In Practice: How to prevent and manage patient aggression

Morgan Liotta

2/09/2021 5:18:10 PM

Also find out about new PBS changes, as well as CPD opportunities, vaping webinars and more.

Doctor looking at tablet.
There are a number of new online resources GPs can access.

This week’s round up includes changes to the Closing the Gap PBS Co-payment Program, general practice training modules for family and domestic violence, as well as smoking cessation and rural training opportunities.

Closing the Gap PBS Co-payment Program changes
As of 1 July, a new national system for registering and recording patients for the Closing the Gap (CTG) script measure commenced.
With registration for the program now online, the system is run by Services Australia and operates through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).
The grace period for the changes will end on 1 October, so it is important for GPs to review the new requirements. GPs can consult online resources for information on the changes or contact Services Australia with any specific questions. 
Further information is available on the Services Australia Health Professional Education Resources webpage.  
For enquiries about the system and HPOS, call 132 290 or visit the Services Australia website. Please contact RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health for any other queries.
CPD-accredited training: Caring for patients experiencing domestic and family violence
Build your skills, understanding and confidence to provide care for your patients and their family members affected by family and domestic violence.
The Readiness Program aims to support you to continue to provide high quality care for your patients experiencing family and domestic violence.
An RACGP-CPD accredited flexible, multifaceted training program, the Readiness Program includes:

  • one-day training workshops
  • virtual practice-centred learning
  • a suit of 30–60-minute e-learning modules
  • live webinars, also recorded so you can catch up at a convenient time
  • community of practice. 
Visit the Safer Families website to find out more and register your interest to participate in the Readiness Program. 
Smoking cessation: Practice considerations after 1 October 2021
Webinar: Wednesday 8 September 2021, 6.30−7.30 pm (AEST)

Presented by Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary of the Health Products Regulation Group, and Bond University Professor Nick Zwar, Chair of the Expert Advisory Group of the RACGP Smoking cessation guidelines, this webinar will provide an overview of the legal and regulatory framework for prescribing nicotine vaping products in Australia from 1 October.

The evidence on nicotine vaping products and their place in treatment for smoking cessation care will be summarised, as will key clinical practice considerations for prescribing these products.

More information on this webinar and to register is available here.
Quality improvement: Where it fits in general practice research
Webinar: Thursday 16 September, 7.00 – 8.15 pm (AEST)
Learn more about how quality improvement (QI) activities can contribute to general practice research.

This webinar will explore practical examples of what QI is and its relevance to general practice research. It will consider the ethical requirements of research and outline some triggers for seeking an ethical review of your QI or evaluation activity.
The webinar will also introduce the SQUIRE guidelines that can assist you in having your research published.
Register now.
Complete your specialist general practice training with RVTS
Picture yourself working as a doctor in an iconic rural or remote community, while also undertaking your specialist general practice training? Apply now to train with the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) in 2022.

RVTS partners with rural and remote communities of high medical workforce need to offer training as part of a package to recruit doctors to these communities.
Current opportunities for specialist general practice training positions, commencing in 2022, exist in the following Targeted Recruitment locations: 
  • Northern Territory – Tennant Creek* and Mutitjulu*
  • Queensland – Badu Island
  • Victoria – Portland*
  • Western Australia – Halls Creek, Kununurra* and South Hedland*
  • New South Wales – Lake Cargelligo
  • South Australia – Streaky Bay and Mid Eyre Peninsula (Cleve, Cowell, Kimba)
*Denotes Aboriginal Medical Service

There are multiple positions offered in some locations. For more information on each of these positions, visit the RVTS website.

Additional salary support funding from the Federal Department of Health may also be available to support the recruitment and retention of doctors to some Targeted Recruitment locations.
Targeted Recruitment is not the only entry pathway − training is also available to doctors already working in eligible rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.
Find out more about the RVTS Remote Stream for doctors in MMM 4−7 locations, and our AMS Stream for doctors in Aboriginal Medical Services in MMM 2−7 locations on the RVTS website.

Applications close on 12 September.
Applications open for final intake of the 2022 AGPT Program
Don’t miss your last opportunity to begin training with the RACGP in 2022 and start your general practice career.
The final intake for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program is now open, and a limited number of positions remain across the various regions and pathways.
Visit the RACGP website to find out more about your training options and access a range of resources to assist with your application, including:
  As we progress towards RACGP-led training, we are committed to highlighting the rewarding career opportunities provided by general practice and equipping the next generation of GPs with the skills they need to meet the healthcare needs of our diverse communities.

Apply now.
Preventing and managing patient violence and aggression
The RACGP has developed a brief guide designed to support you and your practice team in identifying and managing incidents of patient aggression and violence.
Unfortunately, general practices have reported increasing occurrences of patient aggression and violence in the context of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Frequent changes to eligibility criteria at a state/territory and Federal level and supply not being able to meet demand, have resulted in patient confusion and, at times, frustration and aggression directed at the practice team.  
The guide addresses common questions from practices about dealing with aggressive or violent patients, including:
  • How can our practice team respond to an act, or threat, of aggression or violence?
  • Can our practice discontinue care when safety concerns exist?
  • Can our practice disclose an act, or threat, of violence by a patient?
  • How can we create a safe practice environment and team?
The guide includes templates for you to use or amend when issuing warning letters, placing patients on acceptable behaviour agreements, or discontinuing care for patients at your practice.
We’ve also developed posters that you can display in your practice to inform everyone that aggression and violence will not be tolerated.
Read the guide and download the posters.

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More information is available on the RACGP Rewards website.
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