Issue 16
May 3, 2018
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Let's talk asthma

World Asthma Day, Tuesday 1st May, focused on the importance of talking about asthma at any time with a global Never too early, never too late awareness campaign. Asthma Australia are continuing to encourage people to visit their GP for an asthma review and to develop an Asthma Action Plan. Patients can also follow Asthma Australia’s asthma checklist to ensure they are taking the right steps to live well with asthma.

Asthma prevalence in Australia is among the highest in the world, affecting over two million people. Asthma hospitalisations for 2016-2017 in NSW were 13,401 with western Sydney having the second highest hospitalisation rate among all NSW Primary Health Network regions*.

Asthma Australia and Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN) have partnered with Comprehensive Care Limited, New Zealand, to pilot the Giving Asthma Support to Patients (GASP) program in western Sydney.

GASP is designed to enable practice nurses to work with patients who have asthma, helping them manage their condition whilst providing access to evidence-based asthma care and support. Practice nurses receive GASP training providing them with the skills and knowledge to undertake a structured asthma assessment of their patient.

Preliminary data analysis of the pilot program indicates promising outcomes with patients reporting:
  • 33% fewer unscheduled presentations/emergency visits to their GP or emergency department
  • 37% fewer courses of oral steroids
  • 11% fewer occasions where the patient has needed to increase their inhaled preventer
  • Significant improvements in inhaler technique (26% improved) and preventer medicine adherence (14% improved).

The program is on track for completion by the end of June 2019.

A range of asthma pathways are available on HealthPathways using the below login details.

Username: health
Password: w3stern

*Information sourced from HealthStats NSW.

RACGP webinar: Twilight online: Seek to treat - simplifying hepatitis C treatment in general practice
Monday 7th May, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Basic diabetes education for practice nurses
Tuesday 15th May, 8:00am - 4:00pm
It’s time to act on the obesity epidemic now!
Tuesday 22nd May, 5:30pm - 8:20pm
Practical fracture management in general practice
Monday 28th May, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Gonorrhoea – antimicrobial resistance NSW

Two cases of gonorrhoea with high-level resistance to antibiotics have been detected in Australia in February and March. The situation is being closely monitored by public health authorities.

More information including a copy of the media release is available on the Department of Health's website.

EOI - My Health Record incentive program

Western Sydney Primary Health Network is seeking expressions of interest from 50 registered nurses to participate in the My Health Record Shared Health Summary Uploads Pilot Incentive Program. Nurses will be renumerated based on uploads per quarter between May and July.

For more information and to register please complete the expression of interest form.

Walking for a healthy heart

It's Heart Week and an opportune time to shine the spotlight on the importance of physical activity for a healthy heart.

Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s largest free walking network. As part of the Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative, WSPHN is seeking expressions of interest from general practices to establish Walking Groups run from their practice. This initiative is part of WSPHN’s commitment to addressing chronic disease prevention and management.

Find out more and register your expression of interest on our website.

GP Association meetings

The below GP Association meetings are coming up in western Sydney:

Blacktown: Treating type 2 diabetes - reducing CV risk, Wednesday 16 May.

Westmead: Haematology GP updates, Wednesday 23rd May.

Hills: Ready, set, go - a new era in cervical cancer prevention for Australian GPs, Saturday 2nd June.

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