Our COVID-19 response

Primary care

During 2020/21, Brisbane North PHN sent 52 COVID-19 news updates to over 1,000 GPs and practices.

The PHN provided support to four GP-led respiratory clinics and 213 vaccination clinics.

Primary care providers were supported to prepare for and help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Resources and information were provided to assist general practices and other health professionals to stay up-to-date with COVID-19.

Aged care

The PHN worked with Residential and Aged Care facilities to ensure priority populations, such as residents and aged care workers, received COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Drive-through flu jabs
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Personal protective equipment

We sent 397,100 surgical masks, 32,800 P2 masks, 23,440 gowns and 2,930 goggles out to practices, pharmacies and allied health professionals in the region.

Vaccination rollout

Brisbane North PHN supported the coordination of the vaccine rollout across the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

As part of Phase 1A, we worked in partnership with the Department of Health and its contracted Workforce Provider to develop implementation plans with the Residential Aged Care Facilities. This included communicating with the primary care providers who normally provide healthcare to residents living at these facilities.

The PHN also supported the Department of Health in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine through general practice and GP Respiratory Clinics (Phase 1b). We regularly engaged with Queensland Health, Metro North Health, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and local pharmacies to support a smooth rollout.

As a trusted and established service, the PHN assisted in the dissemination and promotion of public messaging and factual information by working directly with general practitioners, other primary healthcare providers, secondary care providers and hospitals to facilitate improved outcomes for patients.

Flu vaccination for RACFs

In the lead up to winter, the PHN assisted residential aged care facilities in our region to vaccinate staff and visiting workers against influenza, following an Australian Health Protection Principal Committee recommendation issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woman receiving COVID vaccination

Lending a hand to general practice


Our support in numbers
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We supported 275 accredited general practices in our region and conducted 49 accreditation visits in 2020/21 to prepare for accreditation or re-accreditation.

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While COVID-19 significantly impacted face-to-face practice visits, we made over 783 visits to general practices in the region, including delivering 964 reports across a range of topics including eHealth, accreditation and data quality.

Our Primary Care Liaison Officers continued to support general practices virtually as they faced challenges around COVID-19 and pandemic planning, new models of care, PPE shortages, and increasing infection control measures.


Working together to improve quality

The Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) for Quality Improvement (QI), which commenced on 1 August 2019, now has a total of 243 practices in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region enrolled to participate.

The PHN continued to utilise the Enhanced Quality in Practice (EQiP) program to support practices in quality improvement. EQiP is a practice led program designed to provide assistance at all stages of the quality improvement journey.

There was an increase in practices submitting quarterly data and 964 reports were delivered in 2020/21.

Our Primary Care Liaison Officers continued to support practices with quality improvement efforts using the healthcare data reports to guide their insights and discussions.

A smarter way to refer

GP Smart Referrals, rolled out jointly by Metro North Health and Brisbane North PHN in April 2020, enables faster and more streamlined referrals management to Queensland public hospitals.

As of 30 June 2021, approximately 89 per cent of practices in the region had registered for the new initiative, with 78 per cent of practices live. GP Smart Referrals allows those involved in patient care to better manage the patient journey, improve patient safety and reduce outpatient wait times.

 

 

 

Dr James Martin of Pebble Beach Medical Center.

Partnering to provide GP education


Our program of General Practice Liaison Officer (GPLO)-led education

The General Practice Liaison Officers lead an education program for GPs across the region. Delivered in conjunction with specialists at Metro North Health facilities, the RACGP-accredited education ensures GPs are up-to-date with the latest clinical guidelines and hospital processes and have an understanding of local services and referral options.

11 GP education events (including one COVID-19 webinar) were held in 2020/21 and were attended by 455 GPs. Events included: Navigating Mental Health, Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Impacts of COVID-19 on  Disease, Haematology, Maternity and Virtual ED.

In addition, six orientation sessions were held with registrars and interns. Attendance totalled 238. This included attending GPTQ Registrar training. Intern/GP Registrar orientation focussed on timely clinical handover/transfer of care to general practice, including timely completion of discharge summaries.

The opportunity for GPs to attend Grand Rounds was also commenced at the Caboolture and The Prince Charles Hospitals.

Two webinars were held throughout the year to enhance understanding of the GP Smart Referral (GPSR) program which was attended by 25 GPs on both occasions.

The trial of an Optometry Liaison Officer (OLO) commenced in July 2020. The purpose of the position is to bridge the gap between community referrers (GPs and optometrists) and the Metro North Ophthalmology Services. Initiatives undertaken this year included a GP and Optometrist education event in May with 88 participants.

A Mental Health GPLO also joined the team in December 2020 to meet the growing need for Mental Health support in addition to the increased issues resultant of COVID-19.

 

 

 

GP education

GP Alignment Program

During 2020/21, GPs completed our award-winning maternity education program and approximately 49 GPs attended the workshop. Although this event was held virtually this year, GPs were still able to earn continuing professional development points from their participation.

GP alignment program

Lifting immunisation coverage rates


 

Immunisation catch up event

Immunisation catch up for practice nurses

The PHN facilitated three immunisation catch up events for 268 local practice nurses in 2020/21.

Tackling vaccine myths online

We ran our annual Medical Mums campaign which focused on tackling vaccine myths online that are known to be causing vaccine hesitancy among parents. Leveraging off the audience engagement built in previous campaigns, we also addressed concerns surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged parents to talk to their GP. Updated animated videos, digital and social creatives were developed to reflect new messaging for the campaign.

HealthPathways – a resource by GPs for GPs


 

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Our suite of localised pathways for Metro North GPs continued to grow in 2020/21. We localised an additional 41 clinical pages covering a range of conditions, bringing the total number of HealthPathways (including service pathways) to 619.

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In 2020/21, 7,364 users accessed the Brisbane North HealthPathways website 31,644 times to view 104,855 pages.

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Brisbane North HealthPathways team are the state-wide lead for the Post COVID-19 Conditions pathway, as well as the Cervical Cancer Screening, Transgender and Bowel Cancer Screening pathways. The COVID-19 Assessment and Management pathway continues to be our most viewed clinical pathway with 1,713 views in 2020/21.

Of the non-clinical pages, the Psychological Services page had the most views with 1,029 views. This pathway provides access to the My Mental Health Services eReferral form and the Health Provider Portal resource page, giving GPs real time access to hospital patient records.

HealthPathways
Medical Practice assisting program

Training provides students with strong skillset

The Medical Practice Assisting program, offered in partnership with UNEP, provided training to 25 students mainly in the metropolitan and out metropolitan areas.

255 Medical Assistants have graduated the program since its inception in 2010.

Service Navigator

Team Care Coordination Service Navigator helpline received 393 calls for information about local services from Hospital and Health Service staff, service providers and community members.

My health for life

My health for life

My health for life is a State government-funded initiative, designed to help Queenslanders stay well and lessen their risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke. During 2020/21, 831 residents in the region were enrolled and 637 contractually completed the My health for life program.

Read more

A committed care team


Health Care Homes

14 general practices are working with the PHN on the Health Care Homes trial.

There are 1,091 patients enrolled in the trial within the region receiving coordinated, patient-centred care for their chronic and complex health conditions.

Health Care Homes
Next

Improving local mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug services