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!

Diabetes Week 2019 – Take Diabetes 2 Heart

Australian National Diabetes Week this year is from the 13th to the 20th July. The theme for Diabetes Week 2019 is “Take Diabetes 2 Heart“, focusing on the relationship between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Those with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease in their lives. The Take Diabetes 2 Heart campaign is encouraging Australians living with type 2 diabetes to work towards good heart habits.

Those at higher risk

  • People with family history of diabetes
  • Those over 55 years of age
  • Anyone over 45 and overweight or with high blood pressure
  • Those over 35 and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • Women who have experienced gestational diabetes, or had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

If you are aged between 40 and 45 and believe you are at risk, you can book in with our clinic nurse to receive a diabetes assessment.

Diabetes Australia offers an online risk calculator, for determining your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can click here to find out your risk.

Ways to improve cardiovascular health

  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Ensuring you get plenty of regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping track of your blood pressure
  • Not smoking
  • Managing your cholesterol levels

 

State Prevention Programs

The Victorian government is running Life! which is a free healthy lifestyle program that aims to assist in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Expert health professionals are offering this program through a group course, or through a telephone health coaching service, to accommodate various needs. Additionally, the website offers tips and recipes for supporting a healthy lifestyle.

 

If you have diabetes and believe you need assistance maintaining a good relationship with your heart health, book now to speak to your GP. You may be eligible for an exercise plan with Nikki, our exercise physiologist, who works at both our Hastings and Carrum clinics. Alternatively, you can sign up for membership at our Hastings or Carrum on-site gyms for full access and discounted group and private sessions.

 

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.

The River’s Mouth – No Strings Attached

No strings attached

I’m no good at meditation.  Every time someone has ever told me to focus on my breathing, I feel like I’m about to suffocate.  But, I very much value stillness and corresponding silence.  Here’s why.

As I’ve experienced life so far, it would appear that most of what’s happened to me has been conditional.  If I do this, that happens, if I’m “good” this happens, if I’m “bad” this happens.  And therefore, I’m “valid” provided I do these things.  That I’m deemed a success by a social mirror.  However, what would happen if I lost everything? What would happen if I became homeless, went “mad”.  Am I as “valid”?  And this seems to be the conundrum – that my view and acceptance of myself is conditional on my external ‘success’ as the world would have it.  I think social media and perhaps the media in general has a role to play, to bolster this.  I walk on eggshells every day.

But really?

In an ideal world we would all feel equally “validated”.  And, in sitting still, in silence, perhaps attuned to nature, we might get a glimpse of this.  Scary at first, peaceful if attained.  And that peace is a feeling that comes from something unconditional. After all, you sit there, in the present, doing nothing – yet feeling “valid”, that is – unconditionally loved.  Waves don’t care whether you’ve been good or bad, cool or uncool.  They simple keep splashing.

I think that life being conditional, though practical at times I admit and accept, does put lots of pressure on many of us.  We walk around feeling stressed in groups without that drink, we feel stressed at work.  Why?  Because we know that we’re being judged.  And basically – we hold that fear of the consequence of “stuffing up”.  I must say, if we put less conditions on each other, if we were all just that little bit less judgemental in effect, I wonder if that would help decrease a collective anxiety and indeed, increase a collective sense of unconditional love.  Far fetched – perhaps.  Yet able to be practised in little ways – for sure.

Now I’ll throw a curve ball out here and say that there is a famous school of psychology – logotherapy, pioneered by Dr Viktor Frankl.  The basis of this theory is that we all feel a sense of anxiety and or depression if we fail to capture an individual “goal” to our life, and by corollary that our internal tension, if channelled to a worthy meaningful goal, ultimately leads to our happiness.  I think this does hold true for many people who find a cause to motivate them.  Yet still, if that all falls apart for some reason, and indeed if you never pursue something “grand” – that’s fine, if you ask me.  I believe that each one of us should be free to sense that peace and calmness which comes from sitting still in silence as we reconnect with the truth that we are in fact all valid and unconditionally loved for simply existing and being a part of life.