Pot-pourri newsletter 10 March 2017

The President's Post

This time last week I was with our New Zealand colleagues participating in the New Zealand Paediatrics & Child Health Committee meeting, having robust conversations about recertification and what it might mean for paediatricians. Members of the group discussed their experiences of reviewing and improving their practice and the relative benefits of multi-source feedback tools. Thank you to Dr Jeff Brown, President-Elect, New Zealand Committee for the invitation to join the meeting – it was a great way to share knowledge across the ditch.

Jeff and I then met with the New Zealand Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft to discuss his vision for children’s health and wellbeing. It is pleasing that Judge Becroft is very interested in the social determinants of health and would like to work with RACP to advocate for better healthcare services for children and young people in New Zealand.

I also attended the NZ Trainees' Forum. It was an excellent event with wide ranging discussions from the challenges of medical careers, the value of mentoring, preparing for important job interviews and above all the importance of trainee wellness. Thank you to all who were involved in these fantastic meetings and event.

The Division Council met recently. A key component was discussion on the development of a key advocacy campaign around inequities in child health. The PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee are charged with this important initiative and met last week to progress this. In addition we discussed PCHD results from last year’s member survey. The good news is that ‘satisfaction indicators’ have significantly increased for PCHD members – this includes communication as well as policy and advocacy particularly around representation to Governments, regulators and other bodies.

The paediatric component of RACP Congress 2017 is finalised and I encourage you to take a moment to review the program and register. Don’t forget to book a ticket to the annual paediatric dinner too. Please also, read the feature item on the Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day. Registrations are open with a strong program in place. 

Dr Sarah Dalton
PCHD President

Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day 2017

The annual Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day is a forum that promotes an understanding of contemporary matters of community child health. This year the Satellite Day is being held in Melbourne on Sunday, 7 May 2016 at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Each session will link in to this year’s overarching theme ‘Trauma’.

The day will begin with a plenary from Dr Anne Smith, the Director at the Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service based at the Royal Children’s Hospital, titled ‘Battered babies, noxious neglect and the epigenetic effects of maltreatment: How the concept of ‘child protection has evolved over time'.

Dr Georgia Paxton, Head of the RCH Immigrant Health Service, will continue in this vein with a presentation on the need to protect child refugees. Dr Paxton’s talk draws on her experiences over the last decade as a paediatrician dedicated to improving the lives of refugees and asylum seekers, in particular children and young people. Dr Paxton was inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll for Women  last year in recognition of her commitment to this field.

I am extremely pleased to announce that Professor Raimond Gaita, Professorial Fellow ​at Melbourne Law School and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne, will join us to discuss Romulus, My Father, a book and film based on his early life. Following a viewing of the film, attendees have the opportunity to discuss the adversities his family faced as immigrants and the effect of mental illness within their family. The film has strong themes of belonging to family, place, and culture.

There will also be a session linking trauma, child development and behaviour, as well as the ever popular workshop style session drawing out attendees’ competitive edge – the Child Population Health Cup​.

This year’s Chapter Satellite Day is being held to align with the Neurodevelopmental & Behavioural Paediatric Society Australasia meeting on Saturday, 6 May. Book a seat at the table for the joint dinner when you register for the Chapter Satellite Day​.

Come along and join community child health colleagues for a day of knowledge sharing, networking and fun. Non-members of the Chapter are also encouraged to attend.

Dr Chris Pearson
Chair, Chapter of Community Child Health

​Stem ​cells and child health on the ​Congress program for paediatricians

2017 Australian of the Year, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim will be special guest presenter at RACP Congress 2017 addressing the topic of medical breakthroughs and future practice in molecular medicine.

Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim is an international leader in stem cell research, his dedicated research and international leadership has led to ground breaking advances in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim is a global authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells and led the world’s first clinical trial using these cells in spinal cord injury. 

Paediatrician and Senior Research Fellow Associate Professor Harriet Hiscock will deliver a thought provoking presentation on Variation in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medication prescribing: where, what and why? 
Associate Professor Hiscock’s research focuses on common child health conditions, in particular: developing and trialling community approaches to their management; reducing low value care and optimising care for common mental health conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety. 

Presentations in the paediatric program include:
  • ADHD: Enhanced care pathways: can new models of care deliver better outcomes in the real world?; 
  • A journey in search of child health: from Dien Bien Phu to Fitzroy Crossing and Christmas Island
  • Putting the ABLE back into childhood disability
  • How can we do better? (Disability)
  • ADHD in Australia: The Children’s Attention Project and Paediatric practice
  • Variation in ADHD medication prescribing: where, what and why?; 
  • Update on prevention of allergic disease
  • Novel Therapies for spinal muscular atrophy: a new era in paediatric neurology
  • Epilepsy genetics transforms clinical practice
  • Genetics of Intellectual Disability and Autism. 
Read the full program details at the RACP Congress website. Attendance at RACP Congress 2017 is a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity eligible for MyCPD credits.

Also of note​ occurring before Congress 2017: the PCHD Dinner will be held on, Sunday 7 May and the annual Chapter Satellite Day on Saturday 6 May.

Congress 2017 Event Information:

Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: Monday, 8 to Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Registration: Visit www.racpcongress.com.au  

Vaccination: A vexed issue

Recently the Royal Children’s Hospital in Australia released the results of its latest Child Health Poll and reported that ‘one in six Australian children who are not up-to-date with their vaccines have been refused care by a health care provider.’ 

The RACP notes the strong evidence that vaccinations have been more effective in preventing disease and death than any other medical intervention, and supports measures that increase vaccination rates. Parents and healthcare professionals should  be vigilant in ensuring children are immunised and the importance of vaccinations is well understood. 

However, health professionals should not refuse to treat unvaccinated children. Doing so represents unethical coercion and further disadvantages these children. Instead, health professionals should maintain contact with the children’s families to improve their care and provide ongoing education around the health benefits of vaccines.

You may refer to the RACP Immunisation Position Statement for further information.

Hear about genomics, get CPD credits

A special double feature of Pomegranate, the RACP’s podcast, takes a look at Genomics for the Generalist.

The two episodes take a look at the place of genomics in clinical practice and how physicians can keep up with the pace of discovery and technological development.
Read more

Become a Booze Free Sport ​Fan  

The Foundation for Alcohol Research (FARE), an important partner in the RACP’s alcohol advocacy, is running a Booze Free Sport campaign calling for unhealthy alcohol sponsors to be phased out from professional sports.

Support FARE’s Booze Free Sport campaign by heading to the FARE website and becoming a Booze Free Sport Fan.

Read more

Support for Rural Specialists in Australia – Apply for CPD grants today

Applications for the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) Funding Round 1 for individual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) grants are now open.

Read more

Consultation – National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) draft RACP Position Statement for feedback

The RACP is seeking feedback on its draft Position Statement on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a reform which is fundamentally transforming the delivery of support services to Australians living with disability.  

Consultation – Medical assistance in dying in Victoria, draft RACP submission for comment

The College is developing a submission in response to the Victorian Government’s Discussion Paper regarding proposed legislation that would enable individuals in Victoria to access medical assistance in dying in certain circumstances.

Feedback is sought from Fellows and ​trainees on the RACP’s draft submission. 

Read more

REMINDER: Paediatric ​health ​related ​quality ​of ​life ​measure 

Contribute to a thesis on paediatric quality of life evaluation and rating scales by Dr Sana Ishaque. 

Dr Ishaque is a PhD student at the University of Adelaide, School of Public Health and is seeking feedback from paediatricians about proposed rating scales and whether these are feasible and useful prior to trialling. 

The project has been approved by University of Adelaide’s Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval # H-2016-270).

To participate refer to the study Information Sheet that includes the short online survey that will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

​Participate in survey on oral health care in children with special needs survey

You are invited to participate in a research study entitled Paediatricians’ experience and knowledge of oral health care in children with special needs being conducted by the dental department at ​The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

This study involves completing an anonymous survey sent out to paediatricians across NSW. ​The Patient Information Sheet provides detail around the background of this research and research questionnaire.

For more information ​contact Dr Diane Tay on +61 4 8882 1805 or +61 2 9845 2582 or email diane.tay@health.nsw.gov.au 

HREC approval: LNR/15/SCHN/403

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health March 2017 edition

Articles in the March 2017 edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health include:
  • Ethnic disparities in infectious disease hospitalisations in the first year of life in New Zealand
  • Effectiveness of pre-operative clown intervention on psychological distress: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Health professional and community perspectives on reducing barriers to accessing specialist health care in metropolitan Aboriginal communities: A semi-structured interview study
  • Eligibility criteria for therapeutic hypothermia: From trials to clinical practice.

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Notice: Alert for Zostavax (shingles vaccine) and immunocompromised individuals 

The Commonwealth Department of Health has provided the College with the following advice.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has received a report of a death occurring in a patient with compromised ​immune functioning following administration of Zostavax. Zostavax is contraindicated in patients who are immunocompromised. 

Zostavax contains live attenuated varicella-zoster virus, containing 14 times more virus than childhood varicella vaccines. Administration to people who are immunocompromised is associated with risk of a disseminated disease from the vaccine virus.

  • You should carefully consider a patient’s immunological status prior to vaccination with Zostavax.
  • Do not administer Zostavax to patients who are immunocompromised.
  • If in doubt seek advice from a specialist or state based vaccination services.
  • Urgently seek specialist advice if Zostavax is given to a person who is immunocompromised.
Further Information

RACP Foundation Awards and Prizes

Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

Abstracts are now being accepted for the Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health from Fellows or trainees who are: 

  • paediatricians or enrolled in the paediatric program 
  • an advanced trainee and/or enrolled in a higher-research degree 
  • within seven years of completion of a higher research degree 
  • within seven years of attaining Fellowship.

Find out more about the Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

Applications close this Sunday, 12 March 2017

Career Opportunities


Paediatrician - Senior Specialist: Canberra Hospital & Health Services
Reference number: 014JY
Closing date: Thursday, 16 March 2017

New ​South Wales

Financial Markets Foundation for Children Chair in Translational Childhood Medicine: The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Reference number: 1344/0816
Closing date: Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Researcher interested in Kawasaki Disease: The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
An opportunity to work with national and international experts in the field with a generous stipend depending on background and experience. 
To commence in mid-2017.
For further details please contact:
Associate Professor Davinder Singh-Grewal davinder.singhgrewal@health.nsw.gov.au
Professor David Burgner david.burgner@mcri.edu.au
Professor Allen Cheng allen.cheng@med.monash.edu.au

Paediatric Fellows: Sydney 
We are looking for paediatrics fellows for part- time private practice work. You will be well supported, with flexible hours, full administrative support and mentoring to assist you 
For more details: contact Karen Gregory kag119@bigpond.com Phone - +614 1998 6980


Paediatrician – Sessional Staff Specialist for outpatient service (0.4EFT): Latrobe Regional Hospital
Reference number: 18089
Closing date: Monday, 20 March 2017

Paediatrician – Staff Specialist: Latrobe Regional Hospital
Reference number: 18085
Closing date: Monday, 20 March 2017

Advanced Trainee/Senior Basic Trainee: Rural and Regional Paediatrics, Latrobe Regional Hospital
Reference number: 18080
Closing date: Thursday, 23 March 2017

Western Australia

Consultant Paediatrician (x2, Part Time): Geraldton
Reference number: 607942
Closing date: Friday, 31 March 2017

Consultant Paediatrician – Head of Department: Geraldton
Closing date: Friday, 31 March 2017

Clinical trial – pneumococcal vaccine

Are you, or any of your patients aged 55 – 60? Do you, or your patients, suffer from two of the following conditions: high cholesterol; high blood pressure; excess bodyweight?

Could the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine protect against heart disease?

Researchers at the Australian Study for the Prevention through Immunisation of Cardiovascular Events (AUSPICE) believe it can and are looking for 6000 Australians to be part of their study to determine if this safe, existing vaccine can reduce the risk of heart disease. 

If you, or your patients, have not previously had a stroke or heart attack, you could participate in this simple study. Visit the AUSPICE website for more information. 

Expressions of Interest 

We have introduced a new way of advertising Expressions of Interest.

You can now check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.

Conferences and ​Events

View all ​​Paediatrics and Child Health events.

Visit the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.
Close overlay