Accreditation and CLINICAL support

General practice accreditation was established to promote a culture of quality and safety in Australian general practices. Achieving independent accreditation against the Standards shows patients that a general practice is serious about providing high quality, safe and effective care to standards of excellence determined by the general practice profession.

South Eastern Health Providers Association can support your practice to achieve accreditation or re-accreditation. SEHPA Members have access to telephone and email support for any accreditation issues.

Onsite visits can be provided to assist with any aspect of the accreditation or reaccreditation process, including a gap analysis through a pre-accreditation checklist, interpretation of the standards and compliance and implementation assistance.

For more information on the accreditation support packages available please click here to contact SEHPA or phone 1300 473 479.

A policy and procedure manual for your primary health practice provides the constancy necessary to deliver services in an efficient and logical manner. For general practice accreditation a policy and procedure manual is a key document to demonstrate how your practice meet particular standards, criteria and indicators required for accreditation.

South Eastern Health Providers Association (SEHPA) has a Policy and Procedure manual template, designed for practices in Australia. It must be adapted and changed to make it relevant to your individual practice situation and state/country.


SEHPA’s Policy and Procedure manual template and associated templates have been widely used and valued across Australia for many years. With the recent changes in government funding this resource can no longer be provided free of charge. As a result the cost for this quality resource is now $275 GST inclusive for SEHPA members ($330 GST inclusive for SEHPA non-members).

Click here to purchase the Policy and Procedure manual template.

For more information on the Policy and Procedure manual or available support please click here to contact SEHPA or phone 1300 473 475.

Effective infection prevention and control is central to providing high quality health care for patients and a safe working environment for those employed in primary health care settings. SEHPA has developed practical tools, resources and information that can be used in a range of health care settings, to help implement an effective approach to infection prevention and control.

SEHPA Training’s infection control training is relevant to the duties performed by staff in a primary care setting and will ensure staff understand the various infectious agents, their modes of transmission, appropriate work practices for infection prevention and control, and what personal protection is required and when to use it.

For more information on the infection control services available please click here to contact SEHPA or phone 1300 473 472.

Logging a vaccine fridge temperatures and auditing of the vaccine management system should form part of a practice’s routine quality assurance and risk management process.

It is recommended that vaccination service providers carry out an audit of their vaccine storage and management system at least once every 12 months and more frequently where problems have been identified.

If you would like to arrange logging of your vaccine fridge and an audit of your vaccine management system please click here to contact SEHPA or phone 1300 473 479.

The Responding to Medical Emergencies Guide was developed to assist non-clinical staff identify, respond and prioritise urgent medical matters. The guide and completion of the training will demonstrate how your practice complies with the RACGP Accreditation standard 1.1 Access to Care.

The training to accompany the Responding to Medical Emergencies resource assists non-clinical staff to remain within their scope of practice when dealing with a patient or carer in a medical emergency. The training focuses on the communication skills necessary when dealing with a medical emergency such as active listening skills.

The training also refers to the meaning of triage for non-clinical staff and how to use the resource to assist in information collection and correct referral to a clinical staff member to advise on how to prioritise the emergency.

For more information on the Responding to Medical Emergencies Guide and training  please click here to contact SEHPA or phone 1300 473 479.

Nurses can work effectively and collaboratively with GPs to deliver a range of primary health care services. They play a key role in health promotion and chronic disease education and support. Practice Nurses can provide a broad range of clinical services, such as immunisations, wound management and preventive health assessments.

SEHPA provides support and training for Practice Nurses on the primary health care sector and the potential activities a nurse can undertake to provide valuable support as part of the practice team and enhance the provision of primary care services.

For more information on training available for Practice Nurses or resources and support packages click here to contact SEHPA or phone 1300 473 479.

SEHPA supports immunisation providers to enhance the quality of immunisation services and improve immunisation rates in the South Eastern Melbourne region.

Education and support is available to General Practitioners and practice staff on vaccine storage, accessing the General Practice Immunisation Incentive Program (GPII) and ACIR reports.  GPs, practice nurses, other health care providers and practice staff on all aspects of immunisation including: vaccine storage; accessing the General Practice Immunisation Incentive Program (GPII) and ACIR reports; increasing immunisation rates. SEHPA members have access to support and advice in regard to cleaning up their immunisation data, utilising ACIR forms and reports and assistance accessing the ACIR website.

Onsite visits are available to review the vaccine storage process and to leave a temperature logger in your vaccine refrigerator to record changes in temperature for 7-10 days. This will help to produce a refrigerator map specific to your fridge. Results and corrective action advice are provided as required.

Resources to assist with the delivery of an effective immunisation program include:

Australian Immunisation Handbook – 10th edition

Provides clinical advice for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice. This handbook has been updated in June 2015.

Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5

Provides information and advice on vaccine storage management. It has been written to assist all Australian immunisation service providers.

For more information on immunisation, resources and support contact SEHPA by email at or phone 1300 473 479.

AGM Report

Report from agm

At the AGM on November 10th, the members voted to wind up the South Eastern Health Providers Association Inc, with remaining funds to be transferred to the Australian Communities Foundation to establish a primary health care grants program. 

From December 2016 SEHPA will begin to scale down and cease all services to members and stakeholder liaison activity.  Registration as a Training Organisation will end in October 2017, after the current cohort of students graduates.


This time last year I reported that South Eastern Health Providers Association (SEHPA) was moving to a new business model, independent of government funding, which included a fee-based structure for our services and resources.  This was a big change for SEHPA and our members, who have enjoyed our support, free of charge, for over 20 years.

I would like to thank all our members who have continued to support us by choosing to engage SEHPA for practice based services such as accreditation support and staff training and who attended SEHPA events.  I would also like to acknowledge all the new members that have joined SEHPA this year from outside our traditional territory.

SEHPA has provided primary care representation on a number of local initiatives, filling the void between the demise of the Medicare Local in June 2015 and the establishment of a functional PHN.  This has been largely unfunded work, using our own resources.

We continue to receive positive feedback from the students who have completed qualifications through our Registered Training Organisation – SEHPA Training.  They particularly value the opportunity to share learning with colleagues at the monthly training days, and the course content that is contextualised to the primary care setting.

Unfortunately, in the current economic and healthcare reform environment, SEHPA has been unable to establish a sustainable business model.  In the financial year 2015-16 the association incurred a loss of more than $300,000.

In some ways, I feel we are a victim of our own success – general practices and other primary care practices do not seem to need the assistance they did 15 or 20 years ago.

One of the major successes of the Division network was to foster a collegiate relationship between general practices and in later times helped to bring other primary care practices into a similar relationship.  I hope that the PHN model is able to keep this going but unfortunately, I am not overly optimistic about this.  Perhaps the recently announced Health Care Homes initiatives will help.

Your board was left with a couple of choices – either to continue on for another year or so until we get close to insolvency or to begin a wind up process and find a better use for the funds we have left.  We chose the latter and investigated ways to put this money into providing primary care scholarships or similar within our catchment.

To prevent further depletion of Association funds, the Board is proposing to scale down and cease all non-profitable service provision from the end of December 2016, with registration as an RTO ending in October 2017.  As an incorporated association, such a decision requires approval of our members, and therefore a special resolution to this effect will be proposed later in this meeting.

The SEHPA Board acknowledges the efforts and commitment of our staff team during this challenging time.  They have worked really hard to try to keep SEHPA going and in many cases have gone above and beyond what was necessary.  I personally thank them for their efforts and wish them all well for the future.

I would like to thank my fellow Board members for their tireless efforts, not just over the last 12 months but for more than 20 years before that.  We still need to steer SEHPA through the next phase, so our work is not done yet and who knows what the future holds!

Finally I thank you, the members, for your support and your work at the primary care coalface in this area.

Dr Greg Wyatt, Chair

Treasurer’s report

I will now present the audited financial statements of the South Eastern Health Providers Association for the financial year 2015-16.  The financial statements were audited by Michael Zylberman of LZR Audit and Assurance Pty Ltd.

Copies are in members packs for your reference.

Included in these Audited reports are the Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement.  This statement outlines our income and expenses over the period from July 1 2015 to June 30 2016 and it also shows the figures from the previous financial year.

Some key areas I would like to highlight within this statement are:

Income and Expenditure Statement

  • Significant reduction in grant income, including cessation of government funding from July 2015
  • Decreased income from interest due to drop in rate
  • Membership decreasing again from previous year
  • Introduced fees for our membership support services with limited income return
  • Decreased income from SEHPA Training activities from previous year
  • Overall expensed have been kept on track and have not increased.

Assets and Liabilities Statement – Liabilities

  • Special purpose programs – funds held on behalf of SAPCRU

We began 2015-16 aiming to grow membership, primary health care support/education, grant work and RTO training.  Unfortunately, as Greg has already highlighted, SEHPA has been unable to establish a sustainable business model.  In the financial year 2015-16 the association incurred a loss of more than $300,000.

Anne Nunan, Treasurer

SEHPA e-News Final Edition

Final Edition of our eNews and Change in SEHPA Office Hours

This is the final edition of South Eastern Health Providers Association’s (SEHPA) weekly eNews.  Thank you to all our members and readers who have supported us over many years.

Please note that the SEHPA office will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 22 December for the Christmas – New Year period.  From January 2017 we will be operating limited business hours.  If the office is unattended, please leave a message on 1300 473 479 or email

Other Useful Newsletters / Information Sources

There are a number of other newsletters / websites that you may find it useful to subscribe to for current news.  To register for any of the following newsletters free of charge click on the link provided:

  • South Eastern Melbourne PHN (SEMPHN) Network News for General Practice click here
  • SEMPHN Commissioning News click here.
  • Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) newsletter ‘APNA Connect’ click here
  •  RACGP weekly news click here
  • ·Australian Department of Human Services ‘News for health professionals’ click here
  • Victorian Department of Health Immunisation Newsletter click here
  • Victorian Department of Health – Health Alerts / Advisories and other news click here
  • Australian Doctor Newsletter click here
  • Australian Association of Practice Managers website listing of latest news click here.

Chief Health Officer Advisory:  Thunderstorm Asthma (Update)

Key messages:

  • Ambulance Victoria and hospital emergency departments saw a significant increase in patients presenting with respiratory symptoms following the thunderstorm event on the evening of 21 November 2016.
  • Thunderstorms have been linked to epidemics of asthma symptoms, especially during the grass flowering season which is typically October to mid-December.
  • Review existing asthma management plans for all patients with asthma and review patients who experience symptoms for the first time.
  • An asthma attack can be life threatening. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000.

Chief Health Officer Advisory:  Cutaneous Mycobacterium ulcerans infection (Buruli ulcer)

Key messages:

  • Cutaneous Mycobacterium ulcerans (also known as M.ulcerans) and the cause of Buruli ulcer, continues to be a concern in Victoria with most cases linked to exposure to known endemic areas in the Mornington Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula.
  • There has been a steady increase in notifications of M. ulcerans.  The infection affects people of all ages.
  • Consider the possibility of M.ulcerans in patients who present with a painless ulcer or compatible lesion after exposure to an endemic area.  Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to minimise skin loss.
  • Mosquito bite from an infected mosquito is considered a probable mode of infection so encourage all patients to take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
  • M.ulcerans is a Group B disease and must be notified to the Department within five days of diagnosis.

National Health Service Directory – Check Your Service Listing

Is your service registered on the National Health Services Directory (NHSD)?  The NHSD is a joint initiative of all Australian governments to enable health professionals and consumers to access reliable and consistent information about health services.  Ensuring you are listed, and keeping your details up to date is important to reflect all the services you provide.   To check if your service is registered or to check your details are correct or for more information about the NHSD click here.

Immunisation News December 2016

The December edition of the Department of Health’s Immunisation News is now available.  To view the newsletter click here.  The newsletter includes:

  • Zostavax limited supply currently
  • Infanrix or Tripacel for 18 month olds
  • Chickenpox season
  • Shingles vaccine and nurse immunisers
  • Translated immunisation information for consumers
  • Updated immunisation history form

OPTIMISE: Improving Accessibility, Quality and Coordination of Primary Health Care for Refugees in Australia

Australia’s newly arrived refugees have their initial health care needs addressed by refugee focused health services (RFHS) before transitioning to mainstream GPs for ongoing care.  This system is under strain: many RFHS are operating at capacity, transition to general practice is inconsistent, and mainstream general practice is challenged to provide high quality care to this vulnerable population.  In OPTIMISE Partnership Project, Monash University leads a consortium of 11 partner organisations and an international research team, to address priority health system gaps affecting Australian refugees.  The project aims to improve the accessibility of primary health care services, increase the effectiveness of transitioning patients between health services, and enhance the quality of primary health care services to people of refugee backgrounds.  If you are a registered GP with an interest in refugee health, get in touch with the research team to learn about how you can be part of this work:

Dr Shiva Vasi, phone: 9902 4529

Ms Nilakshi Gunatillaka, phone 9905 0509

GPs – Find Accredited QI&CPD Activities Online to Meet Your Requirements

Are you searching for accredited activities to meet your RACGP QI&CPD triennium requirements?  There is a large range of local accredited activities available through the ‘Find a course’ page on the RACGP website click here.  You can refine your search for activity type, category, curriculum and domain as well as directly search for CPR and quality improvement activities.  If you require assistance in meeting your QI&CPD requirements contact your local QI&CPD office click here.

Preventing Sexual Transmission of Zika: Updated Advice

The Department of Health has provided updated advice regarding recommendations on preventing sexual transmission of Zika.  The main change is the period of abstinence/pregnancy deferral/safe sex for asymptomatic men, which increases from eight weeks to six months.  The revised version emphasises the availability of testing for couples and people who cannot wait the recommended time periods, noting concerns about consequences of delaying pregnancy.

These revised recommendations are based on the evidence that:

  • the longest reported period between symptom onset and sexual transmission is 32–41 days (based on an incubation period of 3–12 days)
  • Zika virus RNA has also been found in the semen of five men more than 90 days after onset, and in one case up to 188 days after onset of infection
  • viral RNA has been detected in the genital tract of one woman on day 11, and another up to day 13, and was cleared by day 17 in both women.


Mindhealthconnect is a national online mental health portal which provides access to a range of trusted mental health and wellbeing resources.  The mindhealthconnect website covers over 80 different mental health topics and has a strong focus on promoting wellbeing and mental health literacy.

Asthma News for Health Professionals November 2016

The November edition of Asthma News for Health Professionals is now available and includes:

  • Thunderstorm asthma
  • Thunderstorm asthma webinar
  • Older women still more at risk of dying from asthma
  • Rip up the carpet …. or not?

Free Webinars: Child Safety for Victorian Organisations

Are you involved with a community organisation that is focussed on children?  Free webinars are being run to help organisations to be ready for new Child Safety Standards legislation that applies from January 1, 2017.  Expert trainers will help you become aware of new responsibilities that you may face.  These free Webinars are being provided by Our Community and Moores with the support of the Commission for Children and Young People.  Attendees will be provided with free access to Moores not-for-profit Legal Advice Line to 1 January 2017, providing uncapped 24/7 access and advice from lawyers that are trained in child protection laws.  For more information about the webinars click here.

Carer Gateway

Funded by the Australian Government, Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides practical information and resources to support carers.  The interactive service finder helps carers connect to local support services.  Information available through Carer Gateway includes:

  • Local support such as respite services
  • How to look after yourself while caring for someone
  • Financial and legal considerations
  • What to do in an emergency or crises situation
  • How to adjust when caring ends

For more information visit the Carer Gateway website phone 1800 422 739

Defibrillators – Discounts Available

SEHPA still offers significant discounts off the recommended retail price (RRP) of LIFEPAK defibrillators.  To view the defibrillators and RRP pricing click here.  To obtain your discount pricing you will need to order through SEHPA.  Please contact SEHPA on 1300 473 479 for more information.