PHCQI Newsletter Issue #23, November 2023


CLG Face to Face Meeting RSVP Open!

[If we have any photos of other CLG meetings? – otherwise a shot of AHCWA? Happy to be led by comms whether a photo fits here]

We are excited to confirm that the Face-to-Face CLG December Meeting will be occurring on Thursday 7th December 2023.

The meeting will be taking place at AHCWA Head Office from 8.00am – 4.00pm AWST.

Items currently on the agenda include:

  • Presentation from the WA Chief Health Officer Dr. Andrew Robertson
  • Refresher training by Dr. Kate Smith for use of the KICA and the “Good Spirit, Good Life” Tool
  • Presentation from Cardiologist Dr. Marangou on RHD
  • With additional presentations to be confirmed shortly

Please RSVP here by Thursday 23rd November to register your attendance either in-person or via Teams.

We look forward to seeing you in person soon!

South and East Metropolitan Health Service Rheumatology Changes:

To streamline care closer to home and ultimately improve patient access, the joint South and East Rheumatology service will transition to independent services delivered by South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) at Fiona Stanley, Rockingham Hospitals and East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) and at Royal Perth and Armadale Hospitals. The existing suite of Outpatient Rheumatology Services will be provided at both SMHS and EMHS except for the Giant Cell Arteritis Specialist clinic, which will continue to be provided at Royal Perth Hospital.

  1. For continuity of service, rheumatology patients who have already been seen at or have an appointment already booked at a hospital will continue to access care at that site. Over time, rheumatology patients who would prefer to move their care to a site which is closer to home will be given the option of transfer to the other site.
  2. Patients residing in a different catchment from the hospital which accepted the original rheumatology referral who have neither been seen nor allocated an appointment will be contacted to confirm they still need an appointment and that if so, informed their referral will be reallocated to a hospital closer to their home, and placed on the waiting list based on their original referral date.

Patients will be asked to confirm they still require a rheumatology appointment and raise any concerns to their referral transfer. Sites will consider retaining patients with extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis e.g. high volume of appointments for multiple specialties at a particular site. If there is no response to the letter within 6 weeks, the referral will be closed, and both the patient and their GP will be notified as per current WA Health procedure.

For patients whose rheumatology referral is allocated to a new site, the patient’s nominated GP will be notified. A phone number provided in letters for patients or GPs who have any concerns regarding these transitional arrangements to make contact. Going forward, Rheumatology referrals sent to CRS will be allocated to sites based on catchment and service capabilities.

WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum 2023 Registrations Open

Registrations for the WA Ear and Hearing Health Forum 2023 are now open. Hosted by Rural Health West, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health Council of WA and the WA Child Ear Health Strategy, the two-day Forum will be held on the 16 and 17 November 2023. The Forum will showcase current regional ear health initiatives, technologies and research in ear and hearing health through interactive discussions and practical upskilling opportunities.

Find more here.

Survey: An Exploration of Australian Clinicians’ Consultations, Treatment Choices and Management for Bacterial Skin Infections

The impetigo research team in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra are inviting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, fully registered GPs and nurse practitioners from across Australia, to participate in a survey on their experiences with treating bacterial skin infections. The aim of the associated research project is to examine the current treatment practices, influencing factors and challenges faced by clinicians when managing skin infections. Information collected from this survey will enable a better understanding of the current challenges with bacterial skin infections and will contribute to future targeted intervention strategies. Participation in the survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Please click here to begin the anonymous survey.

Update on Abortion Legislation Reform Act 2023

As of 27 September the Abortion Legislation Reform Bill 2023 received Royal Assent and is now an Act of Parliament. However, this Act has not yet commenced, so the previous legislation is still current. Women and Newborn Health Service welcomes the changes that the legislative reform will bring to women and pregnant people seeking an abortion across Western Australia. At present, King Edward’s service remains unchanged whilst they work towards fully implementing changes under the Abortion Legislation Reform Act 2023. It is intended that the Act will become operational within 6 months of assent being given. If you are referring a patient for an abortion, please continue to follow the current legislation until the new Act is operational.

Resources for referrers are available: King Edward Memorial Hospital – WNHS pregnancy choices and abortion care service for WA Health professionals

Resources for the community are available: King Edward Memorial Hospital – Pregnancy choices (including abortion)

Digital Health


Robert McMillan from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) gave a presentation to the Clinical Leadership Group on how to link your AIR data to you organisational PRODA, to have the organisation’s AIR data recorded as being given by an Aboriginal Health Service rather than an individual GP.

For more info contact [email protected] ; or utilise these learning modules

Sexual Health

Keep STI/BBV testing rates up

AHCWA SHBBV team would like to remind services to keep STI/BBV testing in mind due to an increase in HIV cases in the regions, especially in people over 30 years of age. This demographic isn’t usually considered high risk, but has made up a large proportion of new diagnoses.

People who may be higher risk are those who have been out of community for long periods and sleeping rough or engaging in at risk behaviours, including injecting drugs which they may not disclose to clinic staff or family.

Be sure to have conversations with community members about keeping safe and helping to increase knowledge and awareness to encourage harm minimisation and testing.

If your service is interested in setting up a NSP (Needle Syringe Program) contact the AHCWA Sexual Health team.


Shingrix on the NIP

A reminder that the shingles vaccine Shingrix® has now replaced Zostavax® on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the prevention of shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia.

More information about the program and eligibility changes can be found through the following links:

A reminder as well that the Immunisation Coalition is holding a Shingles Update webinar on Wednesday 15 November 2023 3-4pm AWST – register here.

New WA Health resources: Aboriginal 0-4 Koorlongka Kids immunisation

The Koorlongka Kids Immunisation resources are designed to support you in conversations with parents and carers about immunising Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4 years of age. To order now, providers can visit the WA Department of Health Immunisation Program publications ordering system.

Whooping Cough Day | November 8th

November 8 is Australia’s first Whooping Cough Day! The theme is “Stay up to date. Vaccinate”. The day highlights the ongoing threat posed by whooping cough (pertussis) and encourages Australians of all ages to remain up to date with booster vaccination. You can find resources here.

New AIR Due and Overdue rules for Meningococcal B Vaccine

With the extension of the Bexsero® catch-up program, new AIR due and overdue rules for meningococcal B vaccine will be introduced from mid-October 2023 for First Nations children up to 2 years of age. First Nations children’s Immunisation History Statements will display when they are due for a meningococcal B vaccine, and childhood overdue reminder letters will list meningococcal B when the vaccine is considered overdue. The AIR cannot identify individuals who are medically at risk and eligible to receive the meningococcal B vaccine under the NIP. Providers should refer to the WA Immunisation Schedule for details regarding eligibility for meningococcal B vaccine funded under the National Immunisation Program.

Child & Maternal Health

Strong Born Videos for FASD Awareness:

Strong Born is a communications campaign designed to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the harms of drinking alcohol while pregnant and breastfeeding among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in rural and remote communities.

NACCHO was successful in securing additional funding to expand the campaign nationally. As part of the expansion, existing resources will be customised for urban communities along with the creation of animated videos to help continue spreading the campaign’s strength-based messaging among community members.

NACCHO is excited to launch the Strong Born animated videos as part of the communications awareness campaign this FASD Awareness Month. The videos can be found on the NACCHO YouTube channel.

Continuous Quality Improvement

MyMedicare for ACCHOs NACCHO Webinar Recording:

Please find the recording to the NACCHO Webinar with Services Australia and Department of Health and Ageing for MyMedicare here.

Note, this webinar was prior to MyMedicare being released on October 1st. If you have any queries about MyMedicare please contact Services Australia, WAPHA or AHCWA.