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RACGP Tasmania newsletter

22 August 2018

Tasmania in action

Chair report: Dr Jennifer Presser

It has been my pleasure this month to attend meetings where I’ve been able to connect strongly with my colleagues and feel re-invigorated in my practice.

Earlier in this month, my Balint group met together in Auckland. This peer group of GPs meet together regularly to discuss difficult cases with a particular focus on the emotional and unconscious elements of our interactions with patients. Meeting online monthly means that members can attend from rural and remote areas of Australia, or even move to New Zealand! We get together in person once a year in different locations. I’ve found that our regular meetings helps me find joy in my daily practice and is really key to preventing burn-out in my work in mental health. If this sounds like something that you would like to try, there is a monthly, multidisciplinary Balint group in Hobart and several online groups listed on the Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand website. New members are welcome.

I’ve just returned from RACGP Tasmania’s Women in General Practice weekend workshop at Freycinet. This annual workshop offers women GPs in Tasmania the opportunity to get together for peer-to-peer learning in a 100% ‘unplugged’ rural environment. The theme this year was ‘Celebrating diversity’ – we heard moving stories from every participant about their experiences of cultural diversity of Australia from the original Tasmanian Palawa people to recent arrivals, the strong connections we all have through family stories and the key roles of women. 

On Saturday 1 September, we will host the Fellowship and Awards Ceremony at Country Club Resort in Launceston. All members of the general practice community are warmly invited to attend. For more information, please visit the RACGP website.

Friends, family and community are a really important part of health and wellbeing. It’s wonderful to have relationships through my work in general practice that are a great source of support and fun in my life. If you haven’t attended any RACGP events before, or haven’t attended for a while, then I encourage you to come along and join us.

Feel free to email me with your observations and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jenny Presser
Chair, RACGP Tasmania

Tasmania news and events

From Matt's desk

Meningococcal vaccine update

Members across the state are aware of the urgent public health response that was initiated following four recent cases of meningococcal serogroup W disease in the Greater Hobart area, including three in Hobart’s northern suburbs.

Since mid-July, six cases have been notified to the Director of Public Health. Four of the six cases were due to the serogroup W strain (MenW) and three of these cases were from the Hobart suburbs of New Town, Moonah and Glenorchy. This is being treated as an unusual cluster and, therefore, as a local outbreak.

Evidence from your colleagues across the state shows that the demand for the vaccine is very high and GPs have responded swiftly by offering weekend and out-of-hours clinics for anyone wishing to undergo vaccination. Waiting lists in areas where the free vaccines have not yet been deployed are growing. Reports show that there are up to 200 expressions of interest for the vaccination in Wynyard.

Members are reminded that the Nimenrix vaccine should be reserved for vaccinating children under two years of age, with Menactra for those 2 years to 21 years. Please match vaccine orders to the appropriate age mix of your patients in order to ensure adequate vaccine supplies are maintained for all practices. 

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or phone 03 6212 5888.

Matthew Rush

State Manager, RACGP Tasmania.

Celebrating general practice: Fellowship and Awards Ceremony

Saturday 1 September

Celebrating general practice: The Fellowship and Awards Ceremony is a significant annual occasion for RACGP Tasmania members. The presentation ceremony is designed to applaud the achievements of our New Fellows, honour award winners and to celebrate collegiality.

All members of the general practice community are warmly invited to witness the official presentations together with their colleagues, family and friends. A celebratory reception will follow the official program. This significant occasion will be held at Country Club Tasmania, Prospect Vale, Launceston.

Registrations are now open.

RACGP Tasmania Member Meeting

Saturday 1 September

We are delighted to invite members to attend the 2018 RACGP Tasmania Member Meeting. The meeting will be led by Dr Jennifer Presser, RACGP Tasmania Chair. 


 Saturday 1 September


 11.00 am – 1.00 pm


 Country Club Tasmania or RACGP Tasmania, Hobart via teleconference

Members are invited to stay and observe the proceedings of the new Board's first meeting and, at conclusion, join us for light refreshments.

For members in southern Tasmania who would like to participate in the meeting, a video conference link will be available at the Hobart office. 

To register your attendance in Launceston or Hobart, please email or call 03 6212 5888 by Friday 24 August.

PLAN ahead: Individual sessions for members

RACGP Tasmania will host free individual sessions to assist GPs in using the new Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) planning, learning and need (PLAN) activity.

PLAN is an electronic portfolio designed to assist you in mapping and documenting your learning needs. PLAN is a mandatory QI&CPD requirement for the 2017–19 triennium and attracts 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points.

Book your free individual session now. We will step you through the process and support you with beginning or continuing your PLAN.

Fifty-minute sessions are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10.00 am – 4.00 pm. Additionally, evening sessions will be held on Thursday 6 September from 5.00 pm.

Session options available are face-to-face in Hobart or over the phone. 

Please contact RACGP Tasmania by email or phone 03 6212 5888 to book your place.

FRACGP pre-exam workshops

RACGP Tasmania is pleased to offer the following workshops to support Fellowship exam candidates who plan to sit the 2018.2 OSCE, the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Key Feature Problem (KFP) examinations. 

OSCE pre-exam workshop        Saturday 15 September         
AKT and KFP pre-exam workshop        Saturday 8 December

The workshops will be held in Hobart. More details coming soon.

Intermediate and advanced Clinical Emergency Management workshops – Hobart

Friday 7 September (Intermediate)
Saturday and Sunday 8–9 September (Advanced)

Places are still available in the intermediate and advanced Clinical Emergency Management Program (CEMP) workshops.

CEMP workshops are designed to teach you the skill set required to stabilise patients in the first 30 minutes of an emergency.

CEMP workshops are eligible for the Rural Procedural Grants Program.

For more information, visit the RACGP Tasmania events webpage, email or call the RACGP National Events team on 03 8699 0557.

Palliative care ALM

Saturday 22 September

The provision of palliative care is a significant challenge for general practice. Care setting, stage of illness and patient preferences all add to the complexity of effective assessment and management.

The workshop will consider:

  • effective assessment
  • management of pain
  • management of other symptoms
  • Advanced Care Directive and medical goals of care
  • end-of-life conversations
  • availability of resources, referral pathways and support networks in the Tasmanian context.

For more information or to register, visit the RACCP website

Accredited CPR workshop series 2017–19

Friday and Saturday 23–24 November

Have you completed your CPR update for the QI&CPD 201719 triennium?

RACGP Tasmania’s CPR series has received excellent feedback for its time-efficient format, which includes the completion of a pre-reading component and participation in brief, practical skills assessment sessions delivered locally. To achieve competency, participants are required to complete both components. 

Sessions available in Hobart:

Friday 23 November  5.45–6.45 pm 
7.00–8.00 pm
Saturday 24 November

9.30–10.30 am
10.45–11.45 am

Places are filling quickly. To register for a workshop, please visit the RACGP website.

Medical student study spaces available

Do you need a quiet space for your study group or committee to meet? RACGP Tasmania’s home at the ABC Centre, situated opposite the Hobart Clinical School, offers the perfect study or meeting venue.

Use of the facilities during business hours is offered free to student members.

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

National news and opportunities

Need help completing PLAN? Video tutorials are now available

To assist you in navigating the PLAN activity, new instructional video tutorials have been created and are now available.

The videos will guide you through the PLAN process from the initial steps of logging in and accessing the tool to submitting your overall reflection.

To view the tutorials, please click on the below links:

  1. Practice profile and self-assessment
  2. Prioritising your learning
  3. Peer review
  4. Identifying and completing learning
  5. Overall reflection and submitting PLAN

The short video tutorials are also available on the RACGP website.

If you require further assistance, view the PLAN user guide. Alternatively, contact the RACGP QI&CPD department on 1800 4RACGP | 1800 472 247. 

Are you interested in acquiring advanced mental health skills without leaving your practice?

RACGP Rural is taking registrations for the September intake of the Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training (FPS ST). This modular training was developed to address a demonstrated need for GPs to extend their mental health skills in an accessible and flexible manner. The program blends online and peer-group learning in four modules. This training will take approximately 14 weeks to complete.

FPS ST is accredited by the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) as an FPS skills training. Participants who successfully complete the program can apply for FPS provider status with Medicare and gain access to additional Medicare Benefits Schedule items for FPS services provided in their general practice.

Visit the RACGP website for more information.


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