Welcome to Brisbane South PHN's weekly newsletter for primary health care providers. If you would like to get in contact with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT: The official guidance underpinning the health advice in this publication is rapidly evolving; in some rare instances information may be already out of date at the time of publication. Please always check links provided for the latest information.
Serving the region – Brisbane South PHN update
This week at Brisbane South PHN, we are:
- supporting General Practitioners (GPs) with a new clinical decision support line related to COVID-19 management, for details on this service see COVID-19 Requests in SpotOnHealth HealthPathways
- continuing to distribute PPE bundles and fit testing kits to practices across the region
- keeping practices up to date with changes to the Living with COVID-19 care pathways.
Queensland COVID-19 model of care released
After input from many stakeholders, Queensland Health has updated the state-wide COVID-19 model of care (COVID-19 care pathways). The pathway includes an expanded virtual care model, expanded triage system for people with symptoms of COVID-19, and an online COVID care self checker. Consumers will be risk stratified to identify the most appropriate care pathway for them. The pathways are:
- Get well at home.
- Get COVID-19 care at home under the supervision of a GP or health worker.
- Get COVID-19 care at home from a virtual hospital.
- Be admitted to a COVID-19 hospital ward.
Recommendations for the use of Paxlovid and Lagevrio in treating COVID-19
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has released treatment recommendations for 2 new oral antivirals for adults with mild COVID-19, following recent provisional approval by the TGA – Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir) and Lagevrio (molnupiravir).
These medicines will initially be made available in Australia from the National Medical Stockpile to:
- residents of residential aged care facilities (RACF)
- rural and remote communities, particularly in regions with high First Nations populations
- state and territory governments for distribution to those at highest risk in the community, including people living with a disability.
As supply increases, it is expected that the antivirals will transition to a pharmaceutical benefits scheme arrangement.
COVID-19: Update for Queensland general practice webinar recording now available
On Monday 7 February 2022, a state-wide webinar for general practice staff shared the latest updates about the current COVID-19 situation in Queensland. Topics discussed include health pathways, the model of care and the management of COVID-19 positive patients. Speakers included representatives from Queensland Health, Healthdirect, RACGP Queensland, and Queensland PHNs.
COVID-19 referrals including access to additional treatments
Information about COVID-19 escalation pathways and access to additional treatments for eligible patients with COVID-19 are available on SpotOnHealth HealthPathways.
Enter 'covid requests' into the search bar, and select the COVID-19 Requests page from the list of results.
Here you can access:
- details about the new GP Clinical Decision Support line
- information about referring to COVID-19 HITH services
- information on how to seek clinical advice about specific patient care.
In-person GP referrals for residential aged care facilities (RACF)
Brisbane South PHN has commissioned Hello Home Doctor to support in-person General Practitioner (GP) attendances at RACFs when a regular GP may not be able to attend in-person, or a telehealth consult is deemed not suitable. To refer a patient, GPs can call 07 3505 5962, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Care is available for COVID-19 positive residents and RACF that have active outbreaks.
- Referring GPs need to notify the RACF that another GP will be attending to their patient in-person, on their behalf.
- This service is unable to initiate or activate end-of-life plans (unless all paperwork is completed and authorised by the regular GP and Next of Kin/EPOA). The GPs are also unable to issue death certificates.
This service has been established to ensure aged care residents continue to receive in-person primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prevent unnecessary emergency department and ambulance care.
In the event a RACF experiences a GP shortage for a large number of residents (10 or more) please email email@example.com as they are able to approve a clinic date and time with the facility to help ensure continuity of resident care. Feel free to email the team with any further queries.
Ordering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The Australian Government Department of Health recently released guidance on access to PPE bundles and pulse oximeters for practices willing to treat COVID-19 positive patients face-to-face. PPE bundles are also available for pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines.
Quality Improvement Toolkits: Disaster Preparedness
COVID-19 has provided many learning opportunities that can help us to prepare for disasters or pandemics. To help strengthen general practice preparedness for the next wave or natural disasters, a suite of resources are now available. These resources are designed to be easily completed and provide prompts to ensure general practices stay up to date with quality improvement recommendations and related activities. The activities are available from the Brisbane South PHN website. For further support please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 467 265.
Dr Claudia Collins from Yulu-Burri-Ba Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health and Dr Jonathan Leitch from ATSICHS Brisbane yarn with Brisbane South PHN and Metro South Health about COVID-19 and how to protect and care for your family.
In the recorded yarns, each of the doctors answers the following questions:
- Why should l get my children immunised against COVID-19?
- What do I do if I or my family test positive with COVID-19?
- How do I look after me and my family’s wellbeing?
Queensland Health have updated their guidance on the use of the Qld Check In app. The public are no longer required to check in at businesses or venues where there is no requirement to be vaccinated to enter. General practices and pharmacies can now remove the Qld Check In app QR codes.
The public must continue to check in at businesses or venues where there is a requirement to be vaccinated to enter.
Get familiar with the national cancer screening register
The national cancer screening register enables a single, self-service electronic record for people participating in cervical and bowel cancer screening. The register is an online portal that houses cancer screening results. Through this portal, practice managers, nurses and General Practitioners can easily support patient care through technology by maintaining and encouraging regular screening as a preventative measure.
Check Qscript before prescribing or dispensing monitored medicines
Checking Qscript before prescribing or dispensing monitored medicines is now mandatory before:
- prescribing a monitored medicine for a patient
- dispensing a monitored medicine for a patient
- giving a treatment dose of a monitored medicine for a patient.
The recently passed Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 legislation specifies that penalties can occur if health practitioners do not take reasonable steps to check QScript when required. There are exceptions in some circumstances, including when treating patients in an emergency.
The following health practitioners must register for, and use QScript:
- medical practitioners
- nurse practitioners
- endorsed midwives
- podiatric surgeons and endorsed podiatrists.
Informative webinars on Qscript, applicability to specific substances and professional requirements can be found on the webpage.
Join Canteen’s preferred General Practitioner library
Canteen is a national Australian not-for-profit that annually provides support to 8,000 adolescents and young adults aged 12 to 25 who are impacted by cancer. Canteen is seeking expressions of interest from General Practitioners (GPs) who would like to join a library of preferred providers that Canteen members can be referred to.
A large proportion of our members do not have a regular GP and are looking to find a trusted GP who has experience working with young people.
If you are interested in joining our preferred provider library, or would like more information, please complete this form or email email@example.com.
Workforce development and training
SpotOnHealth HealthPathways – Eating disorders in adults
Did you know that the mortality rate in eating disorders is the highest of all psychiatric illnesses? Find out more about eating disorders in adults via 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.
Gift of Gallang: Youth programs that foster cultural connection for First Nations children
The Gift of Gallang is a primary school-based wellbeing and suicide prevention program designed for First Nations children and led by First Nations facilitators. It was conceived after a tragic cluster of youth suicides occurred in the Inala area in 2016. Community consultation confirmed that a reduced sense of belonging and lack of cultural connection had increased feelings of despair and hopelessness amongst First Nations children – a contributing factor in the increased suicide rate.
‘Gallang’ is a Jagera Nation word for ‘healing’; the program uses a strengths-based approach to teach the skills of emotional regulation, to foster connections to culture, and to remind children that they matter – to their friends, families and the broader community. Supported by Brisbane South PHN, the Gift of Gallang is currently being delivered in Inala by Inala Wangarra Inc and, thanks to its success, will soon be extended to parts of Logan and Beaudesert.
Our latest publication, Primary Health Impact, focused on First Nations health, including Gift of Gallang.
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.