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Primary health news – September 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

Smile Squad dental vans are visiting schools

Smile Squad dental vans hit the road on Thursday 22 August, visiting the first Victorian Box Hill North Primary School.

Smile Squad

Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Health and the Minister for Education inspected the fleet and announced the 22 participating schools in Box Hill, Barwon South, Cranbourne and Wodonga.

For more information about the Smile Squad

SEMPHN board vacancies

South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network is inviting applications for the following vacant board positions.

  • Two generalist non-executive board directors – seeking experienced directors with a broad skills and expertise base, with a track record in commercial environments and leadership in innovation.
  • One GP non-executive board director – the PHN is particularly interested in applications from GPs with an interest/specialty in mental health, AOD, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population health, health workforce, digital health or aged care.

Applications close 16 September 2019.

Find out more at the PHN website

Health Issues Centre training to support consumer and community engagement

Accredited Course in Consumer and Community Engagement 

Registrations are now open for the Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement (10164NAT). This is a four-day course for health service staff who work in the area of consumer engagement.

Dates: Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 November 2019 and Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 November 2019

Register on the Health Issues Centre website 

On-site skills training

A series of three-hour skills workshops or customised training are available at your health service, including: 

  • for consumers - clinical governance, quality and safety, health information, coproduction, advocacy and consumer leadership
  • for staff: patient centred care, co-production, meeting the new edition of the quality and safety national standards (Standard 2); health literacy, coproduction

Find out more on the Health Issues Centre website

Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2020 nominations are open

In 2020, the Victorian Honour Roll of Women will celebrate its 20th anniversary. 

The Victorian Honour Roll of Women is one way women leaders receive the recognition they deserve for their contributions and achievements.

You can nominate someone for the Honour Roll if they:

  • identify as a woman
  • have made a significant and lasting contribution at a local, state, national or international level
  • were born in Victoria, have spent a considerable part of their life in Victoria, or have made a significant contribution to Victoria

To nominate, visit the Victorian government website

Nominations close 15 September 2019

Integrated care resources available

The department has launched the second of six online resources. The resources support those in the health, community and social services workforce wanting to provide high quality integrated care. 

The resources can be completed at your own pace and when it suits you. They are free to access.

Once you are logged in, you can access readings, case studies, activities and videos that will extend your understanding of the key principles, concepts and approaches of patient-centred integrated care.

For more information about the resources, or the Victorian Integrated Care Model (currently being piloted in the south eastern Melbourne region), please visit the Victorian Integrated Care Training website.

Child Safe Standards quarterly bulletin

The Child Safeguarding Regulations team has recently published its quarterly bulletin focusing on Standard 6 of the Child Safe Standards: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse. 

The quarterly bulletins focus on issues of concern as identified through the department’s compliance and intelligence data. 

The Standards apply to all organisations that provide services and/or facilities to children.

SafeScript registration continues to grow

Over 64% of pharmacists and 34% of medical practitioners, including 60% of GPs, are registered for SafeScript. Clinicians can register via

SafeScript helps clinicians to open conversations about safer medicine use, however it does not decide whether a medicine should or should not be prescribed to a patient. Good clinical practice ensures that appropriate continuity of care is provided for patients identified as at risk. 

Services available to support clinicians to safely manage patients taking high-risk medicines include SafeScript GP Clinical Advisory Service (1800 812 804) for GPs and SafeScript training.

SafeScript will be mandatory from April 2020. For more information, visit the department’s website.

Bystander action to prevent violence against women

Bystander action to prevent violence against women

Women’s Health Victoria’s workshop on 11 September provides the tools to take bystander action to prevent violence against women.

This half-day active bystander training supports participants to speak up when confronted with everyday sexism and sexual harassment, as well as a range of behaviours and attitudes that justify, excuse, blame, trivialise or minimise violence against women.

Find out more and register on the WHV website

Emergency Management Services begin preparing for summer and fire season

Emergency Management Services are preparing to roll out pre-season briefings for personnel across Victoria ahead of Summer and fire season.

Similar to last year, the outlook indicates Victoria will have a normal fire season, however, in East and West Gippsland, extending to the Great Dividing Range, conditions appear to be above normal.

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook released in August can be found on the Bushfire & natural hazards CRC website.

Visit Emergency Management Victoria to be further informed

Frailty recognition and response in the community

The Care of Older People Clinical Network is seeking expressions of interest from clinicians to join our quality improvement initiative to recognise and respond to frailty.

Timely recognition and response to frailty can improve health outcomes. This collaborative project involves teams working together to increase the use of a frailty screening tool, and deliver a targeted response addressing strength, nutrition and polypharmacy.

Find out more


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