Welcome to Brisbane South PHN's weekly newsletter for primary health care providers.
We understand primary care is a busy environment and we have streamlined our communication and activities to focus on identified priorities that reflect the needs of our region each quarter. From September to November 2021, we are focusing our activities and communication with you on:
• Alcohol and Other Drugs
• Older People
• Children and Youth.
We welcome your feedback. Let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading!
Serving the region - Brisbane South PHN update
What have we been up to at Brisbane South PHN this week?
- Finalising support for residential aged care workers to have their first COVID-19 vaccination, leading up to the deadline for mandatory first dose by the end of this week. All Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) workers, including visiting General Practitioners (GPs), are required to have completed (or have booked) their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 31 October 2021.
- Onboarding a further 115 general practices to commence vaccinating with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines from 20 September 2021, plus an additional 2 sites to commence vaccinating with AstraZeneca and 1 further practice vaccinating with AstraZeneca from 27 September 2021.
- Planning and consulting to improve vaccination access for vulnerable communities, particularly our culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, people experiencing homelessness, and people unable to leave their homes to access care.
- Escalating feedback from general practices to the Department of Health for clarification or response.
- Triaging and providing COVID-19 information relevant to our practices and the region.
- In our region, 75 pharmacies will commence Moderna vaccinations from 20 September 2021 with an additional 91 pharmacies by the start of 27 September 2021.
Reminder - vaccinations for 12 to 15-year olds have commenced
As announced recently, all adolescents aged 12 years and over across the county are now eligible for vaccination.
To get your child, or a child in your care vaccinated:
Mandatory vaccines for health care workers in hospitals
Queensland’s Health Minister, Yvette D'Ath has announced that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all Queensland Health employees who work in, or enter sites, that provide care to patients or clients, and for Queensland Ambulance Service staff.
More than 73 per cent of Queensland Health workers are fully vaccinated. All staff will be required to have their first COVID-19 vaccination dose by 30 September 2021, and to be fully vaccinated (or to have booked their second dose) by the end of October.
Push for COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy
Queensland Health’s peak clinical bodies have yesterday released a joint statement strongly encouraging vaccination during all stages of pregnancy. It follows cases of pregnant people in New South Wales being seriously affected by the Delta outbreak with instances of both parent and baby suffering severe adverse outcomes (such as pre-term labour). Pregnant people have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and their babies also have a higher risk of being born prematurely.
Choice of vaccine for people over 60 in Queensland
The Queensland Premier on Wednesday announced that people aged 60 and older will be able to choose whether to be vaccinated with the Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through Queensland Health vaccination sites. Per the provider bulletin on 23 August 2021, vaccinating primary care providers are supported by the Commonwealth to book patients based on state and territory eligibility criteria, where they have capacity and available stock, and are requested to continue to prioritise more vulnerable groups.
Queensland Health hubs will also be hosting a “Super Pfizer Weekend” at all state vaccination centres, encouraging walk-ins for everyone aged 12 and older to get vaccinated to protect against the Delta strain.
With almost 250 general practices now vaccinating with Pfizer and AstraZeneca from next week in Brisbane south, and community pharmacies set to be vaccinating with Moderna as well as AstraZeneca once doses have arrived in Australia, the majority of vaccine doses administered will still be coming through primary care. We thank you for all you are doing to support our community to stay safe.
Language is powerful when discussing alcohol and other drugs use
Stigma communicated through words can affect people who use alcohol and other drugs in seeking help and undertaking treatment for their health issues. The language that clinicians use is an important factor that effects stigma.
Person-centred language focuses on the person, not their substance use, and combats negative stereotypes. There are a range of resources to support providers and staff with guidelines on how to use language to empower clients and reinforce a person-centred approach
Improve your confidence to support patients experiencing alcohol and other drug concerns
The RACGP Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) GP Education Program is a Commonwealth Government-funded program aiming to upskill General Practitioners (GPs) to better address drug and alcohol misuse in their community.
Training includes: online workshops, learning modules, webinars and a mentoring series. With 3 levels of training options, select and apply for the level that best suits you.
Australian Digital Health Survey – Have your say!
The Australian Digital Health Agency is consulting on Australia’s next Digital Health Strategy. Now’s your chance to influence the future of digital health in Australia by taking part in a 15-minute survey. Your valuable input will help the Australian Government to continue to evolve one of the best health care systems in the world.
General Practice Accreditation Support - online webinar series
Are you looking for more support and understanding of the RACGP 5th Standards for accreditation? Brisbane South PHN, in partnership with AGPAL and their subject matter experts, is hosting several one-hour lunch time online webinars exclusively for general practices in Brisbane south.
These webinars are designed to support general practice throughout various stages of the accreditation process. Webinar dates and registration links can be found below. All webinars are held from 12.30 -1.30pm.
Wednesday 22 September
Webinar 1: Preparing for Accreditation under the RACGP General Practice Standards 5th Edition
Thursday 30 September
Webinar 2: Strategies for meeting evidence requirements for challenging Indicators in the Core Module
Tuesday 19 October
Webinar 3: Guidance for meeting challenging Indictors in the Quality Improvement and General Practice Modules
Thursday 21 October
Webinar 4: Areas of Non-Compliance and Next Steps
Expression of interest - Brisbane South PHN Advisory Councils
Health professionals and community representatives who want to make a difference in the Brisbane south region are invited to apply to join one of Brisbane South PHN’s 2 advisory councils.
- The Clinical Advisory Council assists the organisation to develop local strategies that will improve the health care system for health consumers.
- The Community Advisory Council advises on local issues to better meet the unique needs of our communities.
Together, they help guide the development of Brisbane South PHN’s strategy and activities, and play an important role in providing advice on health issues and initiatives in the region.
To ensure the councils focus on local needs, it is preferred that applicants live or work within the Brisbane South PHN boundaries and have strong links with those communities. First Nations Peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people living with disability and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.
Applications close on 30 September 2021.
Workforce development and training
Tips for effective communication with adolescents on substance use
Effective communication with young people is key to engaging them and asking about substance use. When talking with a young person, remember:
- Assess the young person’s competency, especially where they are under 16 years of age.
- Be non-judgmental and avoid using stigmatising language.
- Help them identify the negative outcomes of continuing certain behaviours and relate these behaviours to their immediate concerns, e.g. effects on appearance, relationships.
- Consider culture and language; but be careful not to make assumptions about behaviours based on a young person’s cultural or religious background.
- If they stop talking or appear disengaged, respect that. They need to develop trust with you to open up.
- Invite them back; make sure your door is open for them to see you again.
For clinical information and support regarding the management of patients with alcohol and other drug concerns, call ADCAS on 1800 290 928 (8.00 am - 11.00 pm, 7 days).
Quality Improvement (QI) toolkit - diabetes
The diabetes QI toolkit has recently been updated and fully endorsed by Diabetes Queensland. This toolkit is designed to be used in general practice to:
- understand your patient population diagnosed with diabetes
- monitor patient care to achieve optimal goals (i.e. review completion of bloods, urine and other tests)
- identify people at risk of developing diabetes
- review risk factors
- understand Medicare Benefit Schedule item numbers available
- find referral pathways
- access resources and education.
The QI toolkit is now available in an easy-to-complete, fillable PDF workbook via DiscoverPHN. For assistance completing this toolkit, or any questions in relation to QI, please email email@example.com.
Transition your practice to GP Smart Referrals
Smart Referrals make it quicker and easier for General Practitioners to refer their patients for specialist outpatient services. This ensures referrals will be sent to the right place, first time and with all the essential referral information needed to accurately categorise as per Metro South Health Refer Your Patient website. The preferred method to send referrals to Metro South is by GP Smart Referrals.
GP Smart Referral training is available online and through remote training sessions. The Metro South Health Team can help you transition to the Smart Referrals System and arrange installation and training at no cost. Call 3156 4320 or email for support. Technical support is provided by eHealth Queensland and can be requested 24/7 by calling 1300 478 439 (option 2).
SpotOnHealth HealthPathways - Prolapse
Did you know that for postmenopausal women with prolapse, topical estrogen can be used as a treatment option to reduce Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) frequency, overactive bladder and genitourinary syndrome of menopause? Find out more about prolapse on SpotOnHealth HealthPathways.
If you are a clinician working in the Brisbane south, Redlands, Logan or Scenic Rim catchments, request the SpotOnHealth HealthPathways username and password by calling 07 3156 4346 (Monday to Friday) or request online below.
Headspace mental health support for young people
Young people in Beaudesert now have easier access to mental health services when and where they need it most, with the official opening of a new headspace satellite service this week, supported by Brisbane South PHN.
1 in 4 young people are affected by a mental illness every year, with many also significantly affected by the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more important than ever to ensure access to youth mental health services.
The headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness. Headspace provides free youth-friendly support.
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, and of the many different nations across the wider Brisbane south region. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging, as the holders of the memories, the traditions, the culture and the spiritual wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation. We acknowledge any Sorry Business that may be affecting the communities as a whole. In the spirit of reconciliation, partnership and mutual respect, we will continue to work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to shape a health system which responds to the needs and aspirations of the community.
While the Australian Government has contributed funding for this material, it has not reviewed the content and is not responsible for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided herein.