Murray PHN eNews #80 | Supporting acute nursing staff through scholarships   

Edition 80  | Supporting acute nursing staff through scholarships

Innovative mental health program showcased  

Murray PHN's Mental Health and AOD Coordinator, Sue McConnachie (pictured right) and Nyree Gale from the Black Dog Institute (pictured left) jointly presented at the TheMHS Conference 2017 in Sydney last week. The conference was a learning network for improving mental health services in Australia and New Zealand with a broad range of local and international attendees.

The conference theme was Embracing Change Through Innovation and Lived Experience,  with the goal of  enabling  conversations that are based on building upon the extraordinary strengths, that can be found in individuals, families  and communities.

Sue and Nyree jointly presented on the Murray PHN Black Dog Digital Mental Health Assessment in GP Practices Program  that is currently being introduced in 10 GP practices within the Murray PHN region and  shared what they've  learned in leading such an innovative initiative across a large expanse of rural and regional Victoria.

New clinical guidelines for stroke management

New clinical guidelines have been released by the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, as part of  National Stroke Week  (4-10 September).

The Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2017 make break-through clot retrieval a stroke treatment standard for Australian stroke care. Mr Hunt said that Australian researchers played a key role in developing disability-reducing endovascular clot retrieval, so it is fitting we adopt it as a standard treatment for appropriate stroke patients.

The development of the guidelines was an extensive process that took two-years, involved almost 100 health professionals and researchers across 21 different healthcare disciplines. A total of 109,620 research abstracts were reviewed from Australia and internationally.

The final guidelines encompass 250 recommendations for stroke treatment and care across the heath care continuum; starting in the ambulance and progressing through hospital, rehabilitation and the transition home.

RIPERN scholarships

The RIPERN (rural and isolated practice endorsed registered nurses) Scholarship Grants aim to support the expanded scope of practice of acute nursing staff in rural communities within the Murray PHN catchment. The purpose of the grants is to provide the opportunity for rural health services to build on existing or establish a RIPERN model of care by developing the skills of rural registered nurses to provide a wider range of primary care and emergency services -  and in some cases help fill a gap where access to general practitioners is limited.

Murray PHN is offering grant packages of up to $10,000 each to cover the cost of training and related incidental expenses of nursing staff currently working in gazetted health services and willing to undertake a RIPERN course of study in 2018.

Applications will open tomorrow Friday 8 September on TenderSearch and close 27 October 2017. Note you must be registered for TenderSearch to apply. Click here  for information on TenderSearch.

Get ready for pollen season

Grass pollen season brings an increase in asthma and hay fever. It also brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma. For people with asthma or hay fever, especially those who experience wheezing or coughing with their hay fever, thunderstorm asthma can be sudden, serious and even life threatening.

That's why it's important for people with asthma or hay fever to know about thunderstorm asthma and what they can do to help protect themselves during grass pollen season.

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a campaign to help our local communities prepare for pollen season by better understanding what thunderstorm asthma is and what steps they can take to help reduce their risk of thunderstorm asthma.

As this year's grass pollen season approaches, it is important to have a conversation with your patients about the importance of detecting and managing asthma and allergies, and making sure that they know what they can do to help protect themselves this grass pollen season.

For more information about thunderstorm asthma and the campaign, please visit

Health professionals can attend one of the following thunderstorm asthma CPD workshops being held in the region in September by Murray PHN and the National Asthma Council:


Listening to community health needs

Murray PHN is working towards health care that's designed around the needs of patients to ensure that they receive the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

Patients, their families and carers who live in our communities and who use local health services, as well as those who work and volunteer in them, are invited share their health and health service experiences.

We now have 250 registered Health Voices but we still need to hear from people in the following communities:  Robinvale, Sea Lake, Serpentine, Maldon, Kilmore,  Rochester, Rushworth, Nagambie, Yea, Bright and Mt Beauty.

Help us to improve the health system across our entire region by sharing and encouraging your friends, families, colleagues and networks to get involved and have their say.

For more information, including access to resources for sharing Health Voices via email, newsletters, social media, waiting room TVs, walls and noticeboards, and to register go to:

Job opportunity with Murray PHN    careers  

Murray PHN is looking for a General Practice Lead based in Albury, Bendigo, Mildura or Shepparton. Applications close midnight 17 September.

Focus on mental health and suicide prevention    mental health  
Sunday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day 2017, the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day since it was established in 2003. This Day is an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and is endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

Next week, on 14 September, is RUOK Day, Australia's national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that we've all got what it takes to ask, "are you ok?" and support those struggling with life.

Both of these days are a reminder to look out for our families, friends and colleagues. beyondblue  has resources for creating a mentally healthy workplace in your health service, while the RACGP has a self-care guidebook for general practitioners that provides information and exercises for peer support or individuals.

GPs sought for cancer survivorship reference groups  cancer  

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is looking for regional GP representatives to sit on three different reference groups for an Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre Survivorship Care Plan (SCP) component database project. The role of the reference groups (breast, prostate or colorectal) will be to agree upon the content, sourced by the project team, for the components for SCPs for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.

For each reference group, representatives are sought from medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, nursing, general practice, consumer groups and other community organisations, with a mix of metropolitan and regional representatives.   Discussion will be mostly by email and phone, with the possibility of one to two meetings face-to-face or by teleconference. Please note that there is no remuneration available for participating in the reference groups. For more information t: 03 8559 8263 or e:

Consultation open for RACGP Green Book    potentially preventable hospital admissions  
The RACGP has released the consultation draft of Putting prevention into practice: guidelines for the implementation of prevention in the general practice setting (the Green Book) 3rd ed. Feedback on the draft is being sought from GPs, practice staff and other health professionals. The consultation draft is available here.

The Green Book is a practical evidence-based implementation resource for GPs, practice staff and PHNs from the RACGP. Containing real-life case studies and ideas to reflect on, the Green Book provides practical processes, strategies and tools for implementing and sustaining preventive activities in the practice setting. To provide a response, complete the online survey here. Consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 15 September.

Refugee telehealth program in Shepparton    Shepparton

A refugee telehealth program was launched in Shepparton in June, enabling patients to use secure video conferencing technology to see Melbourne based specialists. The program is being led by Primary Care Connect as part of a larger telehealth project based at Melbourne Health.

The initiative is aimed at ensuring new humanitarian arrivals and those already in the community are being cared for in accordance with best practice guidelines. It also enables patients from refugee backgrounds to access interpreters via video conference. Within weeks of the launch, four families have been assisted in accessing specialist services, saving many hours of travel.  Telehealth is now available for selected refugee patients of Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Children's Hospital and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Help inform local model of diabetes care in Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires    diabetes  
The Lower Hume Diabetes Working Group, facilitated by Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership, undertook local consumer research in 2016-17 to inform a local model of diabetes care. The working group is now seeking input from all service providers involved in diabetes care to inform system-wide improvements.

To begin engagement with the wider sector, the working group would like to facilitate a session later this year or early next year to discuss the consumer research findings, current roles and responsibilities of different services, and how everyone can work together to provide consistent high quality evidence-based care for diabetics in the Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires. If you are interested in participating in the session to discuss how the local sector can improve diabetes care, please complete this survey by Thursday 28 September.

Heart Foundation unpacks the salt    cardiovascular health
The Heart Foundation (Victoria) has launched an awareness campaign to help consumers "unpack the salt" in their diets. The campaign is a joint initiative of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership and was launched with the release of the first in a series of reports by the George Institute for Global Health on the salt content of popular processed foods.

Victorians currently eat almost double the WHO's recommended maximum daily intake of 5g of salt each day, with 75 per cent of it coming from packaged foods. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the health impacts of excess salt and providing alternatives. The Heart Foundation is partnering with public health organisations to promote the campaign, so if your organisation would like to join e: for the Salt Supporter kit.

Murray PHN events
Network meetings
Mental Health Professionals Network | Older Persons and Mental Health Interdisciplinary Network  Goulburn Valley

Local practitioners are encouraged to work together, to improve outcomes for older Australians experiencing psychological disorders. Network members can include GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, OTs and other mental health practitioners. Practitioners will meet four times per year.

The inaugural network meeting is being held on Tuesday 19 September at the Rural Health Academic Centre in Shepparton. The topic for this meeting is: Ageing, Sexuality and Relationship Change 'Getting better all the time: Rural baby boomers in friends-with-benefits relationships', with guest speaker Dr Linda Kirkman, Sexologist, Counsellor and Sex Educator.  Click here for  more information and to register.

Upcoming CPD events
For the full Murray PHN CPD events calendar click here.

Regional news

Government news


External CPD events

  •  Click here  to access a list of external CPD events.





Surveys and consultations


My Health Record

The Digital Health Agency has a number of training materials to help you make the transition to digital health as a healthcare professional, GP, specialist or allied health practice.

Healthcare providers can now familiarise themselves with the digital health functions in their software without the need for a real patient.

To access the training options click here.  

Copyright © 2017 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate. Information in this  newsletter  may be duplicated in other media with due  acknowledgement  of the originating sources. Murray PHN does not  necessarily  endorse products and/or  services  advertised in this publication.

Murray PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Murray PHN ABN  92 156 423 755

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