There has been an increase of children (including adolescents) with serious bacterial infections in
the last year, often associated with, or subsequent to, a viral infection.
The largest increase has been in severe Group A Streptococcus infections, but also Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcal infections. These bacterial infections include pneumonia, empyema, septicaemia, meningitis, and bone and soft tissue infections.
It is important that whenever serious bacterial infection is suspected in primary care, the first dose of effective antibiotics is given as soon as possible, and the child referred to a hospital urgently via ambulance or Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) so complete assessment and investigation can occur.
The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity has released this important alert for general practice.
Gippsland general practices are being offered one-off grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 to expand patient access and improve general practice services.
The Australian Government has committed $220 million in funding to general practices and ACCOs to make improvements to support quality primary care as part of its Strengthening Medicare commitment.
Funding for eligible general practices is based on practice size and can be used to make an investment in innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works. This includes initiatives to:
The program is being administered by Gippsland PHN, with applications now open and applications packs sent to all Gippsland general practices inviting them to participate. Applications close on 15 June 2023. Practices can contact Gippsland PHN for further information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the program, please refer to the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website
Lung Foundation Australia has launched a chronic cough awareness campaign which aims to raise awareness and support diagnosis in adults and children.
Chronic cough is often a sign of an underlying disease. Primary health care professionals are critical in the early detection and investigation of patients presenting with chronic cough.
Assessment of chronic cough should be undertaken differently for children and adults requiring a
focused history of the chronic cough to elicit any ‘red flag’ cough pointers that may indicate an underlying disease.
To support clinical best practice, two clinical algorithms have been designed to provide clear step-by-step, evidence-based recommendations in assessing and managing patients presenting with chronic cough. Access the algorithms below.
To view more about the campaign and accompanying resources, visit: https://lungfoundation.com.au/lung-health/lung-disease/chronic-cough/
Webinar for health professionals
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience a disproportionate burden of chronic respiratory disease that first typically presents with chronic wet cough, which may often be normalised by both health professionals and families.
In the lead up to National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, Lung Foundation Australia will be hosting a live webinar for primary health care professionals discussing the evidence of chronic wet cough in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and applying culturally secure strategies that address enablers and barriers to improve respiratory outcomes.
The online webinar is on 3 August 2023 from 6-7pm. Register here
Encouraging your patients aged 50 to 74 to screen for bowel cancer just got easier with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program now enabling healthcare providers to bulk order program kits and issue them to eligible patients.
This new model is in addition to the mail-out model, where kits are mailed directly to eligible people by the National Cancer Screening Register.
Healthcare providers can support people who have never screened or are overdue for screening to take that positive next step through this alternative access via GP clinics, with patients more likely to do the test after discussion with a trusted healthcare professional.
GPs can learn how to get started with the new alternative access to kits model.
Back pain affects one in six Australians and costs our healthcare system $4.8bn per year. It is the leading cause of lost work productivity and early retirement in Australia and is a substantial burden for primary care.
Back problems are the second most common reason Australians visit their GP and one of the top five reasons people present to emergency departments.