9 December 2013

The run down to the end of the year is always a busy time for us all. For APNA it is very busy in house as we progress our very exciting APNA and AML Alliance NiGP Program activities. For APNA externally, representation is required at many national forums, requiring stakeholder input and sign-off to progress national health programs. In the last fortnight I have attended various meetings of which I will give you a snapshot.

Members of two NPS Medicinewise program committees met for discussions around future program development. NPS Medicinewise are a valued and vital source of information and education for clinicians and consumers around quality use of medicine if you haven’t before then I would suggest you have a look at their resources.

RACGP National Standing Committee for Standards in General Practice, of which APNA has been a member for the development of the 3rd and 4th edition of the standards. Work continues on further refinement and development of these standards and others important to nurses working in general practice, and in particular nurses leading and participating in quality assurance within their workplace. See RACGP Standards for more. The General Practice Roundtable Taskforce (GPRT) continues to provide a forum for discussion with key general practice clinicians around disaster and pandemic planning and is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer. Vital national Information is shared through the GPRT. APNA then feed to our members and stakeholders through the fortnightly eNews and when more urgent through email.

APNA attended the Cancer Australia health professionals forum where strategic planning directions for the next five years was discussed. Cancer Australia was established by the Australian Government in 2006 to benefit all Australians affected by cancer, and their families and carers. Cancer Australia works to reduce the impact of cancer and improve the wellbeing of those diagnosed by ensuring that evidence informs cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and supportive care. As the lead national cancer control agency, Cancer Australia also makes recommendations to the Australian Government about cancer policy and priorities. APNA has been actively involved with Cancer Australia since 2006 at the national level and most recently with their Lung Cancer program. I would recommend you revisit the Investigating symptoms of lung cancer, an excellent resource for all primary health care nurses.

Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.

11 November 2013

Since October 2013, there have been 27 measles cases in Australians, including 11 secondary cases, associated with travel to Indonesia, and more specifically Bali. It is vitally important all primary health care clinicians are kept well informed of the current state of the measles concern. APNA is a member of the General Practice Round Table (GPRT). The GPRT was established during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to inform the Commonwealth’s response to the pandemic and support information dissemination to general practice during the response. The GPRT continues to provide mechanisms for communicating with general practice during disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

APNA is represented at many forums and peak consultations across Australia. Through these opportunities APNA and its members remain informed and able to provide valuable contributions to national programs, policy and health reform planning. This week’s eNews captures information from several of these.

On Friday 8 November I chaired the Coalition of National Nursing Organisations (CoNNO) member meeting in Sydney. CoNNO is an alliance of 52 national nursing organisations working collectively to advance the nursing profession to improve health care. The Coalition represents the national interests of nurses in all sectors of the health profession. This meeting always provides a strong forum for networking and synergy between nursing organisations, and an opportunity for Government and national health bodies to address nursing collectively.

18-24 November 2013 is Antibiotic Awareness Week, a global initiative encouraging health professionals and the wider community to learn more about antibiotic resistance and the importance of taking these life-saving medicines appropriately. This Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS MedicineWise is asking all health professionals to pledge to join the fight against antibiotic resistance. APNA is a member of NPS MedicineWise, which is an  independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit organisation providing practical tools and information about medicines, health conditions and medical tests for health professionals and consumers.

APNA remains supportive of eHealth and the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR). APNA actively provides extensive expert input into the ongoing development and clinical usability of the national eHealth record, and we are keen and committed to staying engaged in the delivery of the PCEHR, a very important mechanism to support continued improvements to health outcomes. The federal government has announced a review of the PCEHR, and APNA will be providing substantial input to this review.

Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.