Opiate Replacement Programs

Atticus Health’s Dr Hardik Solanki has undertaken additional training of a course titled Medical-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence. This course was designed to enhance medical practitioners’ knowledge and skills on opiate replacement programs.

Opiate replacement programs are in place to assist those with opioid addictions. These addictions can lead to opioids being misused for extended periods of time, which can be debilitating or even life-threatening. The replacement of suboxone, which can be prescribed by a trained GP, can assist with addiction recovery. Suboxone works by keeping withdrawal symptoms at bay.

A patient who comes to their GP seeking help with an opiate addiction may be provided with a prescription for Suboxone, and those suffering from addiction and dependency will be referred to Peninsula Health’s Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Drug and Alcohol Service (FaMDAS). Additionally, they will have regular monitoring and counselling by a trained GP.

Opiate replacement programs have a good rate of success with the conviction and dedication from the patient. These programs take into consideration the fact that each person requires a personal and individual approach. As addiction is commonly associated with other mental health issues, the treatment will also aim at helping patients deal with mental health issues for their overall health and wellbeing.

Knowledge and experience in these programs also allow GPs to assist people who are living with friends or family suffering from addiction. If you think this service would benefit you or somebody you are close to, book in now to take the first step to recovery.

 

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 Ageing-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.

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!

Dry July

For over 10 years, Australians have been going alcohol-free for the month of July as a way to raise funds and awareness for people affected by cancer. Since it began in 2008, more than 160,000 have abstained from alcohol in July, and collectively raised upwards of $37 million for various cancer organisations.

Why Go Dry in July?

By going dry for July, you can help raise awareness for those affected by cancer. That includes those who are diagnosed, as well as all their friends and family. Cancer is Australia’s leading cause of death, with 1 in 2 men and women having a diagnosis by the time they turn 85. The Cancer Council estimates approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths for 2019.

While these figures are shocking, the survival rate for cancers can be as high as 90%, according to the Cancer Council. Many awareness organisations offer personal stories from survivors, such as the National Breast Cancer Network Australia. Continuing to raise both awareness and funds offers the opportunity to further research and to assist those coping with diagnoses.

Abstaining from alcohol can also provide many personal health benefits. Medical News Today conducted a study into the effects of participants who went without alcohol for one month and found that the participants felt a higher awareness of their relationship with alcohol, and an increased ability to control their future drinking. They also experienced higher energy levels, weight loss and a better quality of sleep. The Sleep Foundation confirms that affect that alcohol has on the quantity and quality of a person’s sleep.

Who Will You Be Supporting?

The organisations involved in Dry July include:

Each state also has local organisations involved. Some of Victoria’s local participants are:

  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre – a centre focused on developing innovative cancer therapies and international research programs, with the best of patient-centred care and medical treatment.
  • Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre – a world-class cancer centre providing care, treatment and research for the people of the Grampians Region of Victoria.
  • The Alfred Hospital – Alfred Health provides the most comprehensive range of healthcare services in Victoria through their 3 hospital campuses, large network of community programs and 14 statewide services.

For full information on the organisations involved in Dry July, visit the beneficiaries section of their website.

How Can You Help?

If you think Dry July sounds like the challenge for you, get started right away. Sign up on the Dry July web page as an individual or a team. Once you have committed yourself, begin spreading the word. Chase up friends, family and colleagues who you think would be up for it, and encourage them to join you on the journey.

To begin fundraising, Dry July offers assistance to help you reach out across various platforms. They provide social media images, pre-written emails, posters and more to help you seek support. For additional resources and fundraising tips, head to the fundraising section of the website.

If you are having reservations about being unable to abstain from drinking for the whole month of June, there is a way to make Dry July work for you. Dry July offers participants to purchase ‘Golden Tickets’ as a way to buy a night or day of drinking. For example, if you have a special occasion that falls directly in the middle of July, but still want to participate in Dry July, you can buy yourself one of these Golden Tickets, and add to your fundraising pool for a night free of obligations.

Need Some Further Motivation?

To get you started, here are some  scrumptious non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy while you commence your month without alcohol:

Caramel Apple Pie Mocktail

Sparkling Berry and Pomegranate Mocktail

Carrot Cake Smoothie

Classic Banana Smoothie

Healthy Breakfast Juice

If you or someone you know is dealing with issues from alcohol addiction, visit Reach Out for information and support.

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.

Autumn is for Apples!

It’s that time of year to get orchard-fresh apples. The Mornington Peninsula has some brilliant local orchards to meet all of your apple needs!

If you’re after a great variety of local apples, family-run business Staples Apples in Main Ridge has what you need. The Staples family has operated the business for more than sixty years, providing scrumptious seasonal products from their orchard to the residents of the Mornington Peninsula. They grow every apple from Fuji to Pink Lady, and believe that their products speak for themselves, with sampling being an important part of their sales.

Staples also sells delicious cherries in December and January – perfect for your Christmas lunch! The sweet treats are well worth the hinterland drive.

http://staplesapples.com.au/about-us/

For a unique cider experience, I have to recommend the Mock cidery in Red Hill. They have an array of apple and pear ciders on offer, in a quaint farm setting. You can enjoy a tasting paddle of ciders made from freshly grown apples, either inside the rustic building with a crackling fire, or in the courtyard with chickens bustling around. They are open 7 days, and offer a large selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders and juices.

The Mock orchards also produce my family’s favourite apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is also made using their certified biodynamic apples. Perfect for dressing salads or pickling your own vegetables at home.

http://mockredhill.com.au/about-us

 

If you find yourself with too many apples to eat, what better use for them than in the perfect autumn dessert – apple crumble! Here’s a tasty recipe to try, recommended by our Atticus GP Clinics experts  .

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lady williams apples, peeled, cored, halved, thinly sliced
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sweetener (Hermesetas Gold brand)
  • 55g (1/2 cup) hazelnut meal
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 x 200g carton no-fat vanilla yoghurt

METHOD

  • Step 1

Preheat grill to medium. Place the apple, apple juice, nutmeg and half the sweetener in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the apple softens. Spoon apple mixture into a round 20cm (base measurement) ovenproof dish.

  • Step 2

Meanwhile, combine the hazelnut meal, flour and remaining sweetener in a bowl. Add the water and stir until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture.

  • Step 3

Cook under preheated grill, about 7cm from the heat source, for 2 minutes or until golden. Serve with yoghurt.

https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/apple-crumble-3/62a94be9-731f-4c30-a80e-8510d874e215

 

 

 

Wildlife Protection on the Peninsula

If you live on the Mornington Peninsula, you would have undoubtedly seen the wide variety of native animals around. From kangaroos to cockatoos, we live amongst a thriving indigenous ecosystem. However, there are many dangers to these creatures, especially our busy roads. Many nights when I drive home, I see a lovely family of kangaroos that linger too close to the road.

So what can we do if we come across an animal in distress? Fortunately, there are several people and organisations putting themselves out there, willing to come to assistance. I have compiled a list of contacts who can come to your assistance in the case of an animal emergency.

 

Jenny Bryant – Koala rescue

0417 395 883

Jenny is known in the local area as the koala woman – the best person to call when coming across a koala that has been hit by a car, or otherwise appears injured. If you come across a koala that has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the best thing to do is give Jenny a call and wait with the animal to make sure it doesn’t come to any further harm.

W.H.O.M.P. – Wildlife Help On the Mornington Peninsula

0417 380 687

W.H.O.M.P. is the number to call for any animal emergencies, at any hour in the Westernport region.

 

Animalia Shelter

0435 822 699

Animalia Shelter is another organisation for all sorts of wildlife, available for emergencies at all hours. They will offer advice as well as come to help any animals that you find.

 

The Snake Catcher

0408 067 062 or 03 5975 0481

If you find a snake somewhere it ought not be, Barry and Karen are the people to help you out. They have a great amount of experience catching and relocating snakes.

 

In a non-emergency circumstance, Wildlife Victoria has a 24 hour hotline to give advice and answer questions regarding our native animals. 13000 94535

These numbers are definitely worthwhile saving into your phone for those unexpected situations. It’s great to be prepared any time to help protect our beautiful native fauna.

Please send us here at Atticus GP Clinics in Melbourne any photos of any furry or scaly local friends you see out and about!

 

Mother’s Day Classic

Mother’s Day is approaching, and what better way to celebrate than to take your mum on a fun run raising money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation? The event is held in many locations and offers different participation options to accommodate for varying fitness levels.

https://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/

The Mother’s Day Classic is a fitness and fundraising event that has been ongoing for 22 years and so far has raised over $35 million for the NBCF. What a wonderful thing to be a part of!

You can forms teams with your friends, family, workmates or other groups. Fundraising is encouraged, and there is merchandise available online. One of the most important things to do is dress up in as much pink as you can find! There is just something about seeing hundred of men, women and children embracing the spirit of the event that makes you really feel a part of something special.

The Balnarring-Somers event begins at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead and offers a 4km walk, a 4km run and an 8km run. The walk goes through the wetlands and park and is suitable for most fitness levels. Both runs will go through the surrounding roads and the paddocks in the homestead. My team and I will be splitting between the 4km walk and the 4km run and meeting up again at the end.

The Flinders event departs from the Flinders Yacht Club and has the option of 4.5km walk, 4.5km run or 9km run. The Flinders walk and runs both follow a course that wind above the cliffs of Flinders, offering spectacular views of the ocean.

For those wanting to support the cause, but unable to attend the event, you can either sponsor a participating friend or family member, or else donate directly to the NBCF through this link:

https://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/how-to-donate/

I hope to see some of you at the Balnarring-Somers event! Send us any fun photos from the event, wherever you participate.

Environmental Health

At Atticus Health we are focused on providing all of our patients with a full and comprehensive health care, which includes environmental health.

What is Environmental Health?

Environmental health involves those aspects of public health influenced by the factors, circumstances, and conditions in the environment or surroundings of humans that can exert an influence on health and well-being. Environmental health provides the basis of public health

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.

Smog/Pollution Levels in air

A classic example of how the environment impacts our health is smog/ pollution levels in the air.  Luckily for the most part, Australia remains a pretty clean place.  But, if we don’t care – it will change.  We don’t need to be fearful, however it is important that we all do our part, and put in place strategies that are in our control to assist in improving our environmental health.These changes need to be put into effect now rather than in 50 years.  In some countries, you can get extremely sick if you don’t use a mask over your nose & mouth outside.  Not to mention, that you can’t even see very far at all because of the smog.  So, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to see that the problem is REAL.

The website linked below can assist you in tracking the level of air pollution around the world.

https://waqi.info/

Tree Planting

A beautiful and simple way of improving air quality, is planting trees.

For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air and provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification and protect and stabilise ground cover.

Native trees also assist our agricultural areas to be more sustainable, prevent salinity and soil erosion, provide shade, shelter, food and habitat to native animals. They provide sources of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the importance of trees can’t be understated.

At our Hastings clinic we were very aware of the need to support environmental health factors from conception. We planted native trees throughout the flowerbeds that surround the clinic. Some of Floyd’s favourite trees planted there are Eucalyptus gungurru, Eucalyptus woodwardii, Eucalyptus sideroxylon (ironbark), Eucalyptus ficifolia (flowering gum), Brachychiton (Illawarra flame tree), Banksia Integrifolia (coastal banksia)

 

As well as this Atticus Health actively avoids the use of paper, where possible in our clinics and gravitate towards a paperless system.

How can you improve your environmental health?

Everyone’s lifestyle is different and complex, so you need to establish what steps work for you. Based on your needs, consumption, free-time and capabilities. The same solution isn’t always going to be applicable for everyone, however. Below are some common suggestions that people feel are relatively easy swaps and changes to make. Figure out which ones suit you and go from there, baby steps. To help improve environmental health, “we don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need the whole world doing it imperfectly”.

You can assist in improving your own environmental health by selecting products with minimal waste, picking up waste you see when out in nature and recycling/disposing of it appropriately, bulk buying, getting involved with environmental charities by donating or volunteering, choosing locally produced produce, even purchasing products from companies that care about the what the materials are in your products, where they come from and how to dispose of them – https://www.biome.com.au/ is a website from which you can make more environmentally everyday purchases to assist in improving overall environmental health. Here are a few more things you can read about improving your environmental health.

You can purchase a bracelet from 4Ocean, a charity that pulls a pound of plastic from the ocean for every purchase, read more about it here.

You can also plant trees in your own home, or if you don’t have a garden there are several charities you can donate money to, to plant trees to improve Australia’s air quality. Here is a link to a charity you can donate money to plant trees to help improve environmental health.