22 July 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

Reducing Gambling Harm: A Public Health Approach Training Manual

HealthWest has released a training manual to support community action to reduce harm from gambling. This joins other resources recently published by HealthWest as part of the project ‘Reducing gambling frequency with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.’ The training manual was developed with CALD communities to reduce the attendance of venues with electronic gaming machines by community members. This work was funded by a prevention grant from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

Resources developed include:

  • The Reducing gambling harm: a public health approach training manual
  • A presentation about the project
  • An evaluation report

More info: download these resources and read more about the project at HealthWest’s Harm from Gambling webpage.

Western Self-Management Network Forum – places still available

There are still a few places available to attend the Western Self-Management Network Forum on Depression and Anxiety. This forum will focus on bridging the gaps between services by introducing and outlining Western mental health services accessible to patients in our local community and presenting best practice models for self-management of depression and anxiety.

Guest speakers will include NEAMI National, Breakthru, cohealth and a clinician from a tertiary mental health service.

When: Monday 27 July 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Werribee Mercy Hospital
More info: register to attend on the HealthWest events page.

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Health Literacy and Community Partnership

Hobsons Bay Community Engagement Framework

Congratulations to Hobsons Bay City Council on the release of their new Community Engagement Framework and Policy.

More info: download the pdf.

NSQHS Standards Guide for Community Health Services

Consultations on this draft resource are about to close.

The Standards Guide was developed to help community health services using the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is seeking feedback by Friday 24 July 2015.

More info: read about the consultation process and download the draft Guide at the ACSQHC website.

Engaging Men in Healthcare

A new practice and policy guide has been released to support health service providers and policy makers respond more effectively to men’s health. The practice and policy guide was produced by the Department of Health and Human Services and is accompanied by tools and resources.

More info: visit the DHHS Diversity in Health website.

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Service Integration

Update on Aged Care Reform

Recently the Department released an update on the aged care reform. The update provides information for Victorian services on the interaction with My Aged Care, referral pathways and frequently asked questions.

From 1 July 2015 Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) and HACC Assessment Services (HAS) in Victoria will have partially migrated into My Aged Care to enable a nationally consistent approach to assessment for people needing Home and Community Care (HACC), Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) services, Home Care Packages and Residential Care in Victoria.

As there will be a nationwide media campaign advertising My Aged Care and associated reform, Victoria needed a way to reconnect consumers who contact My Aged Care directly back to the service system. That is why as of 1 July 2015, all Victorian ACAS and HAS will have been registered on My Aged Care and will now be able to receive referrals from My Aged Care.

More info: Download documents provided by the DHHS:

Download a great presentation on these changes by George Pappas, Acting Director Planning & Programs Aged & Community Care, Department of Social Services.

Analysis of the Federal Health Budget and Related Provisions 2015-16

From this analysis:

‘ACOSS estimates that, combined, the two budgets strip approximately $15 billion / 4 years from basic services and supports that affect low and middle income households … The Government continues to find savings by using price signals (or co-payments) to reduce demand. Other common methods for achieving savings include: tightening up eligibility and funding rules for patients’ benefits and providers’ incentives; cutting funds from health programs and agencies.’

More info: Read the full analysis.

National Diabetes Week

Last week was National Diabetes Week. This year’s campaign raised awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and the growing number of people who have it.

HealthWest recently conducted the Responding to Diabetes in Braybrook needs analysis that examined the role of the physical and social environment in diabetes and how this impacted on choice and opportunity for community members.

More info: visit the Diabetes Australia website or read about HealthWest’s Responding to Diabetes in Braybrook project.

After Hours GP Helpline Set for Return

The afterhours GP helpline was initially thought to have been axed by the federal government in the May budget. However it is set for a return! The helpline was first introduced by the Labor government in 2011 as a free national service that was intended in part to relieve after hours.

More info: read about it in Pulse+IT Magazine.

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2015 VicHealth Awards – Nominations Open

The 2015 VicHealth Awards will celebrate great projects that make our communities happier and healthier places and empower Victorians to take control of their health and wellbeing.

Entries are invited from state and local governments, health agencies, non-government, not-for-profit and private sector organisations. VicHealth is looking at all of Victoria’s leading health promotion projects – from large programs with a broad reach, to the best health promotion ideas at a local level.

More info: visit the VicHealth website for awards and categories.

Royal Commission Asked to Act on Gambling

The Royal Commission into Family Violence is being asked to recommend greater controls on gambling. Community groups are calling for more research on the link between family violence and gambling and they want greater restrictions on poker machines.

More info: listen to the full story on the ABC News website.

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Aboriginal Health

Connective Services: Post-prison Support in an Urban Aboriginal Population

This research identifies a range of connective, practical, emotional and spiritual post-prison supports, as well as the timeliness of support, and the relationships in which support occurred. The research was done as part of a PhD at the Muru Marri School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW.

More info: download the full thesis.

Healthy Ears, Happy Kids Resources

These resources promote the importance of good personal hygiene, nutrition and regular ear health checks for preventing middle ear disease (otitis media). They also describe the signs of ‘sick ears’ which parents and caregivers should look out for in children.

More info: visit the NSW Kids and Families website.

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For Your Diary


MS Professional Development Programs

  • Webinars : $70 per person
  • Certificates for CPD points issued to the person registering.

Sleep Well Webinar

This program will give you a greater understanding of the reasons why a person with multiple sclerosis might sleep poorly and provide you with assessment tools and management strategies to implement with your clients.

When: Thursday 30 July 10.00am – 12.30pm
More info: register online.

Promoting Physical Function Webinar

This webinar focuses on managing symptoms and engaging people in physical activity.

  • Overcoming the barriers to physical activity
  • Managing spasticity with Dr Barry Rawicki
  • Physiotherapy interventions to manage physical symptoms.

When: Monday 10 Aug 10.00am -12.30pm
More info: register online.

Mood & Emotions in MS Webinar

Psychological changes and difficulties are common in people with multiple sclerosis. Up to 50% of people with multiple sclerosis may experience depression at some point in their lives. This session discusses the prevalence of mood and other psychological disorders, factors contributing to their development, and appropriate interventions.

When: Wednesday 26 August 10.00am – 12.30pm
More info: register online.

Melbourne Metro

Understanding and Responding to the Impact of Violence in Families

This year’s Len Tierney Lecture will take place at the University of Melbourne. Angelique Jenney will discuss some of the challenges of designing and delivering social services for women experiencing intimate partner violence. She will discuss Mothers in Mind (MIM), a mother and child program designed to meet the parenting needs of mothers who have experienced family violence, childhood abuse, neglect or sexual assault and have children under the age of four.

When: Monday 17 August at 6pm
Where: Melbourne Brain Centre, 30 Royal Parade, Parkville
Cost: free
More info: register online.

MS Art Exhibition 2015

Join MS for the official opening of the MS Art Exhibition. The exhibition features artists from MS Social Support Day Programs who have created some amazing works, many of which have received awards and been featured in exhibitions both locally and overseas. All artists have a progressive neurological condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease or Motor Neurone Disease.

The exhibition will be opened by Damien Hodgkinson, Executive Director of Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Board Member of Arts Project Australia. 

When: Friday 7 August, 11am
Where: The Nerve Centre, 54 Railway Road, Blackburn
Cost: free
More info: RSVP for the official opening to Jill Davis by 30th July Phone: 03 9845 2714 Email: jill.davis@ms.org.au.

The exhibition is open for public viewing Monday 10 August to Friday 19 August, 9am to 5pm at the Nerve Centre or view the exhibition on the MS website.

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