5 August 2015

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

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

News at HealthWest

Welcome Dimity!

HealthWest is thrilled to welcome Dimity Gannon to the role of Prevention & Advocacy Coordinator.

Dimity brings a wide range of skills and experiences to her new role, with a background in consumer participation and strategic partnering. She started at HealthWest on 4 August and is working full time. Welcome to the team Dimity!

HealthWest at the 2015 Primary Health Care Research Conference

HealthWest in partnership with cohealth, University of Melbourne and the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health (CEH) recently presented a symposium at the 2015 Primary Health Care Research Conference. The symposium was titled Taking action to build health literacy capacity amongst the primary health care and community service sector in the Western Metropolitan Region of Melbourne.

To learn more about the symposium, see the slide presentation.

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Health Literacy and Community Partnership

Maribyrnong Council adopts Victorian Child Friendly Cities and Communities Charter

The Victorian Child Friendly Cities and Communities Charter recognises the need for increased participation by children in decision making forums and creating child friendly environments.

More info: read more about the Charter, and about Maribyrnong’s decision to become a signatory to it.

Safely home: What happens when people leave hospital and care settings?

How does your organisation manage its discharge process? When discharge goes wrong, it comes at significant cost. This UK Special Inquiry focused on the experiences of older people, homeless people, and people with mental health conditions – three groups for whom a poor discharge process is particularly damaging.

It identified five core reasons for poor discharge planning:

  • lack of co-ordination between services
  • patients feeling stigmatised
  • patients feeling unsupported after discharge
  • lack of patient involvement
  • lack of understanding of individual needs.

More info: download the full report on the Healthwatch website.

Communication in healthcare: A narrative review of the literature and practical recommendations

Effective and efficient communication is crucial in healthcare. This paper reviews the literature on the quality of written communication, the impact of communication inefficiencies and recommendations to improve written communication in healthcare.

The findings highlight the importance of clear and effective communication between those providing care. It is a great reminder to be health literate in your communications with colleagues as well as with clients and community members.

More info: download the review.

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Service Integration

Article: If people are to manage their own conditions they’ll need wider support beyond their GP

Primary care has appeared to be the logical place to manage long-term conditions such as diabetes rather than in more expensive out-patient clinics.  However there is also a need to improve the support and resources that patients can get from linking and connecting with social and personal networks rather than depending on support from healthcare professionals.

More info: read the article in The Conversation.

Review of new arrangements for the delivery of mental health community support services and alcohol and drug treatment services

In July 2015, it was announced that an independent review will be undertaken to explore the functioning of the new arrangements for the delivery of mental health community support services and alcohol and drug treatment services. This review will provide advice on the next steps to ensure that the service system meets the needs of those with severe and persistent mental illness and those with addictions.

The consultation will seek broad input from service users, their families and carers, peak bodies and service providers, as well as referrers and interfacing service sectors such as clinical mental health services.

More info: see the review’s Terms of Reference.

Primary health care reform discussion paper released

The Australian Government has released an options discussion paper ‘Better outcomes for people with chronic and complex health conditions through Primary Health Care’. The discussion paper considers possible reform options which will inform the government’s development of a healthier Medicare to support people with complex and chronic diseases and keep them out of hospital longer.

More info: download the discussion paper and learn about the consultation process on the Department of Health website.

National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) portal an agent for online eHealth forms

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has launched an automated application tool for healthcare providers looking to register for eHealth services such as the personally controlled electronic health record.

More info: visit the eHealth Online Forms website.

Training courses provide a fast track to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)

Training provider eHealth & HL7 Education Partners has launched Australia’s first courses in evaluating and implementing the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard, which has been described as a ‘paradigm shift’ in connecting healthcare IT systems.

More info: read the Pulse+IT Magazine article.

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Dropping Off the Edge report

Dropping off the Edge 2015 identifies areas of disadvantage in every state and territory of Australia and uncovers the web of factors that must be solved for these communities, and our nation, to thrive.

More info: read the report and see the Victorian findings.

Victorians lost $68 million more on pokies than last year

On 24 July 2015, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) released figures on pokies expenditure for the 2014-2015 financial year. In total $2.57 billion was lost in Victoria on the pokies between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. This is an increase of 2.7 per cent or $68 million from 2013-2014 and is the highest amount lost on pokies since 2011-2012.

More info: see The Guardian’s interactive map of pokies losses by local government area and the VCGLR’s map of venues.

Refer to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website.

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Aboriginal Health

Spatial variation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s access to primary health care

This report presents the findings of work undertaken to map access to primary health-care services across Australia relative to the distribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It focuses primarily on physical access to Indigenous-specific primary health care services funded by the Australian Government and also takes into account Indigenous people’s access to GPs in general and to hospitals.

The report includes maps and analyses that identify areas where critical service gaps exist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect to their access to primary health care.

More info: download the report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.

Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have released this issues paper on their Closing the Gap page.

Cultural competency is a key strategy for reducing inequalities in healthcare access and improving the quality and effectiveness of care for Indigenous people. Cultural competence is more than cultural awareness—it is the set of behaviours, attitudes, and policies that come together to enable a system, agency, or professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

More info: download the report from the Closing the Gap website.

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For Your Diary


Western Chances scholarships now open!

Western Chances helps talented and motivated young people across all six municipalities in Melbourne’s west achieve their big dreams. Scholarships are available for small items that have a big impact. Things like textbooks and tuition fees, laptops and internet access, maths calculators and MYKI cards.

Nominations for Western Chances Scholarships are open until 21 August.

More info: apply via the Western Chances website.

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week funding

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is offering grants up to $5,500 (inc GST) to assist local government or community group hold an event for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 12 October – 18 October 2015. Events should promote responsible gambling behaviours and a shared responsibility.

Submissions close at 5pm Monday 10 August.

More info: download the flier. For further information or a submission form please contact Brett Hetherington on (03) 9452 2656 or brett.hetherington@responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au.

Building safe communities for women

Reducing violence against women and their children is an issue across Australian communities. The Australian Government is inviting applications for projects under the Building Safe Communities for Women and their Children funding round.

Funding is for local community groups, not-for-profit organisations and local governments. This one-off investment will assist local communities to improve safety for women and their children through locally based and locally designed solutions to meet local needs. It can also be used to support the development of positive responses for communities of interest.

More info: visit the Department of Social Services website.

Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local Legacy Grants program

The Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local (MRNWM-ML) invites eligible organisations to apply for funds under a newly released, Legacy Grants Program.

On 30 June 2015 the MRNWM-ML ceased operations due to cuts in funding from the Federal Government. With its equity, the MRNWM-ML has decided to run a Legacy Grants Program. Funding priority areas include:

  • Family violence
  • Health literacy
  • Education in chronic disease prevention and management
  • Access to maternal and child health services
  • Access to mental health services.

Applications for funding close 5pm Friday 4 September.

More info: visit the Medicare Local website.

Regional Victoria

Carers Victoria Mingle 2015

Are you a carer? Carers Victoria invites all carers to join them for a wonderful day out. Find out about services and supports in your local area and make new friends with other carers, while enjoying lunch and entertainment.

Where: Mingle events will be held in Melbourne, Caroline Springs, Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Mildura, Wangaratta, Cranbourne and Bairnsdale
When: dates range from September to November
Cost: free
More info: find the details of your local Mingle event and RSVP on the Carers Victoria website.

Melbourne Metro

Cultural competence in counselling training

This workshop is being run by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH). It will draw on a cultural competence framework to improve counselling within diverse communities. The training features discussions on relevant theory around cultural competency tools for counsellors, hands–on activities including a clinical case study and comprehensive resource lists for further learning.

Who: for counsellors, psychologists, social workers and welfare workers
When: Wednesday 19 August 9.15am – 1.00pm
Where: Centre for Cultre, Ethnicity and Health, 23 Lennox St, Richmond
Cost: $150 – includes morning tea, lunch and course materials
More info: register via the CEH website.

Wellness Dreaming training at cohealth

The Wellness Dreaming Project is a Koolin Balit initiative led by cohealth. It aims to:

  • build capacity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous workforce in the North West Metropolitan Region to work in inter-sectoral partnerships to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
  • foster the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander community to enable local, community-led, culturally appropriate action for wellbeing
  • develop, train and promote a strengths based approach with all stakeholders.

Who: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and non-Aboriginal staff in community controlled and mainstream organisations in health, justice, government, employment, education, housing, community, sport and recreation sectors are encouraged to participate and become Wellness Dreaming Messengers.
When: two days – 2 & 9 September 2015
Where: Laverton Community Hub, 95 Railway Avenue, Laverton
Cost: free
More info: to register for the training or for more information, contact Nellie Flagg on 8398 4114 or Karen Ingram on 8398 4151 or email Karen.ingram@cohealth.org.au.

Diabetes Victoria professional development

Type 1 diabetes update for health professionals

This new 2 day program is suitable for Division 1 RNs, GPs, dietitians and podiatrists working in a variety of practice settings who need to have a thorough working knowledge of type 1 diabetes in order to care for patients safely and well.

When: 21 and 22 October, 9am – 4.30pm
Where: Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Level 7 Carson Conference Centre, 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Cost: DA-Vic member: $300, non DA-Vic member $350. Early bird discounts apply.
More info: see the course flier.

Type 2 diabetes update for health professionals

This 2 day program provides an update on type 2 diabetes management skills and knowledge to better equip those who care and work with people with diabetes in a variety of health care settings. Suitable for Division 1 and 2 RNs, GPs, dietitians and podiatrists.

When: 9 – 10 September OR 18 – 19 November, 9am – 4.30pm
Where: Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Level 7 Carson Conference Centre, 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Cost: DA-Vic member: $300, non DA-Vic member $350. Early bird discounts apply.
More info: see the course flier.

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