Pot-pourri newsletter 4 May 2018

President's Message

This will be my last Pot Pourri contribution as the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) President before handing over to Professor Paul Colditz at RACP Congress in Sydney. It is hard to believe how quickly the last two years have passed, and I am very proud of what PCHD has achieved in this time. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to the members I have worked with over the last four years for their extraordinary commitment to providing advice and leading advocacy on important matters affecting children and young people, as well as trainees and paediatricians from across the Division.

A lot has happened in these two years. One of the most notable developments is the establishment of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Heath (ACAH), a critical step in providing opportunities for child health professionals to come together to improve healthcare for children and young people. The launch of the Academy in March this year was a great success, and I think it heralds the beginning of a long and productive relationship between RACP and the Academy. PCHD has had a strong voice in advocating for children facing health inequities, mental health concerns, vulnerable children, children in detention, the importance of early childhood and adolescent health. I believe the combined voice of ACAH and RACP can only strengthen our impact across Australia and New Zealand.

Another important piece of work over the last few years has been the development of the RACP Evolve initiative. Paediatricians have had an active voice in this space, contributing to guidelines that aim to ensure patients receive the tests, treatments and procedures they need in general paediatrics, child neurology and paediatric endocrinology. There are currently 20 Evolve Top 5 Lists available, with further lists in development. Paediatric Top 5 Lists currently in development will look at community and child health, paediatric thoracic medicine, and neurodevelopmental and behavioural paediatrics. One of the most important aspects of this initiative has been the development of resources that support shared decision-making with patients and carers. There will be an Evolve workshop at RACP Congress, highlighting recent activities and implementation of the Evolve Top 5 Lists. The workshop is being held on Tuesday, 15 May at 1.45pm. Further information about the Evolve initiative is available on the websiteEvolve is a founding member of the Choosing Wisely initiative in Australia and New Zealand.

RACP Congress is now less than two weeks away and registrations are still open for both Congress and the annual Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day. There is an excellent paediatric program including Megan Mitchell, the National Children’s Commissioner who will be speaking in the Inequity in Child Health session. Special thanks to Nicholas Wood and Margaret Danchin who have curated such excellent content. I look forward to seeing you there.

Planning has already begun for our next Congress, and the Congress Program Committee for RACP Congress 2019 in Auckland is seeking a PCHD representative. It is a great opportunity to become involved and an important position for our Division. I would encourage interested members to consider this role.

Finally, the RACP has received a request seeking the nomination of a suitable individual to join the Clinical & Community Advisory Group to support the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative. This Group is responsible for ensuring that the proof of concepts developed by the Collaborative adequately addresses the needs of clinicians and consumers across the health sector. The Group will advise all the Collaborative’s Initiative Governance Committees and provide advice on clinical and consumer engagement and consultation. I urge you to consider involvement.

I would also like to draw your attention to the call for expressions of interest for the Division, Faculty and Chapter Committees which opened on Friday, 27 April 2018. Interested members can view further details on the website.

It is the beginning of a new chapter for RACP with the advent of a new Board from May 2018. I congratulate all members of the new leadership team and, in particular, extend my very best wishes to Professor Paul Colditz and members of PCHD Council.  I have no doubt that the voice of Paediatrics is in good hands, and look forward to seeing the continuation of excellent work along with new and innovative ideas to make the lives of children in Australia and New Zealand healthier and happier. 

Dr Sarah Dalton
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

RACP Congress 2018

RACP Congress 2018 program includes engaging sessions, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, video presentations and social functions for all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) journey through Congress will consist of stimulating sessions on inequity in child health, Indigenous child health, personalised medicine in paediatric medicine and the launch of the Inequities in Child Health Position Statement on Tuesday afternoon.

Sunday prior to Congress members of the Chapter of Community Child Health (CCCH) will attend their dedicated Satellite Day with a program encompassing presentations on psychopharmacology and other things. Just some of these sessions are:

  • The White Paper for Vulnerable Children (New Zealand)
  • New changes in community child health training and implications for supervisors
  • Child development and behaviour
  • plus much more, view the program.

Afterwards CCCH and NBPSA invite their members to an exclusive three course set dinner, confirm your attendance now via the Congress website

We look forward to seeing you at RACP Congress 2018 at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 14 to 16 May 2018, confirm your attendance to Congress and affiliated social functions at www.racpcongress.com.au.

Trainees' Day 2018

RACP Trainees’ Day and Trainees' Dinner is an opportunity for Basic and Advanced Trainees to network and discuss professional critical topics and training pathways. We are pleased to advise that due to the generous contribution from our sponsors the ticket price for Trainees' Day is now $50. Trainees who have already registered will receive a refund equivalent to the difference in ticket price. We would like to thank our sponsors, Westpac, Avant Mutual, Novartis, Professional Transcription Solutions and the NSW Government for making this reduced price possible.

Trainees' Day is on Sunday,13 May 2018, just prior to the RACP Congress 2018. Trainees will meet at the RACP Office Sydney to discuss:

  • The global refugee crisis: it is our responsibility
  • Australian refugees: stand up and be counted
  • How can we advocate for a brighter future?
  • Professional skills workshop: a powerhouse of presidential knowledge
  • Cognitive bias
  • Coaching and mentoring.

The Trainees' Day Dinner will be held over looking Sydney's Darling Harbour. Confirm your attendance during the Congress registration process. 

Congress session on increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to medical specialists

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) will be discussing the Medical Specialist Access Framework. The Framework is a guide for health stakeholders to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to medical specialists. The session is on Monday, 14 May from 3.30pm to 5pm in Room: C2.2 and C2.3. The session will feature Dr Tamara Mackean, Professor Noel Hayman, Dr Catherine Yelland, Professor Donald Campbell and Dr Simon Quilty discussing their experiences in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This is an opportunity for Fellows to consider their practice and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Congress session on the RACP Indigenous Child Health statement

An RACP Working Group is developing a statement on Indigenous Child Health in Australia and New Zealand. This is an opportunity for Fellows to participate in a session with the Working Group chair Dr Danny de Lore and Dr Niroshini Kennedy to discuss the content of the draft statement and provide important input on the direction and key messages of the statement. Fellows are encouraged to attend to contribute to the development of a robust and impactful statement. The session will be held on on Tuesday, 15 May from 11.15am to 12.15pm in Cockle Bay Room 2.

Expressions of Interest for RACP Councils and Committees

Expressions of Interest are being sought for a number of appointed positions.  Available positions are listed on the RACP website along with position descriptions, By-laws for each Council or Committee and the forms you will need to complete the process.

Regional Committee elections

Following a recent call for nominations, elections are being held for elected positions on ​a number of RACP Regional Committees.

Detailed election information, voting instructions, forms, candidate information, Committee Member Position Descriptions and Committee By-Laws can be found on the RACP website. Voting closes at 5pm AEST on Friday, 25 May 2018. 

Expression of Interest: PCHD Representative – RACP Congress 2019

Expressions of interest are sought from interested Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Fellows to nominate for the PCHD representative position on the Congress Program Committee (CPC) for the RACP Congress 2019. The Congress will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in May 2019.

The PCHD representative on the CPC leads the development of the paediatric stream, and works with other CPC members and College staff to implement the agreed Congress themes and develop shared interest sessions.

The PCHD representative will: 

  • coordinate all content within the paediatric stream, while linking to the purpose, goals and key themes of Congress
  • collaborate with the Chair and other CPC members to optimise the shared interest sessions and broader Congress program through identifying notable speakers, significant topics and innovative delivery formats.
  • Attend the CPC fortnightly planning meetings via teleconference. The CPC requests some email discussion in between teleconferences which is often on suggestion and opinion of speakers and sessions.
  • As a CPC member proactively encourage registration for Congress. 

Please submit your EOI by email along with your CV by 5pm on Thursday, 31 May 2018. The PCHD Council Executive will appoint the position.

Nomination to the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative, Clinical & Community Advisory Group

The College received a request seeking the nomination of a suitable individual to join the Clinical & Community Advisory Group to support the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative.  

In 2017, the Australian Digital Health Agency partnered with eHealth NSW and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network to establish the Collaborative. Since inception, the Collaborative has brought together 330 stakeholders from all levels of government, consumers, clinicians, peak bodies, non-government organisation, researchers and ICT industry partners.

The Collaborative has identified, prioritised and scoped five strategic national projects and initiatives aimed at achieving positive health and wellbeing outcomes for Australian children and young people.  The Collaborative is now entering the design and implementation phase and is establishing a National Clinical & Community Advisory Group. This Group will consist of representatives from the states and territories, medical colleges, professional bodies and peak groups that work in child and antenatal health. It will provide expert advice to the Collaborative’s governance committees and will be co-chaired by the Consumers Health Forum Australia and the Australian Digital Health Agency.  It is proposed that the Group will meet quarterly with teleconference and video conferencing available.

We are seeking EOIs from PCHD Fellows to join this Advisory Group. 

If you would like to express interest to act as the RACP representative on this Advisory group, please ​submit an EOI form and your CV by email by COB, ​Friday, 11 May 2018.

Apply for funding opportunities

Applications are now open for the Eric Burnard Fellowship and The Kids' Cancer Project Research Establishment Fellowship.

The Eric Burnard Fellowship is worth up to $10,000 and can be used to take up a position in the field of neonatology, complete or undertake a research project, undertake overseas study or attend an overseas conference. Applications close on Monday, 28 May 2018.

The Kids' Cancer Project Research Establishment Fellowship provides funding of up to $90,000 for physician-scientists specialising in paediatric oncology. Applications close on Monday, 25 June 2018.

Other research funding opportunities, including the  Diabetes Australia Research Establishment Fellowship and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Research Entry Scholarship, are listed on the RACP Foundation website.

Updated Physician Readiness for Expert Practice (PREP) Program Requirement Handbooks now available

The new PREP Program Requirements are now available on the relevant Basic Training and Advanced Training specialty pages.

Basic Training
The 2019 Basic Training Program Requirements apply to all trainees registered in a PREP Basic Training program in 2019. Program requirements for 2020 will be released in line with the revised Basic Training Curricula.

Advanced Training
The 2019–20 Advanced Training Program Requirements are available on the new Advanced Training specialty web pages. The 2019–20 requirements apply to all trainees registered in a PREP program in 2019 and/or 2020.

PREP trainees and their supervisors should familiarise themselves with the updated program requirements for their specialty. It is the responsibility of the trainee to ensure that they are following the correct guidelines for each training year.

New Evolve Recommendations to Improve Child Neurology Care

As part of the Evolve initiative, the Australia and New Zealand Child Neurology Society and the RACP have released a new series of recommendations to help avoid unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures carried out in child neurology clinical practice. 

​More information

Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU): Celebrating 25 years of research, advocacy and care for children living with rare conditions

The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) will be celebrating a milestone anniversary in May.  Join the APSU as they showcase their achievements “25 Years of influencing research, advocacy and care for children living with rare conditions” on Sunday, 13 May 2018 at The Charles Perkins Centre Lecture Theatre, The University of Sydney.  Please register to attend as places are strictly limited. You are also encouraged to view the program

Biologicals regulatory framework proposed changes to start on 1 July 2018

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have published guidance on the upcoming changes to the regulation of autologous human cells and tissues (HCT) products. This is to assist you in interpretation of new requirements that are likely to come in to effect from 1 July 2018 (subject to Government approval).

As a result of the changes some autologous HCT products will be subject to increased regulation by the TGA from 1 July 2018. These changes will improve patient protection from providers of unproven therapies, ensure patients have access to safe and effective new therapies, and support a patient-prescriber relationship to access appropriate treatments.

The increase in regulatory oversight from 1 July will include a prohibition on advertising autologous HCT products to patients, and a requirement to report adverse events. Transition arrangements will be included for the other regulatory requirements, with the intention for the provisions to balance the need for increased oversight of this sector, while allowing sufficient time for providers to bring their operations in line with the new requirements. These provisions will allow continuing supply until June 2019.

The guidance also includes explanation of key terms, new definitions for classifications of biologicals, minimal manipulation, homologous use and regulatory pathways for supply of autologous HCT products. Examples have been used throughout the guidance document to clarify how the definitions operate in practice.

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with this guidance ahead of regulatory changes in July 2018.

If you have questions or feedback please contact the TGA directly at bloodandtissues@tga.gov.au.

Adverse Events Reporting Survey

Analysis of adverse event reports is an important way that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) monitors the safety of medicines and vaccines used in Australia.

Health professionals play an important role in ensuring the safe use of medicines particularly by reporting adverse events they see in clinical practice for new medicines.

The TGA are undertaking an online survey to seek information about health professionals’ experiences and attitudes towards key issues related to medicines and their use, particularly related to identifying, managing and reporting adverse events. Your responses will help the TGA improve the way they collect and use adverse event reports.

The survey is available online and is estimated to take about 10 minutes to complete.

Note: All responses are anonymous and this survey does not collect any personally identifying information.

Slow-release opioid statement

Mounting evidence highlights the inappropriate use of slow-release opioids for the treatment of acute pain. The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and its Faculty of Pain Medicine have released a statement which is designed to inform and recommend action.

Recommendations in the statement align with the approved indications for slow-release opioids listed by domestic and international regulatory authorities.
​More information

Queensland offers free flu vaccine to children aged ​six months to less than five years

With 2017 being the worst flu season in recent years, the Queensland Department of Health is implementing the Childhood Influenza Program this year. Expected to commence mid-April 2018, the program will provide free influenza vaccines to all Queensland children aged between six months and less than five years through general practices and other childhood immunisation providers.

Children under five years of age have some of the highest rates of influenza and associated complications, with this age group having the most hospital admissions due to influenza. The risk is not just for children with medical conditions, but also healthy children, “Experience from Australia and overseas shows that the majority of influenza-related paediatric hospitalisations and deaths actually occur among children without any underlying medical conditions” said Dr Stephen Lambert, Senior Medical Officer, Queensland Health.

“We also know that children contribute greatly to the spread of influenza in the community, and serious complications from influenza can be devastating for children and their families.”

Annual immunisation against influenza is therefore important for all children and continues to be the best way to prevent the spread of influenza.

“Providing vaccine to very young children will greatly enhance their protection against influenza – the most common vaccine-preventable disease whose severity is unfortunately often underestimated even among healthcare professionals”, said Lambert.

Research demonstrates that children are three times more likely to receive an influenza vaccination if a healthcare provider recommends it to their parents or carers. Healthcare professionals are therefore in a unique position to have this discussion with parents and encourage them to vaccinate their children against influenza each season.

The influenza vaccine is a safe vaccine for children and should be offered annually to everyone older than six months of age.

Resources for immunisation providers to promote the childhood flu vaccine are available for download from the Queensland Government website.

Pot-Pourri submissions welcome

To submit an article for publishing in Pot-pourri, please email paed@racp.edu.au. The article should be no more than 350 words. If you would like to submit an image with your article, it would be assumed that you have received appropriate permission to use the photo and it needs to be of high resolution, above 300 dpi. Please note that articles may need to be edited by the RACP Communications Team.

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.

View all Paediatrics and Child Health events here.

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Career Opportunities


Staff Specialist – Paediatrician: Department of Child & Adolescent Health, Division of Family Health, Mackay Hospital and Health Service
Reference number: QLD/MK273553
Closing date: Monday, 14 May 2018

Staff Specialists – Paediatricians: Department of Child & Adolescent Health, Division of Family Health, Mackay Hospital and Health Service
Reference number: QLD/MK274142
Closing date: Tuesday, 22 May 2018

​Go to the Medical Positions Vacant page at any time to see all job listings.

Close overlay