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In Practice: Long COVID support for GPs


Morgan Liotta


14/03/2024 1:43:13 PM

The RACGP is hosting a CPD-approved session to keep GPs up to date with effective diagnosis and management for often complex long COVID conditions.

GP talking to patient
With often complex symptoms, long COVID is an ongoing area of healthcare GPs could use more support in.

This week’s In Practice also includes details on the RACGP’s Close the Gap event, and expressions of interest for Foundation research grants and a new medicines repurposing program from the TGA.
 
Long COVID: A practical approach
In-person event: Saturday 6 April, 9.30 am –12.30 pm (AWST)
Address: Bendat Parent and Community Centre, 36 Dodd St, Wembley, WA 
CPD: 1.5 hours EA and 1.5 hours RP, plus an optional 5 hours MO
 
Experts describe long COVID as ‘being plagued with confusion and undereducation’. While the science on long COVID is far from settled, with ongoing studies currently investigating post-COVID prevalence, models of care and treatment, patients presenting with suspected long COVID require effective diagnosis and management.
 
GPs can join colleagues for an interactive, educational session during which the following areas relating to long COVID will be discussed:

  • Prevenance and predisposing factors
  • Rational investigations and red flags
  • Role of the GP in management
  • Available models of care
  • A multidisciplinary approach to care, involving allied health
RACGP WA Faculty Deputy Chair Dr Mariam Bahemia will facilitate, joined by RACGP representative on the Department of Health WA’s Long COVID Clinical Reference Group and RACGP Education Committee Chair, Dr Nadine Perlen, as lead presenter, and Hayley Wright, senior physiotherapist at Bentley Long COVID Clinic, as guest presenter.
 
GPs are encouraged to bring case studies, questions and experiences with long COVID to share with colleagues at this practical session. Participants can earn 3 CPD hours and have the opportunity to complete a mini audit back in practice worth 5 Measuring Outcomes hours.

Register online.
 
Close the Gap Day
Webinar: Monday 25 March, 7.00 – 8.00 pm (AEDT)
 
Close the Gap Day is recognised on the third Thursday of March, encouraging people to take meaningful action towards health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Each year, the Close the Gap Campaign – a community-led initiative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equity – develops a report profiling examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence, innovation, and leadership from all corners of Australia.
 
To recognise the day this year, RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health invites all members to join its Close the Gap Day webinar. During this discussion, participants will learn more about the campaign, what the RACGP is doing to progress health equity, and unpack this year’s theme: Voyage to Voice, Treaty, Truth and Beyond.
 
Register online.
 
New Medicines Repurposing Program
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has commenced a new Medicines Repurposing Program (MRP) to expand treatment options and improve health outcomes for Australians. The MRP will identify new uses for existing medicines registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), with the aim to facilitate and encourage ARTG registration and consideration by PBAC for listing on the PBS. 
 
The program works with clinicians, health organisations, patient groups, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to identify opportunities for repurposing. Individuals and organisations can propose new uses for existing medicines, supported by accepted clinical practice and/or publicly available literature. The program is encouraging nominations with a clear public health benefit substantiated by evidence of established clinical practice. 
 
The TGA is also hosting a webinar focusing on the candidate nomination process on Tuesday 19 March, 2.00 – 2.30 pm (AEDT). Register online.
 
2024 Foundation grants and awards
Expressions of interest for the RACGP Foundation’s large and major grants round are now open until 2 April, with the remainder open until 1 May.
 
The Foundation recognises the critical role of general practice research in addressing current gaps in evidence and knowledge to inform and improve practice, policy, and patient outcomes. This year, the RACGP Foundation, alongside various partners, is offering more than $700,000 in funding across 14 grant programs to support projects led by GP researchers and registrars, focusing on a range of issues of relevance to general practice and the health of Australians. These grants and awards are generously funded by donations from RACGP members and the general public, and through corporate and philanthropic partnerships.
 
More information and how to apply is available on the RACGP Foundation website.
 
Family Violence GP Education Program
GPs can upskill in treating and understanding people impacted by family violence through the RACGP’s 2024 Family Violence GP Education Program.
 
The program’s sessions will build knowledge and confidence to help GPs provide the best support for patients in their community. Offering a mix of self-directed and peer group learning, the program will run throughout the year with the first intake opening on 9 April.
 
Participants can claim 5 hours CPD upon completion of the program.
For more information or to sign up for the April intake, visit the RACGP website.
 
World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day on 14 March is a global event to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys for overall health. As part of this day, Kidney Health Australia is launching the fifth edition of its Chronic kidney disease (CKD) management in primary care handbook at Adelaide University.
 
The handbook is a significant step-up in enabling earlier diagnosis of kidney disease for GPs and other frontline healthcare professionals. Important changes include medication recommendations for slowing CKD progression and reducing CVD risk, and new sections on genetic kidney disease, heart failure, pain management, contraception and pregnancy, and hyperuricaemia.
 
The CKD handbook provides clinical guidance and tips for early detection and best practice management of CKD.
 
Sepsis awareness
Webinar: Tuesday 19 March, 7.30 – 8.30 pm (AEDT)
CPD: 1 hour EA
 
In partnership with NSW Health, the RACGP is hosting a sepsis awareness webinar, focusing on identifying the early signs and red flag symptoms of sepsis and discussing the pivotal role GPs play in effective sepsis management.  The subject of the webinar is closely aligned with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s National Sepsis Program Extension.  
 
Register online.
 
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