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December 2015| Final Edition
Healthy North Coast
practitioner newsletter
Allied Health
North Coast Primary Health Network has received some valuable feedback regarding our
Practitioner Newsletter. Many thanks to the readers who filled in our evaluation survey on
2/11/15. We’re taking your feedback on board with the aim of improving our communications
to health care professionals. A new web-based version of the newsletter will launch in early
2016, so keep an eye on your inboxes.
Current subscribers of the newsletter should automatically receive the new one. You can add
yourself to our subscription list by visiting
3. GP Focus
10. AMS Focus
11. Aged Care Focus
12. Pharmacy Focus
13. Allied Health Focus
15. News
17. Events
18. Classifieds
Would you like a hard copy of this newsletter?
If so, please email your name and postal address to [email protected]
and write “Copy of Healthy North Coast Practitioner Newsletter” in the subject line.
Have your say - 2016 NCPHN Needs Assessment
One of the first tasks of Primary Health Networks (PHNs) is to
complete a population-based Needs Assessment. This process
will build upon local health data already available and is a vital
step in creating a picture of health. The needs assessment
will identify areas of need for potential future projects and
services within the six key PHN priority areas of mental health,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population health,
health workforce, eHealth and aged care. The high level needs
identified in these areas will then be reviewed through a
consultative process to determine which are subjected to deeper
exploration and the development of strategies. We need to
hear from you, as the validation of available health data and
identification of key issues through community and clinician
consultation is crucial in this process.
North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) is committed to a
process that is consultative, inclusive and thoughtful.
Interviews, focus groups and surveys will be conducted in
January and February 2016.
If you are interested in having your say, please send your name,
role and contact details to [email protected] by
5pm on Friday 18 December 2015.
Overhaul of mental health services
The Federal Government has announced a major overhaul of
mental health services, abandoning the current “one-size-fits-all”
approach. The reform follows a review by the National Mental
Health Commission into the effectiveness of existing services.
“We are setting out a blueprint for reform that puts the
individual at the centre of our mental health system,” said Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said that services needed
to move away from Canberra and instead be designed at a local
level for the different communities that need services.
“What we are moving to is regional commissioning, informed by
the needs of the consumers in those regions - service delivery
that matches what you receive as a consumer with what you
need according to that level of need,” Ms Ley said.
Commissioning will be the task of PHNs. Ms Ley said the new
approach would better support Australians to receive the most
appropriate mental health care when and where they need it.
The changes will see:
care packages created for people with complex needs
a new digital gateway to online mental health services
a new single telephone hotline to direct people to
appropriate services
For the full Turnball government response to the National Mental
Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programme and
Services, go to
NCPHN Welcomes Federal Government Changes to the
Mental Health Sector
NCPHN has welcomed the Federal Government’s changes to the
mental health sector.
The move will see PHNs take a lead role in ensuring a wellintegrated mental health system, commissioning all regionallydelivered Commonwealth-funded primary mental health services
by 2018. These changes will allow NCPHN to improve linkages to
best meet the individual needs of consumers across our region,
building upon work already begun with Local Health Districts
(LHDs) and other service providers.
Amongst the changes is the creation of a $350 million a year
flexible funding pool that will allow PHNs to improve efficiency
and effectiveness of Mental Health services across the country.
The process will also provide an opportunity for the community
to have a say in planning mental health services in their region.
Meet NCPHN’s GP advisers
Australian General Practice Training
North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) has employed
five GPs across its footprint one day a week to advise on a range
of topics and to facilitate GP engagement. These doctors will
also assist NCPHN’s new Clinical Councils and provide advice on
clinical governance and professional development matters.
From 1 January 2016, GP Synergy will be the new provider of
the GP Training program currently delivered by North Coast GP
Training. NCGPT will remain responsible for GP Training in the
region for the remainder of 2015. North Coast Primary Health
Network wishes the outgoing staff of NCGPT all the best for the
future and much success to GP Synergy, registrars and training
practices in 2016.
Dr Dan Ewald, lead Clinical Advisor
Dan works in general practice at Lennox Head
and at Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service in
Ballina. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor,
Sydney University at the University Centre for
Rural Health.
Email: [email protected]
Dr Marion Tait, Lismore/Ballina
Marion works as a GP at Casino AMS.
Email: [email protected]
Dragon Claw uniting Rheumatoid Disease patients
The new Dragon Claw website provides resources and
information to rheumatoid disease, lupus and juvenile arthritis
patients and carers, with a focus on how to deal with anxiety and
depression. The site, which has been designed by people living
with these conditions, offers health and wellbeing services such
as medications, diet, exercise, carer support and a place to share
stories. Information videos presented by health professionals,
online video chats, information on latest research and links to
useful phone apps are also available. Registration is free.
Visit to access the resources.
Dr Paul Davies, Tweed Heads
Paul works in Tweed Heads at the GP clinic
at Fred’s Place homeless support service,
Bugalwena General Practice and headspace.
Email: [email protected]
Dr Gull Herzberg, Coffs Harbour
Gull lives and works as a GP in Bellingen. He was
the initial headspace GP in Bellingen and is now
on the team at Bellingen’s Youth Hub Clinic.
Email: [email protected]
Dr Brett Lynam, Tweed Heads
Brett works in a busy general practice
in Tweed Heads and is dealing with the
challenges of NSW/QLD border practice.
Email: [email protected]
Bowel cancer screening
Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer, claiming
the life of one Australian every two hours. If bowel cancer is
detected before it has spread beyond the bowel, the chance
of surviving for at least five years after diagnosis is about 90%.
The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) guidelines
recommend screening asymptomatic patients using a sensitive
Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) every one to two years if they
are 50 or over.
Many patients don’t screen for bowel cancer because they are
put off by the ‘clean plastic container’ required to collect the
stool sample. The ColoVantage Screening service offers GPs and
patients a clean, simple to use FIT screening test involving:
toilet water sampling, collected with a brush. No faecal
handling is required.
heat stable test cards. Refrigeration of samples at home is
not required. Samples are mailed to the lab in a reply paid
Rebates are available from Medicare and selected Health Funds.
Clinical Genomics, an Australian approved pathology provider,
can supply your clinic with promotional materials and kits
(pathology fees apply once the patient completes the test), as
well as patient compliance data and a yearly reminder service
to patients. For more information, please contact Lyndall Iron,
Clinical Genomics Territory Manager NSW & ACT on 0427 826
760 or [email protected]
GP related data - NHPA update
Diabetes NSW Clinical Consults
The National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) has released
a report on GP and specialist attendances and expenditure in
2013-14. This health care data includes the average number of
GP and specialists attendances across Primary Health Network
(PHN) areas and associated costs. Here is a summary snapshot
of local health use in North Coast NSW:
Diabetes NSW is now conducting one-on-one clinical consults
out of their Port Macquarie Shop located at:
GP attendance and cost
GPs can refer their patients (with or at risk of diabetes) to see
any or all of the following health professionals:
3rd highest rating among PHNs for patients seeing a GP
when need presented
highest GP attendance rates - 86% of North Coast adults saw
a GP in 2013/14
highest GP visits – each NC adult visited a GP 6.3 times
(suggests link with chronic disease and aging)
9th highest bulk-billed GP attendances with 85.9% bulkbilled
After Hours and Cost
8th lowest After Hours attendance rates – 0.19%
5th Highest Expenditure on After Hours attendance $316.28 per adult
7th lowest MBS expenditure on After Hours - $11 per NC
Emergency visit patterns
7th highest with 18% of adults visiting ED
Hospital admissions
1 in 7 adults (14%) admitted to hospital in 2013/14
Specialist attendance
10th highest attendance rates (38%)
8th highest expenditure with $82.72 spent on Medicare
benefits per adult
Low vax rate with 63% of girls under 15 having all three HPV
Visit for more details on
North Coast NSW and performance around Australia.
11/35 Merrigal Road, Port Macquarie
Phone: 02 6581 5420
Fax: 02 6581 5419
Credentialled Diabetes Educator - Sue Leahy
Accredited Exercise Physiologist - Erin Freeman
Accredited Practising Dietitian - Cally Sumpter
Schedule of Fees
Enhanced Primary
Care Program
(Individual Allied
Health Services
under Medicare)
Initial Consultation
following Medicare
Rebate (45-60 mins)
following Medicare
Rebate (20-30 mins)
Diabetes NSW
Bulk Billed
Bulk Billed
*Anyone can become a member of Diabetes NSW for $55 Full
Membership or $30 Concession.
Private Consultations
(Private Health
Insurance Rebates
may be available)
Diabetes NSW
Initial Consultation
(45-60 mins)
Consultation (20-30
*Anyone can become a member of Diabetes NSW for $55 Full
Membership or $30 Concession.
MBS update
Paediatric weight management program - Go4Fun
The 1 December 2015 Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) files
are now available to download as a complete MBS updated
document or by category. Information is also provided via MBS
online regarding new, deleted and amended item numbers.
Go4Fun® is an interactive program that helps kids and their
families adopt a positive, long-lasting attitude towards food and
exercise. The program has been specifically designed for children
aged 7-13 years who are above a healthy weight, and their
parents. The program consists of 10x weekly 2-hour sessions and
Visit for details.
Palliative Care Last-Days-of-Life Home Support Services
Silver Chain provides Palliative Care Last-Days-of-Life Home
Support Services where medical governance may remain with
the GP. The service works with the Local Health District specialist
palliative care and generalist services to deliver seamless care,
communication at all levels and to achieve the optimum result
for the patients and their carers during the end stage of life.
Silver Chain works in partnership with Local Health Districts
by wrapping around existing services to provide Last-Days-ofLife Home Support packages. The service is fully funded by the
NSW Ministry of Health and is now available in Northern NSW
(between Tweed Heads and Evans Head and west to Kyogle
and Casino regions), Mid North Coast (between Red Rock
and Macksville, including west to Bellingen region) and in the
Hastings Macleay region.
Each package of care is for a seven-day period and is available to:
clients in deteriorating or terminal phase, who wish to die at
home or remain home as long as possible
clients with any diagnosis
clients of all ages
clients may have more than one package of care
Silver Chain packages of care consist of:
Daytime (0800 to 1530 hrs) - an Assistant in Nursing
specialising in end-of-life care provides daily support to
clients with personal hygiene needs and/or respite for carers
Evening (1530 to 2300 hrs) - a Registered Nurse specialising
in end-of-life care visits each evening to provide clinical care
and support
Overnight (2300 to 0830 hrs) - a Registered Nurse
specialising in end of life care (who has access to the client’s
clinical information) is on call to provide clinical advice and
Silver Chain additionally provides a tablet in the client’s
home so that support can be provided via telephone or
video at any time
The Silver Chain Clinical Nurse Consultant Manager can be
contacted 24/7 for more information: 1300 758 566.
weekly games and activities for children
fun, interactive discussions to teach parents easy and
effective ways to improve their child’s nutrition, physical
activity and self-esteem
practical demonstrations, games and tips about healthy
foods, label reading and portion sizes
the chance to try delicious and healthy new foods
General practitioners and practice nurses can provide parents
with the following registration options:
Call 1800 280 900
SMS 0409 745 645 for a call back
Register online at
HealthPathway available,
Weight Management in Children:
Username: manchealth
Password: conn3ct3d
1800RESPECT toolkits
Frontline workers are often the first person a woman will talk to if
they are experiencing sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
It’s vital you feel that you are equipped with the right tools and
information to help you recognise the signs, offer knowledgebased support and connect women to the most appropriate
services. 1800RESPECT has launched a toolkit to assist you with
this – visit and register to access.
HealthPathway available,
Domestic and Family Violence:
Username: manchealth
Password: conn3ct3d
Free exercise program for people with diabetes
New flu protections following high season
Diabetes NSW run a group exercise program for people with
diabetes called BEAT IT. This program is funded under the NDSS
for NDSS registrants and will not cost your patient anything.
Due to the record number of reported flu cases in 2015, Federal
Minister for Health Susan Ley has announced the inclusion of
the quadrivalent influenza vaccine on the National Immunisation
Program (NIP) in 2016. The new influenza vaccine for 2016 will
cover four flu strains (up from three in 2015) recommended by
the World Health Organisation for the Southern Hemisphere.
The BEAT IT programs involves:
One-on-one assessment
Twice weekly group exercise sessions for 8 weeks
Final assessment
Final report provided to GP
The program aims to help people to become more active to assist
with better diabetes management. It includes a combination
of aerobic, resistance and balance exercises. The program
progresses gradually over eight weeks to allow for adaptation
and will help your patient to become confident in exercising
independently following program completion. They will also be
taught about how exercise impacts blood glucose management
and about preventing hypos with exercise. There is an option of
an ongoing maintenance exercise program for those who need
additional support, however the maintenance program is not
funded under the NDSS.
New programs start quarterly and they are taking referrals for
the January-March 2016 programs now. Spaces are limited - if
your patient misses out on this program, they will be put on a
waiting list for the next program starting in April 2016.
To refer your patient simply call 02 6581 5420 or fax 02 6581
5419 stating that you would like to refer a patient to the BEAT
IT exercise program. Provide your patient’s name and contact
information - Diabetes NSW will do the rest!
No Jab, No Pay - New Immunisation Requirements for
Family Assistance Payments
The vaccine will be free for vulnerable Australians, including
people aged over 65, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
younger than 5 and older than 15, pregnant women and people
with certain medical conditions. Australians not eligible for
vaccinations under the NIP will still be able to access seasonal flu
vaccinations through their GP, employer or other allied health
professionals. Further information on the availability of the new
flu vaccine under the NIP will be available closer to the start of
next year’s flu season.
NSW School Vaccination Program 2016
Students in high school in 2016 will be offered the following
Year 7
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (dTpa): 1 dose in Term 1
Varicella (chicken pox): 1 dose in Term 2
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): 3 doses in Term 1, 2 and 3/4 (1
dose per term)
Year 8
Students who commenced HPV vaccination in Year 7 at school
and missed any dose will be recalled while in Year 8 only.
The Federal Government’s ‘No Jab, No Pay’ measure commences
on 1 January 2016. Only parents of children (less than 20 years)
who are fully immunised, or are on a recognised immunisation
catch-up schedule, or have an approved medical exemption, can
receive family assistance payments. Conscientious objection and
vaccination objection on non-medical grounds will no longer be a
valid exemption from immunisation requirements.
The Department of Health has commissioned the National
Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) to
develop five new fact sheets to help frame discussions about
immunisation with parents, providing evidence-based answers to
commonly held concerns and myths surrounding immunisation.
Visit to access the fact sheets.
The free vaccine is only available to students who have
a signed consent form and who commenced the vaccine
course while in Year 7 or Year 11-12.
Students who miss vaccine doses due to absence on the
day of the nurses’ visit will be offered catch-up vaccination
at subsequent school clinics. Where this is not possible,
parents will be advised that free catch-up vaccination is
available at their local GP during the school year only.
Parents who choose to wait for their child to be older before
consenting to vaccination will be required to pay for the
vaccines privately.
Parents can withdraw consent at any time before vaccination
takes place by providing the school with written notification
or telephoning the school to withdraw their consent.
Information about the vaccinations is also available in 23
community languages at
Contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 for more
Christmas is coming - how much is too much?
During the Christmas and New Year period there is a marked
increase in festivities, parties, family gatherings, work functions
and barbeques. While it’s a great time of year, it can also be a
time of excess, especially when it comes to alcohol. The festive
season is a good time to reflect on the effects of alcohol on
physical and mental health.
Excessive alcohol consumption is a cause of a wide range of
health - and other - harms. It is the major cause of road and other
accidents, domestic and public violence, crime, liver disease and
brain damage, and contributes to family breakdown and broader
social dysfunction.
If you have a patient whose alcohol consumption is a concern,
a referral to an allied mental health professional may be
appropriate. Free services are available for people with a mental
health treatment plan who are on a Health Care Card or in severe
financial stress via Healthy Minds. Healthy Minds aims to provide
the best quality psychological support for a range of common,
mild to moderately severe emotional and behavioural difficulties
including substance misuse, depression and anxiety.
An easy to use Healthy Minds referral form for your practice
software is available from the North Coast NSW Primary Health
Network website at
For more information about Healthy Minds, please contact Intake
Officer Manpreet Kooner on 1300 137 237.
To stay at low risk for harm, the following drinking limits are
currently recommended:
For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two
standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm
from alcohol-related disease or injury
For healthy men and women, drinking no more than four
standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of
alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion
For children and young people under 18 years-of-age, not
drinking alcohol is the safest option
For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or
breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option
There is a range of strategies people can use to minimise alcoholrelated harm:
plan some alcohol-free days – grab a juice, mineral water or
iced tea instead
check the label on the drink container for standard drink
information (or pour your own drink) and keep count of the
number of standard drinks
eat before, and while, drinking
alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks
plan activities that don’t involve alcohol
set goals for cutting down the amount of alcohol consumed
drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
avoid combining alcohol with energy drinks
drink slowly
try drinks with lower alcohol content
identify a designated driver at the beginning of a night out
Mental Health Rights Manual
The Mental Health Coordinating Council has released the Mental
Health Rights Manual: An online guide to the legal and human
rights of people navigating the mental health and human service
systems in NSW (4th Edition) 2015. The manual incorporates
the latest legislative reform and describes the mental health and
human services environment.
Visit to access the manual.
Sexual Health Services
Genital Herpes
Contact Tracing
Chlamydia in Adults
Interpreter Services
Sexual Health
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
Useful websites
Child, Adolescent and Family Counselling
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
General practice is the main provider of sexual health care in
NSW. Forty-five percent of Australians diagnosed with an STI or
blood borne virus receive treatment through general practice.
The sexual health HealthPathways have been developed in
conjunction with NSW STI Programs Unit (STIPU) with the aim
to increase the amount of sexual history taking and targeted STI
testing conducted within NSW general practices and support
general practitioners to manage sexually transmissible infections
within their practice. Specifically by:
improving access to STI information, training and resources.
strengthening links to publicly-funded sexual health services.
These Pathways cover treatment and management strategies
with the latest evidence based information and decision support
tools to support clinical best practice.
Sexual Health Clinics
Specialist public sexual health services have an essential and
historical role in improving access to high-priority groups and
managing more clinical problems. As well as a clinical role, many
specialist services are also responsible for providing continuing
professional development, clinical advice and support, population
health advice, contact tracing and research. The Mid North
Coast and Northern NSW Local Health Districts run Sexual Health
Clinics that provide services for designated priority populations
in screening, testing, and management of HIV and sexually
transmitted infections (STI). Patients can either self-refer or
be referred via a health professional. All contact information,
service information and referral criteria can be found on the
HealthPathways website.
Clinic locations: Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Kempsey, Lismore,
Port Macquarie and Tweed Heads with outreach centres also
at Byron Bay and Murwillumbah.
There is no longer a need to bookmark your favourite websites.
A ‘Useful Website’ link is now included on each HealthPathways
page. This provides links to commonly-used websites relevant to
general practitioners.
More sites will be added as new Pathways are developed. If you
would like to recommend any websites for inclusion, let us know
via the Send Feedback button.
Visit the Mid and North Coast HealthPathways website:
Username: manchealth
Password: conn3ct3d
For further information or to suggest a future Pathway topic,
please contact:
Fiona Ryan
(02) 6583 3600
[email protected]
(Mid North Coast)
Kerrie Keyte
(07) 5523 5507
[email protected]
(Northern NSW)
Background Artwork by Alison Williams
Re-registration for Closing the Gap
The time for re-registering Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander patients under the Closing the Gap program
is November to February. Re-registration of patients
is a requirement for receiving the Indigenous Health
Incentive PIP.
North Coast Primary Health Network has Aboriginal
Outreach Workers who would be happy to assist
patients with their registration paperwork. If you
would like an Outreach Worker to attend your practice
for one morning in the registration period, please call
the appropriate number below to organise a day and
time that would suit you and your recall system.
Coffs Harbour: 02 6659 1800
Port Macquarie: 02 6583 3600
Tweed Heads: 07 5523 5500
Kempsey: 02 6562 1055
Advance Care Yarning
Advance care yarning has been designed to support
Indigenous people with making advance care
plans in the event of serious illness. The resource
highlights the importance of making choices on
future treatment, so family or those appointed can
yarn on a person’s behalf and carry out their wishes.
It also advocates the need for effective planning
and includes an Advance Care Plan to help people
accurately remember choices. This makes it easier to
communicate a person’s wishes to doctors, nurses and
Aboriginal Health Workers.
Visit to access the resource.
In addition to outreach workers, Indigenous Health
Project Officers are available in Lismore. These officers
can assist you with the Closing the Gap program. Call
our Lismore office on 02 6627 3300.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Indigenous Health
Project Officers for any enquiries regarding the PIP
Indigenous Health Incentive.
HealthPathway available, Closing the Gap:
Username: manchealth
Password: conn3ct3d
CPR Video
North Coast Primary Health Network and the Macleay
Vocational College in Kempsey have recorded an
easy-to-follow CPR video aimed at young Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islanders. The project came out of
First Aid Training at Macleay Vocational College and
involved participants from diverse backgrounds. The
opportunity to be involved in this project was a unique
one for the kids.
View the video at
North Coast Primary Health Network is conducting
a population-based Needs Assessment. Interviews,
focus groups and surveys will be conducted in
January and February 2016. If you are interested in
participating, refer to page 3 for more information.
Decision Assist - phone advisory line
Free specialist advice on advance care ranging from medication
advice, symptom and pain management, psychosocial support
and palliative care advice is available through the Decision
Assist phone advisory line. The line is available for all staff
working with people receiving aged care services either at
home or in an aged care facility, including GPs, nurses, allied
health professionals and personal care workers. This is part
of the broader Australian Government-funded Decision Assist
program to support aged care staff nationally.
The phone line offers two streams of advice: advance
care planning information and medication and symptom
management information. Phone 1300 668 908 for specialist
palliative care advice (available 24/7) and advance care
planning advice (8 am to 8 pm, 7 days).
Visit for more information.
LAR Project
The Listen, Acknowledge, Respond (LAR) project has launched a
national survey for health care professionals working with people
living with advanced chronic and terminal illness. The survey
will measure the existing skills and knowledge of primary health,
allied health and aged care workers to address mental health
issues in those living with dying.
The LAR baseline survey targets mental health clinicians,
primary carers, nurses, the aged care workforce, pharmacists,
physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, social
workers and speech therapists. The survey will be available
online at until January 2016.
The LAR project will deliver a range of training workshops,
including accredited CPD training, Certificate IV units and a
Graduate Certificate in Integrated Chronic and Terminal Care,
which will commence at CSU in 2016. All courses will be available
online, as well as face-to-face CPD and Certificate IV workshops
being offered around the country next year.
Visit for more details
about the training and research.
Dogs 4 Dementia
Dogs 4 Dementia enable peoples who have
dementia to remain living at home for longer. The
program equips a person living with dementia
and their carer with a dog that is carefully chosen
to match their household personalities and then
specially trained to meet their specific needs.
Dogs are taught to respond to cues in ways that
promote confidence and independence in a
person living with dementia.
Visit for more
North Coast Primary Health Network is conducting
a population-based Needs Assessment. Interviews,
focus groups and surveys will be conducted in
January and February 2016. If you are interested in
participating, refer to page 3 for more information.
Get an early start on this year’s CPD
NPS MedicineWise has an extensive range of topics and
activities through which pharmacists can easily complete all CPD
requirements for the coming year at no cost.
Here’s a small sample of what’s on offer:
Drug misuse: implications for pharmacists. This activity
focuses on the role pharmacists can play in preventing the
harmful use of pharmaceutical opioids and benzodiazepines.
Preventing fractures: where to start with osteoporosis – a
new interactive case study. It’s estimated that 1 in 7 adults
aged over 50 have osteoporosis. How can you help improve
their adherence to osteoporosis medicines? What other
advice would you provide to your patients?
Chronic pain: opioids and beyond, supporting a
multimodal approach - pharmacy practice review. Longterm management of chronic pain requires a multimodal,
bio-psychosocial approach. Learn about the full range of
management options for chronic pain, access resources to
support your patients and find out how to become an active
member of a pain management team.
Visit for the full list of training activities.
North Coast Primary Health Network is conducting
a population-based Needs Assessment. Interviews,
focus groups and surveys will be conducted in
January and February 2016. If you are interested in
participating, refer to page 3 for more information.
LAR Project
The Listen, Acknowledge, Respond (LAR)
project has launched a national survey
for health care professionals working
with people living with advanced
chronic and terminal illness. The survey
will measure the existing skills and
knowledge of primary health, allied
health and aged care workers to address
mental health issues in those living with
The LAR baseline survey targets mental
health clinicians, primary carers, nurses,
the aged care workforce, pharmacists,
physiotherapists, psychologists,
occupational therapists, social workers
and speech therapists. The survey will be
available online at
until January 2016.
The LAR project will deliver a range of
training workshops, including accredited
CPD training, Certificate IV units and
a Graduate Certificate in Integrated
Chronic and Terminal Care, which will
commence at CSU in 2016. All courses
will be available online, as well as faceto-face CPD and Certificate IV workshops
being offered around the country next
year. Visit for details.
Nursing and Allied Health
Scholarship and Support Scheme
Services for Australian Rural and Remote
Allied Health (SARRAH) are currently
accepting applications for the following
Allied Health Scholarships:
CPD. Visit for
more information.
Clinical Psychology. Visit http:// for more information.
eMental health forum
The National Institute for Mental Health
Research at the Australian National
University has launched an online forum
- eMHPrac Exchange - for mental health
workers, allied health practitioners,
nurses and peer workers to share ways
of working with Australian e-mental
health resources.
Health professionals can register to join
conversations in the free Members Only
Visit to learn more.
The WayAhead Directory
New South Wales is getting ‘way ahead’
and has created an online directory for
mental health services across the state.
The WayAhead Directory is a
comprehensive online database of
mental health services in NSW. The
directory is managed and maintained by
WayAhead - Mental Health Association
NSW. The directory contains up-to-date
information on over 5,000 mental health
related services across NSW. You will find
a wealth of information on mental health
including information and resources that
help explain and define common mental
health terms and jargon along with fact
sheets on common mental illnesses.
There is also information on key mental
health legislation, current government
programs which cover mental health
treatment, and the structuring of
government mental health services.
today or call 1300 794 991 and speak to
someone who can upload your details to
the site.
“Let’s Get Connected”
Launch, Seminar and Networking Event for Allied Health Professionals
5 March, 2016
Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour
Come and hear renowned experts discussing the future direction of Allied Health and
health care integration, including Keynote Speaker Professor Kathyrn Refshauge, Dr Teresa Anderson and Professor Susan Nancarrow.
NCAHA is establishing itself as a benchmark for regionally-focussed Allied Health representation and networking. Even if you’re not from the NSW North Coast, this is a great
opportunity to help create a shared vision for Allied Health in one of the best holiday destinations on the East Coast.
NCAHA Member
Non-NCAHA member
Student Enrollment
Optional Dinner (partners welcome)
Register by 31 December 2015 and
enter the draw to win a night’s accommodation at Opal Cove Resort.
Book tickets at:
The Australian Musculoskeletal Network has been contracted to help promote and manage this event.
The AMSN was formed in 2013 in Byron Bay in an effort to promote good-quality local CPD events. The AMSN
has run workshops on topics such as inflammatory arthritis, chronic pain and managing obesity. You can join
the AMSN free of charge at
The Australian Musculoskeletal Network
37 Tuckaroo Avenue
Mullumbimby, NSW 2482
Phone: 0428 288 526
Email: [email protected]
Networking Platform for
Health Professionals
ealthy North Coast’s new
online network allows you to
communicate, network and collaborate
in a private and professional
environment, with colleagues from
across the North Coast without leaving
your office.
The Healthy North Coast Network is
based on the functionality of other
familiar social networking platforms like
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
With over 130 regional and professionbased networks available, the Healthy
North Coast Network is ready for you to
join right now.
Health professionals can register for
the Healthy North Coast Network by
visiting Full
instructions for the platform are
available at
Government to remove common drugs
from Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
The Australian Government will address inconsistencies in the nation’s PBS that
see many concessional patients with a prescription for common medicines such as
paracetamol and aspirin paying higher prices than if they simply purchased them
Minister for Health Sussan Ley confirmed the 17 types of common over-thecounter medicines for issues such as headaches, heartburn and constipation that
will no longer be subsidised as a prescription drug under the Pharmaceutical
Benefits Scheme (PBS) from January 1 2016.
The decision follows advice and consultation by the independent Pharmaceutical
Benefits Advisory Committee and is part of the Government’s landmark PBS
reforms, which passed the Senate earlier this year.
Ms Ley said the measure would particularly benefit concessional patients who
were sometimes paying two-to-three times the retail price of common medicines
when they bought them through a prescription rather than over-the-counter.
Read the full story at
New Allied Health Services for
Evans Head and Coraki
One in two Aussie sunburns occur
during everyday activity
North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) is pleased to
announce that it has contracted the services of a psychologist,
a speech therapist and an occupational therapist for the Evans
Head and Coraki communities.
New Cancer Council research findings show half of weekend
sunburns occur while Australians are going about day-to-day
activities, with the home replacing the iconic summer beach
scene as a sunburn hotspot.
The psychologist is now available as part of NCPHN’s Healthy
Minds Program in Evans Head. Healthy Minds provides free
mental health services to people who would not otherwise
be able to access psychological treatment. To be eligible, the
person must have a government health care card or be suffering
financial hardship. Referrals can be made on 02 6627 3396.
Cancer Council and the Australasian College of Dermatologists
are joining forces this National Skin Cancer Action Week (1521 November) to remind Australians that when it comes to
damage from UV radiation, ‘it all adds up’, whether by accident
or attempts to tan, and increases the risk of skin damage and
Contracted speech pathology services commenced in the Coraki
and Evans Head areas on 2 November 2015, providing services
four days a week and offering more occasions of service than
were provided in the 2014/2015 period.
Results from Cancer Council’s National Sun Survey show that
over summer weekends, 50 per cent of adult sunburn occurs
during everyday activities such as gardening and chores around
the house, along with passive recreation activities such as
reading, enjoying a picnic in the park or having a BBQ.
Similarly, occupational therapy services have been established
two days a week. Contact the Spot4You and Spot4Kids therapists
to make an appointment by phoning 1300 7768 4968.
NCPHN’s General Manager, Service Delivery, Mr Chris Clark said
that these new allied health contracts with private health care
providers were part of the new agreement reached between the
Commonwealth Government and Primary Health Networks.
“The approach is designed to both increase access to services
for the community and potentially create sustainable services for
the future”, said Mr Clark.
Read the full story at
According to the Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Public Health
Committee, Craig Sinclair, the figure dwarfs the 29 per cent of
adults sunburnt during activities at the beach, lake or pool, as
well as the 21 per cent sunburnt playing sport or taking part in
other active recreation.
“I think people will be surprised by these results,” Mr Sinclair
“These ‘incidental’ sunburns are catching people out. It may not
occur to people that sun protection is just as important whether
you are in the backyard, lying in the park or hanging out at the
Read the full story at
December 2015 - March 2016
You can view the full North Coast Practitioner events calander at:
Click the event title for more information.
14-15 December
Regional Forum on Harm Minimisation, Kempsey
Mid North Coast
5 March
North Coast Allied Health Forum, Coffs Harbour
Northern Rivers
15 December
Restorative Care and Wellbeing, Goonellabah
27 February
Pain Management, Ballina
Tweed Heads
18 February
End-of-Life Care for GPs, Tweed Heads
Other Events
17 December
Webinar: Using e-MH resources in your work:
Practitioners’ Perspectives
18-19 February
TheMHS Summer Forum, Sydney
25-26 February
Interpersonal Psychotherapy Training for GPs and
practice teams, Sydney
A long-established boutique family practice is
looking for a part-time or full-time female GP.
For all enquiries, please phone 6652 4211 and
speak with Dr Ian Scott, Practice Principal.
Work alongside a team of experienced skin
cancer experts
Great mixture of patient interaction and
procedural work
Ongoing professional development and
Earn significantly more than generalist GP
Established and successful clinics
Excellent practice support team and facilities
An exciting opportunity exists for general
practitioners with an interest in skin cancer
medicine to join our busy and established
practices. At SunDoctors, you will be working
alongside experienced skin cancer experts to
deliver the highest quality skin cancer care.
In joining the team you will inherit a large existing
patient base, plus a significant daily influx of
new patients. SunDoctors supports flexible work
arrangements, taking on doctors from as little as
one day a week up to full-time, and your start and
finish times are completely up to you. When you
work with SunDoctors, you act as an independent
contractor, meaning no fixed terms and no
To apply, please call 1300 115 759 or email
[email protected]
Would you like an easy way to supplement your
current income? Or maybe you are looking for
something that fits around your life a bit better?
Doctor To You, an after hours home visit
service, is proud to announce its expansion into
Kingscliff. As one of their after hours doctors,
you will be part of a team that includes GPs, GP
registrars and hospital doctors providing urgent
medical care to those that need it most. The
aim is to reduce the pressure on Emergency
Departments whilst making sure patients still
receive a high standard of care.
Doctor To You pride themselves on the personal
connection they make with all their doctors,
making sure rosters maintain a healthy work/
life balance as well as maintaining a close
relationship so doctors can always voice any
The work undertaken with Doctor To You is
recognised by FRACGP and therefore counts
towards fellowship, making it an excellent step
in your career for professional development.
After hours home visits have incredible earning
potential (medicare bulk billing # 597), but
rosters are still flexible to fit your lifestyle (over
100 hours to choose from). Doctor To You also
provides full practice and admin support, so you
can focus on what really matters: patient care.
The potential in Kingscliff is massive and Doctor
To You hopes they can find someone to share
the success with.
Please note : Minimum of Limited AHPRA
Registration with level 3 supervision is required.
Julie Simmons
0429 932 906
[email protected]
The Coffs Harbour Aged Care Assessment Team
(ACAT), Regional Assessment Team (RAS) and
Community Intake have moved to new offices in
the Specialist Medical Centre, opposite the main
hospital. Please note the new contact numbers
for these services.
Community Intake:
6656 7646 Ext 23981 or 6656 7647 Ext 23982
ACAT Reception:
6656 7688 or 6656 7693
An exciting opportunity exists for a General
Practitioner to establish or relocate to this friendly
centre and join the team. The Grange Family
Medical Centre is a newly-established practice
within Port Macquarie, adjacent to the private
hospital, with pharmacy, allied health, imaging
and pathology virtually on site.
Fully computerised
Mixed billing
Excellent support team
Flexible hours
For further information, please contact Dr
Adam King by phoning (02) 6584 5244 or email
[email protected]
I am a trained laser technician who works with PCOS
patients and the general public. I have recently moved
into a new clinic which has a vacant treatment room.
Interested parties will need: a bed and computer (with
secure storage). Costs will include reception/nurse, fax
and phone and/or other outgoings. This clinic specialises
in Cradle to the Grave care.
The room will be available for rent in December 2015.
Photos available by request.
Contact Jacqui Cardilini at [email protected]
Are you a GP with at least five years experience
practicing in Northern NSW or on the Mid North
Coast? Would you like to make it easier for GPs
to refer patients to the services they need?
The HealthPathways team is seeking Expressions
of Interest from GPs interested in part time
or casual roles developing content for the
HealthPathways site.
For further information, visit
or contact Dr Dan Ewald, Lead Clinical Advisor at
NCPHN. Email [email protected]
To apply, please complete the form located at
The new Clinical Services Building at Kempsey
District Hospital has opened. The following
services can be accessed:
High Dependency/Coronary Care Unit
Medical Unit
Operating Theatres
Access the new Emergency Department via
the new Polwood Street entrance. All other
services such as Maternity, Renal, Rehabilitation
and Mental Health will continue to operate as
usual from their current locations in the existing
hospital buildings.
Contact NCPHN
Head Office
Suite 6, 85 Tamar Street
Ballina NSW 2478
Phone: 02 6618 5400
Fax: 02 6618 5499
Email: [email protected]
Northern Rivers
Tarmons House
St Vincent’s Campus
20 Dalley Street
East Lismore NSW 2480
Phone: 02 6627 3300
Fax: 02 6622 3185
Email: [email protected]
Tweed Heads
Level 3, 145 Wharf Street
Tweed Heads NSW 2485
Phone: 07 5589 0500
Email: [email protected]
Hastings Macleay
53 Lord Street
Port Macquarie NSW 2444
Phone: 02 6583 3600
Fax: 02 6583 8600
Email: [email protected]
Mid North Coast
Suite 6, 1 Duke Street
Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450
Phone: 02 6659 1800
Fax: 02 6659 1899
Email: [email protected]

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