North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1024: July 15, 2010
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                                                Patient alert 

Chronic Disease Management            New chronic disease management tool      

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Free Whooping Cough Vaccine        

Information Management                  Austin Health Orthopaedic Outpatient Referral, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  International Sarcoma Awareness Week, Tweddle Child + Family Health Service, Northern Health GEM and Rehabilitation referrals, SMS Reminders of Austin Health Outpatient Appointment, Needs of Not-For-Dialysis Renal Failure Patients, GP Network News 

Men’s Health                                        General Practice and Prostate Cancer

News for Practice Staff                       Cervical Cancer Prevention, NURSES - We are keen to seek your opinion, Orientation program for nurses new to General Practice, Nursing Scholarships 

NPS                                                       Reminder - New NPS Audit

Paediatrics                                           A Childhood Gastro Update, RCH GP Liaison – Kids Connect         

Women’s Health                                  Complementary and Alternative Medicines in Women’s Health                

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Patient alert

From the Victorian Department of Health Drugs and Poisons Unit, another fraudulent letter scam alert. The letter is commonly presented by a man in his forties, with extensive scars on his head and face, who claims to be visiting from Queensland. Recent incarnations of the letter purport to be from Biggera Waters Medical Centre and certify that the patient needs Oxycontin (40mg and 80mg tablets) in relation to a lower back injury and third degree burns to the face and neck.

The purported prescriber does not appear to exist and the after-hours mobile phone number connects to the man’s accomplice.

Medical practitioners are requested to:

  • be wary of any person presenting a letter of this type
  • call police if there is a possibility that an offender might be apprehended at their clinic
  • notify the Department of Health with full details, including a description of the offender.

If you have any further information relating to this or any similar scam, please contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Health on 1300 364 545 and quote reference number 59647. 


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Chronic Disease Management

New Chronic Disease Management Tool

Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) has developed a new, quick-guide chronic disease management resource package for GPs, practice nurses and allied health professionals to support multidisciplinary teamwork. It was developed with the aim to improve outcomes for people with chronic and complex conditions. The resource package is available online


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Continuing Professional Development

CPR Update

Tuesday 20th July 6.30pm – 9.30pm (dinner from 6.15pm) For GPs, practice staff and practice nurses. As part of RACGP QA&CPD Program, GPs have until the end of this year to complete an accredited CPR course. This course meets the requirements for CPR training and has 5 Category 2 RACGP points attached. Flyer.


Term 3 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. Course Leader: Dr Vin Nursey Phone: 9457 1736. Allocated CPD: 2 points/hour.

July 20 - Common Hand Conditions - Mr Michael Weymouth

For full term Tuesday lecture program click here


Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

Antiphospholipid Syndrome: Management Update” presented by Rheumatology. Drs Kim Le Marshall, Alberta Hoi and A/P Russell Buchanan

Wednesday 21st July, 12:30pm at John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Lance Townsend Building, Opposite Medical Library. Lunch is now at 1.15pm outside the Lecture Theatre.


Headache, Migraine and Neck Pain

Wednesday 21 July: 6.15 – 9.15pm, dinner included at Epworth Richmond, Auditorium, Level 2, 89 Bridge Road, Richmond. Flyer.

Free car parking is available at Epworth Richmond - enter via Bridge Road. RSVP: Jenny Jones on Ph: 9426 8997 or Email:


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Home Medicines Review

HMR update 

One of our PhD students at Monash, Cik Yin Lee, has requested people to assist with focus group research about medication issues in Retirement Villages. This was in last week’s Enews. Here is a paper that has just been published from research in our area showing a great need to assist people more with their medications.

The Home Medicine Review is an ideal place to start. Many of you will know that following the end of the Pharmacy Guild funding for HMR facilitators Jenny Gowan is now working one session a week at North East Valley Division of General Practice on Chronic Disease State management projects and anything to do with medications! You may target her for pharmacy issues!! Available by email: Phone 03 9496 4333; FAX 03 9496 4349 or mobile 0417 506 944. Usually at the Division on Wednesdays but happy to be contacted when it suits you!

Thank you all for your great support and keep the HMRs and RMMRs going!


Funding continues for Home Medicines Reviews

Home Medicines Reviews (HMR) and Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMR) continue to be funded under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Pharmacists should continue working with general practitioners in the usual manner to provide the HMR service to their patients. The HMR service optimises Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) and consumer understanding of medicines delivered in the community setting. Media Release


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Free Whooping Cough Vaccine

Whooping cough can be deadly, especially for babies under six months old. Whooping cough is on the rise in Victoria. The main way babies catch whooping cough is from infected parents and family members. To combat this rise the Department of Health is offering a free whooping cough vaccine called Boostrix® to parents of newborn babies.

Department of Health would like you to display a poster and distribute a fact sheet developed to assist you to alert parents to the dangers of whooping cough and encourage them to get the free vaccine. Additional copies of these free resources can also be ordered at any time until 30 June 2011 online from

For more information please contact the Department of Health Immunisation Program on telephone 1300 882 008.


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Information Management

Austin Health Orthopaedic Outpatient Referral – template available

Austin Health has “mandated” that this form must be completed and accompany the completed Outpatient Referral Form, in order for your patient to be triaged appropriately and provided with an outpatient appointment. They have provided paper versions and a pdf from the Austin website.  Most GPs DO NOT wish to revert to having to use paper versions and I have been approached by many practices and individuals asking if there was a MD version (template). The Austin will only provide pdf versions as they don’t want their forms changed. I have therefore created this template from scratch and it has not been authorised by Austin Health.

The next step is to create the Back and Neck Questionnaire (the one with diagrams) which the Austin has also sent out to GPs in paper-based form!! As yet I have no authorisation to create an electronic version. If you find it frustrating that hospitals are forcing you to revert to paper-based systems let them know how unsatisfied you are!!!

- Noel Stewart


Medical Director Tip - Quickly switching between LetterWriter and Patient Screen

Rather than minimising LetterWriter to show the patient screen there is a much simpler way of toggling between LetterWriter and the patient screen…

and this is... Control + Tab


This weeks IM problem - Reprinting pathology requests

Question: Is it possible to retrieve a pathology order after a patient loses the form or if it prints out on wrong paper? Or do we have re-type everything back in again?

Answer: The test names are recorded in the progress notes and the Outstanding requests but unfortunately you still have to redo the pathology request.


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Items of Interest

International Sarcoma Awareness Week – July 17-25

Sarcoma is a disease with a high rate of mortality and morbidity. During International Sarcoma Week (17-25 July 2010) Cancer Council Victoria and the Victorian Sarcoma Service are encouraging all GPs to familiarise themselves with the new Department of Health patient management framework for bone and soft tissue sarcoma. Early detection of sarcoma by general practitioners can significantly reduce the need for radical surgery and increase survival rates for patients. For more information please view the Peter Mac Callum website, the Cancer Council website or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 131120. To refer a patient contact Peter MacCallum directly 9656 1111 or fax to 9656 3743. Alternately, contact the Dept of Orthopaedics, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne on 9288 3980: fax to 9416 3610

New patient management framework for bone and soft tissue sarcoma can be downloaded at


Tweddle Child + Family Health Service

An accredited health service with an experienced team of maternal and child health nurses, registered nurses, early childhood nurses, lactation consultants, psychologists and social workers. Tweddle provides assistance for families with 0-4 year olds include residential and day stay programs, breastfeeding support, psychology services, support groups for parents of children with a disability or chronic illness, parenting workshops and our home visiting service, Tweddle@Home – which is a quick response fee based consultancy that visits families in the comfort of their own home within 2-5 days of booking.

The Tweddle@Home number is 03 8387 0658 visit or for brochures and further information. 


Northern Health GEM and Rehabilitation referrals

As of Wednesday 14th July 2010, all referrals to Northern Health GEM and Rehabilitation inpatient services will need to be directed to ACCESS BECC for waitlisting. Please send all inpatient GEM and Rehabilitation referrals to: ACCESS BECC. Phone: 9495 3109, Fax: 9467 8698. Clients will be placed on a single waitlist and offered an appropriate bed as available.

Referrals to the Palliative Care Unit at Broadmeadows will continue to be arranged by BHS Intake Unit. Please send inpatient Palliative Care referrals to: BHS Intake Unit, Phone: 8345 5127, Fax: 8345 5353 If you require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Nicole Davies on 8405 2529


SMS Reminders of Austin Health Outpatient Appointment

The Outpatient Department is now sending out SMS (Short Message Service) reminders to patients 24 hours before their scheduled appointment at Austin Health. Initially, the service is being used only for clinics with a high ‘patient failure to attend’ rate however, this will be reviewed quarterly. The SMS reminders are sent to the patient's mobile phone (preferentially) or landline. The message received by patients includes the clinic name, location and appointment date and time. It encourages patients to phone (9496 2444) if they are unable to attend. On average, about 400-500 messages will be sent on a daily basis. This will increase in time especially when the reminder system is reviewed. Should you have any questions regarding this new service, please contact Dr. Wendy Fisher, GP Liaison Officer, Austin Health on or 9496 2681 (Monday and Tuesday).


Needs of Not-For-Dialysis Renal Failure Patients

Fiona Spargo is working with Melbourne Health and the Dept of Health on a project to investigate the needs of not-for-dialysis renal failure patients, and subsequently develop some State-wide care guidelines. If you have experience in caring for such a patient, please contact Fiona on 9342 4659 or as she would like to hear about the experience of GPs with these patients.


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Men’s Health

General Practice and Prostate Cancer

Controversies and Conundrums workshop Friday 13 August. Jointly presented by the RACGP Victoria Faculty and the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, this one-day workshop, specifically designed for GPs, will form a part of the 11th National Prostate Cancer Symposium. It will be highly informative and interactive and will provide GPs with the latest evidence in PSA screening and new treatments for prostate cancer. Some of the world's leading experts in prostate cancer will be in Melbourne for this meeting and will join with Australian leaders to tackle the many contentious issues in prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and management. The knowledge gained from this workshop will enable GPs to provide the best continuity of care for our patients with prostate cancer and their families. To register for this workshop and view a detailed workshop program go to click here.


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News for Practice Staff

Cervical Cancer Prevention: a multi system approach for your practice

Cancer Council Victoria in conjunction with PapScreen Victoria are offering Division 1 and 2 practice nurses who are not currently accredited nurse Pap test providers and practice managers the opportunity to attend this 2-hour workshop. Thursday 12 August 6.30pm - 8.30pm (registration and refreshments from 6.00pm) at Main Conference Room, Cancer Council Victoria, 100 Drummond Street, Carlton. Flyer. This is an additional session – the 4th August session is fully booked.


NURSES - We are keen to seek your opinion!

Wendy and Janina will be receiving the Nursing in General Practice Contract shortly and the division will need to consider its focus and activities for the next financial year. We value and appreciate your contributions and wish to include you in a planning session as there is an increased level of activity and focus on the role of nurses in General Practice. (Invitation)

Topics will include: Review of the last twelve months activities – feedback, NiGP overview and direction for 2010-2011, Suggestions – Where to from now? Where our energy is best directed? Trends – The evolving role of nurses in general practice, What works and what does not!!!!

Thursday 22nd July 6.30-8.30pm at NEVDGP Training room at the Repatriation Hospital (Map)


Orientation program for nurses new to General Practice

Registrations are now open for the next Orientation Program for Nurses new to General Practice to be held 26-27 August 2010. The orientation program has been designed for nurses who are new to the general practice environment ie within the first 6-12 months of employment. The program will provide nurses with the knowledge and baseline skills they need to deliver high quality and safe health care services. The flyer is here and the registration form is here.


Nursing Scholarships

UPDATE – This year nursing scholarships will be administered by RCNA, but they have not been announced yet. Shouldn’t be too long. We recommend if you are interested in applying to start your portfolio so you will be ready to go when they come out. We are expecting there will be Nurse Practitioner Scholarships available!


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National Prescribing Service

Reminder - New NPS Audit

A new NPS clinical audit has been released entitled ‘Review of opioid prescribing in chronic pain’. This audit complements the upcoming Pain Management visiting program that will run in the first half of 2011.

Online enrolments are currently available at and enrolment is available with PPR 51 which has been posted to you. Alternatively use this form to enrol. Enrolments close on Friday 13th August 2010 and the initial data collection needs to be submitted by Friday 10th September 2010.

Please note that this is the last paper clinical audit available for the current QPI year: 1 May 2010 – 30 April 2011.

Contact Dr Mary Levidiotis for further information on 9496 4333 or


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Faeces, farts & fibre – A Childhood Gastro Update

Presented by RCH Gastroenterology in partnership with Divisions of General Practice & RCH Primary Care Liaison

Wednesday, August 11th 7-9pm - 6:30pm register (with light refreshments) at Royal Children’s Hospital – Vernon Collins Lecture Theatre

After hours parking available on Gatehouse Street or at RCH. Applied for 8 RACGP Cat 2 CPD points (pending) Flyer


RCH GP Liaison – Kids Connect

Remember the RCH GP website for Clinical Services Directory, referral forms, key contacts, parent factsheets, pre-referral guidelines AND SO MUCH MORE…. including the Practical Paediatrics Program for GPs (CPD) - under ‘Professional Education’. Coming up: Gastro, Dermatology with ALM clinic placement option, Neurology


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Women’s Health

Complementary and Alternative Medicines in Women’s Health

Tuesday 27th July, 7.00-9.00pm (Registration & Refreshments from 6.30pm) Level 4 Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg - Dr Vicki Kotsirilis

Significant numbers of women use complementary medicines and statistics indicate this is often not reported to their GP. This activity is designed to enhance GP knowledge of CAM use, safety and location of resources to access information about CAM’S.

Registrations: Merran Mackie 8458 4833 /

Allocated 4 (Category 2) points in the RACGP QA & CPD Program for the 2008-2010 triennium.  


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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


Diamond Creek (near Eltham & Greensborough) -  Dr wanted full time or part-time to join our lovely established Family Practice, accredited since 2001, computerised & with mixed billing. 1 in 6 Saturdays  8.30am – 12.noon. No Sundays or Public holidays. Outer Metro area (Relocation incentive grants). Pay and conditions negotiable. Opening hours Mon- Friday 8.30am – 7pm. Contact Sheila Bouskill on 03 9438 3888 or e-mail


Cheltenham - We are looking for a VR GP to join our midsized accredited practice. Comfortable new rooms, fully computerised, flexible sessions, pathology, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology on site. Excellent remuneration, you will not be disappointed. Will suit GPT4 trainees. For further information please phone Peter Enten, 03 9584 9504, 0411 813 292 or email peterenten@bigpond.


Livingstone Street Clinic in Ivanhoe - VR GP F/T or P/T required to work in this GP operated Accredited Medical Clinic. A friendly and supportive team environment in this fully computerised Medical Centre with Allied Health, RN’s and Radiology on site no A/H’s (flexible family friendly working hours). Please contact John or Ken on 03 9497 1188.


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

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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" replies Watson.

"And what do you deduce from that?"

Watson ponders for a minute.

"Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

Holmes is silent for a moment. "Watson!" he says. "Someone has stolen our tent!"


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And remember


            …The future is very much like the present, only longer.