North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1027: August 5, 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:
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In this issue:

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Update on seasonal influenza vaccine for healthy children from 6 months to under 5 years of age

Information Management                  A Send No Recall Letter alert, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  RACGP supports GP wellbeing, GP shares experience in new bowel screening resource for general practice, GastroNorth, Continuum of Care for Ophthalmic Patients, Up-front billing of Medicare ineligible patients, GP Network News          

Men’s Health                                        Management of Benign Prostate Conditions

Mental Health                                      Managing Bi-Polar Disorder Day Program   

News for Practice Staff                       Your Own Practice Intranet to Maximise Practice Efficiency, Newsletters, Nursing & Allied Health Scholarship & Support Scheme Update, Online CPD Organiser

NPS                                                       Final Reminder Last NPS Paper Audit, MedicinesTalk No. 33, NPS RADAR August 2010

Paediatrics                                           A Childhood Gastro Update 

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Continuing Professional Development

CPR Update

Thursday 2nd September 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 Tuesday 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.

Aug 10 - Management of Benign Prostate Conditions - Mr Peter Liodakis

For full term Tuesday lecture program click here


Primary Care Asthma Update

Melbourne General Practice Network in conjunction with the National Asthma Council presents the Primary Care Asthma Update for GPs, Practice Nurses & Allied Health Professionals. Tuesday 17th of August 6:30pm at 9/233 Cardigan St, Carlton. Speakers: Dr Gary Kilov & Ann Salmons (Asthma Educator) To register: email or contact Jessica on 9347 1188.


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Update on seasonal influenza vaccine for healthy children from 6 months to under 5 years of age

On Friday 30 July, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Professor Jim Bishop issued an update on the safety of administering the seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine to healthy children from 6 months to under 5 years of age lifting the current suspension.
The advice therefore is that from 6 months of age children may be vaccinated with the appropriate dose of Vaxigrip® and Influvac® following a discussion of the risks and benefits of these vaccines with parents and guardians. This includes both children at risk of medical complications of influenza and healthy children. Vaccination of children in this age group with Fluvax® and Fluvax® Junior is not recommended due to the identified increase risk of febrile convulsions.
For further information see here.


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Information Management

A Send No Recall Letter alert

A lot of practices have a sign in their waiting rooms stating they have a recall system in place and patients can nominate if they do not want to receive recall letters. What is the best way to achieve this electronically (e.g. through clinical or practice management software), or do you just keep a paper list and manually check with each generated recall list).

Has anyone got the answer?


Medical Director Tip - Modifying history/medication lists while in a LetterWriter template

Maybe you are working on a referral and you notice inaccuracies in the medication and/or history lists. You could make changes in the template but these changes don’t “carry back” to the patient’s clinical record. You can, instead return to the clinical screen by pressing Control + Tab and make the necessary changes. Press Control + Tab again to return to LetterWriter.

1.   Click anywhere in the History or Medication table and from the Table menu select Delete >Table.

2.   Press Control + D to show the Data toolbar.

3.   Under Data click on the + sign next to Clinical for a menu to appear.

4.   Double click on History List (or Medication List) and the revised list will appear in your template (where the cursor is present).


This weeks IM problem - Recording Health Fund

Question: Is there any way to record a patient’s health insurance status? There is no place in the patient demographics page.

Answer: You can, but it is a little hidden.

  1. Once in the patient record, from the Patient menu select Patient details.
  2. Click on the Notes tab – here you can record:
    1. Health fund name
    2. Health fund number
    3. Health fund type

The health insurance number can be inserted as a field in LetterWriter.


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Items of Interest

RACGP supports GP wellbeing

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has urged GPs in need to utilise its GP Support Program, a free and confidential service providing psychological support and counselling to RACGP GP members across Australia. See full Media Release.


GP shares experience in new bowel screening resource for general practice

A rural GP is one of several bowel cancer survivors who share their experience of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) in a new DVD developed for general practice by Cancer Council Victoria. General practice is ideally placed to advise patients on the prevention and early detection of bowel cancer. Bowel cancer kills almost 80 Australians each week yet 90% of cases can be cured if found early. Faecal occult blood testing, as offered through the NBCSP, has the potential to significantly reduce deaths from bowel cancer.

The aim of the video, and the accompanying practice preparation check-list, is to guide general practice teams through their role in the NBCSP, in terms of promoting participation, reporting requirements and patient support.

The video can be viewed online at and hard copies are available by calling 03 9635 5049. A complementary consumer video is also available.



Dr.Raouf Bassily, Dr.Simon Glance & Dr.Tin Nguyen are Gastroenterologists and Endoscopists who have joined together to provide your patients with timely, accessible, affordable and high quality medical care and endoscopy in Melbourne's northern suburbs. They consult privately in Bundoora, Greensborough, Kew, Epping & Reservoir and publicly at The Northern Hospital. Appointments can be made through the friendly staff: ph: 9473 8865, fax: 9473 8868 or via Argus at Visit


Continuum of Care for Ophthalmic Patients

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital strives to continually improve patient care, highlighted by the recent achievements of the ‘Community Eye Care Partnership’. This piloted project aimed to develop and trial a shared model of care between the Eye and Ear and community based primary eye care practitioners – specifically optometrists and general practitioners. The project was evaluated by the Centre Eye Research Australia, and was found to be a ‘worthwhile concept and initiative’, with high levels of patient satisfaction.

The Eye and Ear Hospital is now embedding this shared continuum of care in to our mainstream service delivery, and also addressing findings from the evaluation in its development. This process will improve patient care and convenience; further details will be circulated before its commencement in late August.

For more information please contact Sandra Clews, Project Officer. Tel 9929 8919 or email


Up-front billing of Medicare ineligible patients - Northern Health

As of August 1, 2010 Northern Health will require patients who are not eligible for access to healthcare funded by Medicare to pay prior to receiving treatment. Please note that this will include antenatal patients.

To ensure that Northern Health is able to provide patients with timely information regarding the requirement for up-front payment, the following must be provided.

All referrals must provide the patient’s Medicare number or state that they are not eligible for Medicare. Referrals not containing the above information will be rejected.

Could you please inform any Medicare ineligible patients regarding the introduction of the fee schedule when making referrals.

For further information contact Gillian Dickman, Operations Director, Specialist Clinics, Northern Health 


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Support Family Doctors campaign materials; Updated advice on the use of seasonal influenza vaccine for children; Collaborative arrangements will provide better care for patients; A national disability insurance scheme must be at the core of any national disability strategy; Labor increases mental health investment but more needed.


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Men’s Health

Management of Benign Prostate Conditions

See under CPD Tuesday lecture


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Mental Health

Managing Bi-Polar Disorder Day Program

The Melbourne Clinic in Richmond is currently accepting referrals for their Managing Bi-polar Disorder Day Program. This is a structured 10- week evening program ran on a Wednesday. This program was developed and implemented by the mental health research institute, it provides information and skills to assist people in the on-going effective management of their bipolar disorder and helps them to get the most out of their life despite the disorder and prevent relapse.

Contact Julie on 9420 9236 and fax referral to 9420 9355 (addressed to ‘Dear Doctor @ TMC’)


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News for Practice Staff

Your Own Practice Intranet to Maximise Practice Efficiency

Also Upskilling your Receptionists - a session for Practice Managers presented by: Ms Kathryn Davis

Thursday 26 August 7-9pm (Registration & Meal: 6:30) at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. [Application form]



·        The Benchmarque Group - July eNewsletter including upcoming course schedule.

·        Royal College of Nursing AustraliaeCommunity July edition.


Nursing & Allied Health Scholarship & Support Scheme (NAHSSS) Update

The Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) has been appointed as administrator of nursing scholarships under the Dept of Health and Ageing NAHSSS program. Previously the Australian Practice Nurse Association (APNA) administered the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) category for Practice Nurses. Under the new arrangements, the nursing element of the scheme is administered in 4 streams, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Clinical Placements and CPD. CPD for Practice nurses will fall under the CPD NAHSSS stream.

The scholarships worth up to a total of $1,500 per applicant for a one-year study period are intended to assist nurses in meeting the cost of their continuing professional development. This can include short courses, workshops and conferences. Applications open 14th August!

Further information about the NAHSSS can be found here and Royal College of Nursing website.


Online CPD Organiser

AusmedOnline provides nurses, midwives and all health professionals with hundreds of online resources to complete their annual education requirements. The vast amount of educational resources available will allow you to complete all your CPD online and at a time that suits you. Membership means that the next time you allocate yourself a few hours to engage in professional development, you can spend more time learning and less time looking. You can: Plan your CPD; Set your goals; Document your activites; Keep a record; Self-Evaluate; Print it anytime.

Your FREE Continued Professional Development Online CPD Organiser is here.


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National Prescribing Service

Final Reminder Last NPS Paper Audit

Enrolments close next week (Friday 13th August 2010) for the NPS clinical audit 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.

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

Please contact Dr Mary Levidiotis for further information on 9496 433 or .


MedicinesTalk No. 33

The latest edition of MedicinesTalk is now available. You can opt to receive an e-alert or hard copies of future issues of MedicinesTalk by visiting the NPS website.

This edition covers topics of interest including articles on: explaining drug interactions; what’s on a PBS script; the management of colds; explain that vitamins & minerals are medications too. You may wish to place copies in your waiting room for your patients.


NPS RADAR August 2010

A new edition of RADAR has been launched on the NPS RADAR website ( Print issues will be mailed to GPs, pharmacists and most specialists in late July. Topics in this edition include:

·        Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (gliptins) for type 2 diabetes - Vildagliptin (Galvus) is the second ‘gliptin’ to be added to the PBS. Like sitagliptin (Januvia), it can be prescribed with metformin or a sulfonylurea when a combination of these drugs is contraindicated or not tolerated. Information including dosing issues, contraindications and safety data is provided.

·        Adrenaline autoinjector (Anapen) for acute allergic anaphylaxis. NPS RADAR describes this new adrenaline autoinjector device for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and compares it with EpiPen.

·        Immediate-release pramipexole (Sifrol) & extended-release pramipexole (Sifrol ER) for Parkinson's disease. Update of December 2009 NPS RADAR review includes information about the newly listed extended-release formulation.

In brief items focuses on over-the-counter paracetamol with caffeine (Panadol Extra); the deletion of anakinra (Kineret) from the PBS; and the listing of exenatide (Byetta) for type 2 diabetes.


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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


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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


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 wanted urgently to replace our "soon to retire GP". Full time preferable. Happy, busy and supportive practice. You will love it here! Contact Dr Jenny Andrewes or Dr Danny Lipson on (03) 9484 2580 or email to


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Animator v Animation 2 -


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And remember


            What if there were no hypothetical questions?