- Written by Robin Osborne
In a situation said to be replicated across NSW, clinical communications between the public health system and general practice about mental health patients/clients is less than ideal.
However, the various shortcomings, including systemic issues, have now been identified, and a range of steps is being taken, or planned, in order to provide continuous care for both acute patients and those in the community setting.
This is the message to GPs from the Director of Mental Services for the Northern NSW Local Health District, Dr Richard Buss, who discussed the situation with GP Speak recently.
According to many people affected by Lismore’s catastrophic flooding on 31 March, as well as others with long-time memories of local flood events, it wasn’t the 1-in-10 year levee bank that let the city down.
Rather, they say, it was the various tiers of officialdom that should have provided more consistent information about the chances of inundation and a timetable for remedial measures such as saving home and business contents, and an orderly evacuation.
As it happened, the previously unbreached levee looked increasingly likely to over-top, yet many residents and businesses were still being told the flooding would probably be minor, and the levee would repel the floodwaters.
- Written by David Guest
Digital breast tomosynthesis generates three dimensional images of the breast using the same principles as those used in the past for intravenous pyelograms. Modern radiology equipment can reconstruct an image of the breast in seconds, which allows the radiologist to hone in on areas of interest and get a clearer view of possible lesions. Such lesions, obscured by overlapping breast tissue, may not have been detected on 2D mammography.
The high speed of the image rendering combined with the better spatial orientation also enables accurate placement of localisation wires for excision biopsy of putative lesions.
On 4 May, following an identified spike in cases of whooping cough, the North Coast Public Health Unit issued an ‘Urgent vaccination plea’ urging parents to immunise their children against preventable diseases.
Acting Director of Public Health, Greg Bell, said there had been 37 whooping cough notifications in the previous week, more than double that of the previous week.
“Anyone can contract whooping cough, it spreads easily by sneezing and coughing, and can be a life threatening infection for infants,” Mr Bell said.
Public health units actively follow up all cases involving children under five years of age by attempting to contact parents by phone. For those cases involving patients older than five years, the PHU sends either an SMS or letter in an attempt to provide all cases with information relating to whooping cough in a timely manner.
Chips and chocolate, and a lack of exercise were identified as some of the main culprits affecting people’s cholesterol levels and high blood pressure by clinical staff running public screenings at Lismore Base Hospital as part of Heart Week 2017.
The National Heart Foundation’s promotion is especially relevant for regional/rural residents who have a 27 per cent higher rate of hypertension than urban dwellers (38.6 per cent of all adults compared to 30.5 per cent).
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic is an annual community service that checks blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and discusses the results with members of the public being screened.