North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1002: February 4, 2010
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Chronic Disease Management      New and Updated Heart Foundation Practice Tools     

Professional Development           CPD events         

Immunisation                                 COMVAX® stock expires now, Delayed - free seasonal influenza vaccine       

Information Management            Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                            News from St Vincent’s, Locum Education Assistance program & Rural locum opportunities, Low Vitamin D in Victoria: Key health messages for GPs, GP Network News

Mental Health                                Life Strategies Day Program, Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria          

News for Practice Staff                 Legal Issues for Practice Managers, Useful link for practice nurses, HESTA Australian Nursing Awards        

Women’s Health                            Malignant Disease in Female Patients              

Positions vacant/wanted                

Fun stuff                                            


Chronic Disease Management

New and Updated Heart Foundation Practice Tools

The Heart Foundation is committed to support general practice in the adoption of prevention and management recommendations to minimise the evidence management gap for coronary heart disease and reduce the associated disease burden in Australia.

The “Hypertension treatment” wall chart is a practical, quick reference tool. It guides assessment of absolute cardiovascular risk, and provides information about drug treatment and treatment targets.

The “Guide to management of hypertension 2008 Slide presentation” is a teaching aid for health professionals. It summarises the current best practice in the diagnosis, management and follow-up of people with hypertension. Click here. 

The National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) updated online calculator for measuring cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk now available from

If you’re interested in measuring your patients’ five-year risk of getting CVD, visit our recently updated website. For a more user-friendly online CVD risk calculator and downloadable desktop version, easy-to-understand information explaining absolute CVD risk, what a risk score means, and more. 


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Continuing Professional Development

Term 1 GP Lecture Program

Meetings are held each Tuesday starting at 12.30 in the Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Pathology Building, Repatriation Hospital, Austin Health, West Heidelberg. Tea and Coffee provided. Course Leader: Dr Vin Nursey Phone: 9457 1736

Feb 9 - Iron Deficiency Anaemia - Dr Raouf Bassily

For full term Tuesday lecture program click here


Advice to the Traveller - A Seminar on Travel Health

Saturday, 20 March, 8.15am - 1.30pm at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville. This seminar aims to provide you with up to date information on advice to the traveller and includes important topics, new and emerging issues and case examples. For further information and registration form click here.


Hepatitis C education.

“Bloody Serious Facts and what you should know” on Tuesday 16th March 10am-1pm. At Suite 5, 200 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Please see flier for information and registration details


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COMVAX® stock expires now
ALL remaining stocks of COMVAX vaccine expire now. Even though the box may indicate an expiry of February 2010 many ampoules indicate an expiry of 02 February 2010. If you are holding unused stock of COMVAX in your vaccine refrigerator, please discard it into your biohazard waste bin now.
COMVAX (Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b antigens) vaccine was removed from routine use in the Victorian immunisation infant schedule in March 2008 and was replaced by the combination vaccine Infanrix hexa® (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Poliomyelitis, Haemophilus influenzae type b).
Please direct any further enquiries to the DoH Immunisation program on 1300 882 008


Delayed - free seasonal influenza vaccine for 2010
The Department of Health Immunisation Program has been advised that delivery of the free seasonal influenza vaccine for 2010 has been delayed. As they are uncertain of the exact delivery date, they would recommend that Immunisation providers not book eligible clients in for the free seasonal influenza vaccine until further notice. Following the success of the pre-allocation of seasonal influenza vaccine to providers in 2009 we again plan to pre-allocate stock once it becomes available this year. Please do not call the Immunisation Program. Advice will be updated regularly on the Immunisation Program website by accessing “What’s new?” in the right hand column at: In the interim please continue to offer the free Panvax® vaccine to everyone from 6 months of age.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Adding Comments to history items

Sometimes you are tempted to create a history item (or reason for prescription) by using free text rather than entering it as a coded item. This is because the coded item doesn’t adequately explaining the condition. A way round this is to use a coded item and then add the detail in the Comment box. You can then edit the templates where history items are included so that comments are included with the coded history item.

To do this you need to edit the properties of the history field:

·        Open LetterWriter and from the File menu select Modify template – find your referral letter and open it.

·        Right click on the <<Clinical Details:History List>> field and select Properties. Make sure there is a tick in the box Include Comments box.


This weeks IM problem - Editing a deceased patient’s record

Question: When I need to edit a deceased patient’s record I “undecease” them via the Patient reviver of HCN Maintenance, make the changes and then “decease” them. Is this the right way to do it?

Answer: No.

1.      With no patient record open, from the Patient menu select List… (or press <F10>)

2.      The patients will be listed Current patients by name. From the drop down menu select Deceased patients

3.      From the File menu select Open – now you can edit the patient’s clinical record


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Items of Interest

News from St Vincent’s

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

St Vincent’s offers a bulk billing service for patients needing ambulatory blood pressure monitioring. Enquiries to Mary Sullivan 9288 3645 (please leave pt phone number if no answer) Fax referrals to (03) 9288 3649.

Aged Care Assessment Service Referrals needed

ACAS assessments are available for those elderly patients requiring aged residential and respite care. It provides access to case managed packages of care for people with complex needs and involves clients, their carers and service providers in the assessment and care planning process. The referral form ‘Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Aged Psychiatry Referral Form’ is available at For urgent referrals or more information telephone 9816 0566.

Residential Aged Care Facilities In Reach Program

The RACF In Reach is recommencing from February 2010. The program provides:

- Phone advice support and education to RACF staff

- Onsite nursing and/or medical assessment and treatment where indicated

- Reduction in unwanted/unnecessary Emergency Department presentations

- Improved access through  the Emergency Department if presentation is required

- Coordinated Discharge planning

Phone: 1800 89 1300


Locum Education Assistance program

The rural Locum Education Assistance program (LEAP) has just been launched by the Minister as part of the Federal Government’s Rural GP Locum Program. Financial assistance is provided to urban general practitioners in RA1 to undertake emergency medicine training who then need to commit to a four week (20 working days) general practice locum placement in a rural locality within a two year period giving more opportunities for urban doctors to experience life in a country practice .

Only 15 places have been allocated to both the RACGP and ACRRM respectively in the current financial year, so applications will be assessed on a first in first served basis and any interested GP’s should apply ASAP. For more information and contact details click here. RACGP training dates are here.


Rural locum opportunities: make a healthy change

Time for a fresh perspective on your career as a GP? Then why not try rural locum work?

There are now more opportunities for urban doctors to experience life in a country practice thanks to the Federal Government’s new $6.1 million Rural GP Locum Program. As well as a change of scenery, rural locum work is a great way to expand your skills while practising a more diverse and challenging range of medicine including Aboriginal health. Full support is provided, including payment of accommodation and travel costs. To find out more or to register to become part of the locum pool, contact Angela Phillips from Rural Workforce Agency Victoria on 9349 7800.  Alternatively, you can visit the Rural Health Workforce Australia website at


Low Vitamin D in Victoria: Key health messages for GPs

A new resource highlighting the latest vitamin D information has been developed for Victorian health professionals and community workers. ‘Low Vitamin D in Victoria: Key health messages for doctors, nurses and allied health’ outlines at-risk population groups, safe sun exposure levels and treatment recommendations. It is a joint initiative of the Victorian Department of Health, SunSmart, the University of Melbourne, General Practice Victoria, Royal Children’s Hospital and other partners.

The resource can be downloaded at along with;

- Information for patients on a balanced approach to sun exposure

- Translated information for people with naturally very dark skin


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Positive feedback on general practice nurses, AMA welcomes new body to combat rheumatic heart disease, Members recognised in Australia Day honours list.


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Mental Health

Life Strategies Day Program

The Melbourne Clinic in Richmond is currently accepting referrals for their Life Strategies Day Program. This program offers life strategy skills to people with psychiatric conditions to prevent relapse, maintain recovery and enhance their quality of life. It is an open program, run three times a week, enabling people to attend when required.

Contact Julie on 9420 9260 and fax referral to 9420 9355 (addressed to ‘Dear Doctor @ TMC’)


Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria

How Hypnosis Can Help With Anxiety by Dr Janet Hall, Clinical Psychologist. Thursday, 25th March, 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm at Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote, Rooftop Function Room. $20.00 non-members and $10.00 ADAVIC members. Bookings essential! Monies non refundable. Bookings can be made by calling ADAVIC (03) 9853 8089 or email Note:  a $2 surcharge fee will apply to invoices


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News for Practice Staff

Legal Issues for Practice Managers

Wednesday 17th March, 6:30pm – 9.00pm (Dinner Provided) at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University, Bundoora. Presented by:  Liberty Sanger, a Principal of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and is a specialist in work place injury law. The information focuses on the administrative aspects of managing injured patients, in particular those who are under the WorkCover or TAC schemes. Flyer.


Useful link for practice nurses

The APNA training calendar


HESTA Australian Nursing Awards

The Australian community is being urged to nominate Practice Nurses for the 2010 HESTA Australian Nursing Awards. With a prize pool of $25,000 across the categories of Nurse of the Year, Innovation in Nursing and Graduate Nurse of the Year, they are the most prestigious nursing awards in the country. Nominations close on 28 February. Finalists will be announced in April and those from interstate will be flown to the gala awards ceremony in Melbourne (Thursday 13 May). Visit to make a nomination.


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Women’s Health

Malignant Disease in Female Patients

‘An Overview of Common Gynaecological Cancers’ by A/Prof Rob Rome and ‘A Breast Cancer Update’ by Miss Jane O’Brien

Wednesday 17 February, 6.15pm – 9.15pm at Epworth Richmond, Auditorium, Level 2, 89 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Learning objectives:

1. To safely recognise signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of gynaecological malignance

2. To develop safe protocols for screening and diagnosing women at risk of breast cancer

Free car parking is available at Epworth Richmond - enter via Bridge Road. 4 CPD points. RSVP: Jenny Jones Ph: 9426 8997 Email: 


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads, paid ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Macleod - Part-Time VR GP required for our family orientated Medical Practice. Fully computerised & supported by our friendly staff. Contact Dr. Dina on 0419 525 549 or Email:


Northcote – F/t P/T VR GP or Subsequent Trainee GP position. Fully accredited, computerised, long established doctor owned practice in a new purpose built facility with a fabulous work environment. Ancillary Health, Pharmacy and Pathology services on site. Inquiries Diane Cronin (Practice Manager) 9481 1214. Visit our website 

Practice Staff


Andrew Place Medical Clinic - We are a busy, fully computerised, accredited and long established Family Medical Practice in Bundoora. We are looking for a motivated and adaptable Division 1 Nurse to join our supportive friendly team.  We provide opportunity to work autonomously on a wide range of clinical duties including immunisations, wound management, triage, care plans, processing recalls, assisting in minor procedures, chronic disease management and diabetes education. Hours: 8.00am to 4.30pm.  Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the occasional Saturday morning. You may also be required to do holiday relief.  Forward your CV to or contact Michele on 9467 1444


Northcote area - Full time/Part time Div 1 of Div 2 Practice Nurse required to assist our medical staff in a busy general practice. Duties include wound care, travel health, immunisatons, health assessments, patient triage and all other duties required in a general practice.  Visit our website for more information. To apply forward your resume to

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Bundy Rum (Bundaberg Rum)...Queensland's famous product! Forget Jamaican or any other rubbish! 
For you overseas people….a King Brown is one of the deadliest snakes on earth. Out of the world's top 10, Australia has 5.

I finally got around to going fishing this morning but after a while I ran out of worms.
Then I saw a King Brown with a frog in his mouth, and frogs are good bass bait.
Knowing the snake couldn't bite me with the frog in his mouth, I grabbed him right behind the head, took the frog and put it in my bait bucket. 
Now the dilemma was how to release the snake without getting bitten. I grabbed my bottle of Bundy and poured a little rum in its mouth. His eyes rolled back, he went limp and I released him into the lake without incident, and carried on my fishing with the frog.
A little later I felt a nudge on my foot.
There was that same snake with two frogs in his mouth.


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And remember


            ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.