North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1011: April 15, 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:
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In this issue:

Editorial                                                A Word from the Editor        

Chronic Disease Management            New online training: Putting diabetes guidelines into practice, Getting Started - Type 2 Diabetes Program, Supermarket Tours     

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      HMR study   

Immunisation                                       Hepatitis C Alert, Influenza season 2010    

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Volunteers Wanted for Heart Research, GP Network News           

Men’s Health                                        Type 1 in the City - Men’s Business

Mental Health                                      Psychiatrist Accepting New Patients           

News for Practice Staff                       Graduate Certificate: Nursing in General Practice, Respiratory small group learning session for Nurses, AGPN NIGP orientation program, Triage Training for Practice Staff      

NPS                                                       NPS Audit Update, NPS Program Update

Women’s Health                                  Sexual Health Update, The Ins and Outs of Vaginal and Breast Health               

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Please note there was no eNews last week as the editor (and her partner) took a week off for piscatorial activities. The previous week’s eNews, under “Fun Stuff” had a link to Adelie penguins taking to the air to escape the Antarctic cold and flying thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun". Unfortunately, for some of you, this link didn’t work. To see the penguins taking to the air use this link: If this still doesn’t work type into Google – Youtube Flying penguins BBC April fool. To see the making of this video click here.

Please note that the Medical Director tip of the April 1 edition was also a joke – sorry if it got your hopes up.


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Chronic Disease Management

New online training: Putting diabetes guidelines into practice

Diabetes guidelines and their application in general practice is the focus of a new active learning module (ALM) from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

The online activity has been designed to help provide optimal primary care management to patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This activity aims to improve the duration and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes by examining and implementing the new Diabetes Guidelines for General Practice 2009-10. The learning tool is now available on the RACGP’s online education portal, gplearning, at See media release.


Getting Started - Type 2 Diabetes Program

Diabetes Australia - Victoria offers people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes the opportunity to participate in the Getting Started - type 2 diabetes program. Three 3 hour sessions are run over consecutive weeks by a diabetes educator and a dietitian. Programs are run regularly throughout the year and are held at Diabetes Australia – Vic Head Office, 570 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Cost is $30 for members or $35 for non-members. No referral is required but bookings are essential. For enquiries or to register phone the Diabetes Info Line on 1300 136 588 or visit our website. The next program is on Thursday 6th, 13th & 20th of May 2010 from 1:30pm-4:30pm.


Supermarket Tours

Diabetes Australia – Vic organises supermarket tours in metropolitan and regional areas to help make shopping for food easier. As part of the two hour tour, local dietitians show you how to accurately read and understand food labels, select healthy food alternatives and identify products that are appropriate for people with diabetes. Participants will receive a show bag with the Diabetes Australia Healthy Shopping Guide, information sheets and other useful information. A tour is taking place at Coles, 67 Main Hurstbridge Road, Diamond Creek on Tuesday 4 May at 10.00am. Cost: $10 members and $15 for non-members. Limited bookings are available for each tour. To make a booking, contact the Diabetes Info and Advice Line (DIAL) on 1300 136 588.


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Continuing Professional Development

Term 2 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

April 20 - Travel Medicine Update - Dr Patrick Charles

For full term Tuesday lecture program click here


CPR Update 

Wednesday 28th April, 6.30-9.30pm (Registration: 6pm) at John Scott Meeting House, Latrobe University.

For GPs, Practice staff and Practice nurses, presented by: Mr David Bourke. Flyer and registration here.  


MBS Changes to General Practice Funding Arrangements Workshop

Thursday 29th April 7-9pm (dinner and registration from 6.30pm) at John Scott Meeting House, Latrobe University, Bundoora. This is an important update for general practice to become more familiar with the changes to the MBS that will occur from 1st May 2010. Flyer


Respiratory Medicine

Wednesday 21st April, 6.15pm – 9.15pm ‘Asthma and Allergy’ by Michael Sutherland, ‘Chronic Lung Diseases’, by Piers Canty, ‘Sleep Disorders’, by Dr Marcus McMahon at Epworth Richmond Auditorium, Level 2, 89 Bridge Road, Richmond. RSVP: Jenny Jones Ph: 9426 8997 Email: 4 CPD points


Type 1 in the City - Men’s Business

Diabetes Australia – Vic are running a men’s only event. The aim of the event is to raise awareness of men’s health issues and provide an opportunity to learn more about better managing your health. Panellists include: Dale Weightman, former AFL player, will discuss his personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes and being an elite athlete. Dr Gary Kilov, GP, will discuss the important role of a GP in men’s health, in particular in diabetes health. Professor Peter Coleman, endocrinologist, will cover diabetes specific men’s health issues and what you should discuss with your diabetes team. Des Grogan, National Men’s Health Ambassador, will share important links to major national men’s health organisations and increase awareness about men’s prostate and continence health.

Wednesday 21st April 7.30pm (Light supper served from 7pm) at Charles Latrobe Theatre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Function and Convention Centre, Ground Floor, Grattan Street, Carlton. To register please call 1300 136 588.


Managing lupus in primary care

Monday 10th May - Arthritis Victoria is inviting general practitioners and practice nurses to attend a free seminar, managing lupus in primary care at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.  This seminar will inform professionals about diagnostic procedures, pathophysiology and the medical management of lupus. Our speakers will raise awareness of the resources available in the community to support people with lupus and explore processes and linkages for referral of clients with lupus. To mark World Lupus Day, a new guide to Living well with lupus will be launched at this seminar. See flyer.


Austin Health Wound Clinic

Thursday 20th May  9.30am-4.30pm (Registration: 9am) Seminar on Combating the Wound Epidemic - The roles of Nutrition, Assessment and Pressure Reduction at Ivanhoe Town Hall - The Centre, 275 Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe. Application. Program. 


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Home Medicines Review

HMR study

Another study has just been published demonstrating the benefits of HMRs and the need for greater flexibility to the HMR model with more focused targeting on patients most likely to benefit. The study was a retrospective cohort study conducted on DVA patients, comparing 816 veterans on warfarin who had received a HMR by an accredited pharmacist with 16320 patients on warfarin with no HMR. The population dispensed warfarin was associated with a 79% reduction in the likelihood of hospitalisation due to a bleeding event in the time period 2 to 6 months after the HMR. The effect was time-limited to 6 months, supporting the model of HMRs every 6 months for people on warfarin. Educational interventions by accredited pharmacists need to be continually and routinely followed up and reinforced by the dispensing pharmacist and/or repeat HMR in 6 months for the effect to be sustainable. The authors concluded that "HMR should be recommended six monthly for high risk patients”.  

E. E. Roughead, J. D. Barratt, E. Ramsay, N. Pratt, P. Ryan, R. Peck, G. Killer, A. L. Gilbert Collaborative home medicines review delays time to next hospitalization for warfarin associated bleeding in Australian war veterans. Journal 0f Clinical Pharmacy & Therapeutics April 2010

Further information about HMRs from Jenny Gowan at the Northern & NEV Divisions. Ph 9416 7689


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Hepatitis C Alert

The Victorian Department of Health has identified a cluster of hepatitis C cases among patients treated by a medical professional in Melbourne. A clear risk has been established for patients treated by the doctor at Croydon Day Surgery between August 2008 and August 2009 but the doctor had worked at the clinic from 2006 to 2009. If a patient who has had a procedure at Croydon Day Surgery between 2006 and mid-December 2009 wishes to have a blood test before being contacted by the Department of Health, please test this patient through your usual pathology process and advise the Department if any positive results are identified and indicate that this is a Croydon Day Surgery patient. The diagnosis of hepatitis C infection is confirmed by testing for hepatitis C virus antibody and PCR to detect viral RNA. Please read the full alert here. There are also information sheets for patients and GPs available. For any questions, please contact the call centre on 1300 365 677 from 8am to 10pm.


Influenza season 2010
The influenza season has officially begun and for the first time people who are at severe risk of complications are eligible to receive the vaccination for free. All people aged six months and over with medical conditions putting them a high risk of complications from severe influenza may be eligible for free vaccine. Patients at risk include: pregnant women, people 65 years of age or older, all Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over and anyone with conditions including: Cardiac disease, Chronic respiratory conditions, Chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the preceding year, Chronic neurological conditions, People with impaired immunity & Children aged six months to 10 years receiving long-term aspirin therapy. For more information please visit or


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Finding all pregnant patients

It is a good exercise to create a list of all your pregnant patients and check whether they are still pregnant or not. You may find this hard to believe, but some GPs neglect to record the end of a pregnancy once the baby is born. And as you know a pregnancy of 4 years can lead to babies the size of elephants.

  1. With no patient record open select Search >Patients…
  2. Under Pregnant select Yes and then click on Search
  3. Print the list and then go into each record and check whether the pregnancy is current and end the pregnancy in the Obstetric tab where appropriate
  4. Open each record from the screen and make the necessary adjustments to the record, i.e. end the pregnancy where appropriate in the Obstetric tab.


This weeks IM problem - Dealing with tourist patients Part 2

Question: How do I identify “blow-in” patients that haven’t been inactivated once they leave the practice? Our practice is near the snow fields and we would like to clean up our database so that we are providing a truer picture of our practice population. Currently it is somewhat skewed because of all the terrorists tourists on the books.

Answer: Let’s say your practice is in NSW – probably because the ski fields are better than Victoria’s and you want to get rid of all the Victorians.

  1. With no patient record open Search -> Patient
  2. Click on the Other demographic criteria button.
  3. In the Postcode box type the following: 3000..3999
  4. Click OK and then Search – this will list all the patients with a Victorian postcode.

You will need to Print this list and someone will have to call up and delete (inactivate) these patients one by one.

You may wish to call up the QLD, SA and WA postcodes next but there won’t be many because they can’t ski. And yes, I know, I forgot Tasmania and the territories. Note that if you are using the PEN Clinical Audit Tool you can filter by postcode so that only the patients in your postcodes are listed.


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Items of Interest

Volunteers Wanted for Heart Research

The Cardiology Department at Austin Health is running a study examining the function of the lining of blood vessels in the eyes and the arms. This project has been approved by the Austin Health Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have two or more risk factors of Ischaemic Heart Disease, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a family history of heart attacks or a history of smoking, this study will be suitable for you. All tests will be done at the Cardiology Department, Level 5 North, Austin Tower.

If you would like more information, please contact Dr Ali Al-Fiadh on 0421 909 317 OR email


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Health reform plans must be agreed and supported, not stalled, Report shows nursing home residents are missing out on medical care and health monitoring, AMA position statement on doctors’ relationships with industry, AMA position statement on medical professionalism.


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Men’s Health

Type 1 in the City - Men’s Business

See under CPD


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Mental Health

Psychiatrist Accepting New Patients

Dr Chris Davey has commenced private practice with The Melbourne Clinic in Richmond.  He specialises in treating depression in adolescents and young adults (15- to 35-year-olds); an area in which he is actively engaged in research at the University of Melbourne. He also has an interest in anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and psychotherapy. Referrals may be faxed to 9487 4629, or discussed by phone on 9487 4627.


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News for Practice Staff

Graduate Certificate: Nursing in General Practice

The Graduate Certificate in Nursing (General Practice) has been operating since 2006 and has proven to be an extremely successful teaching development in the general practice environment. It has been developed in consultation with The University of the Sunshine Coast specifically designed for Practice Nurses. The course is carried out in two phases and delivered via correspondence to students across the country allowing Practice Nurses within rural and remote areas of Australia access to this training course. All of the course material and readings are available on a CD which is mailed to students at the start of each semester and an interactive website hosted by the University facilitates discussion forums for students and tutors.

For further information please contact Connie Ryan, Principal Network Advisor for Nursing in General Practice at or 02 6228 0820.


Respiratory small group learning session for Nurses

Thursday 22nd April 7-9pm, registrations from 6.30pm. At North East Valley Board Room (Map)

First session will be presented by Ms Alex Ehert, Respiratory Outreach, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Austin Health - Topics will include: Prevalence of COPD, Optimum use of medication, Smoking cessation, breathlessness management strategies, referral pathways, strengthening the relationship between PNs and Austin Health and “there is no health without mental health”. 

Second session will be presented by Ms Suzie Stillman, Quit Victoria Educator and Trainer who will provide information and an overview of Quit training packages for practice nurses. See flyer or for further information please contact Janina or Wendy.


AGPN NIGP orientation program

This new online AGPN NIGP orientation program is now available on the AGPN web site. Click here to get on to the program.


Triage Training for Practice Staff

Wednesday 23rd June, 7-9pm (Registration: 6pm) at impetus (new office) Level 1, 599 Sydney Road, Coburg. Presented by: Margo Roest. Flyer and registration form here.


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National Prescribing Service

NPS Audit Update

See here for an audit status update as well as audits for the new QPI PIP year. Note all clinical audits have been approved by the RACGP QA&CPD Program, total points 40 (Category 1) and the ACRRM PD Program for 30 points (extended skills) in the 2008–2010 triennium.  Enrolment for all audits is available online at


NPS Program Update

Please note Dr Mary Levidiotis will be taking long service leave from Monday 12th April 2010, returning on Monday May 31st 2010. 

A few of her NPS colleagues, including Ms Melanie Hay, will be covering some of Mary’s visits during this period. These “locum” NPS facilitators are all currently working for local Divisions and will offer the same high quality service that you have become used to. Please make them welcome when they arrive.


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Women’s Health

Sexual Health Update

Family Planning Victoria (FPV) is pleased to send you the latest edition of our organisational newsletter, Sexual Health Update.  We aim to inform you of current issues surrounding sexual and reproductive health, as well as providing updates on FPV news and events.  Sexual Health Update April 2010


The Ins and Outs of Vaginal and Breast Health

Wednesday 28 April, at 2.15pm Presented by The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health. Attend via videoconference: Individual and site registrations 03 9927 7777 or email or online Or attend in person at RACP Building, Level 2/417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Click here for flyer.


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Positions vacant/wanted

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


Positions vacant


Fairfield – Seeking FT/PT VR GP or Non VR GP to join our long established family medical practice. Friendly and Professional working environment, fully computerized, excellent remuneration and support. Please contact Liz/Practice Manager on Mobile 0414 768 531.

Ivanhoe - VR GP Full time or Part time required to work in this GP operated modern Accredited medical centre. A friendly and supportive team environment in this computerised medical centre with allied health, nursing staff and radiology on site. Expected starting date June 2010.  Please contact John or Ken on 03 9497 1188.

Practice Staff

Bulleen – Medical practice requires a temporary, full time receptionist for 6th-28th May (inclusive). Contact Glenda on 9850 1432.


St Helena – Accredited, computerised practice requires Div 1 nurse for immunisations, care plans and pathology collection. Div 2 nurse with medication endorsement and immunisation accredited may also apply. Contact Dr Arthur Bablis on 9432 7733 or send application to


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Getting married in heaven

A couple decide to elope and get married but on the way to the Registry office they are involved in a fatal car crash.
They find themselves standing next to St Peter waiting to be let into Heaven.
While waiting for him to finalise the paperwork, the couple ask if it's possible for them to get married in Heaven.
"I don’t know," says St Peter. "This is the first time I have ever been asked. Let me go and find out ."
After eight weeks waiting, St Peter returns and tells the couple that they can indeed get married, if they so wish.
However, during the long wait the couple have had time to think long and hard about their relationship and what might happen if the marriage doesn't work out (eternity is quite a long time after all).
So they ask St Peter if they can get divorced if it all goes wrong. St Peter goes red in the face and slams down his paperwork:
"Oh come on!" he shouts, 'It's taken me two months to find a priest up here, do you have any idea how long it will take to find a lawyer?”


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And remember


            … A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist.