Issue 26
July 4, 2019
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Vaccine Storage and Cold Chain Management Update

NSW Health has called on the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Medical Council of NSW to re-emphasise vaccine care obligations after it was discovered thousands of patients treated at a Sydney-based practice may have received expired vaccines that were not being stored in accordance with the 3rd edition of the Australian National Vaccination Storage guidelines. Over 3000 patients have been contacted by NSW Health to get advice from a new GP on the need for revaccination.

"After about 12 minutes of being outside the 2–8⁰ C temperature range, the vaccine starts to become affected...which, particularly in times of significant influenza and measles outbreaks, is concerning", said Dr Ken McCroary, Vice Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee.

NSW Health has a range of resources available to support general practice care for vaccines, and the safe administration of vaccines. Vaccine storage and cold chain management information and resources can be found on their website.

A free vaccine cold chain management online learning module is also available via HETI online module and is recommended for all GPs and practice staff.

Advice on storing vaccines can also be found in the RACGP’s Standards for general practices (5th edition), which are based on the ‘Strive for Five’ guidelines and the Australian immunisation handbook.

A Strive for 5 - Vaccine Fridge Temperature Chart Poster is available online for you to download and use at your practice.

The Support Team at WentWest can provide assistance to your practice to meet the current NSW requirements for cold chain management. Contact our team on (02) 8811 7117 (Option 2) or email to arrange for an onsite training session for your staff on cold chain procedures and demonstrations.

NDIS GP Workshop - Assisting Patients with a Disability
Wednesday 17th Jul, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Eating to Beat Diabetes
Wednesday 24th Jul, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
HealthPathways: Urology Working Group
Wednesday 24th Jul, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Infection Control and Sterilisation Workshop
Saturday 27th Jul, 12:30pm - 5:00pm

Aboriginal Health - Integrated Team Care

WentWest is committed to improving the health of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who have a chronic health condition through our Integrated Team Care (ITC) funding. To facilitate this we have recently updated the referral pathway enabling patients to obtain support for out of pocket expenses with specialist and allied health providers.

General Practices can access this pathway by simply filling out the online form. For more information email the Aboriginal Health team at

Are You Preparing for the New PIP QI?

The Department of Health has sent a letter to practices recently notifying them of the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement Incentive (PIP QI) commencing on Thursday 1st August. Practices will be able to register for the PIP QI through the Health Professional Online Services using their Provider Digital Access account from Thursday 1st August.
The Guidelines and the Framework for PIP QI will be released by the Department of Health in due course, at that time we will be able to provide more information on the requirements. In preparation for the PIP QI, you may consider the following readiness activities ahead of the release of the Guidelines and Framework documents.

HealthPathways Work Injuries

A range of Work Injuries pathways are now available for western Sydney GPs on HealthPathways using the following login details:

Username: health
Password: w3stern

Survey - Chlamydia Management in General Practice

Researchers at the University of Melbourne would like to hear about GPs chlamydia management in practices and your opinion on some proposed strategies to support care of patients with a chlamydia infection. Complete this short 20 minute survey to be in the draw to win one of ten $100 gift cards.

GP Association meetings

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

Blacktown: Timely Management of Non-valvular Atrial Fibrillation to Prevent Stroke, Wednesday 17th July.

Mount Druitt: Common Eye Problems, Friday 26th July.

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