Murray PHN eNews #97 | Mental health approach puts patients’ needs first


"This one-size-fits-all approach just doesn't work with mental health. So we're changing the system," Mr Jones said.

"The starting point is about assessing a patient's needs and ensuring they have access to low-intensity services, making sure those are connected to credentialed mental health services and acute psychiatric services as needed," he said.

"The model starts with patients   and it is all about patient needs. We need to have a system that's connected, that's accessible and is also effective and efficient.

"This is an approach that people need, that communities deserve and that taxpayers expect,"  Mr Jones said.

For more information click here.

National Reconciliation Week 2018

Next week - 27 May to 3 June - is National Reconciliation Week. The theme this year is 'Don't Keep History A Mystery', with all Australians encouraged to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is one of the key health priorities for the Murray PHN region. Across our catchment there are more than 14,800 people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and whose health status continues to be considerably lower than the wider population.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a burden of disease two-and-a-half times that of other Australians, with 70 per cent of the health gap due to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease and mental health issues.

We encourage health professionals to recognise the impact of history on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today, and the importance of not keeping history a mystery. Find out more here.

Information about flu vaccination supply

Following unprecedented demand for flu vaccines this year, supplies are becoming short across all Australian states and territories.   The shortage is being seen in both the private and government funded areas and across most types of influenza vaccines available from pharmaceutical companies.

Because of this shortage, the Victorian Government is asking all immunisation providers to ensure people in particular risk groups are given priority   for receiving flu vaccine.

This list should be followed when administering flu vaccine to ensure all government funded influenza vaccine is offered to our most at-risk populations. Priority groups for the free flu vaccine are:

  • Children aged six months to less than five years
  • People aged five years and over who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications; for example severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes
  • Pregnant women any time during pregnancy
  • Aboriginal people aged 15 and over
  • Adults aged 65 and over
Click here for more information.

Shepparton's McGuire College launches Doctors in Secondary Schools Program

Students at McGuire College in Shepparton will be able to access a general practitioner at school, with the Victorian Government's Doctors in Secondary Schools pilot program launching at the school last week.

Murray PHN has partnered with the Department of Education and Training to deliver adolescent health-trained GPs to 22 secondary schools across our region, to assist young people to get the health and wellbeing support they need.

Doctors John Mackellar and Jerry Wang and nurse Emma Roesler from Kialla Medical Clinic will visit the school once a week, operating out of a purpose-built consultation area provided by the Department of Education.

Pictured: Staff from   Kialla Medical Clinic and McGuire College in the purpose-built consulting room.

More than 5,788,087 Australians and 11,633 health care providers are now registered for My Health Record.On 14 May the Australian Government announced that every Australian will be offered a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one,  during the three month opt-out period that will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018.The My Health Record system and opt-out process have the full support of all state and territory governments. Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt said My Health Record provides many benefits to patients, including reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex conditions, and better informed treatment decisions.

My Health Record also has unanimous support from Australia's peak health bodies, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal College of Australian General Practitioners, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and the Consumers Health Forum.

During the opt-out period individuals who do not want a record will be able to opt-out by visiting the My Health Record website or by calling 1800 723 471 for phone based assistance. Forms will be provided on request, and additional support will be provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, people with limited digital literacy  and those living in rural and remote regions.

Australia's 31 PHNs will also support their local communities with tailored communications on My Health Record, in partnership with consumer and clinical peak bodies and state and territory governments.

It's Palliative Care Week (20-26 May). This years theme "what matters most?’ addresses the need for Australians to plan ahead for their end-of-life care and discuss it with their loved ones and health professionals.Three palliative care pathways have recently been released and another five are in the process of being localised to the Murray PHN region.
Note that you must be registered and logged in to access the direct pathways links above. Health professionals in our region can  get free access here.

Mental Health First Aid events in the Murray PHN  region    mental health    

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is in a mental health crisis. Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.

There are several events being held in the Murray PHN region in coming months for both health professionals and members of the community, presented by Mental Health First Aid Australia:

Researching heart and lung disease in the Mildura region  
 chronic disease  

A needs assessment and gap analysis of the primary health care sector in Mildura is currently underway. Sunraysia Community Health Services is holding two events on 8 June to determine the clinical care needs for the management of and rehabilitation from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Cardiovascular Disease.

Click here for more information and to RSVP for the health professional event.  Click here for more information and to RSVP for the client event.

Resource for developing breast, prostate and colorectal cancer  survivorship care plans    cancer    

Survivorship Care Plans (SCPs) are recommended by the Optimal Care Pathways to support communication and coordination of care after initial cancer treatment. To facilitate the development of SCPs, the  Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre  at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.has developed the SCP Component Database.

The database has content for patients who have been treated for early breast cancer, localised prostate cancer, or early bowel cancer. The content covers the essential components necessary to create an SCP: treatments, ongoing side-effects, long-term and late effects of treatment, symptoms to watch out for, follow-up recommendations, wellbeing recommendations and supportive care resources.

All content has been reviewed by a reference group from that cancer type (including oncology specialists and nurses, GPs, consumers and NGOs) and written with the patient as the intended audience. Database content can be copied and paste into existing SCP templates to enable local customisation and tailoring for individual needs.  To receive a copy of the SCP Component Database for breast, prostate and/or colorectal cancer, and the User Guide, click here. More information here.

Updated evidence for peripheral vascular assessment      
 GP information    

Podiatrist Sylvia McAra, PhD, gave a presentation to community nurses in Shepparton recently at an event organised by Regional Wounds Victoria and Goulburn Valley Health outlining improvements in interdisciplinary management for people at risk of peripheral vascular disease and its cardiovascular complications. She has produced an article for GPs sharing her findings.

New animation explaining  BreastScreen in English and Arabic    cancer screening    

BreastScreen Victoria has produced a  new animation explaining how to make an appointment, what happens during a breast screening appointment, and getting results in plain language. The animation is 2.5 minutes long, and is available in both English and Arabic.


Health Voices who had selected their areas of interest as mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and/ or children's health, were sent a survey yesterday on mental health and wellbeing, and service access.

We have close to 400 Voices but we still need more to help our decision-making. Make sure your community is heard by encouraging others to register:

Murray PHN CPD events

Murray PHN careers

Murray PHN tenders - register on TenderSearch to view and submit tenders

  • As part of our suicide prevention trial  in Mildura, we are seeking  submissions from appropriately qualified and experienced providers,  to submit tenders for the provision of improving emergency and follow up care for suicidal crisis in the Mildura local government area - pre-qualification closes at 4pm on Wednesday 30 May.
  • We are also seeking to commission a project management company, that will propose a business case model for future investment and use of our online population health information resource  PHNexchange  - pre-qualification closes at 4pm on Monday 4 June.

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.


Surveys and consultations

Grants and funding

Copyright  © 2018 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.
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