June - July 2021

Latest News

Tell Gippsland PHN about health care in your community in our major survey

Gippsland Primary Health Network has launched a major survey to help inform its Health Needs Assessment with information collected directly from people in Gippsland crucial to understand what people need and to allow effective population health planning.

Some of the things learnt in the past were that there may be many barriers to access services needed. These include cost, long waiting times and lack of transport. We have also heard about complicated referral processes and how vitally important it is that professionals listen respectfully, especially for people who may be going through a tough time.

The Health Needs Assessment is submitted to the Australian Department of Health every three years with the current assessment deadline in November 2021.

It is important that Gippsland PHN reaches as many stakeholders as possible - community, consumers and carers as well as clinicians and other professionals. We need support to share the information as widely as possible with a target of more than 1000 responses.
Gippsland PHN is funded by the Australian Government to help people in Gippsland become healthier.

Although the organisation does not deliver direct services, Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said its job was to make the health system work better, especially for people who find it hard to access the help they needed.
“The information we receive from the survey will help Gippsland PHN decide where to direct funding to improve health and wellbeing in our communities,” Ms Proposch explained.
“Do you use telehealth or do you prefer to see your usual GP in person? These are some of the questions we need answered in the survey that will inform our new Health Needs Assessment, due to be submitted to government later this year.”
After completing the survey, participants will have the opportunity to share their story about health and wellbeing in Gippsland in an interview or written format. They can also go into the draw to win one of ten $100 supermarket vouchers.
“We want as many people as possible to participate in this major survey to help us understand what people think.” Ms Proposch said. “The survey only takes around 10 minutes to complete and is a unique way for people to influence Gippsland PHN and help improve health care.”
For more information, please visit our website.
To complete the survey click here.

Hard copies of the survey, along with reply paid envelopes, can be requested by phoning (03) 5175 5444.


Lifeguard real-time remote patient monitoring helps people stay at home

Every morning, a Gippsland man does a simple check of his vital health signs then inputs the information into his mobile phone. He presses “send” and within no time, this information is being checked by a team at Central Gippsland Health (CGH).

If any change in the man’s condition is detected, CGH care coordinators respond. A nurse consultant then liaises with the man’s doctor who can intervene and possibly prevent a hospital admission. If the doctor recommends hospital admission, this early detection of deterioration can shorten his length of stay.

This new digital software platform from Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN), called Lifeguard, allows health professionals to monitor their patients in real-time while they remain in the comfort of their own homes.

CGH is one of the first users of the Remote Patient Monitoring technology in Gippsland, implementing it in February this year for patients living with chronic and complex health conditions. It was introduced as part of the CGH Values Based Health Care (VBHC) program.

Read more about the work of Gippsland PHN with CGH in the media release below.

Media release

Gippsland PHN part of a new Infection Prevention and Control Helpline initiative

Gippsland Primary Health Network is part of a new Infection Prevention and Control Helpline initiative, providing a free service to Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, community pharmacies and general practice.

The initiative, launched on Wednesday 23 June, is a joint venture between Victoria’s six Primary Health Networks and funded by the Victorian State Department of Health.

Murray Primary Health Network is the lead agency with the PHNs partnering with the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA), which will deliver the service.

The free Helpline will be available from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. It will be manned by two full-time division one nurses, supported by three infection prevention control specialists.

The service will run for six months, before a review to determine its longer-term viability.

The governance framework includes oversight by representatives from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (VACCHO), a pharmacy consultant contracted to Murray PHN, an Infection Prevention and Control Specialist and a general practice nurse.

This is a new and unique initiative for the state of Victoria. It offers the primary care workforce to access evidence-based advice, backed by nationally recognised specialists in the field of infection prevention and control. Some examples of where staff might use the service include:
  • Rigorous testing of Pandemic Action plans
  • Guidance with sterilisation processes
  • Cleaning tips for high touch areas and washing of scrubs
  • Improvements in infection control processes
Your staff can access the service by telephone, or online:

Gippsland Regional Workforce Summary 2021 is now available

The Gippsland Regional Workforce Summary 2021 is now available with workforce a priority issue for Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN).

In 2019, a regional workforce strategy was developed by Gippsland PHN and Latrobe Regional Hospital as a component of regional mental health and suicide prevention planning. In 2020, the regional strategic group Gippsland Mental Health Alliance (GMHA) endorsed the Gippsland Mental Health and Workforce Strategy.

Implementation of the strategy commenced with the convening of a GMHA working group on workforce and agreement to focus on:

  • Availability and access to education and professional development opportunities.
  • Mapping of staff specialties.

A component of this work involved the design and pilot of a workforce survey as a recurring component of the Gippsland PHN’s Needs Assessment activity to inform future workforce and service planning. The data will be used to grow, recruit and retain the regional health workforce.

This report (below) provides a summary of key findings or go to the Gippsland PHN website link.

Full results are available in an appendix to this summary report. For more details about the full results, contact Gippsland PHN on (03) 5175 5444.

Report summary

Gippsland general practices prepare to launch social prescribing for their patients

"Social prescribing" is not a new concept; general practitioners have at times supported patients to access community based-supports.

Social prescribing formalises this by supporting general practitioners and other healthcare professionals to refer patients to non-medical services. Participating general practices in Gippsland will soon be delivering social prescribing.Social prescribing involves the referral of patients by their general practice to non-medical activities, ranging from a local walking group, to community garden or other local programs to build peoples social connection and wellbeing.  

An online platform called Kaleidoscope has an inbuilt directory with a range of resources and local referral options available.

Having defined goals, actions and referrals, health providers can print or email a social prescription to the patient, offering a formal and written record for the patient to measure their progress against.

When a patient attends the clinic, there may be an opportunity to identify the benefits of providing a social prescription to support better health outcomes.

If your community group or service would like to become involved, follow the link New Social Prescribing – Community Directory Provider Information form | Folio ( to complete this simple online form.

For further information, contact Gippsland PHN Digital Health and Integration Team


Allied health professionals invited to list services on new referral pages

Are you an allied health professional operating in Gippsland?
Gippsland PHN is expanding its referral pages available on Gippsland HealthPathways and inviting allied health professionals to list there services.
Gippsland HealthPathways offers clinical and referral pathways and resources for use by healthcare professionals at the point of care.
It’s simple and easy to register your services with Gippsland HealthPathways just complete this online form and your services will be listed on our new referral pages. 
If you would like to know more please email or register RequestLogin to login today.

COVID-19 GP Snapshot 7 - Cancer screening

The Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at Macquarie University has released its seventh General Practice Snapshot, highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening.
The Snapshot was produced as part of a Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre project involving Macquarie University, Outcome Health, Gippsland, Eastern Melbourne and South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Networks and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs, with participation from Central and Eastern Sydney and South Western Sydney Primary Health Networks.
COVID-19 GP Snapshot 7 - Cancer screening
This General Practice Snapshot investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of mammograms and cervical screening tests using general practice data obtained from the POLAR platform. Implications include:

  • The total number of mammograms carried out during the study months (January to September) in 2020 was lower than in 2019.
  • In Victoria, there were 32.2% (from 35,592 to 24,114) and 28.8% (from 180,636 to 128,646) decreases in 2020 based on the general practice and AIHW data, respectively.
  • In NSW, the general practice and AIHW data showed that mammograms in 2020 were 11.9% (from 15,823 to 13,936) and 21.8% (from 244,426 to 191,204) less than in 2019.
 The final Snapshot will investigate areas related to mental health.
If you have any questions related to the Snapshots or would like further details about the project, please contact Macquarie University’s Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research (CHSSR) at


COVID-19: help the Commission for Children and Young People check in with the young

The Commission for Children and Young People promotes improvement in policies and practices that affect the safety and wellbeing of Victorian children and young people, with a particular focus on vulnerable children and young people.
A statutory body, the Commission heard directly from hundreds of children and young people last year about the effects of COVID-19 on their mental health, education, safety and sense of certainty about the future; we know the pandemic has already had a massive impact on young people in our community.
With Victoria recently experiencing increased community transmission and a fresh lockdown, the Commission wants to make sure it hears from children and young people about how they are feeling, and what suggestions they have about the future. Hearing from children and young people means the Commission can advocate about the issues affecting them and share their perspectives with government and other decision-makers.

The Commission is asking organisations to help promote a new survey – the link can be found here. For further information visit the Commission website

Webinar - new consumer and clinical resources for Motorised Mobility Devices

Occupational therapists have an important role in assessing, advising and educating people who use, or wish to use Motorised Mobility Devices (MMDs) to support their mobility.
New consumer and clinical resources developed by Road Safety Victoria, Department of Transport in collaboration with Occupational Therapy Australia, demystify the steps involved in managing MMD interventions. The practical tools support consistent evidence-based clinical practice and facilitate client/carer/health professional communication, with the goal of supporting safe and positive outcomes for MMD users and their families.
This webinar on Tuesday 27 July, from 6-7pm, aims to motivate occupational therapists and other interested health professionals to engage in this area of practice. The session will introduce the resources and demonstrate their application through practical case studies.
For details, see the flyer below.
Details of webinar

New accessible location for Warragul BreastScreen clinic

 Radiographer Wendy Nieuwerth and receptionist Chloe Boyes are pictured outside the new Warragul BreastScreen clinic.

Warragul BreastScreen has moved to a new spot, with clients set to benefit from a fully accessible, modern clinic in a convenient new location.

Warragul BreastScreen recently opened its doors at its new address, 29 Mason Street, Warragul, which is right in the centre of town close to shops and amenities.

The clinic is also close to public transport, with nearby bus routes and a 10-minute walk (750m) from Warragul train station. Previously, clients had to walk up a steep hill on approach to West Gippsland Hospital, where Warragul BreastScreen was located, but the new clinic is on a flat roadside with lots of parking around the clinic to make visiting much easier.

Warragul BreastScreen’s radiographer Wendy Nieuwerth said the new space was light and bright with a layout that enabled a smooth workflow for clients attending the clinic. 

Find out more at A new home for Warragul BreastScreen » My BreastScreen


Welcome to the Research Hub

Gippsland Primary Health Network’s vision is a measurably healthier Gippsland.

This section of our LINK newsletter provides articles on research being undertaken by Gippsland PHN and in collaboration with other organisations that are contributing to this vision. It will also feature research and studies from outside our region which may be of interest to our stakeholders.

For all things ‘research’ related, please email

Invitation for LGBTQA+ young people and professionals to participate in a Delphi study on LGBTQA+ youth suicide prevention

LGBTQA+ young people and professionals are being recruited to join an Expert Panel which will develop suicide prevention guidelines for LGBTQA+ young people in mental health support settings.
This study is part of a collaboration between researchers at Telethon Kids Institute, the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.
To participate, young people must be aged 14-25; identify as LGBTQA+; have reliable internet access; have personal experience with LGBTQA+ youth suicide prevention, either through personal experience (ie, personal lived experience, or knowing LGBTQA+ peers who have been suicidal) or through their professional life; and live in Australia.
In addition, professionals with expertise in LGBTQA+ mental health are being requested to participate.
See more information about the youth expert panel here.
See more information about the professionals expert panel here.


Identifying unmet needs in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: 2021 Survey

You are invited to participate in a 10-15 minute survey to identify unmet needs in the areas of diabetes and / or cardiovascular disease (D&CVD).

This survey is being administered by MTPConnect and funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the $47 million Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative to improve the prevention, management and treatment of D & CVD in Australia. 

You are eligible to complete this survey if you are over 18 and: 
  • An expert in research, treatment, or management of Diabetes and / or CVD (e.g., a researcher, healthcare / medical professional, industry stakeholder) 
  • A person who has knowledge of the lived experience of Diabetes and / or CVD  (e.g., someone who lives with one or both of these conditions, a carer or family member of someone who lives with one or both of these conditions, or a person working in an advocacy organisation) 
To participate in the survey, click on the link to the survey below to access the explanatory statement and consent page here.

If you have queries about the survey, please contact Associate Professor Peter Bragge, Lead Chief Investigator, TTRA Prioritisation Project, BehaviourWorks Australia at


Survey of professionals involved in the delivery of primary care dietetic services

Do you think performance and satisfaction information for dietitians should be publicly available? Do you think care should be standardised so that practice does not vary from dietitian to dietitian?
Griffith University is surveying primary care professionals about their views on dietetic practice in an “ideal world”. The survey aims to investigate views of healthcare consumers and professionals on ten statements describing aspirational goals for primary care dietetics. 

Results will contribute new knowledge outlining goals that dietetic services provided in the Australian primary care setting should aim to achieve. If you complete the 10-minute survey, you are eligible to win one of 4x$50 Coles Group gift cards.
You can also participate in a 30-minute telephone interview in which your experience with, and views of primary care dietetic services, will be explored. You will receive a $20 Coles Group gift card for your time.
Link to online survey:
Link to EOI interview survey:


Research project exploring women's experiences of family and domestic violence 

‘The WEVAL Project – Exploring women’s experiences of family and domestic violence over the lifespan’ is project considers violence against women across the entire lifespan, exploring whether experiences and responses differ based on age.

Conducted by research student Amy Warren and supervised by Dr Barbara Blundell, Professor Donna Chung, and Dr Rebecca Waters,  participants are invited to participate in an online survey of practitioners from both mainstream and specialist services who work with girls and/or women who have experienced family or partner violence.

The survey should only take approximately half an hour to an hour to complete and can be accessed via

The project is also conducting an online survey for women who have experienced some form of family or partner violence. This survey should take no more than half an hour and can be accessed via

Please feel free to share this with anyone you believe may be interested in participating. If you have any questions about the project or would like any further information, please contact Amy Warren at or Dr Barbara Blundell at

To keep up to date with information from Gippsland PHN, you can follow us on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter - just click on the icons below. You can also go to the Gippsland PHN website at
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