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EDITION: 28 September 2016

A word from our CEO: Dianne Kitcher

As you are aware, the current primary health care landscape faces significant challenges due to the growing burden of chronic disease, an ageing population, workforce pressures, and inequalities in health outcomes and access to services. Alongside this, there is substantial national primary care reform underway with the advent of the Commonwealth’s Health Care Home pilots, the review of the MBS and Private Health Insurance.
To support general practice to manage and respond to these changes, we have partnered with the University of Queensland and are now in a position to offer practices free access to the Primary Care Practice Improvement Tool (PC-PIT), an online validation tool designed for whole-of-practice improvement.
This tool will provide practices with the ability to review key elements integral to high quality care including: patient centred care, leadership, communication, performance, information and IT, and managing change. By reporting on each of these elements, your practice will be able to plan their own improvement activity with support from COORDINARE. 

Our Health Coordination Consultants will be speaking with practices about this tool in the coming weeks. However, if you are interested and would like to find out more please call 1300 069 002.

Meanwhile, more than 80 people attended our three mental health co-design forums across the region, providing valuable input into how mental health reforms might be delivered in our region. There was a high level of energy and many ideas generated by participants who included consumers, carers, consumer workers along with staff from Local Health Districts, non-government organisations (NGO’s) and primary care practitioners.
It is exciting to be part of a new way forward in mental health which will provide people in the community with a flexible range of service options that meets their individual needs. Contributions made to the workshop will be incorporated into the regional mental health and suicide prevention strategy for South Eastern NSW.
There are still opportunities to contribute. You can provide feedback to our
discussion paper, by participating in focus groups or via upcoming GP Cluster meetings and clinical work groups. To find out more please email

Finally, we invite you to register on our new Tenderlink site if you would like to be notified when the latest procurement opportunities including tenders, requests for proposals and expressions of interest are advertised to the market from COORDINARE. Registration is easy and free, and only takes a few minutes. Go to

We currently have new opportunities aimed at bringing about improvements for our population in two broad areas: chronic disease prevention – overweight and obesity and healthy ageing. To learn about these and/or future commissioning opportunities, please see our
Tenderlink site.

If you would like any further information about commissioning, please contact us at


Cancer screening forum a huge success!

More than 50 nurses, practice staff and GPs from the Illawarra Shoalhaven came together in Kiama recently to hear first-hand from leading experts about national bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening activities, and how they can ultimately reduce cancer mortality in our region.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Cancer Screening Forum, hosted by COORDINARE and Breast Screen NSW, featured presentations on the latest evidence and screening rates from Breast Screen NSW and the Cancer Institute, a mini-expo, as well as round-table discussions.

According to Linda Livingstone, Regional Director at COORDINARE, the forum was a great opportunity for attendees to learn about local initiatives that can help practices inform and assist patients participate in national cancer screening programs. 

“Despite the incidence and mortality of bowel cancer in the Illawarra Shoalhaven being higher than the NSW state average, we’ve witnessed a decline in participation rates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening program by residents living in Wollongong and Shellharbour,” said Ms Livingstone.

“Breast screening rates are also declining in the region and are significantly lower for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations compared to NSW screening rates. Meanwhile, we continue to experience lower participation rates in cervical cancer screening compared to the state average amongst Wollongong, Shellharbour and Shoalhaven residents.

“The national bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening programs save lives – but they need the support of general practice to encourage patients to do the test or book an appointment.

“Research consistently shows that a recommendation from a GP to screen for bowel cancer is an important motivator for participation. Something as simple as a letter signed by a person’s GP has been shown to increase participation in screening,” she added.

See story in Illawarra Mercury >

New process for ordering My Health Record brochures 

The Department of Health is changing the way they distribute My Health Record ‘All you need to know’ brochures. They will only be sending brochures to healthcare organisations who request an order, and will no longer be sending additional brochures to those who do not request them.
The new process for ordering additional brochures now requires either an email to be sent to or a call to (02) 6269 1080. When ordering brochures, the following information will be required to place the order:
  • the name of the brochure you are requesting (for example My Health Record ‘All you need to know’)
  • organisation name
  • street address
  • contact name
  • phone number
  • the quantity of brochures required.

Supporting the uptake of My Health Record: A local example

To support the uptake of the My Health Record, one local practice - Shellharbour Medical Centre - has set up an eye-catching display in their reception area to promote the initiative and provide useful information to patients.

Practice nurses and GPs make time to speak to patients about the benefits of registering for a My Health Record and to date, this has worked well.

Practice staff are finding that patient awareness of the scheme has increased. “Patients are actually asking to register and that’s what we want to see; patients interested and engaged in their health, which will assist to provide a better health outcome”, said Lea Gollop, RN - Practice Manager. 

GPs have also found the software to be user-friendly and so uploading Shared Health Summaries has been less time consuming than first thought.

For more information about My Health Record click here.