Pot-pourri newsletter 4 March 2016

President's Message

The process to select the next President-Elect for the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) commenced on Thursday, 3 March and voting will be open until Monday, 4 April. Professor Paul Colditz and Dr Paul Bauert, both highly qualified candidates, have nominated for the position. Voting for President-Elect of the College also opened at the same time. 

In addition, the College will soon be seeking expressions of interest for outstanding positions on the PCHD Council. I encourage all Division members to participate in this process and help shape the future direction of paediatrics and child health in the College.

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), an authorised accreditation agency with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, launched its Improvement Academy yesterday.
The ACHS is authorised to accredit healthcare organisations to the National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards (NSQHSS). These standards form the basis of many of the accreditation programs provided by the ACHS. The Improvement Academy will provide a more formal structure to the delivery of these education services. The Academy will also offer practical training opportunities that align with an organisation’s goals while maximising its staff’s capabilities. Programs will be tailored to the role and needs of different staffing levels and will include mixed modes of learning including opportunities to participate in large scale collaboration.

I am currently involved in the College’s Capacity to Train project, which includes reviewing how the College manages its ability to recognise and review organisational training capacity among its partners. The project will also develop a robust model of selection to identify candidates who are best suited for physician training. 

A reference group comprising internal and external stakeholders has been convened to provide advice and input through reviewing documents and participating in key workshops. The project also includes visits to 16 sites across Australia and New Zealand to undertake consultations on the key factors and drivers for capacity to train and to review on-the-ground implementation of the model.

Dr Nicki Murdock
PCHD President

Protecting the health of our Indigenous children

The RACP is committed to instilling a deep and respectful recognition of the importance of family/whānau history and culture for Indigenous children in its health advocacy activities. The College also advocates for improved health of Indigenous children and young people in Australia and New Zealand. In support of this commitment, the Paediatric Policy & Advocacy Committee is developing a policy statement around the improvement of Indigenous child health.

The need for a policy statement around this issue is demonstrated by regular reports from Governments and other key stakeholders that highlight the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in a range of key health and wellbeing indicators including:

  • child mortality due to preventable respiratory and infectious disease (such as pneumonia, bronchitis, whooping cough and tuberculosis)
  • comparative incidence of diabetes among younger members of the population
  • rates of physical and mental impairment. 

Compounding the issue is the relative lack of access to specialist healthcare experienced by many Indigenous communities in Australia and New Zealand.

The Closing the Gap report, released by the Australian Government on Tuesday, 9 February, is one of many surveys that have highlighted the continued discrepancy between key health indicators between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

The report, which is the outcome of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) deliberations in 2008, is an annual review of a range of key comparative indicators in health, welfare (including child health and welfare), education and employment. It revealed that, although many health indicators for Indigenous populations demonstrated long term improvement, they remain consistently worse than the equivalent in non-Indigenous populations. For example, incidents of child mortality among Indigenous populations in Australia show a 33 per cent improvement between 1998 and 2014, but still remain 34 per cent higher than the rate for non-Indigenous children. 

The proposed policy will examine key health indicators across the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations of Australia and New Zealand, identify and review the health disparities of Indigenous children and recommend evidence based strategies that can be put in place for health improvement. 

A working group has been established to develop the policy statement in close consultation with the College’s Māori Health Committee and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee. The working group is also interested in hearing from members of the College who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori who wish to contribute to its work, to ensure that the development of the policy statement is as inclusive and representative as possible.

Make your vote count

Voting in the College elections is now open and, in accordance with the College’s Constitution and By-laws, will remain open until 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on Monday, 4 April 2016.

As a member of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division you are eligible to vote in the elections for:

  • RACP President-Elect
  • President-Elect of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division

You should have received an email yesterday (Thursday, 3 March) from Computershare, the Returning Officer appointed by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) with voting details including your PIN. The PIN has been issued to you by the Returning Officer for the purposes of this vote and serves no other use.

All members are encouraged to participate in these elections by voting. The ballot is confidential.

Successful candidates will be appointed for a two year term starting at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 16 May 2016.

Read more about the voting process and election statements from the candidates for these positions.

You may change your vote at any time before 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on Monday 4 April 2016.

If you have deleted your email or never received an email, please contact Computershare by email at racp@computershare.com.au or by phone to 1300 407 207 (Australia) or 0800 453 523 (New Zealand) or +61 3 9415 4015 (from other countries) and they will resend it.

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) Scientific Review Panel, closes 18 March 2016

The APSU is seeking expressions of interest from experienced paediatricians/researchers with an interest in rare childhood conditions to join its Scientific Review Panel (SRP). They are seeking three new members, preferably from South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

The APSU is a national resource which facilitates surveillance and research into rare childhood conditions including rare infectious diseases, rare genetic conditions, rare injuries and other rare conditions or rare complications of more common conditions.

The SRP reviews applications from groups of investigators who want to conduct surveillance using the APSU system. The committee meets three times per year via teleconference.

If you are interested in joining the SRP, please provide a brief CV listing your qualifications, experience and key relevant publications and why you are interested in serving on the SRP. Send your expression of interest to SCHN-APSU@health.nsw.gov.au by COB Friday, 18 March 2016. 

For any queries please contact the APSU on +61 2 9845 3005 or contact Dr Marie Deverell at marie.deverell@health.nsw.gov.au or on +61 2 9845 2200.

Consultation: Integrated Care Discussion Paper, closes 15 April 2016

The challenge of how to better integrate care is an area of active debate worldwide. The RACP Integrated Care Working Party has developed a principles-based Discussion Paper, and is seeking your feedback to assist in the development of the RACP’s final position statement.

To request a copy of the documents and consultation questions or to submit your comments contact Andrew McAlister at racpconsult@racp.edu.au.

The consultation period closes on Friday, 15th April 2016.

Career opportunities

New South Wales

Specialist Paediatrician: Medical Centre, Bankstown 

A busy Medical Centre in the Bankstown area is seeking qualified specialists and Consultant Paediatricians to work among General Practitioners, Allied Health workers and specialists. Session days and hours are negotiable. To apply for this job, you must hold medical registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). For more information please send your CV to duttonstmedicalcentre@iinet.net.au or call Dr George Al-Horani on +61 4 7747 7477.

New Zealand

Neonatologist Consultant: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Starship Children’s Health 

Reference number: 091439
Closing date: Friday, 11 March 2016

Conferences and events

The 3rd World Congress on Controversies in Pediatrics (CoPedia), 
31 March to 3 April 2016, Spain 

Venue: Hilton Barcelona, Spain
Date: Thursday, 31 March to Sunday, 3 April 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the Congress website

Childhood Neglect: A Forensic Assessment Framework training day, 
8 April 2016, South Australia 

Venue: Education Development Centre, Room G. 11A, 4 Milner Street, Hindmarsh, SA
Date: Friday, 8 April 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

The Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service (VFPMS) two-day seminar (Child Abuse Paediatrics / Forensic Paediatric Medicine), 
18 to 19 April 2016, Melbourne

Venue: The Royal Children’s Hospital
Date: Monday, 18 and Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

Childhood Trauma Conference, 
6 to 10 June 2016, Melbourne 

Venue: Melbourne Convention Centre
Date: Monday, 6 to Friday, 10 June 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the conference website.

28th International Congress of Pediatrics,
17 to 22 August 2016, Vancouver, Canada

Venue: Vancouver Convention Centre
Date: Wednesday, 17 to Monday, 22 August 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the conference website.

Genetics for Trainees Course, 
27 to 28 August 2016, Melbourne 

Venue: Ella Latham Lecture Theatre, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Date: Saturday, 27 and Sunday, 28 August 2016
Registration: For more information and to register visit the event website

21st ISPCAN International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, 
28 to 31 August 2016, Canada

The theme of this event will be Protecting our Children, Protecting our Future.

Venue: TELUS Convention Center, Calgary, Canada 
Date: Sunday, 28 to Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

Fifteenth International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma, 
25 to 27 September 2016, Canada 

Venue: Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, Montreal, Canada
Date: Sunday 25 to Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the conference website.

8th Asian Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ACPID), 
7 to 10 November 2016, Thailand 

This event will be hosted by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of Thailand in collaboration with the Asian Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease with the theme
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’.

Venue: Queen Sirikit National Convention Center
Date: Monday, 7 to Thursday, 10 November 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

Trainee News

United Kingdom specialty training opportunities

Training positions are available in the United Kingdom (UK) with the Royal College of Physician Edinburgh (RCPE), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

RACP members entering Advanced Training are welcome to apply. 

Applicants must have successfully completed their RACP written and clinical exams.

The posts are for up to 24 months in the areas of: General Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Renal Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Geriatrics, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Stroke Medicine. Opportunities are also available in Paediatrics and Emergency Medicine.

Any overseas training will need to be prospectively approved by the College for it to count towards Fellowship.   

For more information see the Medical Training Initiatives section of the RCPE website.

Fellowship Standards consultation

The College is undertaking an important program of work to renew its curricula. Key to this is the development of the RACP Standards Framework, which will define the domains of professional practice for physicians to be applied across our diverse range of training programs.

We now need your help to further refine and confirm the Fellowship Standards and establish the benchmarks for graduates of RACP training programs. 

You can give your feedback by completing the survey by Wednesday, 18 May 2016

For further information, and to view the draft standards, visit the Fellowship Standards Consultation page.  

Important MyCPD Information

2015 MyCPD submission reminder

All 2015 MyCPD submissions are due by Thursday, 31 March 2016.
Further detail on MyCPD and Continuing Professional Development is available.

2016 MyCPD framework update

The College Education Committee has approved small, incremental changes to the 2016 MyCPD Framework with the aim of retaining familiarity, simplifying recording and incentivising desired educational outcomes. 

Changes include:

  • all CPD activities will now be awarded credits based on an hourly rate
  • preparation for teaching, publication and presentation has been merged with the event publication in Category 1 to reduce the need to double claim
  • grand rounds, journal clubs and other medical meetings have been moved to Group learning activities in Category 2
  • the 50 credit cap has been extended to all categories to promote diversification of CPD activities.

For more information see the latest CPD news.

If you require any assistance or have any questions about your CPD record please contact the CPD Unit on +61 2 8247 6201 or MyCPD@racp.edu.au in Australia or +64 4 460 8122 or MyCPD@racp.org.nz in New Zealand.

CPD requirements for dual Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia  

Fellows of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) have recently received correspondence from their College outlining changes to the RCPA’s CPD requirements. The RCPA has advised that CPD certificates or ‘sign offs’ from other College’s CPD programs will no longer be acceptable to satisfy that College’s CPD requirements. Many dual Fellows have used the RCPA CPD program in the past because it offers access to the laboratory Quality Assurance programs which are an essential part of CPD for those working in laboratory medicine and the RACP has been happy to recognise this.

What then does this mean for dual Fellows of the RACP and RCPA?

Practitioners in both Australia and New Zealand are required to declare annually that they are participating in an compliant CPD program at the time of renewal of registration. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has always required that Fellows undertake CPD activities which match their scope of practice using either the programs of, or individual programs which match the requirements of, the accredited College(s) of their specialty/specialties. The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) has generally been more specific about Fellows needing to report CPD activity using their College’s program. Australasian Colleges however have been able to recognise other accredited CPD programs. Because of this, dual Fellows have generally needed to submit a return through only one program in order to meet the AHPRA/MBA or MCNZ requirements. 

The CPD requirements in the RACP have not been changed. The College will continue to recognise the accredited RCPA CPD program. Fellows who undertake clinical practice in a specialty field covered by an RACP accredited program will still need to ensure that they undertake sufficient CPD activity specific to that aspect of their scope of practice. If the RCPA’s system for CPD does not support the reporting of this activity, Fellows will need to consider their circumstances carefully. Many activities are likely to be suitable for reporting in both RCPA and RACP programs if necessary. All Fellows should ensure that they are familiar with the CPD standards of the Australian or New Zealand regulators as appropriate. 

The RACP sends reminder notices to Fellows participating in MyCPD who have logged fewer than the required number of CPD credits as the CPD year draws to a close. If you are a dual Fellow and the RCPA CPD program alone still meets your needs in reporting CPD activity aligned with your scope of practice, you are welcome to advise us of this. You can be withdrawn from MyCPD and will thus not receive unnecessary notifications and reminders.  Please contact the CPD Unit on +61 2 8247 6201 or MyCPD@racp.edu.au. NZ Fellows can also contact the New Zealand CPD Unit directly on +64 4 460 8122 or MyCPD@racp.org.nz. Fellows can re-join the MyCPD program at any time if this becomes an appropriate solution. 

RACP Foundation Awards

RACP Foundation Study Grants for 2016

Applications for study grants offered by the RACP Foundation open on Monday, 7 March.

These grants are available to Fellows and trainees of the RACP to undertake research or further educational training, or to develop educational initiatives.

The grants available are:

  • The Eric Burnard Fellowship (value up to $10,000), to support Fellows or trainees in the area of neonatology. 
  • The Macquarie Health Corporation Gaston Bauer Work Shadow Grant (value up to $3,000), for rural Fellows and trainees to undertake a short course Work Shadow Program with specialists at a hospital or institution.
  • NZ Education Development Grant (value up to NZ $10,000) to support and encourage advancement of knowledge in an area relevant to the applicants field of medical study.
  • Queensland State Committee Educational Development Grant (value up to $10,000) to assist Fellows and trainees implement or undertake educational projects or activities. Applications for group projects will be considered eligible providing they are led by a Queensland Fellow or trainee.

Applications close 5pm AEDT Monday, 18 April 2016.

Read more about these grants and the Terms and conditions.

For any queries regarding the eligibility criteria or application process, please contact foundation@racp.edu.au or call +61 2 9256 9639.

NHMRC Principles for accessing and using publicly funded data for health research

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have released Principles for accessing and using publicly funded data for health research. They provide information and guidance for researchers and organisations when researchers seek permission from organisations to access and use data for their research.

Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Protocal Advisory Sub-committee – Calls for public comment

The Protocol Advisory Sub-committee (PASC) of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) is seeking feedback on the below draft protocols:

  • 1422 – Minimally invasive, lumbar decompression and dynamic stabilisation using an interlaminar device, with no rigid fixation to the vertebral pedicles, implantation between the spinous processes of one or two lumbar motion segments
  • 1428 – Mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischaemic stroke

Feedback can be provided from either a personal or group perspective for consideration by the PASC. Please provide your feedback to the HTA Team at hta@health.gov.au.

Consultation will close at 11.59pm on Friday, 18 March 2016.

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