Murray PHN eNews #86 | Commissioning mental health services

Edition #86  | Commissioning mental health services


Primary mental health commissioning
Murray PHN's role is to improve health outcomes in our region.  For the 2017-18 financial year, Murray PHN will fund more than $28m in primary health services across the region. This investment will target improved health outcomes for individuals and improved performance of the primary health care system.

Murray PHN is now commissioning more than $6.4 million for a range of system-based improvements and services to support people with mental illness.

Yesterday, we held an industry briefing for primary mental health service providers via webinar, to discuss primary mental health priorities, the scale of investment for priorities and outcomes, and the time-frames and key milestones associated with this priority area.

The request for proposal will open on TenderSearch at 5pm today and close at  5pm on Wednesday, 20 December 2017.

For full details, including to watch a recording of the webinar  click here.

Changes to cervical screening from 1 December
Based on new evidence and better technology, the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) has changed  today to improve early detection and save more lives.

The two-yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women  aged 25 to 74. The first cervical screening test is due two years after a person's last Pap test.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. The new Cervical Screening Test is expected to protect up to 30% more women.

From 1 December, seven new Medicare funded cervical screening pathology services (73070, 73071, 73072, 73073, 73074, 73075 and 73076) will be introduced as part of the implementation of the NCSP renewal.

From this date, primary human papillomavirus (HPV) testing with reflex Liquid Based Cytology (LBC), if required, will be the primary screening test used in the NCSP. The cervical screening changes include the removal of the six existing pap test items (69418, 69419, 73053, 73055, 73057 and 73069) from the Pathology Services Table.

More information is available from the Cancer Screening website here.  and a  range of learning modules from NPS MedicineWise Learning can be found here.

Preparing for codeine upscheduling

From 1 February 2018, all medicines containing codeine will no longer be available without prescription in pharmacies. Codeine is a commonly used medicine to help manage mild to moderate pain and is sometimes subject to misuse and dependence.

The six Victorian Primary Health Networks  are working with the Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks and other stakeholders to support primary care provider readiness.  This collaborative approach takes a statewide perspective to regional provider engagement and support.

As part of this approach, a  suite of information has been developed for pharmacists, prescribers and allied health professionals. Click here for more information.

Stigma is a major barrier that stops people from seeking help, which is concerning given that:

  • 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage of their life
  • 1 in 5  Australian employees report that they have taken time off work due to feeling mentally unwell in the past 12 months.

Murray PHN created the  Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter  to help workplaces make employees and customers with mental illness feel more valued, supported and understood.

To date, 50 organisations have signed and adopted the Charter, and while some have implemented a number of initiatives,  others are seeking inspiration to make their start. If your organisation has, or is interested in signing the Charter, you are welcomed to attend one of our regional workshops, to  share success stories and ideas:

Bendigo |  Monday 19 February 2018    Click here to RSVP
Mildura | Tuesday 20 February 2018  Click here to RSVP
Shepparton | Wednesday 21 February 2018  Click here to RSVP
Albury | Tuesday 27 February 2018  Click here to RSVP

New Professional Performance Framework for patient safety    professional governance    

The Medical Board of Australia has announced its new Professional Performance Framework to ensure all registered medical practitioners practice competently and ethically throughout their working lives. The Framework will support doctors to take responsibility for their own performance and encourage to profession collectively to raise professional standards and build a positive, respectful culture in medicine that benefits both patients and doctors.

The Framework is evidence-based, integrated and builds on existing initiatives. It will be implemented progressively with some elements already in place and others requiring planning, consultation and development. It is built on five pillars including strengthened CPD, active assurance of safe practice, strengthened assessment and management of medical practitioners with multiple substantiated complaints, guidance to support practitioners  and collaborations to foster a positive culture of medicine.  For more information click here.

NDIS participant pathway pilot    NDIS  

The National Disability Insurance Agency has announced an initial pilot of the new NDIS participant pathway will commence in mid-December in Victoria North - which falls in the Murray PHN region - and Victoria East. The participant pathway has been designed to significantly improve the experience people and organisations have with the NDIS.

The initial pilot will focus on the primary stages of the new pathway: learning about the NDIS and how it fits in the broader system of supports,
understanding current supports and preparing for planning,  creating and receiving a plan to achieve goals and  implementing that plan.  For more information  click here.

Meningococcal ACWY vaccination program    immunisation  
With the free, time-limited meningococcal ACWY program ending on 31 December 2017, primary healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to advise patients aged 15-19 years old to take advantage of the free vaccine while it is still available.

A significant number of  15-19 year olds missed the school vaccine program as they were either absent when the vaccine was offered or are not attending secondary school. The option to receive the Menactra vaccine from general practice is essential, further detail on eligibility and the vaccine programme is available through the meningococcal ACWY fact sheet on the Health.Vic website.

Victorian Primary Care Partnerships online health literacy course    health literacy  

The Victorian Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) have launched a new online health literacy course, designed for Victorian health and human services organisations to build knowledge and skills in health literacy responsiveness.

The course is designed so that  staff can complete the modules most relevant to their role and are suitable for all staff, regardless of their existing knowledge of health literacy. This broad approach to increase staff knowledge and skills has been designed to complement health literacy activities within your organisation. The course is available free of charge from  here  (Chrome is recommended as the internet browser) or you can  request a free version to embed  into your internal Learning Management System from

New program to support your patients with asthma    asthma  

Asthma Australia has introduced The COACH Program  to help support patients with asthma. The COACH Program is a confidential, free health coaching service delivered over the phone by Asthma Foundation Coaches.

The program aims to help people with asthma, or those who care for someone with asthma, improve their general health and asthma control. It runs for six months, with regular scheduled calls. An asthma coach will call your patient within a week of receiving the referral. They will work with your patient to provide tailored information about asthma and set goals for their asthma management aligned with best practice treatment guidelines. Lifestyle risk factors for asthma flare ups are identified and education is provided to achieve good asthma control. A summary letter of the call will be sent to the patient and their GP.

You can complete a referral web form or download a referral template here.

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

Murray PHN jobs

We currently have five career opportunities available.

The four below positions close midnight Sunday 10 December, 2017:

This position closes  midnight Tuesday 12 December, 2017:

Regional news

Government news




External CPD events and education

  • Click here  to access a list of  CPD and education events delivered by other organisations  locally and nationally.

Training and courses


Surveys and consultations



My Health Record

The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) has developed a short survey to assist   with understanding what security measures healthcare organisations have already put in place to prepare for greater use of digital health services. This survey seeks your input on the ways the sector might approach information security and includes a brief yes/no checklist of recognised controls that protect data to assess the general level of information security maturity across the sector.

The survey is open until 15 December 2017 and you can either:

  • provide a response on behalf of your organisation (for healthcare provider organisations); or
  • distribute the survey to your member organisations, seeking responses from healthcare providers and affiliates (peak bodies).
The Agency will use the information you provide to identify health sector trends, and will not identify individual organisations in any analysis published or distributed.   This survey will assist the Agency to meet its requirement under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Establishing the Australian Digital Health Agency) Rule 2016, to provide advice and recommendations to the [Agency] Board in relation to standards (including compliance with standards) relating to privacy and security in relation to digital health systems .

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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