Asthma Awareness

Spring is the season for new flowers, animals being born and, unfortunately, a rise in asthma risk. Asthma Australia uses the beginning of September as the time to draw awareness to the increased risk to asthma sufferers. 1 out of every 9 Australians suffers from asthma and 80% of those also deal with the associated problems that come from hay fever. This year Asthma Australia’s theme is ‘Asthma in Disguise’.

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm asthma is the phenomenon that occurs during grass pollen season, which in Victoria is typically from October to the end of December. Asthma Australia advises that this time of year brings about more frequent reactions of asthma and hay fever. The storms that happen over spring and summer cause winds to carry the pollen seeds over long distances and become concentrated in the wind just before a thunderstorm. These smaller concentrated particles can get further into airways than regular pollen and thus trigger more cases of hay fever and asthma.

How to Protect Yourself

The first step to take if you are unsure how to deal with asthma is to book in with your GP to make an Asthma Action Plan. This way you can work with you GP to find the best way to handle your asthma and hay fever problems year round.

Once you are aware of your sensitivity to increased pollen, whether it be due to asthma, hay fever or a combination of the two, the next step is to be aware of the pollen count before you plan your daily activities. AusPollen is an app and website that has experts gathering information on pollen counts to forecast the daily pollen risk for up to a week in advance in your area.

If you find yourself faced with a high pollen count day and your healthcare professional has advised you to be cautious of the risks this carries, you can take steps to avoid excessive exposure. Staying inside as much as possible, while keeping house and car windows closed can minimise pollen exposure. Avoid hanging clothing on outdoor clotheslines during these high-pollen periods, and instead hang indoors or use a clothes dryer. Recommend children who experience asthma or hay fever to take their school lunch breaks in the library, or other indoor options that are available. Always keep whatever prevention method your GP has recommended on hand during thunderstorm asthma season.

Asthma First Aid

If you are suffering from a severe asthma attack, the best course of action is to call 000.

If you are experiencing a mild to moderate asthma attack, it is important that you follow the 4 Asthma First Aid steps.

1 – Sit the person upright.

2 – Give 4 separate puffs of blue-grey reliever puffer.

3 – Wait 4 minutes.

4 – If symptoms have not improved, call 000 to tell the ambulance that there is an asthma attack.

To have constant access to these steps, download the Asthma App.

Extra Help

For those of you used to dealing with symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis, you are used to the associated costs that come with care. Asthma Australia has combined a list of tips to assist with managing your symptoms while saving money.

 

Atticus Home Care

Atticus Health is excited to announce that we will be branching out into a Home Care service. Due to patient needs, we will be providing a service of home-visiting nurses and doctors.

We understand that not every patient can make it into a clinic as often as they may need, so we are offering this linking service to help combine care while living independently. Our team of clinical professionals are committed to bringing you the same impeccable level of care that you have come to depend on from Atticus Health.

With our 24-hour aging in place monitoring technology our team works together to provide well-communicated, well-informed care, bringing peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

The service will initially be offered in the Bayside City area, including Carrum and its surrounds. Atticus Home Care will be privately funded or accessible through the home care package scheme.

To receive your free initial comprehensive home assessment, ensure you book in before 30th September 2019.

For more information call 1800 ATTICUS (1800 288 4287) or email Clare at cwestlow@atticushealth.com.au

Stronger Together.

Mixed Billing

Dear Patients,

Please note that effective 16 Sept 2019, Atticus Regional Medicentre Hastings and Atticus Health Bittern will be introducing a mixed billing policy.

At the heart of this decision is the fact that we want to attract and maintain the very best General Practitioners and continue to provide you with our best service. We believe that becoming a mixed billing clinic is more likely to deliver this important outcome in the long term and thereby ensure the sustainability of our services.

At Atticus Health we genuinely care and are committed to delivering personalised and professional health care.

To keep things fair and simple, our fee structure has been set so that the out of pocket expense to you, as the patient, is the same regardless of which GP you choose to see at either Hastings or Bittern.

As of 16 September 2019 the following fees will apply:
Fee / Medicare Rebate / Out of Pocket Cost
VR / Non VR VR / Non VR

Standard consultation $65 / $47.80 $38.20 / $21.00 $26.80

Standard consultation $77 / $58.20 $49.80 / $31.00 $27.20
(*After hours)

Long Consultation $115 / $79.05 $73.95 / $38.00 $41.05

Long consultation $130 / $92.70 $85.30 / $48.00 $44.70
(*After hours)

Extended consultation $175 / $127.15 $108.85 / $61.00 $66.15

Extended consultation $195 / $146.35 $119.65 / $71.00 $75.35
(*After hours)

Antenatal $70 $40.75 $29.25

Script (without consult) $15 n/a $15

*After hours: After 6pm Monday to Friday, after 1pm Saturday, all day Sunday, public holidays

Patients with a valid government concession card and children under the age of 16 years will continue to be bulk billed for consultations.

New Doctors

Atticus is very fortunate to be able to welcome two new GPs to our Somerville and Carrum clinics.

Dr Kosala Jayatilaka is a very experienced, respected and caring GP who has practiced in the local Frankston area for over 10 years. He enjoys all aspects of general practice and really looks forward to improving the well being of all individuals and families who come to see him. In other words, it’s obvious to all who meet him that Dr Kosala Jayatilaka loves his job and loves his patients!

Book now!

Dr Riddle is a very experienced, caring GP. She spent thirteen years as a GP in Edinburgh before moving to Australia in 2017. She has spent her time-to-date working in the local area Dr Riddle enjoys the diversity of general practice and the satisfaction of providing continuity of care for her patients. Dr Riddle completed post-graduate training in Accident and Emergency, Psychiatry, General Medicine, Care of the Elderly, Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr Riddle’s areas of particular interest include Women’s Health and Paediatrics, Mental Health and Palliative Care. Dr Riddle has undergone additional training in Implanon insertion and removal.

Work-life balance is important to Dr Riddle and, along with her passion for general practice she enjoys bringing up two active children along with her husband of sixteen years. When not shuttling her children to sporting pursuits Dr Riddle enjoys running, tennis and a beachside lifestyle!

Book now!

Olya Solodovichenko – Atticus Hastings Physiotherapist

The Atticus team is thrilled to welcome Olya to our Hastings clinic. She will be joining Nikki our exercise physiologist and Chloe our podiatrist as part of our allied health team. Together with our GPs and nurses, allied health gives us the opportunity to offer more specialised health assistance to our patients from within the one clinic.
If you have not already had the pleasure of meeting Olya, this is her story:
“It feels like I was born as a physio! I worked for Australian Defence Force (Army and Navy), for acute-care hospitals in Australia and overseas, for private physio- and general practices, primary health care, sports & fitness clubs and even for Disability Sports & Dancing Club!
As a member of Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, I strongly believe, that we can manage and fix most of our health problems by better choices of our daily living, such as movements, nutrition, sleeping, thoughts and emotional reactions to our circumstances.
Working with my patients as a team, I try to show them the deepest roots and hidden causes of their problems, not only going through and correcting their postural and movement errors, but also their nutrition, sleeping habits, stress levels, worries and fears, and any other things that might contribute to their aches & pains, inflammation or poor healing rates.”
Qualifications: PhD – Sports & Exercise Science; Master of Applied Sciences (Clinical Exercise Science); Master of Physiotherapy Studies; Bachelor of Physical Education & Sport

General Practice Accreditation

Our Hastings clinic recently underwent general practice accreditation and thanks to the consistent hard work of our staff, we passed with flying colours. Atticus Health Hastings is now recognised as an Accredited General Practice under the RACGP standards.

What is Accreditation?

Practice accreditation involves an external party, such as Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited, assessing whether the clinic meets the requirements of governing industry standards. The standards are set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

All staff, including doctors, nurses, practice managers and reception staff are required to meet and understand the standards that are set in all areas for a general practice.

While not all clinics will undergo accreditation, those who elect to do so are at an advantage. Accreditation allows the practice to have an outside official evaluate all areas, with direct feedback for areas that require improvement. Undergoing accreditation also permits the practice to proudly display their accordance with best practice standards. An accredited general practice shows that it is ‘committed to providing high quality, safe and effective care as determined by the general practice profession’, as stated by the RACGP.

How Do We Benefit?

The advantages of general practice accreditation, as stated by AGPAL fall under the following categories:

Industry Benchmark

The process of accreditation gives general practices the ability to measure and assess their policies and procedures in accordance with the RACGP. Atticus Health as a company is always striving to reach its highest potential and allowing official representatives to inspect and offer feedback on our policies gives Atticus the opportunity to ensure that we are abiding by the highest industry standards.

Patient Safety

There is nothing more important to a general practice than the health and wellbeing of its patients. Going through the process of accreditation allows for the practice to ensure that it is doing its best to deliver the highest quality of care. At Atticus Health, our patients are our priority. Accreditation offers the confirmation of top-quality service and patient procedures, while allowing for feedback and room for growth and improvement.

Quality Improvement

While striving to do their best, no clinic can be perfect. Highlighting the areas in which a company needs to improve is vital for its success. The separate party performing the accreditation is trained to acknowledge and bring to light any sectors in which a general practice requires improvement.

There is no drawback to a clinic choosing to be accredited, only the opportunity to build upon their foundations. If the general practice has too many criteria indicators that need adjusting, they are given an opportunity to amend them following the feedback from the accreditation.

So now you can book your appointments with added confidence that you are receiving the best quality healthcare that we can provide.

National Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that June is Australia’s Bowel Cancer Awareness month? Wednesday 19th June is known as Red Apple Day, in reference to Bowel Cancer Australia’s red apple logo. Australians are encouraged to use this day to support Bowel Cancer Australia’s important work by purchasing and displaying Bowel Cancer Awareness ribbons, and by partaking in apple-themed fundraising activities.

The Bowel Cancer Awareness Month website has great suggestions and guidelines for fundraising activities. Click here for more information.

Who Is Affected?

1 in 13 Australians will have a bowel cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, making it Australia’s second deadliest cancer.

While there are incidences of bowel cancer occurring in younger Australians, the highest risk category is men and women aged over 50. Hereditary factors, such as your parents or grandparents being effected by bowel cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, can also increase your risk.

It has been suggested that smoking, high alcohol intake and high red meat consumption are also factors that can increase your risk of bowel cancer.

What Can You Do?

Bowel Cancer Australia predicts that 15,604 diagnoses of the disease will be made in Australia this year, but the good news is that bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if detected early.

All Australians ages 50-74 are advised to partake in a non-invasive, at-home screening process, known as a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). If you are eligible for the FOBT, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program can send you a free test kit to collect the sample in your home, and sent to a pathologist for analysis.

If you are at greater risk for bowel cancer, it is recommended that you discuss the best screening option for yourself with your doctor.

Maintaining a healthy diet, quitting smoking and lowering alcohol intake are all steps you can take to help keep your health at its peak. When you are above the age of 40, it is recommended to get annual medical checks, as a tool to stay on top of your health. If you require assistance with these lifestyle changes, your regular GP is a great point of contact to start the change. Book now to make an appointment.

Chronic Disease Management

At Atticus Health Carrum, we are one of the lucky few clinics to have a permanent on-site Chronic Disease Nurse. Most clinics either do not provide this service or their nurse is not permanent. At Atticus Health, it is important to us to be able to provide our patients with vital health care services, to ensure we are a comprehensive health care facility.

Chronic diseases do not discriminate.  They can affect anyone, therefore it is essential to prevent chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with a prevention strategy, through education and understanding. Unfortunately chronic disease is one of the things many people think “Oh but, it will never happen to me”. Therefore we tend not to take important measures to prevent ourselves from developing a chronic disease. chronic diseases do not discriminate, it can happen to absolutely anyone, therefore it is essential that we educate ourselves to understand what we can do ourselves to prevent the possibility of us and our loved ones developing these diseases.

More than 1 in 3 of potentially preventable hospitalisations in 2013-14 were due to chronic disease.

What is Chronic Disease?

A chronic medical condition is one that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer, for example, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke.

Chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on people’s quality of life. Chronic diseases are becoming increasingly common and are a priority for action in the health sector. AIHW commonly reports on 8 major groups: arthritisasthmaback paincancercardiovascular diseasechronic obstructive pulmonary diseasediabetes and mental health conditions.

What our Chronic Disease Nurse does:

Our warm, welcoming and highly experienced nurse, Beatrice, works on management and care plans going forward once a chronic disease has been diagnosed. As well as assisting in educating patients to prevent chronic disease before it develops, and anticipating those who may be more susceptible to developing a chronic disease, she can also initiate a management care plan. Beatrice works with 40-49 year olds, as well as those over 75.

Ensure you give yourself, and your loved ones, the best chance to prevent and manage chronic disease, by coming to see Beatrice in our Carrum GP clinics.

 

Find some helpful links below for further information

Diabetes, heart disease and stroke organisations

Healthy eating information

Walking

Other useful sites

CPR Training

Recently a lot of our Atticus team took part in a CPR course in order to advance the corporate health, all of whom found the knowledge extremely beneficial. This training is crucial for our environment, however we encourage everyone and anyone to take the time to participate in a CPR or first-aid course.
Here is a link to Australian courses https://resus.org.au/courses/

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a first-aid technique that can be used if someone is not breathing properly or if their heart has stopped.

CPR involves chest compression’s and rescue breaths that help circulate blood and oxygen in the body. This can help keep the brain and vital organs alive.

If someone is not responding to you after an accident, injury, collapse, envenomation (bites and stings) or poisoning, and is not breathing normally (gasping is not normal breathing) then:

  • Ensure you are not in danger then call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.
  • If calling triple zero (000) does not work on your mobile then try calling 112. This number is only for mobile phones.
  • Airway – check airway is clear. Remove any obvious obstruction to the mouth or nose such as vomit, blood, food or loose teeth, and gently tilt head back and lift chin (except babies).
  • Breathing – check if the person is breathing normally or not at all. If the person is breathing normally place them in the recovery position and wait for help. The recovery position helps to keep the unconscious person’s airway clear. By positioning the person on their side, with their arms and upper leg at a right angle to their body and the head gently tilted back and the chin lifted up, any saliva or vomit can drain out of their mouth and will help to ensure that the airway is open. If they are not breathing normally then start CPR.
  • CPR – If the person is not breathing normally, start CPR. Put the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest, then put the heel of your other hand directly on top of the first hand. Keeping your arms straight, push down hard and fast 30 times (almost two compression’s per second). You need to push down one third of the chest depth. When you have pushed down 30 times, take a deep breath, block the person’s nose and seal your lips around their mouth. Blow into the patient’s mouth until you see their chest rise. Repeat this twice, then start another 30 chest compression’s and repeat.Even if you do not breathe into the person’s mouth, continue the chest compression’s. Giving compression’s only is better than doing nothing at all. Do not give up until help arrives.

If you have not been trained in CPR or are worried about giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a stranger, you can do chest compression-only (or hands-only) CPR.

Chest compression’s are the most important part of CPR. Start chest compression’s as soon as possible after calling for help.

To carry out chest compression’s on an adult:

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down on their chest, by one-third of the chest depth.
  3. Repeat this until help arrives or the person recovers.

Try to give 100 to 120 chest compression’s per minute.

Chest compression’s with rescue breaths

If you are on your own, then do 30 chest compression’s (almost two compression’s per second) followed by two rescue breaths and repeat.

To give a rescue breath:

  1. Open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin.
  2. Pinch the soft part of the nose closed with your index finger and thumb, or seal the nose with your cheek.
  3. Open the patient’s mouth.
  4. Take a breath and place your lips over the patient’s mouth, ensuring a good seal.
  5. Blow steadily for about 1 second, watching for the chest to rise. Then listen and feel for signs that air is being expelled.
  6. Take another breath and repeat.

 

Information retrieved from the following sources:
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/cpr

The ARC Guidelines


https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-to-perform-cpr

The information above provides guidance only, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice. We recommend you attend a first-aid or CPR training course. It pays to have first aid skills because they can’t be learned in an emergency situation.

Atticus is an award winner!

An award!

We are so very proud to announce our team received a Teaching Excellence Award from Monash University recently, including a win by our superwoman Practice Manager, Samantha Allen, whom took home a well deserved award for her work in support.

Thank you to Monash University for entrusting the teaching of students to our care. Thank you to all the Atticus Doctors involved in the 5th year program – Dr Clement Lau, Dr Jeet Patel, Dr Shadab Fallahtafti, Dr Hardik Solanki and Dr Sai Andey, as well as our nurses – Helen, Clare and Sheridan.

Thank you to the students for being so motivated, and last but not least, thank you to all our patients for being so willing to allow the students to be a part of your care, so they may learn.

Atticus Health GP clinics continues to forge a positive relationship with Monash University, and very much looks forward to partaking in the training of medical students in 2019.

Yours sincerely,
Floyd

Department of General Practice, GP affiliate Awards Dinner, 2018