Activities and Noticeboard
Update – March 2022
GP North Committee members Dr Anne Wilson and Dr Magnus Agomuo at the GP Pregnancy Care Booth, All About Babies Event September 2021
A small but dedicated group of general practitioners currently provide medical services to residents in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) in northern Tasmania. It is often difficult to continue to provide medical care to a regular patient if they enter a RACF out of that GP’s area. It is now common and accepted practice to ask a colleague with an association with a particular RACF to take over the care of a regular patient if they move out of an area. The GPs who have developed associations with the various RACFs conduct regular rounds, provide after hours care, provide vaccination services and also offer telephone support to the RACF staff and its residents. As the care of residents has become more complex GP North members identified a need to develop a support and advocacy group in the north. The majority of RACFs in northern Tasmania have been privatised and belong to chains of RACFs which are managed off site under corporate structures. Having decision making off-site has presented many challenges for GPs which GP North has been asked by its members to address.
- In August 2020 GPN established the GPN Aged Care Advisory Group (ACAG) which has continued on since then.
- Dr Donald Rose was elected Chair GPN ACAG
- ACAG is open to all GPs in 0363 area caring for residents in RACFs
- GPN ACAG meetings have been held via Zoom
- GPs are supported by GPN to meet with on-site managers of RACFs and attend interactive webinars
- The GPN ACAG Chair has been able to represent northern GPs re RACF/aged care issues and concerns through the media and on various committees and forums and to keep ACAG members informed with regular updates
- The GPN ACAG is continuing to be active in 2022.
GPN has funded access to The Women’s Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Medicines Guide (PBMG) for General Practices in northern Tasmania since December 2020.
The PBMG is a quick reference guide for healthcare professionals which provides practical and unbiased specialised information on medicine use in pregnancy and breastfeeding. The PBMG is regularly updated and provides access to downloadable fact sheets
GPs are able to have the PBMG on the desk top for easy reference to help with the management of women in pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
GP Registrar Support
GPN offers support for GP Registrars to attend Family Planning Tasmania Implanon NXT insertion workshops. Implanon NXT is a commonly used long acting reversible contraceptive plastic rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm of a woman providing contraception for up to 3 years before requiring removal (and replacement if so desired). This practical training is essential for GP Registrars as part of the General Practice team.
GP Pregnancy Care
General Practice North (GPN) co-branded with Primary Health Tasmania (PHT) promoting GP Pregnancy Care at the All About Babies (AAB) event in 2019 and when it was next held again in September 2021. At each of these events it was an opportunity to showcase the GP Pregnancy Care Pregnancy Record (‘the pink book’) which is a resource developed for use by GPs and their patients in northern Tasmania and supported by PHT. In 2021 the booklet was updated and adapted for use state-wide.
At the AAB event in September 2021 GPN was pleased to again cobrand a booth with PHT entitled ‘GP Pregnancy Care’. GPs at the ‘GP Pregnancy Care’ booth answered general questions about GP pregnancy care including preconception checks, early pregnancy investigations and screening, genetic carrier screening, antenatal care, vaccinations in pregnancy, postnatal care and early childhood vaccinations. There were also various pamphlets and handouts on these topics.
GP North intends to continue to be involved with the All About Babies event when it is next held in 2022.
GP North is planning to form a GP Women’s Health Advisory Group which would include GP Pregnancy Care
Collegiality and Communication
In February 2019 and February 2020 General Practice North (GPN) in collaboration with the Launceston General Hospital Medical Staff Association (LGH MSA) held ‘Connecting the Docs’ events which enabled northern Tasmanian community GPs and GP Registrars to meet with medical practitioners working at the LGH and exchange ideas. These events help with communication between doctors caring for patients in and out of hospital which is ultimately to the benefit of our patients. It was not possible to hold planned further ‘Connecting the Docs’ events in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were hoping to restart holding these events again in 2022 when (and if) it is considered safe to do so.
GP North members can communicate with each other via a members only Facebook site
GP North plans to create a slack account for GPN member communication and for specific member groups e.g. GPN ACAG
Small Group Education Sessions
In 2021 GPN funded a program of small group pharmacotherapeutics education sessions for GPs working in general practices in northern Tasmania .The small group education sessions were delivered as general practice visits by Miss Danielle Truscott, an experienced general practice consultant pharmacist and educator, concerning medication topics important to patient care as identified by GPs. Some sessions were run via zoom for the more remote practices in 0363 area code. This program has been very well received and will be continuing in 2022 with many sessions already booked.
GP North invested in the construction of a purpose built Health Centre at Scottsdale in 2012 to address the lack of primary health services in the local area. GP North has maintained ownership of the premises and has a long term lease in place with Ochre Health.
The income generated from rental payments at Scottsdale is utilised for GP North’s charitable activities