September 2019

Chair report

Message from the Chair – Dr Jennifer Presser

Discharge summaries

Complaints about discharge summaries are one of the most common problem areas that I hear about from GPs who coordinate care for their patients. Have you noticed any changes in the quality and timeliness of discharge summaries recently?

The 2017–18 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Service Agreement has a state-wide safety key performance indicator of 100% of discharge summaries transmitted within 48 hours of separation.

GPs I have spoken with in the Hobart area have noticed a general improvement in the timeliness of discharge information from the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) Department of Emergency. The North West Regional Hospital is the poster-child for this area, with apparently close to 100% of summaries sent out within 48 hours of the patient being discharged.

GP liaison officers Dr Isobel Morse at Launceston General Hospital and Dr Annette Barrett and Dr Liz Webber at RHH have an ongoing and concerted campaign to improve discharge summaries – both in timeliness and the quality of discharge summaries produced.

If you receive a problematic discharge summary (or don’t receive one that you need), please contact the GP liaison officer in your region: 

Southern region
Call 03 6166 6861 or email.

Northern region
Call 03 6777 6022 or email.

North West region 
Contact website.

As an example, in my practice at Headspace Hobart, we regularly receive discharge summaries for people that are not our patients. The GP liaison officers are keen to track down discharge summaries that are sent to the wrong provider, so please let them know if this happens to you.

Did you know that the GP liaison officers produce a regular newsletter with information relevant for GPs in your region? If you're interested, check out the southern and northern publications.

RACGP Tasmania Member Meeting​

In 2014, the RACGP Tasmania Board was converted from a general representative board to a regional representative board. This will better formalise the role of the representative, flagging the expectation of regional representatives to know and advocate for the concerns of GPs in their region and attend mettings with local politicians.

In 2018, the federal electorate of Denison was renamed Clark after the author of the “Hare-Clark” electoral system employed in Tasmania. I am pleased to welcome Dr Amanda Lo as Representative for Clark on the RACGP Tasmania Council.

End of 2017–19 QI&CPD triennium is fast approaching – RACGP Tasmania is here to help

If you need some help or advice about completing your requirements, don't hesitate to email RACGP Tasmania or call 03 6212 5888. The fantastic staff in the RACGP Tasmania office can provide personalised support to get you on track. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Dr Jenny Presser
Chair, RACGP Tasmania.

Calendar of events

RACGP Tasmania upcoming events calendar 2019

Fellowship and Awards Ceremony Saturday 21 September 2019 Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
FRACGP pre-exam workshop – OSCE Saturday 28 September 2019 RACGP Tasmania, Hobart
Taking the mystery out of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MToP) Thursday 3 October  RACGP Tasmania, Hobart
Accredited CPR Friday and Saturday 1–2 November 2019 RACGP Tasmania, Hobart
FRACGP pre-exam workshop – Applied Knowledge Test and Key Feature Problem components Saturday 7 December 2019 RACGP Tasmania, Hobart

Events in the spotlight

RACGP Tasmania – Fellowship and Awards Ceremony

Saturday 21 September 2019

Congratulations to all new Fellows who have recently attained their Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).

The RACGP Tasmania Fellowship and Awards Ceremony is designed to applaud the achievements of our new Fellows, honour award winners and celebrate collegiality. This year's celebrations will be held at The Astley Room, Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart.

All members of the general practice community are warmly invited to witness the official presentations together with their colleagues, family and friends. Celebratory drinks and canapés will follow the formal program.

For more information please email RACGP Tasmania or call 03 6212 5888.

Registration now open.

RACGP Tasmania news

From Matt's desk

In the short hiatus between recrafting the RACGP Tasmania Council at the annual Faculty Member Meeting and the arrival of RACGP President, Harry Nespolon, for our 2019 Fellowship and Awards Celebration on Saturday 21 September 2019 in Hobart, I will be taking two weeks leave to lose golf balls in Thailand.

Your RACGP Tasmania team, along with your colleagues and representatives on state Council, will keep the faculty ship steady. Please don’t hesitate to email or call 03 6212 5888 if we can help you. 

A reminder to OSCE examiners that the 2019.2 OSCE will be held on Sunday 10 November 2019 in Launceston. If you are available, please email Melita Medisauskas. Your assistance is greatly valued.

I hope to see many of you at GP19 on Thursday to Saturday 24–26 October 2019 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. GP19 will showcase an exciting new format with a focus on topics that affect GPs in their clinical settings. Visit the GP19 website to view the extensive program and to register.

I look forward to catching up with you all soon.

Matt Rush
RACGP Head of Faculties

Taking the mystery out of MToP

6.30–8.30 pm, Thursday 3 October 2019

RACGP Tasmania in collaboration with Family Planning Tasmania (FPT) will provide GPs with an update on Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MToP) in Tasmania. This program is suitable for GPs who are caring for women who enquire about, or request access to MToP. GPs new to the concept and who may be interested in being more involved are also welcome. The program will cover pathways for providing MToP, processes and procedures and GP training requirements for MToP providers.

The session will be led by Dr Sue Mallett from FPT and will include a panel discussion with current MToP providers who will outline processes and share quality-care experiences and challenges.

Join us for this interactive and practical workshop delivered within the Tasmanian context. Light refreshments will be served from 6.00 pm. 

Register now.

Accredited CPR series

Friday and Saturday 1–2 November 2019

As we near the end of the current 2017–19 triennium, RACGP Tasmania will deliver a final suite of CPR courses to assist GPs in fulfilling their requirements for the current triennium.

These time-efficient sessions consist of two components, a pre-reading module and a one-hour practical skills assessment delivered locally.

Please join us in Hobart for your practical skills assessment.

Register now.

Be exam ready in 2019

Take this opportunity to maximise the quality of your RACGP Fellowship exam preparations by attending an RACGP Tasmania pre-exam course.

Learn examination techniques and refresh your knowledge across the various domains of general practice to enhance your chances of success.

Two workshops are available for candidates.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination Saturday 28 September 2019
Applied Knowledge Test and 
Key Feature Problem components 
Saturday 7 December 2019

Register now.

For enquiries, ;email Melita Medisauskas, Examination Officer, or call 03 6212 5888.

Can you help supervise medical students at HealthStop@Deloraine

Sunday and Monday 3–4 November 2019

Following our very successful preventative health initiative at Agfest, RACGP Tasmania in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, have been invited to deliver a similar event at the Deloraine Craft Fair.

This initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for medical students to offer blood pressure testing and preventive health advice directly to the public. Students are supervised by University of Tasmania clinical lecturers and RACGP general practitioners who generously volunteer their time to mentor and support our upcoming doctors.

A complimentary Deloraine Craft Fair entry pass is provided to supervising GPs.

If you can spare an hour or two to assist at HealthStop on Sunday or Monday 3–4 November, we warmly welcome you. Please contact Julia Ray with your availability and preference for day and time.

The Deloraine Craft Show will be held at Alverston Drive, Deloraine TAS 7304.

External news

2019 Palliative Care Conference

Building a capable, compassionate and resilient Tasmania 

Thursday and Friday 14-15 November 2019

This conference will bring together leaders in palliative care from across the state and nationally for a two-day discussion regarding the future of the sector and how we can work together to ensure the best possible services for Tasmanians with a life-limiting illness.  

To view the program, please visit the website.

The conference welcomes local, national and international speakers including:

  • Michael Hebb – Death over dinner
  • Dr Lucy Hone – New Zealand institute of Wellbeing and Resilience
  • Dr Tim Flanagan – Longford Medical Centre
  • Mary Dwyer – CEO, Impact Solutions
  • Sue Manton OAM – CEO, Little Haven Palliative Care Inc.
  • Dr David Kenner – Palliative Care Physician, NW Tasmania
This conference will be held at Wrest Point Convention Centre in Hobart.

Register now.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.

Research corner

Review of Mental Health Helpline and Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams (TAS)

Mental Health Services are undertaking a review of the role and function of the Mental Health Helpline and the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams (CATT) within Adult Community Mental Health Services statewide. 

This review is designed to provide an understanding of current practice and to determine where further work may be required to understand and/or address gaps or issues to improve client service delivery. We would very much appreciate your feedback to assist us in identifying key areas for the review. 

These surveys are the first step in the consultation process. A results summary of the surveys will soon be available. If you have questions about the surveys or the review process, please email
Complete the Mental Health Helpline survey.
Complete the CATT survey.

University of South Australia: Healthy Newborn Project

The University of South Australia‘s Healthy Newborn Project is calling for Healthcare clinicians, such as GPs, midwives, nurses and community workers who provide antenatal care (with or without ultrasound) to participate in a survey investigating the use of antenatal ultrasound in rural/remote Australian communities.
Participants will be placed in a draw to receive a $1000 prize/scholarship.

The data collected will provide evidence to inform governments of potential solutions to improve maternal and foetal wellbeing. Frontline healthcare professionals’ feedback is vital to this process.

Take the survey.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.

Visit recruitGP – the RACGP’s trusted, single source for general practice employment opportunities across urban, remote and rural Australia.

It’s free for RACGP members.

The RACGP does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may result from reliance on, or the use of, any information contained in this newsletter.