Murray PHN eNews #83 | Announcing chronic disease initiatives   

Edition 83  | Announcing chronic disease initiatives

New funding for heart and lung diseases

Today Murray PHN has announced the successful  tenders for the commissioning of almost $3 million in services to support chronic disease services in our community.

Bendigo Health Care Group, Swan Hill District Health, Cobaw Community Health, Alpine Health and Robinvale District Health Service are among a range of local organisations receiving grants of more than $80,000 to invest in pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation clinics, improve quality of chronic illness care and help develop the primary health workforce.

Additionally, Lung Foundation Australia will implement a workforce training and development program with 14 health services across our region, integrate treatment plans in general practice and trial a new model of pulmonary exercise programs in central Victoria.

Other successful tenders include Sunraysia Community Health Services, Northern District Community Health Service, North East General Practice Services, Primary Care Connect, Northeast Health Wangaratta, and Numurkah District Health Service.

The 12 successful tenderers will carry out their work through partnerships with more than 50 rural and regional hospitals, health services, GP practices, universities and peak bodies.

The Federal Government's funding of primary care has undergone a seismic shift. To improve regional health outcomes, we need to fund services that demonstrate best practice, evidence-based models of care while reducing avoidable hospitalisations over time.

This was the first major tender process Murray PHN has carried out under the new commissioning model. The tenders were assessed by a panel with members from Murray PHN and the Department of Health and Human Services, advised by experts from cardiac and pulmonary peak bodies.

Murray PHN will be issuing new tenders for mental health service funding before the end of the year.

Matt Jones, CEO.


Mental digital health gateway
The new mental health digital gateway 'Head to Health' was launched on 7 October. The  website  makes it easier for people to access free or low-cost Australian digital mental health services from a centralised point. It has been developed in collaboration with people with mental illness and their carers, the community, mental health professionals and digital service providers.

Pictured is Jo Rasmussen, Murray PHN Strategic Projects Coordinator who has been part of the consumer and carers team and is a member of the advisory group. Jo has worked on the gateway for the past 18 months and says that it has been a major recognition of the importance of having the users of a system involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of system/service change.

The purpose of the gateway is to find Australian government funded digital mental health resources (not  local service providers). It can be used as a complement to face-to-face therapies, and encourages people to seek support in times of need, or when it is most convenient for them. Future website enhancements will include  offering greater support to health professionals to assist them in meeting the needs of their patients.

Doctors in Secondary Schools Program update
Murray PHN has partnered with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to deliver adolescent health trained general practitioners to 22 secondary schools in the region as part of the Victorian Government's Doctors in Secondary Schools pilot program.

The program is aimed at making primary health care more accessible to students, provide assistance to young people so they can identify and address health problems early, and reduce pressure on working parents and community-based GPs.

Under tranches one and two of the program, eleven schools have now commenced or had a clinic appointed.   Murray PHN was the first PHN to meet this target. The remaining schools 'tranche 3' will have  clinics appointed before the end of the year and these will commence in term 1, 2018.

Last week Benalla P-12 College was the latest school in our catchment to begin offering the program.

Pictured left to right: Richard McClelland - Murray PHN Executive Director North East, Shellie Davis - Benalla Church Street Surgery nurse, Barbara O'Brien - Benalla P-12 College Principal, Penny Bolton - Murray PHN Doctors in Secondary Schools Program Coordinator.

Murray PHN also farewelled Richard last week, and thank him for his contribution to primary health care in the North East and wish him well in the future as his career soars in a new direction. Recruitment is now underway to find a suitable replacement (see Murray PHN jobs in this newsletter for more information).


Responses to first Health Voices survey
We now have over 300 Health Voices from Ouyen to Corryong and Birchip to Mansfield. If you haven't yet registered it's easy to do so and will enable you to tell us what's important to you, and your local community when it comes to health. The responses we received to our first (and ongoing survey) have been themed, and over half of our Health Voices shared their experiences with us, giving us local  knowledge and insight. Click here to see the full results.

Improving eye health in rural and regional areas
On World Sight Day (12 October), we launched a suite of eye health pathways. The pathways were developed as a shared project between The Rural Workforce Agency Victoria, Gippsland and Western Victoria PHNs

The pathways aim to support GPs with diagnosis and referral, and importantly improve access to eye health care, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-Operative and Njernda Aboriginal Corporation were involved in the clinical work groups, ensuring a culturally appropriate and local lens was applied to their development. The pathways are a component of working towards Closing the Gap and improving eye and ear health services for Indigenous people.

Pathway links (note you must be registered and logged in to view):  Immediate Ophthalmology Referral,  Urgent/Routine Ophthalmology Referral,  Diabetic Retinopathy,  Children's eye Problems,  Open Angled Glaucoma,  Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma,  Macular Degeneration,  Retinal Photography for Diabetic Retinopathy and  Integrated Team Care update from previously developed pathway for CCSS.

Pictured left to right:  Roman Zwolak and Shae Wissell,  RWAV, Marianne Shearer and Jeannette Douglas,  Gippsland PHN, Megan Cahill, RWAV,  Christine Fishley,  Murray PHN, Michelle Hearn and Cara Miller Western Victoria PHN.

Trial program to support people following suicide attempts    Wangaratta    mental health  

Northeast Health Wangaratta will be part of a trial program by the Victorian government to provide people leaving hospital following a suicide attempt with dedicated support.   The Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program has been running at three Melbourne hospitals, and will expand to three additional locations, including Wangaratta this year.

The program provides holistic support to help individuals, carers and families identify factors and build strategies to reduce the risk of data. Sites were selected based on analysis of suicide data, population demographics and community profiles. Click here for more information.

New NDIS pathways released to improve participant and provider experience    NDIS  

The National Disability Insurance Agency has released details of a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 'pathway' designed to significantly improve the experience people and organisations have with the NDIS.   The pathway will refer to the experience participants and providers have from their first interaction to their ongoing engagement with the NDIS.

Central to the new participant pathway is the delivery of face-to-face engagement for all NDIS plan development, based on the individual's preference. The new pathway will be progressively piloted and tested over coming months before being rolled out nationally. For more information, visit the  NDIS website.

STEP Program - Free online nurse education program diabetes  

The STEP Program is a free diabetes education program designed specifically for Practice Nurses to support patients with structured self-monitoring of blood glucose (sSMBG) methods, and increase awareness in people with Type II diabetes of the benefits of sSMBG.

The program has been endorsed by APNA and completion entitles eligible participants to claim up to 5 CPD points. Click here for more information.

Free interpreting service for GPs and medical specialists  resources  

General practitioners and  approved medical specialists  can access the  free interpreting service  through TIS National when delivering Medicare rebateable services in private practice to anyone with a Medicare card. Nursing and practice support staff working with practitioners registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code. Working with professional interpreters is essential to ensuring medical practitioners are able to communicate effectively with their patients and are protected from professional risk.

The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. To access this free service complete the  client registration form. For more information contact TIS National Language Policy Liaison team on  or by calling 1300 575 847.

Hepatitis B and liver cancer resources for culturally diverse communities    cancer  

Cancer Council Victoria has developed an informative, simple factsheet that can be used to inform patients and health professionals about hepatitis B, who is at risk, testing, treatment and monitoring. Information is provided about the link between untreated hepatitis B and liver cancer, including tips to reduce cancer risk.

 The factsheet is available in eight different languages: Arabic, English, Filipino, Italian, Khmer, Simplified Chinese, Somali and Vietnamese and can be accessed here. In addition, an A3 poster, "Ask your doctor for a hepatitis B test", is suitable for health and community settings.

It is available for download in Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese or Somali and Sudanese Arabic.Further information for health professionals on how to interpret serology and diagnosis for hepatitis B can be found on the Hep B Help website

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

Murray PHN jobs and scholarships

Regional news

Government news




External CPD events and education



My Health Record

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has published new resources to assist healthcare providers understand their privacy obligations under the My Health Record system.

As the independent regulator for the privacy aspects of the My Health Record system, the OAIC is working with the health sector as it prepares for the system to become opt-out by the end of 2018. The resources available are:

Videos are also available:

Further information can be found be visiting the OAIC website 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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