15 April 2015

Welcome to HealthWest’s fortnightly newsletter. Read on for the latest in health news, resources, events and more!

News at HealthWest
Health Literacy
Community Partnership and Engagement
Service Integration
Aboriginal Health
For Your Diary


News at HealthWest

Primary Health Networks announced

Last Saturday the federal Department of Health announced 28 of the 31 Primary Health Networks (PHN) that will replace Medicare Locals. PHNs will work directly with GPs, other primary health care providers, secondary care providers, hospitals and the broader community to ensure improved outcomes for patients.

Melbourne Primary Care Network is the successful applicant in the North West Melbourne catchment.

More info: read the media release.

Pain Self-Management Forum – only a couple of places left!

The Western Self-Management Network is proud to announce a forum on the self-management of pain. Guest speakers will include Lester Jones, a researcher and physiotherapist with 23 years of clinical experience and Chair of the National Pain Network. The forum will focus on the most current concepts of pain, the determinants and influences of pain and self-management interventions for clients living with persistent pain. Any clinician or manager interested in developing skills and knowledge of the self-management approach should attend this event. Reserve your seat now!

When: 27 April 2015, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Maribyrnong City Council
More info: register by visiting our website.

New contact details

Another reminder that we have moved and are now located with Carers Victoria at Level 1, 37 Albert St, Footscray. Our direct lines have changed, however you can contact us via the main reception number on 9396 9500. All staff emails remain the same.

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Health Literacy

Save the date

The next MEET-UP will focus on Consumer Participation in Health Literacy. It will take place on Monday 1 June. More details to come!

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Community Partnership and Engagement

Case study of community participation in remote health services

A case study was published earlier this year in the Australian Journal of Primary Health. Community participation led to health services in the remote Kimberley region being re-oriented to meet community needs. The case study discusses major factors that facilitated the change.

More info: read the article.

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Service Integration

National Health Performance Authority – Healthy Communities: Frequent GP Attenders and Their Use of Health Services in 2012-13

Many Australians are fortunate to experience very good or excellent health and have few or no long term health conditions. They might visit a GP once or twice a year or they may go the whole year without any visits. Overall, Australians see GPs 5.6 times per year on average.

However, many other Australians need to see a GP more often than this. The results show how the two highest GP user groups compare to other attendance groups in terms of their age, socio-economic and insurance status, the extent to which they have chronic or other health problems and how many times they went to an emergency department or were admitted to hospital. The results also show how much money was contributed through Medicare towards GP, medical specialist, pathology and diagnostic imaging services for the two highest GP user groups in each local area.

More info: read the full report.

Who’s taking a view of the PCEHR

It is still predominantly consumers who are logging in and viewing documents on their PCEHR according to Department of Health figures, but clinicians are beginning to take a look, albeit in much smaller numbers.

More info: read the article.

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Policy Issue Review: The Role of Primary Health Care in Primary and Secondary Prevention of Diabetes

In Australia, diabetes represents a major burden in both human and financial terms, drawing heavily on limited health care resources including trained staff and carers. In contrast to many other health conditions, evidence suggests that many aspects of the burden imposed by diabetes could be avoided through preventive measures.

The aim of this Review is to examine diabetes programmes reporting outcome data and used in general practice settings to identify and proactively manage individuals at high risk for developing diabetes or, where diabetes is diagnosed, at risk for development of, or deterioration in, diabetes-related complications.

More info: visit the website.

Royal Commission into Family Violence Issues Paper

The Royal Commission into Family Violence has released an issues paper that outlines some of the key issues related to men’s violence against women in Victoria.

The issues paper is design designed to provide guidance for individuals and organisations intending to make a written submission to the Commission.

More info: visit the Royal Commission into Family Violence website.

New crime statistics released

The Crime Statistics Agency has released its first set of crime statistics for Victoria for the year ending 31 December 2014.

Recorded crime statistics show that there were 456,381 offences recorded by Victoria Police in 2014, up 4.3% compared to 2013. The 2014 crime rate was 7,808 offences per 100,000 people, an increase of 2.5%. Family related incidents continued to rise, up 8.2% to 68,134 in 2014.

More info: visit the Crime Statistics Agency website.

Opinion: alcohol sales in supermarkets

Jerril Rechter, CEO VicHealth, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Herald Sun in response to a plan to expand alcohol sales in supermarkets. The article outlines a number of public health impacts of this proposal.

Additionally, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett discussed the impact of alcohol on Victoria in The Age, suggesting that it is a bigger problem than ice.

More info: visit the VicHealth and The Age websites.

New National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics survey

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released the results from the latest National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics survey.

The NOPSAD collection provides information on a snapshot day in June 2014 on clients receiving opioid pharmacotherapy treatment, the doctors prescribing opioid pharmacotherapy drugs and the dosing points (such as pharmacies) that clients attend to receive their medication.

More info: visit the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.

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Aboriginal Health

Twenty minutes could save your life: book a breast screen today

This video promotes the importance of breast screening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women. Breast screening is an important routine health check for women aged 50 – 74 years. Having a breast screen every two years is the best way to detect breast cancer early; before any symptoms are noticed, and when treatment is likely to be most successful.

More info: view the video.

Empowered Communities: Empowered Peoples Design Report

This report outlines a ten-year social policy framework for the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

The framework was developed from the Empowered Communities Project that aimed to ensure government policy and investment is guided by local leaders to make a genuine and practical difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Eight Indigenous communities with different histories, locations and population sizes identified similar factors impacting on their cultural, social and emotional wellbeing.

This report is an important contribution to our understanding of how social and emotional wellbeing in Indigenous communities can be improved in practice, including ways to reduce community distress associated with suicide. The report is a joint effort of a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from across Australia, brought together by the Jawun Indigenous Partnerships Corporation.

More info: read the full report.

Lung cancer in our mob: a handbook for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers

This resource aims to assist health professionals to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with lung cancer. Increasing the understanding of lung cancer may help to encourage earlier investigation of symptoms and contribute to the quality of life of people living with lung cancer.

Topics covered include:

  • Lung cancer: getting the facts straight
  • Lung cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Reducing the risk of lung cancer
  • Investigating and diagnosing lung cancer
  • Multidisciplinary team approach to care
  • Treating lung cancer
  • Psychosocial issues and practical support
  • Life after treatment
  • End of life care.

More info: download the resource.

Free ear health screening at cohealth

cohealth and the Wimmera Hearing Society are offering free ear health screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, individuals and elders. Have an ear health check and enjoy a BBQ lunch.

When: Friday 29 May, 11am-3pm
Where: cohealth, 107 Churchill Ave, Braybrook.
More info: contact Crystal Harris on 03 9334 6699.

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For Your Diary

Melbourne Metro

Workshop: preventing ice and other drug issues in your community

The Australian Drug Foundation will run an interactive and expert-facilitated workshop for local government focusing on the prevention of drug and alcohol-related harm in communities. Learn what’s working and, more importantly, why it works.

When: Wednesday 29 April
Where: Victoria University City Campus, Level 12, 300 Flinders St Melbourne
Cost: $80
More info: visit the Australian Drug Foundation website.

Hepatitis C research update

The Centre for Research Excellence into Injecting Drug Use (CREIDU) is hosting a Research Update designed to assist workers in the community sector to keep up-to-date with current research in injecting drug use and critically analyse implications for practice. Research Updates also represent an opportunity for professional development and networking.

The first Research Update, on the topic of hepatitis C, will be accessible to community workers and other interested persons who work in the areas of injecting drug use, harm reduction and hepatitis C.  The Update features presentations from:

  • Dr Joseph Doyle – Is hepatitis C elimination possible in Australia?
  • Dr Amanda Wade – Past and future models of care for hepatitis C

When: Thursday 21 May, 9-11am
Where: Orange Room, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
Cost: free
More info: visit the CREIDU website.

Policy responses to obesity prevention in Australia

The CO-OPS Prevention Research Collaboration is holding a free symposium for practitioners, policy advisors and researchers to:

  • Reflect on the role of government and non-government sectors in obesity prevention in Australia
  • Consider progress in obesity prevention
  • Identify take-home messages and next steps in advocacy and action for practitioners, policy advisors and researchers to strengthen obesity prevention in Australia
  • Strengthen networks and collaboration for better research, policy and practice.

When: Thursday 21 May
Where: 550 Bourke St, Melbourne
Cost: free
More info: visit the CO-OPS website.

MS Researcher Update webinar

MS Research Australia is the largest national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to funding and coordinating multiple sclerosis research in Australia, as part of the worldwide effort to solve multiple sclerosis.

The research update webinars provide an opportunity to hear the latest news from MS researchers from around Australia. The topic for this webinar will be the factors related to psychological adjustment among people with multiple sclerosis and will be presented by Professor Marita McCabe.

When: Monday 20 April, 10-11am (EST)
More info: visit the website to register.

Local Area

Turning in to Kids

Drummond Street Services is offering a six-week parenting program for parents and carers of children aged 2-12. Bookings are essential.

Explore ways to:

  • Help children learn to understand and manage their feelings
  • Guide their behaviour with appropriate limits and
  • Promote strong and positive family relationships.

When: Thursdays for six weeks from 30 April – 4 June, 5.30-7.30pm
Where: Tarneit P-9 College, 21-23 Brinbrook St, Tarneit
Cost: free
More info: please call 03 9663 6733 or email: enquiries@ds.org.au.

Raising Happy, Healthy Kids

All parents want to raise confident and happy children. This seminar, hosted by Drummond Street Services, will explore ways to promote strong and positive relationships with your children.

Learn how to:

  • Encourage your children to co-operate
  • Help your children manage their feelings
  • Strengthen your children’s self-esteem.

When: Wednesday 29 April, 8.30-10.00am
Where: Bellbridge Primary School, 120 Bellbridge Drive, Hoppers Crossing
Cost: free
More info: please call 03 9663 6733 or email: enquiries@ds.org.au.

Considering Residential Care

Western Health and Alzheimer’s Australia Vic are running this session for family carers at the point of considering residential care for a family member with dementia.

In this program, we discuss the difficult decision of when to decide that residential care is needed, including the barriers to making this decision and the emotional issues for families regarding placement. Information is also provided about the residential care system, including the different types of care available, where to get information and what services to contact. Discussion of the family’s new role and how they can continue to care is included in this program.

When: Friday 22 May, 10-12.30pm
Where: Sunshine Hospital, 176 Furlong Road, St Albans
More info: visit the website to register.

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