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COPD training scholarship for nurses

The Australian College of Nurses is offering scholarships to complete the Lung Foundation Australia's COPD Nurse Training online. . COPD Nurse Training online is an interactive training program for primary care nurses providing information on identifying and managing patients with COPD and developing self-management plans with patients.

Applications close on Monday 15 September 2014. The application form can be accessed online.

What has meditation to offer dementia? Presented by Dr Ian Gawler

Dr Ian Gawler will be speaking at a forum in Bundaberg on Wednesday, 30 July at Police Citizens Youth Club, from 10.00am to 12.00 noon.

Oceania Oncology is opening in Hervey Bay

Oceania Oncology is excited to announce the development of Oceania Oncology Hervey Bay at 17 Medical Place, Urraween, Hervey Bay. Building is due for completion in December 2014.
The centre will boast state of the art Elekta Radiation Oncology equipment with the ability to provide complex radiotherapy techniques such as IMRT and VMAT and will have a permanent on-site Radiation Oncologist, Dr Penny Mackenzie, serving the Fraser Coast Community.
Dr Mackenzie will begin with us in mid July 2014. Penny received her medical degree at the University of Melbourne, her specialist radiation oncology training was completed in Brisbane at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s’ Hospital, The Mater and Princess Alexandra Hospitals. Penny then pursued further specialist training overseas and completed a fellowship in radiation oncology at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, before returning home to Queensland to practice radiation oncology. Her special interests include breast, gastrointestinal and genitourinary malignancies.
As part of our outreach to the greater Wide Bay region, we have also introduced a courtesy bus service for all existing Oceania Oncology patients travelling from the Hervey Bay/ Maryborough area to Bundaberg for radiation therapy. This service makes the possibility of treatment closer to home a much greater reality for many cancer patients.
For information on how to refer to Dr Mackenzie or to access our patient courtesy bus, please phone our reception team on 4152 0033.

WBML Education Forum: Saturday 21 June

Wide Bay Medicare Local is presenting a full-day education forum centred on Quality Improvement, as per the RACGP’s recommendation for the current triennium. The forum has been designed for all primary health care professionals and prctice staff, and will be held at CQUniversity, Bundaberg campus.
CPD points will apply, hte forum has been accredited as a Category 1 ALM by RACGP.
For more information contact Christine Richards on 4120 4700.

West Bundaberg Medical Centre After Hours Service from 9 June at FSPH

Over the last 6 months West Bundaberg Medical Centre has been working towards a Private Afterhours Service. From Monday 9 JUNE 2014, West Bundaberg Medical Centre will be providing an After Hours medical service at the Friendly Society Private Hospital . This will be run by a roster system with 6 doctors in total.

Hours of Service (Closed Public Holidays)
Monday 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Tuesday 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Wednesday 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Thursday 6.00pm to 10.00pm

Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be through the Friendlies Society Private Hospital as normal, otherwise the Bundaberg Base Hospital.
As a community based project, we are asking for your support by making your patients aware this service will be available to them.

All patients will be privately billed, unless doctor wishes to bulk bill the patient. If a patient of yours comes to the Afterhours Service we will pass on the consultation notes at your request.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Katrina Harriman, Practice Manager, on 4152 2266 or 0416 197 164.

DHAAQ is visiting Hervey Bay on Saturday 26 July

The DHAAQ is running the roadshow again this year, and will include Hervey Bay for the first time. Supported by the Rural Health Continuing Education Fund, this is a professional development day focused on diabetes for all Allied Health Practitioners, as well as doctors and nurses.

Sun Exposure & Vitamin D Supplement (SEDS) study

The Sun Exposure and Vitamin D Supplementation Study (SEDS Study) is a one-year study which is hoping to answer the question: How can I balance getting enough sunlight for healthy muscles and bones without risking sunburn and skin cancer?
The Sun Exposure & Vitamin D Supplementation (SEDS) study is currently recruiting patients; patients may be referred by their GP or may self-refer.

SPOT visit to Bundaberg and west regions, week beginning 2 June

The Spinal Outreach Team (SPOT) is a statewide, specialist spinal cord injuries service that consists of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and clinical nurses. The team visits regional centres to provide support and advice about spinal cord injuries for clients, carers, health providers and service providers.
The team will be visiting Bundaberg and West region, including Monto.

Bladder Basics

Wide Bay Continence Advisory Service in Bundaberg is holding some community workshops in May and June for patients experiencing bladder problems. The workshops will discuss:
how the bladder works; what causes bladder problems; simple strategies to improve bladder function.

Closing the Gap Day - Bundaberg

Bundaberg residents are invited to attend the annual Wide Bay Burnett Closing the Gap Day to be held at the Bundaberg PCYC on Saturday 22 March from 10am to 2pm.

The community event is organised by Wide Bay Medicare Local and aims to help close the gap on
Indigenous health by promoting healthy lifestyles in a fun and relaxed environment.

Special guests include Newcastle Knights players Dane Gagai & Travis Waddell, comedian Kevin
Kropinyeri and hip hop group the Street Warriors.

There will be rides, activities for all ages, cooking demonstrations, a free BBQ, health screening and even traditional Indigenous games.

Wide Bay Medicare Local CEO Shane Dawson said that the annual event is popular with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, with hundreds of people expected to attend.

“Most Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world, unfortunately this is not true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Dawson said.

There is on average a 10-17 year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
Australians.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

Wide Bay Medicare Local aims to address this and our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers are out there every day, working in the community to make a difference.

“Events like this are not only great fun, but allow a range of health and community services to showcase their services and promote healthy messages in a positive and supportive way.

“Amongst all the fun and activities, health staff will be raising awareness of the risks associated with
smoking and chronic disease,” Mr Dawson said.

Taking the Pulse: Community Forums in the Wide Bay region

As part of its comprehensive needs assessment, Wide Bay Medicare Local is holding a number of community forums where local residents will be able to voice their opinions and concerns about health issues, and explore ways we can work together as a community to make positive healthy changes. The forums will be facilitated by Dr Norman Swan and will be held in three locations across the region:
Bundaberg - Monday 24 March, Brothers Sports Club, Takalvan St, 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Hervey Bay - Tuesday 25 March, Hervey Bay Community Centre, Charles St, 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Gayndah - Thursday 27 March, The Orange Hotel, Maltby Place, 6.00pm to 7.30pm

If you would like to contribute to the discussion on local health issues but are unable to attend one of the forums, you may wish to complete a survey online
For further information please call 4199 7800.

Partners in Recovery

More support is now available for Wide Bay locals with severe and persistent mental illness with the launch of a new $5.6m program to better coordinate care.

The Wide Bay Medicare Local is leading the Partners in Recovery (PIR) program, which will streamline support available to people with severe and persistent mental illness and complex needs by building strong links between organisations delivering services.

Wide Bay Medicare Local CEO Mr Shane Dawson said that eight well known and respected healthcare organisations have joined together to form the Partners in Recovery consortium, with funds provided by the Australian Government.

“By working together, we can match services to the needs of people needing support across multiple agencies,” Mr Dawson said.

“This is a community based approach to increasing support and recovery options for people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs.

“A more streamlined and tailored approach to individual mental health needs will not just benefit consumers, but will greatly help carers and their families,” Mr Dawson said.

Bridges Health and Community Care Psychologist Ms Sharon Sarah said that the PIR will target those people who often fall through the gaps and will aim to support their health, well-being and recovery.

“We design wrap around care for those with persistent symptoms, significant functional impairment, psychosocial disability and those who are disconnected from social or family networks,” Ms Sarah said.

“People with complex needs require more intensive support and can sometimes even struggle to
maintain accommodation or engage in normal activities associated with daily living,” She said.

Partners in Recovery consortium members include:
• Wide Bay Medicare Local (lead agency)
• Impact Make your Mark
• Bridges Health and Community Care
• Suncare Community Services
• Richmond Fellowship Queensland
• Richmond PRA
• Community Solutions
• Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service – Wide Bay Mental Health Services - Integrated Mental
Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Service.

Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Surveillance Update

Queensland Department of Health has issued an update on Avian Influenza A (H7N9).

Additional documentation, including important information and recommendations for GP’s, clinicians and laboratories on A (H7N9) can also be found on the Health website. https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-surveil-avianflu-china.htm

Bundaberg - Bringing picture books alive - 24 February

Butterfly Wings Early Years Consultancy team will be presenting a workshop for educators and parents of children under 5, on Monday 24 February. The workshop will be held at YMCA Childcare Centre, 39 Woondooma St, Bundaberg from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

Bundaberg - Fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and Nurses for Nurses is hosting an afternoon tea to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Australia. The afternoon tea will be held at Spinnaker Bar & Restaurant on Saturday 22 February.

Queensland Health Rubella alert

Queensland Health has issued a media statement about a patient with rubella virus who has travelled on international and domestic flights.

Public Health Alert: Hepatitis E

Queensland Health is alerting general practitioners and Emergency Departments to be on the lookout for patients with hepatitis symptoms and to include tests for hepatitis E in their investigations.
This follows the report of a case of hepatitis E infection in a person who acquired the infection overseas. The case may have prepared food for others while infectious. Although the risk in this setting is considered low, doctors should also consider the diagnosis of hepatitis E in patients presenting with symptoms of hepatitis, particularly in returned travellers and test accordingly.

Presenting features:

The clinical presentation of HEV infection is indistinguishable from hepatitis A. Symptoms include anorexia, jaundice, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting.

Tests for hepatitis E include:

Serology (request hepatitis E IgM and IgG)

PCR testing (faeces and blood)

Management of hepatitis E:

Management is largely symptomatic. The infection is usually self limited but has been associated with high mortality in pregnant women in endemic areas. Chronic hepatitis E infection has been described in patients with chronic liver disease, liver transplant, HIV infection and haematological malignancies.

There is no vaccine for prevention of hepatitis E infection. Transmission is by the faecal-oral route. Therefore, management and prevention focus on the importance of hand hygiene, sanitation and the prevention of contamination of food and water supplies.

Suspected cases should be reported to your local Public Health Unit. Contact details for Public Health Units can be found at http://www.health.qld.gov.au/cdcg/contacts.asp


Authorised by Dr Alun Richards
A/ Senior Director, Communicable Diseases Unit

WBML district: GP availability over the Christmas/New Year break

Many practices have provided information about their availability over the end of year break, please follow the link to view.

Heart Foundation urges patients to keep taking their cholesterol medication

Many of you may have seen, or at least heard about, the recent ABC Catalyst program which questioned whether cholesterol is an important risk factor for heart disease and suggested the benefits of statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) were overstated. Unfortunately, the ABC Catalyst program has caused confusion in the community and the Heart Foundation and wider medical community are concerned that people may have been misled and might stop taking their statins without consulting their doctor, which may be putting lives at risk.
Recent surveys of GPs (commissioned by MSD and conducted by Cegedim Strategic Data) showed the number of GPs with patients who wanted to stop taking their statins increased from 67% in the week after the program was aired to 74% three weeks after.
A recent Heart Foundation survey of 1,094 Australians who have been prescribed cholesterol medication showed:
* 29% reported after watching the program they were initially confused, worried or scared that they were taking unnecessary medication
* 25% have seen their GP / health professional to discuss their medication since the program
* 22% changed their medication adherence, either by stopping, stopping then restarting or reducing the number of medication taken. One in four of those who have altered their medication have previously had a heart event.
* 12% started taking natural remedies
* 9% completely stopped taking their medication since watching, reading or hearing about the show (NB - half of these did not consult their GP)
The Heart Foundation is urging people not to change their medication or ignore their cholesterol levels without consulting their doctor.
Heart Foundation recommendations are outlined below for both patients with known heart disease, as well as for reducing the risk of having a heart attack.
Patients with known heart disease
After a heart attack, treatment with a statin is standard, evidence-based management. Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) are the most commonly prescribed drugs in Australia and are a very effective way of reducing the risk of having a heart attack, particularly for people who have heart disease. Some of the largest studies ever conducted in medicine have demonstrated that statins decrease further heart attacks and save lives.
Reducing the risk of having a heart attack or stroke
The ABC Catalyst program sparked important debate about the role of statins for reducing the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
One in three Australians adults, or 5.6 million have high cholesterol. While cholesterol remains an important risk factor for heart disease, it’s important to remember that it’s just one risk factor and all other risks need to be considered to work out a person’s overall risk of heart attack or stroke. The Heart Foundation recommends that cholesterol, along with other risk factors including blood pressure, BMI, family history, smoking and physical inactivity are all considered when determining someone’s risk and if they need drug treatment.
We want everyone to be aware of their risk factors and recommend that everyone 45 and over (35 if you are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person) visit their GP annually for a heart health check to calculate their risk of having a heart attack and discuss how to manage their risks with their doctor. For many, their medication is life-saving but medication is never a substitute for a healthy lifestyle – we encourage all Australians to be active for 30 minutes a day, to eat healthily, be smoke-free and to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Professional information about absolute risk is available at http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/information-for-professionals/Clinical-Information/Pages/absolute-risk.aspx or by calling our Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87.





GPMHSC: Mental Health Education Standards for 2014-2016 Triennium

The General Practice Mental health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC), has released the mental health education standards for the 2014-2016 triennium (2014 - 2016 education standards), which can be viewed here: http://www.racgp.org.au/education/gpmhsc/gps/mheshandbook/

The 2014-2016 education standards represent a renewed commitment towards the development of the necessary skills for treatment of a mental illness in general practice, and aim to assist GPs to determine priorities for training.

The GPMHSC has been in operation since 2002 and is a unique multidisciplinary body managed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) to assist in delivering the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners (Better Access) initiative.

The GPMHSC has continually promoted the development and uptake of quality professional development in mental health for GPs. As you may appreciate, skills in the detection and treatment of mental illness are an essential part of a GP’s clinical toolkit, with over 71% of patients with a mental illness initially presenting to their GP.

For the 2014-2016 triennium, the GPMHSC is:

• Introducing an alternative pathway for GPs to become accredited with Mental Health Skills Training (MHST)
• Improving access for GPs to participate in Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training (FPS ST) activities by introducing online teaching options
• Recognising high quality mental health CPO and FPS CPO activities by providing GPMHSC accreditation
• Reaffirming the importance of consumer and carer input into the development and delivery of accredited activities

The new Mental Health Education Standards comprise two new handbooks specifically targeting GPs and training providers: Mental health education standards 2014-2016: A handbook for GPs and Mental health education standards 2014-2016: A handbook for training providers.

Public Health Alert: Management of ABL potential exposures

Please see Communique regarding the appropriate clinical management of C3 bat exposures.

Public Health Alert from Chief Health Office regarding acute onset hepatitis

Update Clinician Alert – Sports supplements

To all Emergency and Medical Departments, and PHUs

Acute hepatitis has been detected in Queensland associated with sports supplements including OxyElite Pro (see previous alert on this product attached).

Two unlinked cases of severe, non-infectious hepatitis have been identified in body-building enthusiasts in Townsville during November 2013. Both were taking a range of sports/nutrition supplements obtained locally and online; both denied illegal substances. One has had a liver transplant. The other was taking OxyElite Pro sold by a local pharmacist who had ordered it online. Approximately 20 bottles of OxyElite Pro had already been sold in this way.

Wide Bay Medicare Local Annual Report 2012 - 2013

Wide Bay Medicare Local Annual Report for the year ending 30 June, 2013.

Population Health Atlas

The Wide Bay Medicare Local and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service have jointly commissioned a Population Health Atlas.

The Population Health Atlas gives a detailed snapshot into health and disease across the Wide Bay by combining data from a variety of resources and presenting it through a series of maps, broken down into 17 separate local regions.

Wide Bay Medicare Local and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service are using this data to inform strategic planning and decision making. Both organisations are committed to developing partnerships with community based health care providers and community organisations to work towards addressing the challenges related to health and wellbeing. In order address these challenges a community wide approach is needed as health care organisations cannot address these issues alone. 

If you have any feedback or would like to be involved in working towards a healthier community, please email info@wbml.org.au

Veterans' Health Week: 14 - 20 October

The health and wellbeing of Australia’s serving ADF members and veteran population continues to be a primary focus for DVA. 
This year marks the start of another four year cycle of Veterans’ Health Week and its themes – Physical Activity, Nutrition, Mental Wellness and Social Inclusion. This year the theme is ‘Physical Activity’ and the Week will be held on 14 – 20 October 2013.
Veterans’ Health Week is a fun week of activities and provides an opportunity for veterans, war widows, current and ex-Australian Defence Force members and their families to participate, connect and influence the health and wellbeing of themselves and their friends.
We ask all health service providers to promote the key Physical Activity messages and encourage participants to:
* Find Strength – find the mental strength to participate in activities that help you prevent illness and injury;
* Develop Flexibility – be flexible about structuring time so you can be active throughout the day;
* Maintain Balance – find the right balance of exercise, nutrition and rest; and
* Enjoy Fitness – enjoy the feeling of a body that is healthy through exercise and good nutrition.
All health service providers are encouraged to review the VHW website for events and activities in their local area. 
To find out more about VHW contact DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers, email vhw@dva.gov.au or visit the Veterans' Health Week (VHW) website for the latest information.

If you wish to receive further information regarding the CVC (Coordinated Veterans Affairs) program please feel free to contact Andrea Hedges, Practice Support Officer, Wide Bay Medicare Local, on 4151 0814 or AHedges@wbml.org.au

Funded MMR vaccine for Gen X and Gen Y

Anyone born during or since 1966 who has not had two doses of MMR vaccine is eligible for one dose of funded vaccine. This can be given at any suitable time using your available stocks of funded vaccine.

Gen X (born mid 60s to 1980) and Gen Y (1981 to 1994) are those most likely to have missed out on a two-dose program of measles-containing vaccine.

As measles circulates in south-east Queensland, check staff and patients and provide opportunistic vaccination.

If the individual has never had a dose of measles-containing vaccine, two doses are recommended. The second dose (private prescription) should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose.

Anyone born before 1966 is considered likely to have measles infection, and no vaccination is required.

(Of course this recommendation excludes young children having age-appropriate vaccination, with dose 1 MMR given at 12 months.)

Lung Foundation Australia: New COPD training and support package for pharmacies

Lung Foundation Australia has launched a new training and support program to assist pharmacists in their work with people who have COPD.
The comprehensive program includes online training, webinars, access to COPD screening devices, and promotional materials for pharmacy.
Lung Foundation Australia’s Director of the COPD National Program Elizabeth Harper said a recent pilot of the online training helped improve pharmacists’ knowledge and confidence in working with people who have COPD.

Evaluation of the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP)

Call for General Practices and Aboriginal Health Services to participate in an interview to inform the Evaluation.
The Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, introduced the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) in January 2012 to support practice nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers working in general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to undertake an expanded and enhanced role in preventive health, chronic disease management and care coordination. The PNIP replaces previous funding arrangements inclusive of the Practice Incentive Program (PIP), Practice Nurse Incentive (PNI) and six of the Medicare Benefits Schedule practice nurse items.

The Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, has contracted KBC Australia (formerly Kristine Battye Consulting) in collaboration with Thinc Health, to undertake an evaluation of the Practice Nurse Incentive Program. As part of the Evaluation, KBC will interview general practices and Aboriginal Health Services to identify the impact of the changed funding mechanism on the:

• Role and function of the practice nurse and GPs
• Business model of the practice
• Workforce mix within the practice or Aboriginal Health Service.

Practice personnel to be interviewed
Key personnel to be interviewed could include the GP practice Principal or Medical Director and/or the Practice Manager/ CEO of the Aboriginal Health Service, and/or the Practice Nurse Manager or Senior Practice Nurse. Telephone interviews can be undertaken individually or in a group dependent on preference of the practice. It is estimated that interviews will require about 1 hour.

Enquiries or to register your interest please contact
Monika Rickli, Administration Manager, KBC Australia, 02 6361 4000 or mrickli@kbconsult.com.au

Call for Expressions of Interest: Heavily discounted training for Aged Care and Primary Health Care

CheckUP, in partnership with Health Industry Training, is applying for funding through the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF) to support training and workforce development in the aged and primary health care sectors. As part of this application, aged and primary health care organisations have the opportunity to express an interest to access this heavily subsidised training for their employees. If the application is successful, Expression of Interest applicants will be invited to undertake the formal commitment and enrolment process.

Urgent Public Health Alert: Measles outbreak 4 September

Queensland Health is alerting general practitioners and hospital emergency departments in Queensland to be on the lookout for possible cases of measles. There have been four people who were infectious with measles in Queensland since June 2013.

Urgent Pulic Health Alert: Shinga toxin producing E.Coli

Public Health Units are investigating a cluster of cases of Shiga Toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection. Cases have occurred among young children and adults. These cases appear to have occurred in association with animal handling activities at the recent RNA Exhibition ('the Ekka Show').

Urgent Public Health Alert: Measles, 22 August

Queensland Health Communicable Diseases Branch advises that there is a public health alert in regard to a secondary contact of the measles case who visited Brisbane in late July - early August.

Together in Health Winter 2013

Make sure you download the latest edition of our Together in Health magazine

Urgent Public Health Alert: Measles

A case of measles has been diagnosed in a visitor to Brisbane. The visitor attended a number of venues while infectious. Click link to view full alert.

Our Indigenous health team get national recognition

The Wide Bay Medicare Local’s Indigenous health team has received national recognition for their commitment to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the region.

They have been nominated as finalists in two categories for the prestigious “Deadly Awards”, with the winners to be announced at the Sydney Opera House in September. The annual Deadly Awards celebrate the work of some of the nation’s highest achievers in the Indigenous community.

Diabetes Week

It is National Diabetes Week (July 14 to 20). Do you know your risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Visit this online tool to find out

Cancer Council National GP Portal

The Cancer Council National General Practice Committee announces the launch of the Cancer Council National GP Portal.
This new national website is devoted to supporting GPs by providing the first comprehensive online directory of cancer information.
Other features of this online cancer directory include:
• RACGP accredited professional development educational resources
• Clinical guidelines and position statements
• State-by-state workshops and events
• Printable fact sheets for patients, and links to other printable resources
• Information for culturally and linguistically diverse communities
• State-based clinical trials
• Current campaigns from Cancer Councils nationwide
• Monthly editorial by cancer experts on topical issues
• Online videos covering a range of cancers and cancer-related topics.

Letter from The Wesley Hospital to doctors, updating information around the outbreak of legionnella.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Dear Doctor
I am writing to advise you of developments in relation to the legionnaires disease cases at The Wesley.
Firstly I am pleased to say that definitive test results have cleared the East Wing of legionella bacteria. Following consultation with the Independent Expert Panel and Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, I am happy to advise that showers can be made available to patients in the wing.
We are also progressively admitting new patients and resuming our services as appropriate. Admission will be based on clinical needs, with time critical patients, such as oncology and urgent surgical cases, given priority.
This is indeed an important milestone as we return to normal services.
The definitive test results for the Moorlands Wing are due on Monday next week.
A comprehensive cleansing and testing of the water system is continuing in the main hospital building. This involves a washing process, testing of pH levels and flushing of taps followed by water sampling for legionella for seven days.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Vicki Goss, Business Development Manager on 0419 020 156.

Yours sincerely
Dr Luis Prado
Director of Medical Services
The Wesley Hospital

NAIDOC Awards Ball

The NAIDOC Awards Ball will be held in Bundaberg on Saturday 15 July, featuring special guest Sean Choolburra as MC.

PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT: Update on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus AND H7N9 Influenza

The Department of Health would like to provide Queensland General Practitioners with an update on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and H7N9 Influenza.

Statement from The Wesley Hospital regarding referrals

The Wesley Hospital has issued a statement to General Practitioners regarding referrals, and advising on services that remain unaffected by the outbreak of Legionella.

Urgent Public Health Alert - Legionnaires

Queensland Health would like to advise Queensland General Practitioners of 2 cases of Legionnaires’ disease believed to have been acquired at the Wesley Hospital. Any patients, visitors and staff who have been at the Wesley Hospital in the last few weeks who develop fever and cough or pneumonia should be investigated for Legionella infection.

Register for eHealth Record

The Australian Government has introduced the Patient Controlled eHealth Record system to make healthcare in Australia even better, safer and more effective.

The NEHTA semi-trailer, will be touring the Wide Bay/Fraser Coast region in June to help consumers to register for their own online record. It’s free and it only takes a few minutes. The Wide Bay Medicare Local team will be there to help.
An eHealth record will help consumers better manage their health. It will allow more control over health information and ensure that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, Aboriginal health workers and other healthcare professionals have the information they need. The benefits of an eHealth record are:
• The eHealth record will travel with the consumer and allows access anywhere in Australia
• Enhanced information sharing and coordination of healthcare between GPs, nurses, specialists, pharmacists and allied health professionals
• A new Child Development function will help parents keep even better track of their children’s early health, growth and development information
• The new Prescription and Dispense View makes the prescribing and dispensing of medication a safer, more effective part of healthcare
• Over time, better support in managing one’s health, including those with chronic and complex conditions
• Over time, increased efficiencies which may help reduce the number of unnecessary repeat tests, hospitalisations, follow-up specialist visits
The NEHTA mobile installation will be located at:
Bundaberg: Sugarland Shoppingtown, 10 and 11 June
Hervey Bay: Pialba Place, 12 and 13 June
All GPs, Allied Health professionals, Specialists, Pharmacists, Practice Managers and Practice Staff are urged to encourage their patients to visit the NEHTA truck to learn more about the PCEHR and to register.

Tuberculosis services within Queensland

Changes have occurred within the QLD Tuberculosis services and contact details for business hours and after hours service in each regional TB control unit have changed.

The clinical services currently provided by QTBCC are being transitioned to Metro South Hospital and Health Service (HHS). The transition will take place on 1 July 2013. From this date, the clinical service will be known as the Metro South Clinical TB Service (MSCTB).

MSCTB will continue to provide clinical services to those areas that QTBCC currently covers. That is, Gold Coast, West Moreton, Metro South, Metro North, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay HHS. Services will also continue to be provided to Cherbourg and Kingaroy.

Palliative Care Week

National Palliative Care Week is 19th – 25th May 2013 which is a reminder that palliative care is everybody's business. Palliative care is an issue that will affect all of us at some point in our lives.

URGENT PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT: MEASLES

Queensland Health has been recently notified of a confirmed case of measles in a mine worker in Moranbah.

The worker was contagious from April 25 to May 6 and had contact with mine camp colleagues and some members of the public. Many of these mine workers have now returned to their homes around the State.

The mine worker was in the dining room of Grosvenor Village camp at Moranbah for dinner, on or around Monday the 29th and Tuesday 30th April, between 6.30 and 7.30 pm.

Queensland Health has released a media alert requesting anyone who may have been exposed to the virus to ensure they are protected against measles and to seek medical advice if symptoms develop.

Measles transmission occurs readily in medical and associated settings – such as pathology collection centres. When a patient with suspected measles attends any medical facility, contacts (other patients/staff at the facility) are at risk of acquiring the infection. This has occurred several times in Queensland in the last two years. To minimise the risk of transmission within facilities:

• triage patients with fever and rash directly to a room that can be left vacant for 2 hours after consultation. Where practicable, examine cases of suspected measles at home.
• ensure all practice staff born since 1966 who could have contact with measles cases are either fully vaccinated (2 doses of MMR) or have serological evidence of measles immunity.

Management of measles in a clinical setting:

1. Check that the symptoms satisfy all of the clinical criteria:
• generalised non-itchy maculopapular rash usually beginning on the face or upper neck; and
• fever of at least 38 degrees still present at the time of rash onset; and
• cough or coryza or conjunctivitis or Koplik’s spots.

Ask if the patient has been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case in the last 3 weeks (note that lack of history of travel does not exclude measles). If the case does not satisfy the clinical criteria, or if the person has received 2 doses of MMR, measles is unlikely.

2. If the case satisfies all of the clinical criteria, do the appropriate laboratory tests. If possible, these should be done in the consulting room. If referring to a collection centre, phone ahead and warn of the possibility of measles. Mark request form as URGENT.

• 0-3 days after rash onset: urine and throat or nasopharyngeal swab for PCR
• 3-7 days after rash onset: urine and throat or nasopharyngeal swab for PCR and/or blood for IgM
• more than 7 days after rash onset: blood for IgM

3. Notify your local public health unit immediately of any case satisfying the clinical criteria. The public health unit will liaise with the testing laboratory to ensure that appropriate infection control measures are taken to avoid exposure of other clients and staff, and will advise you whether any additional measures are required in your practice e.g. vaccination of exposed staff/patients.

4. A measles fact sheet and other measles resources are available at: www.health.qld.gov.au/cdcg/index/default.asp

5. Please also consider opportunistic vaccination for any unimmunised patients attending for any reason.

Authorised by Dr S Lambert, A/Senior Director, Communicable Diseases Unit, Queensland Health

Pain Management - New Model of Care

More than 100 health professionals from across the Wide Bay will converge on Bundaberg this
weekend where they will take part in launching a new model of care for treating patients suffering chronic pain

Wide Bay scores well on child vaccination


A National Health Performance Authority report into childhood immunisation rates shows that the Wide Bay region is performing well at protecting children against the spread of preventable disease.

World Parkinson's Day

Make a difference and show your support - April 11 is World Parkinson's Day.

Medicare Locals: A health win for consumers

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association today highlighted the vital role of Medicare Locals within the Australian health system. The Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association represents Australia's largest group of health care providers in public hospitals, community and primary health sectors and advocates for universal high quality healthcare to benefit the whole community. "Medicare Locals (MLs) are an essential plank of the health reform agenda and a core component of a health system which can meet the health care challenges facing the Australian population," Ms Prue Power AM, AHHA CEO said today. "With the ageing of the population and the rising rate of chronic illness, our health system needs to focus more on providing community-based preventive and multi-disciplinary care."

WBML receives $500,000 to create healthy public places

We have been successful in obtaining a $500,000 grant to create healthy public places and environments that promote active living and increase usability of local parks and open community spaces in Bundaberg.

Diabetes - what now? Education sessions for those recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes – What now? education sessions are for people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or those who have not had any diabetes education. The sessions, held over two days, present practical tips and advice about ongoing management of diabetes, and are presented by a Diabetes Educator and a Dietitian.

Topics include:

• What is diabetes
• Healthy eating and physical activity
• Diabetes medications and insulin
• Blood glucose monitoring
• Setting your own health goals
• Your diabetes health care team


Hervey Bay
Dates: March 18 and 25, 9.30 am - 11.30 am
Venue: Hervey Bay Community Health Centre, The Village, 34 Torquay Road, Pialba

Maryborough
Dates: March 4 and 11, 9.30 am - 11.30 am
Venue: Maryborough Community Health Centre, 167 Neptune Street, Maryborough

To register for either location Phone 4122 8733, Monday to Friday 8.30 am- 5.00 pm

Urgent Public Health Alert

A patient in SE Qld has been diagnosed with Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) infection

Family Practice Hinkler Central now located in temporary premises

Patients of Family Practice Hinkler Central will be able to access medical services in their new temporary location on the 1st floor of the Branyan GP Super Clinic. Phone numbers will be advised as soon as they are available.

Our role in the Bundaberg floods featured on Crikey

The Wide Bay Medicare Local's role in the Bundaberg floods has received national media attention from Independent media outlet Crikey

GP & Pharmacy services back to normal

Most GP Practices and Pharmacies across Bundaberg are back up and running after the floods of this week.

PM tours flood zone - meets WBML staff member

ATSI Team member Kylie McCartney met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard as she toured the flood zone at Bundaberg

Bundaberg Floods - Open GPs/Pharmacies

List of GPs and Pharmacies that are currently open in the Bundaberg area during the flood peak.

New Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website

A new Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website has been launched today. It provides first time Mums with all the information and support they need in the one place.

Summer is heating up - be SunSmart

Don't forget to be SunSmart outside. You may even like to host a party to help make a difference to beating skin cancer.

WBML Board Appointments

At the first full Board meeting held Thursday Dec 5, the following appointments were made.

Chair Paul Neeskens
Vice Chair Michael Waters
Company Secretary Shane Dawson

Finance, Audit and Risk Committee:
Ajesh Ishri, Grant Maclean and Scott Kitchener

Governance/Constitutional Review (incl Nominations and membership) Committee:
Michael Waters, Tanya O’Shea, Paul Neeskens

CEO Performance and Remuneration Committee:
Adrian Carson and Paul Neeskens

Read the Chairman's report to first AGM of the WBML

Report from the Chairman of the Interim Board of Wide Bay Medicare Local.

National Premature Birth Awareness Week

This week Nov 24 - 30 aims to increase awareness amongst ALL pregnant women of the signs and symptoms leading to premature birth.

Spinal Injuries Awareness Week

This week (11-17 Nov) is Spinal Injuries Awareness Week, highlighting spinal cord injury in the community

World Stroke Day

1 in 6 people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. Recognise the signs and act FAST

Safe Work Australia Week

Safe Work Australia Week is celebrated from 21-27 October and every workplace in Australia should be planning to use the week to make improvements to health and safety in their workplace.

Breast Cancer Day

Today, Monday 22 October, is Australia’s Breast Cancer Day - an opportunity for us to reflect on the impact of this disease and show support for women and families personally affected by breast cancer

Carers Week 2012

Carers Week is the national awareness raising week for Australia's 2.6 million carers. We want all Australians to know about carers! The campaign this year is Be Care Aware and encourages people to get to know more about unpaid family carers, who they are, what they do and how they can be supported.

Unpaid carers come from all walks of life. They provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or are frail aged.

With more than 2.6 million unpaid carers in Australia, chances are you, or someone you know, may be a carer.

Big Ideas makes new Health Gateway a reality

The Your Health Wide Bay web portal will take community health services to a new level in the region, thanks to the vision and technology smarts of local company Big Ideas. When the Medicare Local team wanted a scalable and sustainable solution to their need to develop a robust online presence, Big Ideas delivered. Based in Hervey Bay, Big Ideas is a digital web agency providing online solutions development, strategy, consulting and training.

Gary Brown, e-guru and CIO of Big Ideas said Your Health Wide Bay has been a complex but significant undertaking that will ultimately be the hub for health industry and community connection region-wide.

“We’ve worked closely with the Medicare Local team over recent months, initially conducting extensive research before developing the online strategy that would drive the entire focus for the project.”

“Using their requirements as a starting point, we’ve brought our considerable experience and insight to bear in developing a framework and model for facilitating professional networking, knowledge sharing and community engagement all in one easy-to-access forum,” he said.

The primary role of the Your Health Wide Bay portal is to act as a centre of excellence for community health and a gateway for more streamlined and efficient information sharing.  It has been designed to provide a powerful, friendly and flexible solution that will enrich the user experience.

An initial priority for the project was the need to amalgamate three existing independent sites while still maintaining their discrete identity and function.

Once fully developed the portal will give health professionals, ancillary and health-related organisations and the community access to a wealth of resources, expertise and support.

“We believe in making life on the web easier for everyone, from our clients to the end users, and we strategically select and deliver clients’ content through the medium that will best engage their target audiences,” said Gary.

“It was critical to ensure the portal offers an appealing and intuitive layout and structure purpose-designed to meet the distinct needs and priorities of both professionals and community members.”

The portal project is still in its early stages of development with plans for community interaction and a strong emphasis on social media integration to be implemented in future stages.

“Social media is a way of life and statistics prove it’s an opportunity no business, brand or community organisation can afford to ignore, making it an important element of our portal strategy,” said Gary.

“Big Ideas is presently conducting training for Your Health Wide Bay personnel to bring each of the sites to life and progress the project to its next evolutionary stage.”

Your Health Wide Bay introduces the next level of personalisation, information, community and care that empowers people to connect with health issues and information in the most relevant and accessible way possible.

Even in its early stages the project looks set to establish a benchmark for a Community Health Organisation online presence at a national level.

Health industry-related organisations and businesses that are interested in joining the site can contact admin@yourhealthwidebay.org.au for further information.

Find your local Health Professional

A Services Directory has been newly established to assist you with locating your closest Health Professional

STEPS Skills Program commencing in Bundaberg Thursday 2 August

The Bundaberg STEPS Skills Program, will commence on Thursday 2 August 2012. The Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service is partnering with Ozcare to offer this program in Bundaberg.

The STEPS Skills Program is a program open to all adults aged 18-65 years with adult-onset (i.e. 15 years of age or older) acquired brain injury, and their families/friends.

People may have had their injury only several months ago, or several years ago. This free self management-based group program runs for 6 weeks, with a strong focus on shared learning with other people from the same local community.

The Skills To Enable People and Communities (STEPS) Program is a Queensland Health program, separate to the employment and training organisation, STEPS Employment/Disability Inc.

If you want to attend the STEPS Skills Program, please complete a Participant Referral Form and return it by Wednesday 25 July 2012.


Wide Bay Medicare Local Update

The Wide Bay Medicare Local has been established as a result of successful tender by GP Links Wide Bay and will commence operation on July 1 2012.

There will be no diminution or change of services with the operation of the new Wide Bay Medicare Local. Services such as Access to Psychological Services (ATAPS), Regional Primary Health Services (RPHS) and other general support activities will remain unchanged.

You will notice a change in answering and response to enquiries with telephone numbers, emails etc. being re-directed to the Wide Bay Medicare Local.

The new Wide Bay Medicare Local website is under construction, with new information and resources being uploaded daily. Please visit the new website via the Your Health Wide Bay portal.

The Wide Bay Medical Local has a number of key actions that the organization will be focusing on in the next few months, these include:

• Regional and sub-regional plans for After Hours Primary Care Services.
• Regional Primary Care Needs Assessment.
• Strategic and Annual Plans

GP Links Wide Bay will continue to operate in an inclusive role in supporting General Practice. GP Links Wide Bay will be expanding its current successful business in training and development under Health Industry Training www.healthindustrytraining.org.au

In addition, GP links Wide Bay will continue to support General Practitioner, Practice Nurse and Practice Manager network meetings, CPD and other support services through the GP Links Wide Bay web site. The GP Links Wide Bay Board is currently developing a range of strategic services as part of expanded service offering to General Practice.

A further, more comprehensive information document regarding the Wide Bay Medicare Local will be forwarded shortly.

Further information contact Shane Dawson CEO Wide Bay Medicare Local, phone 4151 0814, email sdawson@wbml.org.au

WIDE BAY MEDICARE LOCAL UPDATE

The Wide Bay Medicare Local has been established as a result of successful tender by GP Links Wide Bay and will commence operation on July 1 2012.

There will be no diminution or change of services with the operation of the new Wide Bay Medicare Local. Services such as Access to Psychological Services (ATAPS), Regional Primary Health Services (RPHS) and other general support activities will remain unchanged.

You will notice a change in answering and response to enquiries with telephone numbers, emails etc. being re-directed to the Wide Bay Medicare Local.

The new Wide Bay Medicare Local website is under construction, with new information and resources being uploaded daily. Please visit the new website via the Your Health Wide Bay portal.

The Wide Bay Medical Local has a number of key actions that the organization will be focusing on in the next few months, these include:

Regional and sub-regional plans for After Hours Primary Care Services.
Regional Primary Care Needs Assessment.
Strategic and Annual Plans
GP Links Wide Bay will continue to operate in an inclusive role in supporting General Practice. GP Links Wide Bay will be expanding its current successful business in training and development under Health Industry Training www.healthindustrytraining.org.au

In addition, GP links Wide Bay will continue to support General Practitioner, Practice Nurse and Practice Manager network meetings, CPD and other support services through the GP Links Wide Bay web site. The GP Links Wide Bay Board is currently developing a range of strategic services as part of expanded service offering to General Practice.

A further, more comprehensive information document regarding the Wide Bay Medicare Local will be forwarded shortly.

Further information contact Shane Dawson CEO Wide Bay Medicare Local, phone 4151 0814, email sdawson@wbml.org.au

Wide Bay Medicare Local update

WIDE BAY MEDICARE LOCAL UPDATE

The Wide Bay Medicare Local has been established as a result of successful tender by GP Links Wide Bay and will commence operation on July 1 2012.
There will be no diminution or change of services with the operation of the new Wide Bay Medicare Local. Services such as Access to Psychological Services (ATAPS), Regional Primary Health Services (RPHS) and other general support activities will remain unchanged.
You will notice a change in answering and response to enquiries with telephone numbers, emails etc. being re-directed to the Wide Bay Medicare Local.

The new Wide Bay Medicare Local website is under construction, with new information and resources being uploaded daily. Please visit the new website via the Your Health Wide Bay portal.

The Wide Bay Medical Local has a number of key actions that the organization will be focusing on in the next few months, these include:
• Regional and sub-regional plans for After Hours Primary Care Services.
• Regional Primary Care Needs Assessment.
• Strategic and Annual Plans

GP Links Wide Bay will continue to operate in an inclusive role in supporting General Practice. GP Links Wide Bay will be expanding its current successful business in training and development under Health Industry Training www.healthindustrytraining.org.au
In addition, GP links Wide Bay will continue to support General Practitioner, Practice Nurse and Practice Manager network meetings, CPD and other support services through the GP Links Wide Bay web site. The GP Links Wide Bay Board is currently developing a range of strategic services as part of expanded service offering to General Practice.
A further, more comprehensive information document regarding the Wide Bay Medicare Local will be forwarded shortly.
Further information contact Shane Dawson CEO Wide Bay Medicare Local, phone 4151 0814, email sdawson@wbml.org.au

Wide Bay Medicare Local update

WIDE BAY MEDICARE LOCAL UPDATE

The Wide Bay Medicare Local has been established as a result of successful tender by GP Links Wide Bay and will commence operation on July 1 2012.
There will be no diminution or change of services with the operation of the new Wide Bay Medicare Local. Services such as Access to Psychological Services (ATAPS), Regional Primary Health Services (RPHS) and other general support activities will remain unchanged.
You will notice a change in answering and response to enquiries with telephone numbers, emails etc. being re-directed to the Wide Bay Medicare Local.

The new Wide Bay Medicare Local website is under construction, with new information and resources being uploaded daily. Please visit the new website via the Your Health Wide Bay portal.

The Wide Bay Medical Local has a number of key actions that the organization will be focusing on in the next few months, these include:
• Regional and sub-regional plans for After Hours Primary Care Services.
• Regional Primary Care Needs Assessment.
• Strategic and Annual Plans

GP Links Wide Bay will continue to operate in an inclusive role in supporting General Practice. GP Links Wide Bay will be expanding its current successful business in training and development under Health Industry Training www.healthindustrytraining.org.au
In addition, GP links Wide Bay will continue to support General Practitioner, Practice Nurse and Practice Manager network meetings, CPD and other support services through the GP Links Wide Bay web site. The GP Links Wide Bay Board is currently developing a range of strategic services as part of expanded service offering to General Practice.
A further, more comprehensive information document regarding the Wide Bay Medicare Local will be forwarded shortly.
Further information contact Shane Dawson CEO Wide Bay Medicare Local, phone 4151 0814, email sdawson@wbml.org.au