Notes from COVID-19 General Practice Webinars

Back to: Coronavirus


SEMPHN is conducting general practice webinars over the coming weeks with the SEMPHN CEO and general practice peers. 

General practitioners, practice managers and practice nurses are invited to join.  

Registration details for the next meetings are available on our events calendar

For further information on this series of meetings contact Georgina Ladd on 8514 4423 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note: The webinar recordings are best viewed through the internet browser Google Chrome. Videos may not be accessible through Safari. 


These notes reflect some of the discussion points from COVID-19 GP Webinars. 

They provide links, as appropriate, to support general practices.


Wednesday 15 July 2020

This week SEMPHN provided a GP Update with guest speaker Dr Iain Macmillan.

Watch the presentation here. Password: 3u$92*h4

As mentioned in the webinar the headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program online training module is now available to all GPs.

  • It takes about 2.5 hours to complete
  • It consists of four 30-minute films and four multiple choice questions to answer.
  • This online learning module is a 4 CPD Activity under the RACGP CPD Program.
  • It can be accessed via any device and does not need to be completed at one time. LMS has the option to save what has already been completed so the rest of the course can be completed at another time.

The training can be accessed through SEMPHN’s online LMS learning platform. Use this link to sign up https://semphn.litmos.com.au/self-signup/. The code is: SEMPHN headspace

Once the training has been completed, a record of completion will be sent to the GP via email within the month.
For more information watch this short video - https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/SFruRSBtoP or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Wednesday, 8 July 2020 (Respiratory webinar)

Special guests, Professor Christine McDonald and Associate Professor Louis Irving provided an insightful presentation and the Q and A session on Wednesday 8 July.

As discussed, this SEMPHN project is aimed at improving links between GPs and respiratory specialists, especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As part of the project, we are running a trial for a new model of care, where local GPs, their patients and a respiratory specialist conduct a three-way video telehealth consult.

The first three-way consult was conducted this week, aimed at improving telehealth capacity in primary care and offering patients a convenient way to consult a GP and a specialist at the same time.  All involved in the first consult, were happy with the ease and benefits of the video consult and would recommend it to others.

SEMPHN is looking to recruit two other GP practices to take part in the trial which will run until the end of September, with practices compensated for their involvement.  To find out more please contact Campbell Rule, SEMPHN Manager Provider Support, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Watch the presentation here. Password: 9K*0d=I$


Tuesday, 16 June 2020

We had a short presentation from our Provider Support Team and their services.

Each Provider Support Officer provided an overview of how they can assist practices, from assisting with the QI PIP and recruitment of new staff, through to assisting with POLAR data and getting the most out of the MBS. GPs, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses are encouraged to connect with their Provider Support Officer or if you don’t know your’s, simply contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

One of the big issues remains access to affordable PPE – including gowns and masks – and we are asking General Practices to provide example invoices for PPE they have purchased, in an effort to inform those who manage the national stockpile. 

We encourage all general practices to sign up to our Network News newsletter; our regular COVID-19 update and SMS updates and our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., where you can share information and learn from peers.

Watch the webinar now. Use password: 5p#@a#Mu


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Guest Professor David Burgner from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital updated attendees on about the reported potential link between COVID and a Kawasaki like syndrome in children, now internationally known as PIMS-TS. 

Professor Burgner advised that the syndrome is different to Kawasaki disease (and its similar toxic shock syndrome) and his call to action for general practitioners was to be alert for children from ages 1-16 years of age presenting with:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Prolonged (3- days) fever; and
  • A blanching rash

No PIMS-TS cases have been recorded in Australia or New Zealand to date, however, around 1,000 cases have presented worldwide. Genetically, the syndrome is mostly presenting in those of African heritage. Dr Burgner provided this podcast link for a recent discussion around the issue with other global authorities. 


Thursday 21 May 2020

This week, SEMPHN CEO provided a general update on COVID-19 activities.

See the recording here. Password: 2G=f%w6$


Thursday 14 May 2020

The following items were discussed:

  • the use of Telehealth platforms and the use of voice and video calls in triaging patients with COVID like symptoms.
  • members of SEMPHN’s System Outcomes team provided an update on trends in presentations, taken from our POLAR system; from reasons for not pursuing a consult to data on an upturn in consults over the past few weeks.
  • See the recording here. Password:6O#!!4O1

Thursday, 7 May 2020

The following items were discussed:

  • An update on the re-commencement of services at BreastScreen Victoria, from Monday 11 May
  • An overview on how to use POLAR data to help drive quality improvements and better health outcomes. 
  • See the recording here, Password: 6I!!.7?* ).

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Wednesday 29 April 2020

The following items were discussed:

  • Survey results from the recent survey into flu vaccine access throughout the region
  • The impacts of COVID on the PIP QI
  • The development of a toolkit for supporting general practices in changing times – more information to come as this is developed over coming weeks
  • Gaining insights from GPs with Lived Experience in dealing with COVID in other countries, which will hopefully be a special discussion in the future
  • See the recording here. Password: 1t%9W^O.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

The following items were discussed:

  • The rate of change for practices is starting to slow minimally
  • Concerns over patients not presenting with health concerns and similar concerns for when restrictions are lifted
  • Decreases in patient numbers and corresponding changes in income
  • We also heard from Riwka Hagen, who was able to provide some insight into changing business practices and who will be conducting a future webinar for practice managers on 13 May from 12.30-1.30pm. Registration details will be available soon. 

View the recording (30 minutes). Access code: 5c^*8Z$v


Wednesday 15 April 2020

The discussion centred on:

  • Increases to remote consultations (telehealth via phone or video) vs reductions in face to face consults; in addition, SEMPHN has seen a reduction in pathology referrals in clinics using POLAR.
  • Triaging of patients prior to entering clinics; ensuring patients are temperature checked and use sanitiser as they enter the building; calling patients in from their cars in some instances to ensure social distancing.
  • Telehealth as a tool for limiting contact, but also continuing with face to face consultations as appropriate.
  • Providing flu vaccinations as a "drive-through” service in patients' cars.
  • Infection controls and flu vaccination availability.

View the recording (30 minutes). Access code: i9!@5I&J


Wednesday 8 April 2020

The following items were discussed:

  • PPE infection controls: Infection controls are imperative at this time, as we see rates of infections from health professionals increasing.  Check Alfred Health’s PPE precautions video here.
  • Care Facility access limits enacted on 8 April: The State Government has limited access to care facilities across the State, including residential aged care and other facilities, which may impact GPs.
  • Respiratory Secondary Consultations: SEMPHN Is working with a number of respiratory physicians to help with procedures around respiratory secondary consults. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information on the next session. 
  • MBS telehealth items: MBS telehealth items have been updated
  • Flu vaccination availability: The Flu vaccine is in stock and is being accessed earlier than previous years.  There is enough stock, but there is strong demand in recognition of COVID-19.  Continue to vaccinate those at high risk, including the very young and those over 65 years.
  • PPE stock: Some GPs have been able to source PPE for their own practice, though not necessarily at the normal cost.  One suggestion is Key Promotional Products in Queensland, on 07 5573 4211.
  • Screening clinics: Screening clinics at Monash, Peninsula and Alfred Health are listed on the DHHS website and do not require patients to call ahead.

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