GP News – Sep ’16

GP News – Sep ’16

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

The Program saves lives – but it needs the support of general practices

How does the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program work?

The Program mails eligible 50 -74 year olds a bowel screening kit to complete at home. The Program is expanding in stages and by 2020 people aged 50-74 years will be invited to screen every two years. The ages at which people will be invited are:


Eligible Ages


50, 55, 60, 64, 65, 70, 72, 74


50, 54, 55, 58, 60, 64, 68, 70, 72, 74


50, 54, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74

from 2019

50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74

An online eligibility calculator is available at www.cancerscreening.gov.au/eligibility

What can general practices do to support participation?

  • Display brochures, flyers and posters in your practice – Order Resources
  • Send a letter to your 49 year old patients – Download a template letter to encourage your 49 year old patients to do the test when they receive it around their 50th birthday.
  • Talk to patients aged 50-74 years about bowel cancer screening – Download Clinical Resources
  • Know the Program – this series of short videos provides GPs an overview of the NBCSP covering the following topics: What is screening, Classification of risk, Referral to colonoscopy and Case studies

Why are general practices important to support participation in the Program?

Research consistently demonstrates that a recommendation from a GP to screen for bowel cancer is an important motivator for participation. A letter signed by a person’s GP endorsing Faecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBTs) has been shown to increase participation in screening. Current participation in the Program is low at 37%.

Why is bowel screening important?

  • Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world – around 17,000 people are diagnosed each year.
  • Around 93% of Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer are over 50 years old.
  • If found early 9 out of 10 cases of bowel cancer can be successfully treated.
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends FOBT screening at least every two years for people over the age of 50 who are at, or slightly above, average risk for bowel cancer (about 98% of the population).
  • Evidence shows that when fully implemented the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program could save 500 lives each year.

Need more information?
Go to www.cancerscreening.gov.au/bowel or email the Program at NBCSP@health.gov.au
Or contact your SNPHN Primary Care Advancement Coordinator

T (02) 9432 8250 F (02) 8088 4770
e: pcait@snhn.org.au
Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Manly Waters Private Hospital image
GP Peninsular Education Program

Manly Waters Private Hospital and Delmar Private Hospital are holding a GP Peninsular Education Program on 26 October.

SNPHN’s General Manager for Primary Care Advancement, Cynthia Stanton, will be speaking at the event about building primary healthcare capacity. Her talk will include an overview of the PHN’s strategic objectives, how SNPHN is building capacity in primary healthcare, and how commissioning will support this.

Other speakers will discuss a range of topics, including managing chronic pain in the community, anesthetic drugs and gases and home physio services.

Date: Wednesday 26 October 2016, 5:30-9:30pm

Venue: Manly Golf Club, 38-40 Balgowlah Rd, Balgowlah, NSW 2093

QI & CPD: 4 CPD Points

Registration: Please register by Wednesday 19 October. Contact Margaret Woods, Liaison Officer, Manly Waters Private Hospital on 9977 9977 or at mwoods@mhsmanly.com.au.

CLICK HERE for more information.

NSW Health logo
MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Update for clinicians – Information for Emergency Departments, High Dependency Units and Respiratory Units

Human cases of MERS-CoV infection continue to be reported from countries of the Arabian Peninsula (particularly Saudi Arabia) with sporadic travel-related infections reported in non-endemic countries.

There have been no major changes to the clinical testing or infection control guidance from previous advice.

WHO has not identified any increase in transmissibility of the virus, and continues to advise that appropriate infection control practices can prevent hospital outbreaks.

The MERS-CoV national guidelines for public health units also contain guidance on the identification and management of close contacts of MERS-CoV cases. These guidelines are available online here.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Family Planning NSW logo for survey
Family Planning NSW: Midlife Survey

People in Australia are generally living longer, with many seeking to maintain health and fitness in their midlife to increase the likelihood of a healthy and active older age.

Family Planning NSW is currently running a survey across the State. The idea is to explore peoples’ opinions about current gaps in health services for men and women in NSW, particularly in the midlife period of 45 to 64 years.

Family Planning NSW is hoping to get as broad a range of opinions as possible and are especially after responses from men, as they can often delay or avoid seeking medical advice or support. Please forward the survey link onto any family, friends and colleagues who you think may be interested in participating.

The survey is anonymous and should take up to 10 minutes.
Note: Please respond as an individual, not as an organisational representative.

CLICK HERE to access the survey.

Young boy receiving vaccination
Updates to The Australian Immunisation Handbook

The Australian Immunisation Handbook has been updated. The electronic chapters in the online version are the most up-to-date and can be accessed through the Immunise Australia website. An educational slide set for providers, which summarises the current updates, is available here.

For more information or how SNPHN can support your practice to increase immunisation rates, contact your SNPHN Primary Care Advancement Coordinator.

T (02) 9432 8250 F (02) 8088 4770
e: pcait@snhn.org.au
Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm

grasping hands
Changes to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998

As previously reported in the May edition of eNews, Health professionals working in private sector can now exchange information under Ch 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Important new legislative changes that came into effect on 6 May 2016 mean that private health professionals – doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists, occupational therapists and speech therapists – are now able to lawfully exchange information about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people under Chapter 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Before the changes, only health professionals working in the public health system or in a private health organisation could exchange information under Chapter 16A. The law has been changed to allow health professionals working in private practice to also exchange information under Chapter 16A.

Additionally, following a successful trial involving general practitioners in limited regions of NSW which resulted in positive outcomes for children and families, private doctors and general practice nurses can now make reports to the NSW Health Child Wellbeing Unit rather than to the Child Protection Helpline.

Work is underway to amend relevant policy and procedure documents to reflect these changes, including the Mandatory Reporter Guide and the Child Protection Interagency Guidelines.

CLICK HERE for more information.

For further information contact:

The NSW Health Child Wellbeing Unit
Mon-Friday: 8:30am – 5:00pm, Tel: 1300 480 420

Three pregnant women in a class
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Workshop on 8 November

Approximately 90% of individuals living with FASD have a dual diagnosis with a severe mental health problem, many of their families and carers will at some stage become mental health carers.

Mental Health Carers NSW will be running a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) awareness training session on 8 November.

This workshop runs for 2 hours and is targeted for both clinicians and families/carers/consumers.
The training will be facilitated by the National Organisation of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD).

The course will cover:

  • What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)?
  • Causes of FASD
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Common behaviours with FASD
  • The process of diagnosis
  • Strategies and tips for responding to FASD
  • Support for parents, families and practitioners in your local area
  • Where to go for further resources

DATE: 8 November 2016, 1.00pm – 3.00pm

VENUE: MHCN, Level 5, 80 William St, Woolloomooloo

COST: The course is $40 for clinicians. Families, carers and consumers, can attend at no cost.

ENQUIRIES: Please call (02) 9332 0777 or email caitlin.bambridge@arafmi.org.

CLICK HERE to register.

Improving outcomes for Australians living with lung cancer – A Call to Action

Lung cancer kills more Australians every year than any other cancer – in 2016 it’s estimated that the equivalent of 25 people each day will die from the disease – yet only five cents of every research dollar is spent on lung cancer.

A new report released by Lung Foundation Australia at the recent 6th Australian Lung Cancer Conference in Melbourne is calling for action to make lung cancer a priority in Australia, to:

  • Raise the profile and reduce the stigma of lung cancer.
  • Prioritise early detection efforts where cure is most likely to be achieved, including identifying and implementing an effective national screening strategy.
  • Improve access to best practice care for people with lung cancer whoever they are and wherever they live.
  • Increase research funding targeted to lung cancer to improve health outcomes.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

CLICK HERE to show your support for Lung Foundation Australia’s call to action to make lung cancer a priority in Australia.

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