North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1140: December 1, 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            Getting Started        

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Changes to the National Immunisation Program Schedule and related payments     

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  ASPREE study update, Hearing Services Program, Helping patients through better communication with GPs, GP Network News           

Mental Health                                      Physical Health Matters Too           

News for Practice Staff                       Practice Managers/Practice Nurses Final Session, Pap Test Nurse Scholarships, Grants and Fellowships for Victorian Nurses & Midwives    

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Chronic Disease Management

Getting Started

Diabetes Australia – Vic presents 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 Tuesday 6 December 2011 from 9.00am until 12.30pm. Encourage your patients to register and Get Started.


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Continuing Professional Development

APPN Webinars

The INR and Warfarin and the Atrial Fibrillation Webinars (recording and slides) are now available for viewing on the Australian Point of Care Practitioner's Network site.

Please log in to the APPN site: and the webinars are located under the following tabs: 'Webinar' (top of the page) > 'Previous webinars' (left hand side of the page) > 'INR & Warfarin' or 'Atrial Fibrillation' (left hand side of the page).


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Changes to the National Immunisation Program Schedule and related payments

The Immunise Australia website provides a summary of these changes. The new immunisation fact sheet describes these changes in detail.

Changes are under 4 main headings:
A. Eligibilty for the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement will require that children are assessed as fully immunised, replacing the Maternity Immunisation Allowance from 1 July 2012.
B. A new immunisation check will be introduced for one year olds to supplement the existing focus on immunisation at two and five years of age from 1 July 2012.
C. The meningococcal C, pneumococcal and varicella ('chickenpox') vaccines will be included in the list of immunisations that are needed for a child to be assessed as fully immunised from 1 July 2013.
D. A combination vaccine for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella ('chickenpox') for children aged 18 months will be added to the National Immunisation Program Schedule from 1 July 2013.
For further information about the changes to payments to families see
Information for customers about changes to the Family Tax Benefit Part A and the Maternity Immunisation Allowance can be found at


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip 

Adding food allergies and intolerances as past history items

You have always been able to add food allergies under allergies but you can also add food allergies and intolerances as a condition, whether through Progress Notes >Reason or retrospectively via Past History >New Item. In the coded list simply type: Food. The various allergies and intolerances will be listed. The patients with these conditions are then able to be found using a database search.


This week’s IM problem

Making medication lists more readable

Question: On the Medical Director screen the medication lists look very tidy with a border around the table of the medication list. Unfortunately when you print the list the border disappears. How do I show a border?


Answer: What you call a “border” are actually non-printing gridlines. To put a “real” border around the medication lists, do the following:

1.      Click anywhere in the medication table and from the Table menu go to Select  >Table – this highlights the whole table.

2.      From the Table menu select Properties

3.      Click on the All or Grid icon - this puts a lovely border around all the cells in the medication table as the following example shows:


Drug Name






Dose: 1-2 tablets tds




2 stat, then 1 capsule after each loose bowel action, to a max of x6/day.




1 mane




1 q.i.d. p.r.n.




1 daily m.d.u.




1-2 tablets 4-6hrly, max x8/day




2 puffs q.4.h. p.r.n.



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Items of Interest

Australia’s largest aspirin trial in the elderly reaches 5,000 participants

More than 5,000 healthy Australians aged over 70 are enrolled in the ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) study. Almost 1300 GP co-investigators are currently involved in the study – the largest primary prevention trial to take place in Australia. Trained ASPREE staff undertake study activity and GPs can be eligible to earn 40 Cat 1 QA&CPD points. Call 1800 728 745, email, or visit


Australian Government’s Hearing Services Program – changes to eligibility for young Australians

From 1 January 2012 young adults aged 21-25 years inclusive may be eligible for access to hearing services through the Community Service Obligations (CSO) component of the Australian Government’s Hearing Services Program.  Previously, access to the CSO ceased at age 21 years, but will now cease on a client’s 26th birthday.  This extension will allow eligible hearing impaired young Australians to continue to access hearing services and support while they are studying, training or establishing their careers.  In order to access CSO services, young adults must –

·         Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident

·         Have not yet turned 26 years of age

·         Have a confirmed hearing loss

Clients are encouraged to contact the Office of Hearing Services on 1800 500 726 to confirm their eligibility status under the CSO.


Helping patients through better communication with General Practitioners

The North East Primary Care Partnership (Divisions of GP’s, Community Health Services, RDNS, Acute Hospitals) will implement a communication strategy to guarantee GP’s will receive feedback during their patients treatment at other health agencies.

·         Patients consent ensures GPs will receive feedback throughout the patients care cycle

·         A one page template will clearly indicate patients name and key details, practitioner ‘s name who completed the information, assessment outcome, consumer goals, future management plans, action required by GP and a list of current services and referral action

·         Template Faxed/posted

This strategy will improve patient care by keeping all care providers informed about the patient’s treatment and progress.

To view the Guidelines and a copy of the template follow the link:

Julie Watson Executive Officer – NEPCP – 03 9450 2614


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Common sense prevails on GST ruling; GP Red Tape Survey 2011; AMA welcomes investment in General Practice; Federal AMA President to visit NSW; Mental Health Funding Cuts; AMA supports intent of the Green’s junk food advertising Bill; Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) - MBS Items Online Checker.


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Mental Health

Physical Health Matters Too

A collaborative project between the North East and Hume Whittlesea Primary Care Partnerships that will support the introduction of physical health screening within local mental health services.  Since our last update the project has achieved the following:

·         Developed a single page physical health screening tool that can be used by AMH and PDRSS

·         Developed a package to support screening including information sheets for consumers and workers, a covering letter template for referrals to GPs and a referral pathways document so service providers can identify service options for consumers

·         Developed resources for GPs to support them in making referrals to community health services and using  MBS items

·         Developed expression of interest letters for GP professional development sessions

·         Discussions have commenced with agencies around screening implementation. This will be a staged approach with screening taking place at agencies in early 2012

For further information contact Jean Crewe Project Coordinator on 9450 2678


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News for Practice Staff

Practice Managers/Practice Nurses Final Session

Thursday 8th December, 6:30-9pm. This will cover Access Services for Koories and the Nurse Practitioner Program as well as an IM/eHealth Update and an update from the RCH. Plus some fun stuff! At John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Additionally, Dr Peter Eizenberg, Chair of the NEVDGP Board of Directors, will give a short presentation on the future of the Division within the MediCare Local environment. Application.


Pap Test Nurse Scholarships – up to $1000 (inc GST)

PapScreen Victoria is offering financial assistance for Victorian Registered Nurses (Division 1) to become Pap test providers.

·         Deadline for applications is Friday 23 December 2011

·         Successful applicants are required to commence an accredited Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) Pap test provider training course in 2012

Visit here for eligibility requirements and to complete an application online.

Enquiries: Kirsten Hausknecht on 03 9635 5403 or


Grants and Fellowships for Victorian Nurses & Midwives

NBVLL Grants and Fellowships are now open. Applications close 4.00pm Friday 3 February 2012. 

Click here for more information


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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 - Opportunity for FT & PT VR GP to join one of Melbourne’s most famous practices in 2012. Modern, large supportive group (10 GPs), FT nurses, computerized, CDMs, no A/Hs, friendly, flexible, mixed billing. Good remuneration. Contact:- Dr Stephen Smith or Dr David Doig on 9499 1245


Northcote – F/T P/T 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


Thornbury - VR GP or GPT4 Registrar required urgently to replace a “soon to retire” GP, in a busy, long established, accredited and computerized clinic with a dynamic friendly team and excellent nurse support. Mixed billing & on site pathology. For enquiries, please contact Dr Danny Lipson or Rose – Practice Manager on 9484 2007 or email


Practice Staff

Northcote area – Part time (Variable 3-4 days per week) Div 1 Practice Nurse required to assist our medical staff  in a busy general practice. Duties include wound care, travel health, immunisations, health assessments, patient triage, assist with clinical procedures and all other duties required in a general practice.  Visit our website for more information. To apply forward your resume to


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Seniors momentum

A group of seniors were sitting around talking about all their ailments.

"My arms have gotten so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee" said one.
"Yes, I know” said another. "My cataracts are so bad; I can't even see my coffee."
"I couldn't even mark an "X" at election time; my hands are so crippled" volunteered a third.
"I can't turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck" said a fourth, to which several nodded weakly in agreement.
"My blood pressure pills make me so dizzy!" exclaimed another.
"I forget where I am, and where I'm going half the time" said another.
"I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old" winced an old man as he slowly shook his head.

 The others nodded in agreement.
"Well, count your blessings" said a woman cheerfully … "at least we can still drive!"


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And remember


            …When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.