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Primary health news - April edition

Keep up-to-date with the latest primary health news and events from across Victoria.

Primary Health News welcomes contributions from across the sector. To submit an article for the next edition, simply complete the article submission template and email it to

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Referral pathways to Life! to help prevent diabetes, heart disease and stroke

Life logoLife! is a free, healthy lifestyle program for Victorians at risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Run by health professionals, participants can join a group course or telephone health coaching and learn more about nutrition, physical activity, sleep, managing stress and setbacks and goal setting. 

There are three referral pathways into the Life! program: AUSDRISK ≥12 + BMI ≥25, pre-existing conditions and Absolute CVD Risk Assessment. 

The Life! program is available throughout Victoria and referrals are always open. GP clinics may be able to receive financial incentives for suitable referrals.  

For more information, visit the Life! program website or email or call 13 RISK (13 7475)

Professional development on working with people from refugee backgrounds

Foundation House runs workshops for people working in health services, including

2 May: Front of House staff in health services: working with people from refugee backgrounds  (only for front of house staff in health services)

9 & 10 May: Incidental Counselling (for anyone working with people from refugee backgrounds who sometimes needs counselling skills, but is not formally trained as a counsellor)

14 May: School’s in for Refugees (for those working in and with schools)

15 May: Understanding Refugee and Asylum Seeking experiences in the early years (for services working with 0-8 year olds)

23 & 30 May: Counselling people from refugee backgrounds (for counsellors)

20 June: Seeking asylum: working with prolonged uncertainty (for anyone working with asylum seekers in situations of ongoing uncertainty)

Find out about the workshops on Foundation House’s website

Cardiac Clinical Network planning and strategy day

Safer Care Victoria is pleased to announce the Cardiac Clinical Network strategy day on the 5th June 2019. 

This event is an opportunity for all Victorian stakeholders with an interest in cardiac care to help shape the Network's priorities, and contribute to identification of possible quality improvement projects to pursue over the next three years.

Find out more and register through Eventbrite

Victorian Active Ageing Partnership regional seminars

The Victorian Active Ageing Partnership will present regional seminars for staff and volunteers involved in providing physical activity opportunities for older people.

Seminars will be held in April and May in Stawell, Benalla, Bendigo, Camperdown and Bairnsdale.

View dates and book through trybooking

Guidelines published and endorsed for statewide use by the Emergency Care Clinical Network

Making clinical guidance more readily available to clinicians (including GPs in Urgent Care Centres) was identified as a key priority by the emergency care sector last year.  

SCV - Emergency Care Clinical Network

The Emergency Care Clinical Network has endorsed guidelines appropriate for statewide use across ten topic areas:

  • Asthma
  • Burns
  • Chest pain
  • Community acquired pneumonia
  • Difficult intubation
  • Headache – assessment
  • Inotropes and vasopressors
  • Renal colic – assessment
  • Trauma
  • Warfarin reversal

Further work is planned to modify existing guidelines and to develop new guidelines for topics where appropriate guidelines could not be identified.

See the guidelines on the Safer Care Victoria website.

More information on the emergency care guidelines project is on the website.

Timely Care Forum: 10-11 April 2019

The department is hosting a forum for clinical, executive and operational staff of health services.  The forum will:

  • promote examples of successful patient flow projects from around Victoria
  • demonstrate how culture and leadership impact on timely care
  • show what a whole of hospital response to flow should look like
  • workshop the development of a statewide patient flow assessment tool.

Timely care logo

View the program and register to attend in person or by webinar on trybooking.

Preventing elder abuse: literature review

Elder Abuse report launch

The Elder Abuse Prevention Network, led by Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership, have published a rapid review of primary prevention relating to elder abuse. The review examined four key questions:

  1. What does the current literature tell us that's relevant to primary prevention in the context of elder abuse?
  2. What is the intention of prevention in managing elder abuse?
  3. Do current strategies used to prevent violence against women and their children (as part of the broader work in family violence) apply easily to preventing elder abuse?
  4. What should be included in a primary prevention framework for elder abuse specifically?
Download the literature review on the PCP website

Suicide prevention: a place based approach

Central Victorian - Primary Care Partnership logoCentral Victorian Primary Care Partnership (PCP) was funded by Murray Primary Health Network to implement suicide prevention strategies (using the Lifespan model) in Mount Alexander Shire, which has a statistically significant high suicide rate.

The PCP worked closely with local networks, service providers and Lifeline to build the communities’ capacity to raise awareness of suicide and identify and support people at risk of suicide. 

Access the case study and video on the CVPCP website

Dr Brett Sutton appointed as Chief Health Officer

Dr Brett Sutton has been appointed Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. Dr Brett Sutton picture

The Chief Health Officer has unique statutory functions under health, food and emergency-related legislation and is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to promote and protect public health.

Dr Sutton said it was a privilege to be tasked with the responsibility of protecting the health of all Victorians and has identified climate change, sexually transmitted infections and antimicrobial resistance as some of the major challenges facing Victoria.

Read more about the Chief Health Officer on the department’s website


SafescriptSafeScript is now live across Victoria. SafeScript is a new system providing access to patient prescription information to support the safer supply of high-risk medicines.

Doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists in Victoria have now been emailed a link and instructions on how to register for SafeScript. Registration is also available at

SafeScript online training and face to face training sessions across Victoria are available. Dates and locations for training can be found on the PHN Alliance’s website.

GPs who require additional support in treating patients with high-risk prescription medication concerns and complex needs, can contact new GP Clinical Advisors via 1800 812 804 (DACAS line). 

View the guidelines and application form on the department's website

Health Condition Support Grants

The Health Condition Support Grants program provides grants to assist Victorian peer support groups to meet some of the costs associated with providing social, emotional and practical support to its members. 

Grants of up to $5,000 per annum are available for a two-year period to assist with administrative costs, communications and activities that strengthen the operation of the group.

The guidelines and application form will be available online after 8 April 2019.

View the guidelines and application form on the department’s website after 8 April


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