Friday, 19 December 2014

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13: analysis by sector (AIHW)

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13: analysis by sector extends the analysis presented in Health expenditure Australia 2012-13 to further explore expenditure on particular categories of health goods and services. In 2012-13, $55.9 billion was spent on hospitals in Australia, $52.9 billion on primary health care and $29.9 billion on other areas of health spending. A further $8.6 billion was spent on capital expenditure.

All funders increased their expenditure on hospitals between 2002-03 and 2012-13; however, growth in state and territory government funding ($10.6 billion) was almost double that of the Australian Government($5.4 billion). Primary health care spending is shared relatively evenly between Australian Government(about 43.0%) and non-government sources (about 41.0%), with the states and territories playing a relatively small role, over the same period.

Media release

Full report

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cancer in Australia: an overview 2014 (AIHW)

Cancer in Australia: an overview 2014 presents the latest available information on national population screening programs, cancer incidence, hospitalisations, survival, prevalence and mortality. It is estimated that the most commonly diagnosed cancers in 2014 will be prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer (excluding basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, as these cancers are not notifiable diseases in Australia).

For all cancers combined, the incidence rate is expected to increase by 22% from 1982 to 2014, but the mortality rate is estimated to decrease by 20%. Cancer survival has improved over time. Cancer outcomes differ by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and remoteness area.

The report is accompanied by Cancer in Australia: in brief 2014, which presents a summarised version of key facts and trends from the main report.

View the Media release, report, and 'in brief' report for free online.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

"Living Well, A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024" released by the Mental Health Commission

"Living Well, A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024"

The Strategic Plan sets out actions and future directions for reform of the mental health system in NSW. It asks that the NSW Government recommit to completing the process of reform begun with the Inquiry into Health Services for the Psychiatrically Ill and Developmentally Disabled (Richmond Report) in the 1980s in particular by taking two important steps - closing the remaining stand-alone psychiatric institutions and shifting the focus of mental health care from hospitals to the community.

The Plan does not directly govern the operation of services but instead lays out directions and principles for reform which agencies and service providers must find ways to embed in the supports they offer to people in our community.

The Report and the Plan are companion documents and should be read together.

Download PDF versions of the Strategic Planor read a summary, list of actions or an Easy English version.

The NSW Government has responded to the Strategic Plan with an $115 million commitment to a suite of mental health programs and initiatives that will make it easier for people for people who experience mental illness to live and be supported in the community.

Download PDF versions of the Strategic Plan or read a summary, list of actions or an Easy English version.

Read the Commissioner's message about the Strategic Plan

Read a media releaseabout the release of the Strategic Plan and the government announcement
**********************************************************************************
Living Well: Putting people at the centre of mental health reform in NSW: A Report honours the many voices the Commission has heard and the stories and insights shared by consumers, their families and carers, and those working in mental health.

This companion report to the Strategic Plan contains many personal stories that bring to life the wide consultation carried out across NSW.

It explores:

  • the mental health system past and present in NSW and its impact on people
  • what we already know about the state of mental health and mental health services
  • the history of mental health reform, here and overseas, where it has led us and some of the changes already in train
  • mental health services through the prism of groups facing issues that further challenge their mental health and wellbeing, such as Aboriginal people, those living in regional and rural areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with intellectual disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, those in the justice system and people also struggling with physical health problems or drug and alcohol issues
  • Our understanding of mental health and wellbeing as a life course through 8 journeys that take us from earliest childhood to the last years of a full life lived and that reflect the experiences, challenges, needs, rights and hopes of people at every stage of life.

Download PDF versions of the Report

Read about the language and values that underpin the Strategic Plan and Report.

The Living Well NSW Project is the voice of the people of NSW coming together to share what it means to be Living Well in NSW. Visit the Living Well Project website.

Australia's mothers and babies 2012 (AIHW)

For the first time in 5 years, there has been an increase in the rate of births in Australia, according to Australia's mothers and babies 2012 prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

In 2012, 307,474 women gave birth to 312,153 babies in Australia. This was an increase of 10,343 births (3.4%) from that reported in 2011, and a total increase of 21.5% since 2003. Nationally, the proportion of teenage mothers (younger than 20) declined from 3.7% in 2011 to 3.6% in 2011, compared with 4.6% in 2003.

View the Media release and download the Full report for free online.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices

A Clinician's guide: Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices covers the patient journey from initiation of gastrostomy feeding to ongoing care, permanent tube removal and transition or transfer of care. The guidelines are applicable across health care settings and are designed to provide a framework for the development of local policies and procedures.

The guideline is the result of a collaboration between the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and the Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia (GENCA).

A Clinician's Guide: Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices From pre- insertion to ongoing care and removal

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Spinal Cord Injury Pain

The new Spinal Cord Injury Pain Resources for consumers and health professionals have been launched. The toolkit is a series of practical tools and resources which have been developed to help people with a spinal cord injury to better manage pain. Development of these resources was a collaborative partnership between the ACI Pain Management Network, NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service and funding from the Lifetime Care and Support Authority (LTCSA).

Huntington's Disease

Movement Disorders, the journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society has made freely available a special issue on Huntington's Disease. Some of the topics covered include onset, functional disability, current therapeutic options and clinical trials.

Special Issue: Huntington's Disease. 2014, Volume 29, Issue 11

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard


Bacteria can develop resistance to specific antibiotics, meaning that the antibiotic is no longer effective against those bacteria. The inappropriate use of antibiotics has increased the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, not only in hospitals and healthcare facilities but also in the community. Antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to public health because antibiotics underpin routine clinical practice in a variety of healthcare settings.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in collaboration with consumers, clinicians, researchers and health organisations, has developed the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard and resources to guide and support its implementation.

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

Framework for Integrating Care for Older People with Complex Health Needs

In 2010, there were 1.02 million people 65 years of age and over living in NSW, and this is expected to double by 2050. However, for a growing number of older people, this will include living with complex health needs such as dementia and other chronic diseases. Currently, care is fragmented between different healthcare providers in community, primary health and acute care settings. The Building Partnerships Framework published by the Agency for Clinical Innovation, provides the most comprehensive look yet at how to integrate services for older people with complex health needs and introduces a vision of multi-sector partnerships that involve older people, their carer and families every step of the way.
Building Partnerships - A Framework for Integrating Care for<br>Older People with Complex Health Needs


Framework for Integrating Care for Older People with Complex Health Needs 2014

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

A better way to care : Safe and high-quality care for patients with cognitive impairment

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released three resources to guide health service managers, clinicians and consumers in improving care of people with cognitive impairment in hospital. These resources were developed in recognition that cognitive impairment (dementia and delirium) is common among older people admitted to hospital and patients with cognitive impairment are at greater risk of preventable complications, and adverse outcomes, including falls, pressure injuries, functional decline and mortality. They are more likely to stay in hospital longer, be re-admitted or enter residential care.

Cognitive impairment and its risks are currently under-recognised in Australian hospitals, leading to significant safety and quality issues. However, harm can be minimised if cognitive impairment is recognised and care is tailored to the needs of the patient.

The resources follow a pathway, describing strategies that reflect evidence-based practice and existing models of care. In the resource for health service managers, the strategies are linked to the existing National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards

The three resources are:

  • Action for health service managers
  • Action for clinicians
  • Action for consumers

A better way to care: Safe and high-quality care for patients with cognitive impairment (dementia and delirium) in hospital. 2014

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

Journal of Compassionate Health Care

The Journal of Compassionate Health Care is a new journal which aims to provide a vehicle for bringing together multidisciplinary perspectives, research and initiatives concerning the concept of compassionate health care. Compassion may also be viewed as a vehicle for enhancing quality and reducing the cost of health care services.

Some of the subjects covered in this very first open access issue include;

  • Compassion meditation intervention for people with chronic pain.
  • Patient centred care retreats.
  • Re-inspiring compassionate caring.


Journal of Compassionate Health Care 2014, 1 Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

Food and health communication across cultures.

A new resource package focused on improving health communication and practices in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help to strengthen efforts to support good nutrition, health and wellbeing.

With funding from the Fred Hollows Foundation, Menzies School of Health Research has developed the teaching and learning resource, Food and health communication across cultures.

The resource package provides practical guidance to support strength-based approaches, critical reflective practice and the participatory process of health and nutrition communication. It holds potential relevance for a range of health professionals and workers who spend time in remote Indigenous settings, including nutritionists, health promotion staff, health workers and nurses.

Resource: Food and health communication across cultures

About the resource

New online learning modules for health professionals

A new educational initiative by NPS MedicineWise and the TGA aims to increase both the quality and quantity of adverse medicine, vaccine and device reports to the TGA. The new set of free, interactive online learning modules for health professionals is available at http://learn.nps.org.au/

Subjects so far covered include Fatigue, Taking medication histories, Quality use of medicines, Adverse event reporting, Case studies and Unlocking asthma technique.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Current issues in awareness, prevention and intervention by Child Family Community Australia, reviews the research and current policy surrounding prenatal alcohol exposure and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Alcohol use during pregnancy is linked to a spectrum of adverse fetal outcomes. This spectrum of abnormalities is collectively termed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and may include physical, cognitive and/or developmental symptoms. The aim of this paper is to inform practitioners and other professionals working in a range of fields about the implications of FASD for children and their families. Current research on interventions or programs to work with families affected by FASD is also explored.

A practitioner resource: Supporting children living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Practice principles has also been published.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Analysis of bowel cancer outcomes for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (AIHW)

Analysis of bowel cancer outcomes for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program presents a comparison of the mortality outcomes and cancer characteristics for two populations: those invited to screen in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) in 2006-2008, and those of a similar age who had not been invited to screen in that time period.

Of the 2006-2008 bowel cancer diagnoses in these two groups, non-invitees were found to have a 15% higher risk of dying from bowel cancer than NBCSP invitees, and bowel cancers diagnosed in non-invitees were more likely to be at a more-advanced stage. These outcomes demonstrate that the NBCSP is contributing to reducing morbidity and mortality from bowel cancer in Australia. The report findings also suggest that the screening test has a high degree of accuracy.

Media release.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis (AIHW)

Suicide and intentional self-harm are significant public health problems in Australia, with the number of Australians who died by suicide averaging around 2,000 each year since the mid-1980s, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). For over a decade, more than 20,000 Australians have been admitted to hospital each year as a result of intentionally self‑inflicted injuries.

The report, Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis 2010-11, shows that suicides accounted for 2,282 injury deaths in Australia in 2010-11. This is lower than when the number of deaths by suicide peaked at over 2,600 in 1997 and 1998.

'Suicide death rates for males, adjusted for age, have fluctuated at around 20 deaths per 100,000 people between 1921 and 2010,' said AIHW spokesperson Professor James Harrison.

Rates for females were about 5 deaths per 100,000 people per year in most of this period.

Among Indigenous Australians rates of self-harm are about 2.5 times and two times higher than rates for non-Indigenous males and females respectively.

Media release

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

An ounce of prevention? A toolkit for evaluating preventive health measures

An ounce of prevention? A toolkit for evaluating preventive health measures by Helen Andrews of the Centre for Independent Studies offers a toolkit to assist in their evaluations, in the form of 8 questions to ask of any preventive health proposal.

Preventive health is a broad umbrella that includes such disparate services as vaccines for schoolchildren, blood pressure screenings, ad campaigns to discourage binge drinking, and special taxes on tobacco products. What all these programs have in common is an intention to spend money now in order to save money later—catching costly health problems before they arise or when they are less advanced and easier to treat.

However, even the most straightforward early interventions do not always save money over the long term. Something as seemingly basic as a cancer screening, if it is not narrowly targeted at high-risk patients, can fail to save money. In some cases, it can even do more harm than good. Trying to tell whether a preventive health program will be as effective—and cost-effective—as its proponents claim is a difficult task for policymakers and voters.

About the toolkit

Social justice and native title report 2014 launched

The Social justice and native title report 2014 was launched this week by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda. The report examines the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, providing an overview of the year with respect to social justice and native title issues.

The report pays attention to health inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, noting that a decline in smoking rates and improvements in maternal and child health are 'green shoots' that indicate efforts to close the health gap are working.

The report states changes made by the Federal Government this year to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, occurred without meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their leaders, or their respective organisations.

The report also calls for action on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 'I am heartened by the Prime Minister's strong commitment to closing the gap and by his leadership on constitutional recognition,' Commissioner Gooda said. 'Now is the time to commit to a solid timetable for the referendum.'

Media release.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Rural health impacts of climate change (rural adversity)

This article describes the adversity and effect of climate change on the health of rural communities, including mental health effects.

Please see the following links for more discussion:

http://ruralhealth.org.au/news/rural-health-impacts-climate-change

The following link describes the effects in more detail:

http://ruralhealth.org.au/news/rural-health-impacts-climate-change

Is schizophrenia a ‘real’ illness?

In an attempt to move away from the traditional language used to describe psychosis and schizophrenia, the British Psychological Society (BPS) has launched an update to its thinking on this issue.The foreword of the report it has published sets out the vision:

We hope that in future, services will no longer insist that service users accept one particular view of their problem, namely the traditional view that they have an illness which needs to be treated primarily by medication.

The report comes at a pertinent time for mental health research; last year the same organisation questioned the value of psychiatric diagnosis altogether. This new document seems to cast doubt on many received wisdoms about schizophrenia, even questioning whether it is an illness

Please see link below for more details:

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Rural suicide: Vic farmer raises $10,000 and sparks global conversation

A Victorian farmer will hand over more than $10,000 to Beyondblue, following a personal project that's attracted support from across Australia and overseas.

Noel Bull knows at least 15 rural people who've died of suicide and has been selling his 'Farming in Your Spare Time' calendars to raise money for the support service.

The calendars feature rural images taken by a photographer relative and tips about how to reduce the stress of farming.

See link below for more details:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-26/farmer-raises-24102c000-for-suicide-prevention/5919396

Study recommends using local therapists in regional towns to help residents with disabilities

A study into the challenges for people with disabilities in the western region has found local residents need to be involved in delivering services.
 
The four year study by the University of Sydney launched trial projects in a number of western region towns including Brewarrina, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Broken Hill.

Project manager Dr Angela Dew has called for a new model for therapy. Please see link below for more details:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-26/carers-study/5918468

Smokes, drink and drugs hitting harder in the bush than the city: report

A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has shown people in rural and remote NSW are lighting up at twice the rate as their big city counterparts.
It also showed crystal meth or ice to have replaced powder as the most popular form of drug used.
The National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported people living in rural and remote areas in the state were more likely to use methamphetamines, smoke daily or partake in risky drinking behaviour compared to metropolitan areas.

Please see more details of the report at the following link:

http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2722745/smokes-drink-and-drugs-hitting-harder-in-the-bush-than-the-city-report/?cs=103

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Indigenous elder says government programs failing to stop youth suicide

David Cole says Indigenous communities in the Top End have some of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world and funding should be redirected to grass roots Aboriginal organisations to stop the deaths.

A report out yesterday found the suicide rate among young Indigenous people was almost four times the rate of the rest of the population.

Please read more from the article at the following link:

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2014/s4132272.htm

Mental health support extended

DESPITE intensifying public commentary about drought policy, the federal government has announced an extra $3.5 million to enable continued support for mental health services in drought-affected communities in NSW and Queensland.

In a joint statement to Fairfax Agricultural Media, Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, Human Services Minister Marise Payne and Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield said the government understood the hardship being faced hardworking Australian families.

Please read more from this article at the following link:

http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/general/healthcare/mental-health-support-extended/2717661.aspx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2014

The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report from the Productivity Commission, measures the wellbeing of Australia's Indigenous peoples. The report provides information about outcomes across a range of strategic areas such as early child development, education and training, healthy lives, economic participation, home environment, and safe and supportive communities. The report examines whether policies and programs are achieving positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Media release

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Productivity Commission report identifies mixed results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says the Productivity Commission report on Indigenous wellbeing is a "call to arms for every Australian".

The report shows there has been an alarming jump in the number of Indigenous people being jailed and self harming, and while life expectancy and child mortality rates have improved, the rates of disability and chronic disease remain high.

Please see the full article at the following link:

Health promotion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

A special edition of the Australian Journal of Primary Health (Vol. 20, No. 4)  focuses on Health Promotion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Authors Kerry Arabena, Kevin Rowley and Sarah MacLean look at these communities and the importance of family and the natural world. They discuss building capacity within their organisations and changing the way mainstream communities interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

A clear message is that for too long Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been described as having problems that are too big and complex to be solved within communities themselves bu now we are changing the collective story from one of deficit, to one of strength and resilience.

Contact your health library if you have trouble accessing the full text.

A roving mental health specialist drives 1000km a week to visit clients in rural communities

In Albury, in southern NSW today, anxiety, depression, grief and a lack of mental health services are on the agenda for the 6th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium.

They're issues psychiatric nurse Michael Oates knows too well. For the past 26 years, the former Irishman has been driving 1000km a week down dusty roads to provide an outreach service in Victoria's north west.

Please see more info on this article at the following link:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/bush-therapy/5882096

 

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: prevalence and incidence (AIHW)

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts is a series of 5 reports by the National Centre for Monitoring Vascular Diseases at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that describe the combined burden of cardiovascular disease (including coronary heart disease and stroke), diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

This report on prevalence and incidence provides a comprehensive summary of the latest available data on the prevalence and incidence in the Australian population of these three chronic vascular diseases, acting alone or together. It examines age and sex characteristics and variations across population groups, by geographical location, and by socioeconomic disadvantage.

Media release

Friday, 14 November 2014

Taking a best possible medication history

Get it right! Taking a best possible medication historyis an online learning module aimed at junior medical officers, nursing and pharmacy staff for admitting patients to hospital. Obtaining an accurate medication history (known as a best possible medication history or BPMH, is the first step in the medication reconciliation process and helps with making therapeutic decisions.

The module includes a video which explains what information should be recorded and how certain techniques can influence the accuracy of the history obtained. There is also a short role-play scenario and some useful tips. Nurses and pharmacists can earn professional development points by completing the module, which was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and NPS MedicineWise. You will need to complete a free registration process before you get started.

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Healthy eating guidelines for metabolic and endocrine

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has released a new guideline, Clinical practice guidelines for healthy eating for the prevention and treatment of metabolic and endocrine diseases in adults.

The Guideline, cosponsored with the American College of Endocrinology and the Obesity Society, targets adults with or at risk of metabolic and endocrine diseases and considers morbidity, mortality, obesity, pregnancy issues, elderly care and malnourishment in making very specific dietary recommendations

Arthritis and disability

Arthritis and Disability is a report on the lived experience of people with arthritis and similar conditions. It was commissioned by Arthritis Australia and outlines the methods, findings and implications of this research, carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Arthritis is the second leading cause of disability and the most common cause of chronic pain in Australia, and the most prevalent long-term health condition, affecting 3 million people or about 15 per cent of the population. This work looks at the extent to which arthritis is associated with disability–who is affected, how people are affected, what helps people cope with their condition day to day, and how support services can be improved.

Palliative care factsheets for patients and carers

CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge Network has just released a new feature on their website called My Information Kit.  This site allows health professionals to select relevant factsheets which have been compiled by CareSearch, the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, Palliative Care Australia and Carers NSW, for printing or emailing to patients and carers. There is provision for a cover sheet to be attached including your name and contact details.

The factsheets cover a range of issues including bereavement, support and wellbeing for carers, pain, communication and living with a terminal illness.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) is part of an established program of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The survey collects detailed information on the socio-economic circumstance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people every six years.

The NATSISS differs in focus from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) but provides reporting on some overlapping content in both surveys, every 3 years. The NATSISS 2014-15 will be conducted from September 2014 through to the end of April 2015.

The main purpose of the survey is to monitor the social and economic wellbeing of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The NATSISS will expand on the information collected about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in previous social surveys to:

  • explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' participation in society and barriers to that participation;
  • provide information that is relevant and useful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their own decision making and planning;
  • allow for inter-relationships between different areas of social concern to be explored;
  • provide insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' experiences of social and/or economic disadvantage;
  • provide comparisons with the non-Indigenous population; and
  • measure changes over time.

 

About NATSISS (including explanatory video

Dr Calma urges support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders survey

Rural residents need more than a quick-fix approach to mental health

For some country residents, a mental health check at a field day may be the only face-to-face mental health care they encounter. The Council of Australian Governments' Reform Council data tells us only half of remote area residents needing mental health care actually receive it, when compared to people accessing mental health care in cities.

The following article compares rates of mental health in rural and urban areas, including shortfalls in mental health access within rural populations.

Rural mental health in focus

FARMERS and rural workers should be encouraged not to keep their problems "parked under their hat", says Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Despite similar rates of reported mental disorders in both rural and metropolitan areas, suicide rates have consistently been found to be higher in rural areas according to the Medical Journal of Australia.

Please see more at the following link which discusses suicide rates in rural Australia:

http://www.farmweekly.com.au/news/agriculture/general/healthcare/rural-mental-health-in-focus/2714769.aspx

Hospitalised injury in children and young people: 2011-12 (AIHW)

Hospitalised injury in children and young people: 2011-12 provides information about serious hospitalised injury in Australian children and young people aged 0 to 24 years. The report takes a developmental stage approach to examining injury acknowledging that age and injury are more closely linked at some periods of life (for example, early childhood and young adulthood).

Media release.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Rural Innovations Changing Healthcare 2015




The ACI Rural Health Network has announce the 2015 Rural innovations Changing Healthcare (RICH) Forum to be held on 18 March.

The forum will be 'virtual' in design, linking 18 satellite groups via videoconference. A call for abstracts for presentations and posters on the forum theme of "collaborative teams" has been issued. Abstracts may be submitted until 1 February 2015 at http://www.aci.health/RICH-Forum-Submission-of-Abstracts-2015/_nocache

For more information see the Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/groups/rich2015/  or contact Jenny Preece
Jenny.Preece@health.nsw.gov.au

Hip Fracture Care Clinical Guideline

The NHMRC-approved Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Hip Fracture Care - Improving Outcomes in Hip Fracture Management of Adults was released by the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) Steering Group in September 2014.

This guideline is designed to help professionals providing care for people with a hip fracture to deliver consistent, effective and efficient care and is available through the Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse)

Effective strategies to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The purpose of this paper is to draw on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, theoretical understandings and available evidence to answer questions about what is required to effectively address Indigenous people's mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. It reviews the research and evaluation evidence to show what works, what doesn't work and what we don't know.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12 (AIHW)

Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12

During 2011-12, over 36,000 people aged 15 and over were hospitalised as the result of an injury sustained while playing sport. This represented 8% of all injury hospitalisations during that year. Around two thirds of those admitted to hospital were aged under 35 and over three quarters were men.

Media release

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Allied health professionals: Can we measure quality of care?

In a comprehensive report from QualityWatch in the UK, researchers examined the role and quality of care of allied health professionals in the NHS. Allied health professionals: Can we measure quality of care? looks at a diverse group of 12 professions who often work across mulidisciplinary teams and across sectors of care.

The authors of this report express concern that the contribution AHPs make to overall healthcare is undervalued. The different AHP groups include chiropodists, dieticians, music therapists, occupational therapists, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, radiologists and speech and language therapists. They found that AHPs made up 6% of the NHS workforce in 2013. "We suggest that a better understanding of both the levels of care and the quality of care provided by AHPs will be increasingly important in a financially constrained NHS."

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Call for smarter ways to deliver regional mental health help

A national mental health body says more innovative ways are needed to tackle mental health issues in regional areas. Chief executive Jennifer Bowers said greater awareness was needed about the hardships regional Australians faced, particularly in relation to mental health.
Please see the link below for more details:

Cheaper and pure meth hooks Dubbo

Meth use in Dubbo and the wider western region is increasing dramatically because of cheaper and more pure product being available but is still isn’t as damaging as alcohol abuse, according to the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSW LHD).

People who would have previously used speed have now turned to ice because it is more readily available and more affordable and occasional users are turning into habitual users.

Please see the link below for more details:

http://www.dailyliberal.com.au/story/2654083/meth-hooks-dubbo-poll/?cs=112

Unique opportunity for GPs in mental health

The PULSAR project (Principles Unite Local Services Assisting Recovery) aims to implement and evaluate recovery-oriented practice in mental health across primary care sites and specialist mental health services in the catchment of Monash Health.

Recovery-oriented practice aims to support people in their personal recovery goals by improving their mental health and wellness, live in a self-directed life, and reach their full potential.

Please see more details of this project at the link below:

http://monash.edu.au/news/show/unique-opportunity-for-gps-in-mental-health

Monday, 27 October 2014

The fight to save rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities


From the late 1800’s to the 1970’s, Australia’s Federal and State and Territory Governments, together with church missionaries entered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia, and began removing their children.

They had no idea the damage and disastrous repercussions their actions would have on Australia’s First People, who not only lost their children, but also their pride, culture and land. This article discusses the resulting Aboriginal suicides which have occurred as a consequence and some measures taken to overcome this.

Please see more at the link below:

http://thestringer.com.au/forgotten-children-of-the-promised-land-the-fight-to-save-rural-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-cmmunitieso-8944
 
 

Bennett heads bush for mental health

TWO southern Queensland communities will have an opportunity to learn more about the importance of resilience when rugby league coaching legend Wayne Bennett and ABC sports broadcaster Craig Hamilton host two special evenings on mental health in Goondiwindi and Roma in November.

Please see more details at the following link:

http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/news/agriculture/rural-lifestyle/general-news/bennett-heads-bush-for-mental-health/2715721.aspx

Friday, 24 October 2014

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts mortality (AIHW)

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts mortality is one in a series of 5 reports by the National Centre for Monitoring Vascular Diseases at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that describe the combined burden of cardiovascular disease (including coronary heart disease and stroke), diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

This report on Mortality presents up-to-date statistics as well as trends on deaths from these chronic diseases. It examines age and sex characteristics, and variations across population groups, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by geographical location, and by socioeconomic disadvantage.

Media release

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ice use in Orange is a concern, but experts say alcohol is the real issue – Poll

THE prevalence of the drug ice in Orange and other regional areas is taking second place to the impact of alcohol on the community, according to Orange-based drug and alcohol experts.
Lyndon Withdrawal Unit deputy chief executive officer Dr Julaine Allan and Western NSW Local Health District drug and alcohol clinical nurse consultant Melissa Romeo say the release of NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics figures showing a doubling of ice use in rural areas in the last year needs to be measured in the context of overall drug use in the area.

Please see more details at the following link:

http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2640748/poll-ice-use-in-orange-is-a-concern-but-experts-say-alcohol-is-the-real-issue/?cs=103

OUR TOWN, OUR UNIVERSITY: Student projects address rural health issues

Troy Belshaw, Diviya GK and Talal Lakmas explored factors which determine why general practitioners (GPs) choose to practise in the Western NSW Local Health District.
The study found 60% of GPs working in the district were of non-rural origin and 40% of rural origin.

Please see more details of article below:

Australian hospital statistics 2013-14: emergency department care (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2013–14: emergency department care

In 2013–14:
• There were almost 7.2 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments;
• 75% of patients received treatment within an appropriate time for their urgency (triage) category;
• 73% of patients spent 4 hours or less in the emergency department;
• 2 million patients were admitted to the hospital from the emergency department, and 45% of these were admitted within 4 hours.

Media release

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Impacts of climate change on public health in Australia (Deeble Institute)

Impacts of climate change on public health in Australia: Recommendations for new policies and practices for adaptation within the public health sector by the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, aims to:
  • draw attention to the potential impacts of climate change on health in Australia;
  • discuss the policies and issues related to the impacts of climate change on health;
  • present prioritised recommendations to decision-makers on policies and practices which may assist mitigation of and adaptation to the most serious of the identified impacts;
  • provide guidance which will assist appropriate people and agencies to allocate resources to the highest priority problems; and
  • provide a comprehensive list of references which provide reliable evidence about the potential impacts of climate change on health in Australia

Summary

Monday, 20 October 2014

Researchers, communities, government and not-for-profit sector band together to improve Indigenous health outcomes

Health and medical researchers have teamed up with Indigenous community organisations, policymakers, businesses and others on the frontlines of health care delivery to help improve the health of Indigenous communities, as part of five National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership project grants announced today.

Please see more details at the link below:

http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/about/news/2603

Psychosis fears after 'ice' use rises among injecting drug users

Hospitals and drug clinics are bracing themselves for more patients presenting with psychosis and cardiovascular problems after a significant increase in use of the drug "ice".

The number of injecting drug users who used ice in the last six months has increased from 55 per cent to 61 per cent in the last year, according to the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre's annual survey released on Monday.

Please see below for more details of this article:


Healthy living program aids recovery from mental illness (Curran Centre-Orange)

People battling depression or anxiety have been offered a greater understanding of their illness by taking part in an older and wiser, active and healthy program.
 
The program is run by the Curran Centre Orange. See more details below:
 

Australian hospital statistics 2013-14: elective surgery waiting times (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2013-14: elective surgery waiting times

In 2013-14:

- about 700,000 patients were admitted to Australian public hospitals from elective surgery waiting lists;

- 50% of patients were admitted for their surgery within 36 days of being placed on the waiting list and 90% were admitted within 262 days.

Media release

Friday, 17 October 2014

Companion animals and the health of older people

The International Federation on Ageing has published Companion animals and the health of older persons as one response to the projected costs associated with caring for ageing populations. A literature review examined the relationship of older people living both independently and in long-term care facilities, including dementia sufferers and people with a mental illness, with their pets.

The study focused on the physical, mental, emotional and social health of these people, as well as the role of animals in their perceptions of inclusion in their community. The economic impact of animals interacting with older people was also examined and some promising initiatives explored, including one in Victoria and one in NSW. It was acknowledged that research on this topic has been very limited.

Press release

Re-Posted from "HealthInfo Blog"

Dying Well : how we die in Australia

 The Grattan Institute has published Dying Well,a report by Hal Swerissen and Stephen Duckett about how we die in Australia. According to the report, 70% of Australians would like to die at home, but only 14% actually do so. About 50% die in hospital and a third in residential care. Dying in Australia is more institutionalised than most other countries and this is linked to medical and community attitudes as well as a lack of funding for home-based care.

The report recommends more public discussion, including an education campaign, about the limits of health care as death approaches and the need to focus on end-of-life care. It also proposes the widespread adoption of advance care plans that ensure people's desires for the end of life are met. "The baby boomers are growing old and in the next 25 years the number of Australians who die each year will double," Professor Swerissen says. "We need the courage to promote a national discussion about a subject that we might dislike but cannot avoid."

You can also read Swerisson and Duckett's article in The Conversation, A Good death: Australians need support to die at home. It's a good summary of their full report.

Re-Posted from "HealthInfo Blog"

Fact check: Does a farmer commit suicide every four days in Australia as Bob Katter says?

Australian agriculture is "closing down" and farmers - "the toughest people this nation has ever produced" - are folding, federal MP Bob Katter says.

Speaking as part of a mental health special on the ABC's Q&A's program on October 6, Mr Katter said Australia's four big agricultural sectors - sheep, cattle, dairy and sugar cane - were all "going straight down the chute at 100 mile an hour".

Please see more at the link below:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-16/farmer-suicide-rates-bob-katter-fact-check/5805450

Parental sexual offending – new study

Diversion programs that offer community-based treatment for low-risk parent sexual offenders can reduce re-offending and heighten protection for young children and their families, a new study has found.

The study, 'Parental sexual offending: managing risk through diversion' published recently by the Australian Institute of Criminology, is by Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, a leading researcher at the CSU Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security and the CSU School of Psychology, and doctoral candidate Ms Kate O'Brien at the School of Psychology and Psychiatry at Monash University.

Please see more details of this CSU research at the following link:

http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/police-and-crime/parental-sexual-offending-new-study

Women, work and the menopause

According to this report, 78% of women aged between 45 and 54 participate in the Australian workforce, representing over a million women potentially experiencing menopause while at work.

Women, work and the menopause: releasing the potential of older, professional women is a report from the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society at La Trobe University and authored by Gavin Jack and colleagues. It explores:


  • Older women's health and well-being
  • The relationship between menopause-related symptoms and work outcomes
  • Actual and desired levels of organisational support for women experiencing menopause
  • Work-related and organisational factors that exacerbate or ameliorate women's experiences of menopause in the workplace
  • Women's first-hand experiences, beliefs and attitudes towards menopause at work.

Re-Posted from "Health Info Blog"

Common mistakes made when interpreting research

Two researchers at the Australian National University have written a useful article in The Conversation, The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research. Will J. Butler and Rod Lamberts explain very simply simply some of the pitfalls we can easily fall into when trying to critically appraise a study.

Some of these "stuff-ups" include using the results of just one study to prove a point, confirmation bias (where we look for studies that confirm what we already believe), confusing the merits of qualitative and quantitative results and giving too much weight to significance and peer review.

Re-Posted from "Health Info Blog"

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Primary Health Districts : the successor to Medicare Locals

The Department of Health (DoH) has released the long-awaited boundaries for the new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) that are set to replace Medicare Locals.

30 PHNs have been established – more than the expected 20 or 24 – which DoH says will align with Local Hospital Network (LHN) boundaries.

A strong emphasis on the role of PHNs in predominantly assisting general practice is apparent in the overview, with no mention of community pharmacy or aged care.

It states that PHNs will have 5 primary roles, including analysing and planning for the health needs of their local communities; helping general practices to assist patients in avoiding hospital admissions; supporting general practices in safety and quality measures; assisting GPs to use eHealth systems; and purchasing or commissioning clinical services for population health issues such as chronic disease and mental illness.

For Western NSW, one large PHN will be created, incorporating the territory of the Far West Local Health District, The Western NSW Local Health District, plus a large section of the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Summary of proposal

NSW Primary Care Networks Map.

Stopping a tsunami - world first effort to prevent dementia in high-risk people

Dementia will soon engulf more than 100 million people across the globe, but an international research group is leading a world-first effort to prevent dementia in people who are at high risk of this insidious disease.

"Intervening early is critical to the success of averting the onset of dementia," says research leader, A/Prof Sharon Naismith of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney.

See details of current Australian and International research below:

Ombudsman calls for better reporting about incidents involving restraint of mental health patients

Victoria's ombudsman Deborah Glass says psychiatric and mental health facilities should be required to make incident reports available to community visitors when patients are restrained.

Ms Glass investigated complaints made by the visitors, a group of 443 people who volunteer to protect the rights and interests of people with a mental illness or disability.

See more details at the link below:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-15/better-reporting-needed-on-restraint-of-mental-health-patients/5815852

Problem gamblers' hidden shame: 'all of a sudden they're living on the streets' (Orange)

SALVATION Army major Greg Saunders says Orange’s problem gamblers are so ashamed of their habit, many wait until  it’s too late before admitting their secret.
“It’s hidden, a bit like any other sort of addiction, and sometimes people don’t speak about the problem for years, until it’s too late,” he said.

Please see more details of article below:

http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2627709/problem-gamblers-hidden-shame-all-of-a-sudden-theyre-living-on-the-streets/?cs=103

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Speaking out: Rural men share their battles and victories with mental health (includes links with individual stories)

Rates of suicide among men in rural and remote Australia are 33 per cent higher than those of men living in cities. Battling droughts, floods, bad seasons and isolation is often compounded by a culture of keeping quiet about emotional issues.
 
Please click on the pictures in the article, to get the indiviual stories from farmers on battling mental health issues. See link below:
 

Speak up on mental health

LAST week, during Mental Health Week, NSW Farmers launched the Glove Box Guide for Mental Health in partnership with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health and The Land.

The guide was released during the NSW Rural Mental Health Network meeting held at NSW Farmers' head office in Sydney. It brought together a range of agencies to discuss issues surrounding mental health and initiatives being rolled out.

Please see more from the article below:

http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/general/opinion/speak-up-on-mental-health/2714534.aspx

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Estimating the prevalence of osteoporosis in Australia (AIHW)

Estimating the prevalence of osteoporosis in Australia presents information about the prevalence and impact of osteoporosis in Australians aged 50 and over. A broad range of data sources show that osteoporosis prevalence markedly increases with age and is more common in women than in men.

Osteoporosis is one of several risk factors for minimal trauma fracture, with minimal trauma fracture of the hip being one of the most serious possible outcomes of osteoporosis. Although the rate of minimal trauma hip fracture for people aged 50 and over has decreased over the last 10 years, the number of hip fractures continues to increase due to the increasing number of older adults in Australia.

Media release

BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2011-2012 (AIHW)

BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2011-2012 presents the latest national statistics on this national screening program, which aims to reduce illness and death resulting from breast cancer through organised screening to detect cases of unsuspected breast cancer in women, thus enabling early intervention.

Around 55% of women in the target age group of 50-69 took part in the program, with more than 1.7 million women screening in 2011-2012. Breast cancer mortality is at an historic low, at 44 deaths per 100,000 women.

Media release

Friday, 26 September 2014

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: private hospitals (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: private hospitals is a new report in AIHW's series of summary reports describing the characteristics and activity of Australia's hospitals, focussed on the role of private hospitals in Australia.

In 2012-13, 41% of all separations occurred in private hospitals. From 2003-04 to 2012-13, the total number of private hospital separations increased by 46% from 2.6 million to 3.8 million.

During this period, the number of same-day separations in private hospitals increased 60% from 1.7 million to 2.6 million separations and overnight separations increased 21% from 986,000 to 1.2 million.

Media release.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Palliative care services in Australia 2014 (AIHW)

Palliative care services in Australia 2014 is the third in a series of annual reports providing a detailed picture of the national response to the palliative care needs of Australians. Information from a range of data sources from 2012–13 and, where indicated 2011–12, are presented, as are changes over time.

There were more than 57,600 palliative care-related separations reported in public and private hospitals in 2011–12. Almost $4.7 million in Medicare Benefits Schedule payments was paid for palliative medicine specialist services in 2012–13.

Media release

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13 (AIHW)

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13 was estimated to be $147.4 billion in 2012-13, 2.4% higher than in 2011-12 and the lowest growth since 1990-91. In 2012-13, governments provided $100.8 billion (or 68.3%) of total health expenditure.

Government funding of health expenditure fell in real terms for the first time in the decade by 0.6%, largely a result of a decline in Australian Government funding of 1.9%. State and territory government funding was also relatively low, growing just 1.4% in real terms in 2012-13.

In contrast, growth in non-government funding was relatively strong at 9.7%.

Media release

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Preventing suicide: a global imperative (WHO)

Every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide somewhere in the world. "Preventing suicide: a global imperative" is the first WHO report of its kind. It aims to increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda, and to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multisectoral public health approach.

The report provides a global knowledge base on suicide and suicide attempts as well as actionable steps for countries based on their current resources and context to move forward in suicide prevention.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.

This publication presents information from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey. This survey is the largest biomedical survey ever conducted for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Around 3,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged 18 years and over) across Australia took part and voluntarily provided blood and/or urine samples, which were tested for a range of chronic disease and nutrient biomarkers.

Findings at the national level included :

* One in ten(11.1%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had diabetes. This comprised 9.6% with diagnosed diabetes and 1.5% with diabetes newly diagnosed from their test results.

* A further 4.7% were at high risk of diabetes according to their blood test results.

* Two in three (65.3%) had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, that is, they were taking cholesterol-lowering medication or had one or more of high total cholesterol, lower than normal levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, high LDL (bad) cholesterol or high triglycerides.

* Nearly one in five (17.9%) had signs of chronic kidney disease.

Disease indicators more than doubled for Indigenous Australians living in remote areas.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Stillbirths in Australia 1991-2009 (AIHW)

Australia is one of the safest places in the world to give birth, with rates of stillbirth among the lowest internationally. However, for every 135 Australian births one baby is stillborn, according to a report released  by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Stillbirths in Australia 1991-2009, is the first national report on stillbirths and examines the association between maternal, pregnancy and birth factors with stillbirth.

In Australia a 'stillbirth' is defined as the birth of a baby who shows no signs of life after a pregnancy of at least 20 weeks gestation or weighing 400 grams or more. In 2009, 2,341 babies were stillborn, accounting for almost three quarters of perinatal deaths. Congenital anomalies, or birth defects, are the most common cause of stillbirth in Australia, accounting for 21% of all stillbirths.

From 1991 to 2009, the stillbirth rate in Australia was between 6.4 and 7.8 per 1,000 births. The risk of stillbirth occurring between 28 and 41 weeks gestation dropped between 1991 and 2009, however there was an increase in the risk of stillbirths from 20-27 weeks.

Stillbirth rates have improved among Indigenous women-dropping from 15.5 per 1,000 births from 1991 to 1994 to 12.3 per 1,000 births from 2005 to 2009, but these rates are still higher than for non-Indigenous women.

Media release

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

healthinsite website has changed to healthdirect Australia

Consumer health website, health insite has been enhanced to provide easy access to health information, advice and services – online and over the phone.

To facilitate this enhanced online offering the name of the website has changed to healthdirect Australia. The website's content has increased to include the promotion of nurse triage and after hours GP helplines in addition to the existing health information and services. Company information has also been included.

Resources available include : Conditions, Symptoms, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, and information pertinent to certain Life Stages

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