' !!!!!!!!!!.


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And remember


            … Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.