Issue 13
April 4, 2019
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Increasing Western Sydney's Child Immunisation Rates

In collaboration with western Sydney general practices we continued to encourage families to immunise their child and enter our Immunisation Bike Competition. The four-month campaign helped to boost child immunisation rates in western Sydney.

Every child who was immunised at a participating general practice between October 2018 and January 2019 were eligible to enter the draw to win a bike or trike (depending on age group) and a helmet. This year’s campaign saw over 175 general practices participate across western Sydney, collectively immunising 2,725 children.

Since the competition was introduced in 2011, the initiative has seen a continued increase in participating practices and over 10,000 children immunised. To celebrate this achievement a prize-giving ceremony was held on Saturday 30th March, where our Clinical Director, Dr Michael Fasher presented the lucky 24 winners their prize.

"It's gratifying that over half of the general practices in western Sydney are now participating in this competition. Thank you practices. Immunisation has banished the misery of vaccine preventable infections. I'm old enough to remember the misery. Most young doctors and parents have never known that misery. Let us all keep working to see that it remains that way." said Dr Fasher.

We asked Bettina McMahon, a parent of a lucky winner said: "It’s so important that as many people as possible are immunised and one of the things I love about living in western Sydney is our high levels of immunisation in our community. We respect and take advice from clinical leaders such as Dr Fasher and many of us have come from countries where these diseases are not controlled as well as they are here and we’ve seen the impacts of that first hand."

More information about the immunisation bike competition and the winners is available online.

Families at the prize giving ceremony

General Practice Quality Improvement Series: Accreditation and Data Driven Improvement
Wednesday 17th Apr, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Best Practice Training - My Health Record
Tuesday 23rd Apr, 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training
Tuesday 30th Apr, 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Medico-Legal Workshop: Privacy, Confidentiality and Data Breaches
Wednesday 8th May, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Get Involved: Join our Consumer Advisory Council

WentWest believes health care consumers – patients, carers and their families – are essential partners in creating better health care. We value the knowledge and experience consumers can bring to our work as the WSPHN and our Consumer Advisory Council provides advice to the WentWest Board on matters and issues affecting primary health care consumers.

The Consumer Advisory Council is comprised of members of the western Sydney community and local organisations that represent a range of health consumers in the region. That includes representing those with a particular health condition such as diabetes or mental illness or representing a demographic group such as migrants and refugees or young people.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest for our Consumer Advisory Council. For more information and to apply, visit our website.

What Are Your Experiences with New Medicines Safety Information?

Researchers at the University of Sydney are looking for western Sydney GPs to talk to about their experiences with new information about the safety of medicines. Participation involves a confidential phone or face-to-face interview of 30 to 60 minutes, for which a gift card of $100 is offered.

The project’s goal is to better understand the link between medicines information and patient care with the aim of improving prescribing quality and safety and is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. If you are interested in participating or would like to find out more contact

Influenza and Pertussis Vaccination for Pregnant Women

The influenza and whooping cough vaccines are provided free to pregnant women through the National Immunisation Program.

The most important factor associated with uptake of influenza and pertussis vaccination during pregnancy is a health care provider recommendation. Please take all opportunities to speak to your pregnant patients and their partners about the importance of getting vaccinated against influenza and pertussis during pregnancy.

Further information and advice is available in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

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