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GCPHN Publication Generally Speaking for Gold Coast general practices

In the June edition

Emergency Alternatives campaign launched on the Gold Coast

With winter the peak season for hospital admissions only two weeks away, Gold Coasters are being asked to consider other options for medical care, instead of going to public hospital emergency departments.
Gold Coast Primary Health Network and Gold Coast Health have launched the annual, Emergency Alternatives campaign, to try to reduce the number of non-urgent presentations to emergency departments. Find out more

Clinical Nurse Consultant Jason Cook and Dr Christa Bell

Gold Coast Health receives funding to support people who choose to die at home

Gold Coast Health (GCH) has received funding to implement a discharge pathway to support people who choose to die at home. 

This project will build on the infrastructure and processes established in the specialist palliative care service to support people who are inpatients in general medical services to die at home. GCH are working with various internal and external stakeholders including general practitioners (GPs) and community members to collaboratively develop, implement and evaluate a hospital discharge pathway for people near end of life, to die at home. Find out more

Dr David Rowlands

Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) Board Chair

The Emergency Alternatives campaign was launched successfully on the Gold Coast last month. By the end of this week your practice should have received brochures for your patients and posters for your waiting rooms, to assist in the promotion of the campaign. 

Read more ...

Dr Kate Shapland

General Practice Gold Coast (GPGC) Board Chair

It is an exciting time for general practitioners on the Gold Coast, as we continue to develop and grow as an organisation. It is important that your voice is heard and used to drive our future direction.

Read more ...


GCPHN-commissioned mental health activities available to assist Gold Coast residents

Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) has commissioned services across the stepped care continuum to increase access and coordination of mental health support so people get the right service, at the right time. A centralised intake service helps to ensure individuals that are seeking support are connected to a service most appropriate for them, and links in other services as required.

Our mental health page offers a range of options including services in mild mental health, moderate mental health, severe and complex mental health, suicide prevention, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, youth mental health, alcohol and other drugs and complex needs assessment panels. Find out more

General Practice Liaison Unit

Acyclovir-induced neurotoxicity in Gold Coast patients

Associate Professor Dr Carl de Wet has written a piece about two recent cases of oral Acyclovir inducing neurotoxicity in Gold Coast patients. 

Referral template available for Gold Coast Sexual Health clinics

The Gold Coast Sexual Health Service is a specialist department within Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service. The team, led by Dr Maree O’Sullivan and Dr Caroline Thng are committed to providing inclusive, client focused STI and HIV care and education to people of the Gold Coast community, through innovative evidence-based practice.

Mental Health / Alcohol & Other Drugs

Partners in Recovery transition 

Participants in the Gold Coast Partners in Recovery program are currently being transitioned to alternative support arrangements before the program ends on June 30, 2019. This includes NDIS, continuity of support/transition programs or other psychosocial programs. Facilitators and support workers are discussing these options with their participants ensuring that all participants will transition to supports to meet their ongoing needs.

Deafness and Mental Health Service supporting people in QLD

The Deafness and Mental Health Service is a Statewide consultation and liaison service promoting appropriate and accessible mental health care for deaf and hard of hearing people throughout Queensland. 

Cancer Screening

New occupational cancer e-learning module

Cancer Council has developed an e-learning module to increase GPs awareness of workplace carcinogens and cancers. 

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and GPs and practice staff play a key role in ensuring that participants in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program progress through the screening pathway. The Gold Coast Primary Health Network Practice Support Team have provided some helpful tips in this edition for practice staff on how you can promote the program in your practice and talk to your patients aged 49 to 74 about bowel cancer screening.

Bowel Cancer Australia also has an array of patient resources you can request to be sent to you via post or you can download electronic PDF copies here.

Digital Health

My Health Record resources available for general practice staff 

General practice staff can find an array of My Health Record fact sheets and resources on the Digital Health page of the HealthyGC website (scroll down to My Health Record Fact Sheets).


'Get the facts about immunisation' - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources

A focus of the 'Get the facts about immunisation' campaign is to promote vaccination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. A range of communication resources have been developed that you can download and use in your practice.

Practice News

Immunisation tip

You can record flu and other adult vaccines on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR records vaccines given to people of all ages in Australia. This includes National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule vaccines, school vaccines, flu and travel vaccines.

When you give any vaccine, you should record it on the AIR as soon as possible. The quickest way to do this is using your practice management software or go to AIR through HPOS. For more information on accessing the AIR, visit our Immunisation webpage. 

Bowel Cancer Screening

For GPs

GPs play a key role in ensuring that participants in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program progress through the screening pathway. GPs deliver clinically appropriate advice, services, treatment and care, and provide data on participants and their outcomes to the Program Register.
For your patients, you could consider: 

  • Encouraging those who are sent a screening test and for whom the test is clinically relevant, to participate.
  • Assessing those with a positive result and referring them for further examination as clinically indicated. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) approved Guidelines have more information. 
  • Indicating whether a patient referred for colonoscopy is a Program participant to assist with reporting to the Program Register.
  • Informing patients at average risk, or slightly above, that the NHMRC approved Guidelines recommend screening every two years, starting at age 50 years and continuing to age 74 years.
  • Managing patients identified as being at increased risk, or with symptoms of bowel cancer in accordance with the NHMRC approved Guidelines

Bowel Cancer Screening

For practice nurses

Practice nurses have an important role to play in encouraging and supporting patients to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. To encourage your patients to screen, you could:

  • Undertake an audit of practice records using the CAT recipe that can be found here
  • Talk to your patients aged 49 to 74 about eligibility to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
  • Find out when patients will receive a kit, and if appropriate encourage participation.
  • Demonstrate to patients how to use a bowel screening test kit (Demonstration kits can be ordered by emailing
  • Assist with completing forms for Program participants.
  • Refer patients (of any age) with symptoms, bowel disease or family history to a GP in recognition that bowel cancer can occur at any age.

Bowel Cancer Screening

For practice managers and support staff

How can practice managers and support staff help encourage participation by patients in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program? 

  1. Displaying brochures, flyers and posters – Order Program Resources
  2. Sending a letter to 49 year old patients to encourage participation - Download a template letter
  3. Knowing the Program – This series of short videos provides a simplified approach to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. 
  4. Download the Promoting the NBCSP in General Practice fact sheet for tips on how to support the Program.

In Brief News

End of Life Law for Clinicians online modules accredited by RACGP

The End of Life Law for Clinicians (ELLC) online training modules have received accreditation from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) for the 2017-2019 triennium (Category 2).

Free palliative medicine app for prescribers

GPs and nurse practitioners can integrate the easy-to-use palliMEDS app as a tool to proactively prescribe appropriate medications to manage common emergent symptoms in home-based palliative care patients in the last few weeks of life.

Seeking expressions of interest: Dementia and Cognitive Impairment CAG

A Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) is being formed to provide clinical advice to the Department of Health. Queensland Health are currently seeking expressions of interest from clinicians to be involved in the Dementia and Cognitive Impairment Clinical Advisory Group.

New decision support tool for patients with OA of the knee

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care recently released a decision support tool for patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

The Good, the Bad and the Future: Clinical Challenge Series

Gold Coast Health invites clinicians to the first in the new Clinical Challenge series. Experts will lead a new series of clinically-focused forums on the challenges facing our clinicians.

New occupational cancer e-learning module

Cancer Council has developed an e-learning module to increase GPs awareness of workplace carcinogens and cancers.

Navigating genomic testing in primary care: A new e-learning module

To assist general practitioners (GPs) in engaging in more discussions around genomic information with patients, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research worked with ThinkGP to develop a 1.5 hour interactive module.

GPs can give evidence-based support to parents with Accredited training

A free two-and-a-half day course to deliver Primary Care Triple P (a brief parenting intervention which includes printed Tip Sheets to help with specific issues) has now been Accredited under the QI&CPD Program for all Queensland GPs. 

Research Opportunities

What's on

View all upcoming events 

FEATURED: Black Dog Institute: Dealing with Anxiety Disorders
Saturday 15 June | 9am - 5pm

This highly interactive workshop aims to provide GPs with a comprehensive theoretical understanding of anxiety disorders together with an extensive range of skills and strategies to better manage anxiety in their practices. Clinical scenarios form the basis of learning as participants explore how anxiety disorders arise, how they are maintained and the role general practitioners can play in addressing these effectively.
The program will assist GPs to gain further confidence and competence in the effective use of Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS).

  • Completion of predisposing activity
  • 40 RACGP QI&CPD Category 1
  • Approved for Focused Psychological Strategies CPD (FPS CPD)​
Find out more/registerPHN Professional Events


GCPHN Professional Events

Saturday 8 June
Cultural Safety Training
9am - 4pm, Robina

Thursday 11 June
Demystifying Dementia: a practical approach to the diagnosis and management of dementia in general practice (part 1 of 2)
6pm - 8.30pm, Robina

Friday 14 June
Screening for Problem Gambling
9.30am - 11am, Robina

Wednesday 26 June
Demystifying Dementia: a practical approach to the diagnosis and management of dementia in general practice (part 2 of 2)
6pm - 8.30pm, Robina

Thursday 18 July
SAVE THE DATE: GP Trainer Workshop
Time TBC, Robina

Click here to see all GCPHN Professional Events


View online - Primary Healthcare Positions Vacant

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Word Count: 75 words     Layout: Dot points
Generally Speaking is a monthly publication produced by Gold Coast Primary Health Network. It is an important resource for general practice, with local information on GP/practice nurse training and education, quality initiatives, referral information, events, job notifications and local Gold Coast health and community programs that can benefit general practitioners and patients.
Level 1, 14 Edgewater Court, Robina Qld 4226  |  PO Box 3576 Robina Town Centre Qld 4230
P:  07 5635 2455  |  F:  07 5635 2466  |  E:  |

Gold Coast Primary Health Network would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Gold Coast and surrounding areas, the Yugambeh, Yuggera and Bundjalung peoples. 

Gold Coast Primary Health Network gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this material, the information contained in it does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided herein.
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