North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1222: June 28, 2012
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:

Editorial                                                July 2nd – INDEPENDENCE DAY       

Chronic Disease Management            Minding Diabetes – Check your emotional health  

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Free whooping cough vaccine program to cease   

Information Management                  Setting up the Individual Health Identifier, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Northern Health hands ongoing care for simple fractures back to GPs, VBAF voucher program, Northern Health GP Practice Survey, GP Network News         

Mental Health                                      Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Program – brief update  

Women’s Health                                  NEMICS Breast Tumour Group                    

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor


From Monday July 2nd, North East Valley Division of General Practice will be operating as an independent entity. We will be continuing to support our practices and their staff, but without the requirement to meet some target, produce some report, write some plan or create some strategy. Our task simply put, will be to continue to provide you with advice, support and information. Noel, Patty, Wendy, Clare and Mary (NPS) will be available to visit your practice, support our networks and organise events.

We can all look a little nostalgically at the last 18 years, and I think it won’t be too long into the future that we recall them as “the good old days”. The Division has always prided itself on being an organisation whose singular purpose was to support our practices, and we believe that we did it with style, and undeniably with results. There are many examples of the Division’s innovative approaches to government programs & policies. Always practical, focused and flexible and delivered by ‘user friendly’ staff working individually but as part of a team.

Compared with when & where we started, there are few GPs now I suspect, who would not acknowledge the small contribution the Division has made to general practice in Melbourne’s North East.

Our contact numbers will remain the same (phone) 9496 4333 (fax) 9496 4349 email (same as now). We will continue to update the forms on our website to reflect changes to the MBS. In particular I need to emphasize in particular, that we have NO responsibility for what was formerly our largest individual program, namely, MENTAL HEALTH, similarly for CLOSING THE GAP or AGED CARE. Changes to our Websites Home Page will reflect this reality from next week.

We never sought to build an empire (as our small numbers attest) we simply wanted to make sure that you, our members, were able to participate and benefit from the government of the days agenda. Over the years many of those early fears have, I believe been erased and you are now confident enough to call us with a bewildering range of questions because you know that true to the Division’s motto ‘ATTENTION TO DETAIL’ we either will know the answer or find it for you, and that most importantly WE WILL GET BACK TO YOU WHEN WE SAY WE WILL.



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Chronic Disease Management

Minding Diabetes – Check your emotional health

Many people with diabetes can feel weighed down with concerns about their health and wellbeing. If neglected, these feelings can end up affecting their quality of life and self-management of diabetes. The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) has developed a website designed to help people with diabetes to identify any problem areas that they may have with the emotional aspects of diabetes, and to get help and information. For more information, visit and click on the Minding Diabetes link.


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Continuing Professional Development

Malnutrition and Medical Risk in Eating Disorders Seminar

Friday 20 July, 8:30am - 10:45am (light breakfast between 8:30am and 9:00am)
NARI Seminar Room, Building 9, RMH - Royal Park Campus, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville.

Please click here for more information or to register.


Vaccine Preventable Diseases Update

Presented by the Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local (INWMML). Especially for GPs and Nurses. Tuesday 24 July 7pm start (Light refreshments provided) at The Treacy Centre, 126 The Avenue, Parkville. Speaker: Professor Robert Booy, infectious diseases paediatrician, Head of Clinical Research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). His research interests include epidemiology & prevention of influenza, varicella, Hib, pneumococcal and meningococcal disease.. RSVP: by 13 July 2012 to Talitha Willis on phone 03 9347 1188 or email


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Free whooping cough vaccine program for all parents of newborn babies will cease on 30 June 2012

Boostrix® vaccine orders will be accepted until the close of business on Friday, 29 June 2012. Please encourage those eligible for the free vaccine to take up the offer prior to the program’s end on 30 June. If there is unused Boostrix® vaccine in the fridge after 30 June, the vaccine can be used for new parents until the 'new parent' Boostrix® stock is finished.

Parents with a baby born up to and on 30 June 2012 would need to have had the free Boostrix® vaccine administered by 30 June 2012 to be eligible.

These parents are not eligible for the free vaccine after this date unless they can source left over 'new parent' Boostrix® vaccine from an immunisation provider.

Please remove any promotional posters and flyers for the free Boostrix® vaccine program for new parents after 30 June 2012 for example in maternal and child health centres and clinic waiting rooms.


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Information Management

Setting up the Individual Health Identifier

(From Janina De Silva, Manager, Doutta Gall Community Health)

We have just realised that we are able to check and validate a patient’s IHI (Individual Health Identifier) through the waiting room screen in Pracsoft.

From the waiting room - select the patient, right click, select View and then click on Validate

This is a quick and easy process, all patients now presenting are checked and incorrect details amended on the spot

Happy reception staff!


Medical Director Tip - Showing LetterWriter and Clinical Screen at the same time

As many practitioners now have wide screens there is a way to view both the LetterWriter screen and the patient clinical screen at the same time.

  1. Open a patient record
  2. Open LetterWriter and then open a template (e.g. the referral letter)
  3. Once in LetterWriter go to the Window menu and select Tile Vertically – this will now display the 2 windows side by side and you can make each window active by simply clicking on it.

Beware: Using this method has occasionally been known to crash MD.


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Items of Interest

Northern Health hands ongoing care for simple fractures back to GPs

Many simple fractures once assessed and treated in the Emergency Department can be safely managed back in the community.  For most patients with these types of conditions, continued management by their GP is preferential to follow-up visits to the Orthopaedic Specialist Clinic.

Following discharge from the Emergency Department your patient will return to your clinic with a discharge letter and the relevant GP Information sheet. 

If you have any clinical concerns, please contact the Orthopaedic Registrar on 8405 8749 or the ED GP Hotline on 8405 8610


VBAF voucher program

The Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund Advisory Panel has extended the psychological counselling voucher program and the wellness recovery voucher program for an additional six months. The two programs were to have finished at the end of August.
The extension means that people will have until 31 December 2012 to apply for vouchers, and until 31 March 2013 to redeem them. Vouchers can be obtained through the VBAF hotline on 1800 180 213, or by visiting the VBAF website.
Please contact Alistair Sandison by telephone (03) 9096 8470 or email if you have any queries with the program.  

Northern Health GP Practice Survey

A survey was recently distributed to GP Practices within the Northern Health catchment area to ascertain practice details. We would like to thank the practices that completed and returned the survey to the NH GP Liaison Unit, however we would also welcome all practices in our catchment area to participate in the survey.  If you haven’t already done so, and require another survey, please contact the NH GP Liaison on 8405 8705 / 8405 8815


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: New dates set for ANF Wage Claim; ANAO Report Shows GP Infrastructure Grants Better Than GP Super Clinics; AMA GP Desktop Practice Support Toolkit


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Mental Health

Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Program – brief update

The Northern Melbourne Medicare Local has appointed the Northern Division of General Practice as to manage the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program.

You can rest assured that all clients currently in treatment through an ATAPS referral will be able to continue in treatment with their current provider.

However, the Department of Health and Ageing have made some new requirements of the ATAPS program – the most important one is that all ATAPS referrals must be triaged by the organisation managing the program to ensure that the program is reaching the target populations – low income, people with PND, Children, people affected by the 2009 Bushfires and people at risk of suicide and self-harm. This means there will be a few changes to the way GPs make new ATAPS referrals. The Northern Division of General Practice will be in contact with you shortly to detail these changes.

The Program Officers responsible for the ATAPS program are Zoi Servinis and Kay Dufty. Zoi and Kay have a lot of experience supporting GPs working with patients with mental health issues. You can contact them on Zoi Servinis - 8480 4617; Kay Dufty8480 4609

On behalf of the NEVDGP ATAPS Team we would like to thank you for working with us over the past 10 years of the ATAPS program and helping to make it the successful program it has been.

Alison Elliott

Mental Health Program Officer



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Women’s Health

North Eastern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service Breast Tumour Group

The NEMICS Breast Tumour Group is proud to launch the ABC Best Practice Pathway. This document provides an easily accessible resource to guide care at any stage of the advanced breast cancer treatment pathway.  Within each stage of this Pathway, recommended interventions are identified to guide management within the following areas; oncological care, multidisciplinary team approach, supportive care and the GP role.  It is hoped that the use of this pathway will provide a framework of care that addresses all needs of the patient, their family and their primary support person.

The Pathway can be accessed via the NEMICS website at or you can contact Melissa on 9496 3831 to request a booklet.


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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


Kinglake Ranges Health Centre - Locum GP required to work weekdays from 9am – 5pm from  3 – 13 July (inclusive) – total 8 days. For further information, contact Laura Colliver on (03) 5734 8400


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


North Eastern Metropolitan Melbourne – VR GP wanted by doctor owned private billing practice. FT 4-5 days per week. Flexible arrangements.Contact the Practice Manager Wendy on 9438 5666.


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A man went to an attractive female doctor for his annual check-up.

She told him that he would have to stop masturbating.

He asked why?

She said, “Because I’m trying to examine you”


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And remember


            … If we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?