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August 2015

New Aged Care Services referrals
How to make a referral for Aged Care Services including ACAT assessments.
From the 1st of July things have changed in accessing services for the frail aged. Now there are two options to make referrals either for services or for an ACAT assessment. There is an online form available form www.myagedcare.gov.au/referral . The other way is to ring My Aged Care Contact Centre 1800 200 422. Monday to Friday 8am to 8 pm Saturday 10am to 2 pm.

The Regional Assessment Service providers are expected to accept or reject the referral within 3 days. Assessment timeframes expect  that 90% of assessments including a final support plan, matching and referral of a client to service providers will occur within 10 days for a High Priority Client, 14 days for a Medium Priority Client and 21 days for a Low Priority client.

Unfortunately it looks as though only hospitals can do urgent referrals directly to service providers.

I had an elderly patient who fractured her ankle on the 1st of July. She lives alone with no prior services in place. Fortunately it was school holidays so her son who is a teacher was able to come in from out west to care for her until services were arranged. Her only other option if she didn’t have family to care for her was to be admitted to hospital. 
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Resourceful Facebook Group 
Thanks to my GPpartners Facebook friends I was able to confirm a diagnosis. I saw a 12 month old one Saturday Morning with a terrible rash on her arms and legs. I thought it may have been this new aggressive version of Hand Foot and Mouth as although the rash looked awful the little girl was afebrile, alert, happy eating well, devouring a banana while I was checking the rash. The mouth ulcers appeared the next day. Cathryn Hester kindly posted an article www.eurosurveillance.org Vol 19 Issue 12 Atypical Hand Foot and Mouth Disease associated with Coxsackie A6 infection Edinburgh UK Jan to Feb 2014 which explained how this version of the Coxsackie Virus was much more aggressive and affected the arms and legs as well as the hands feet and mouth. To cover myself I must admit I referred her to the Lady Cilento Hospital where they took swabs which unfortunately were inconclusive for coxsackie virus but that is what the dermatologist thought it was.

Facebook is a great way to communicate. GPpartners Group is invitation only and we do check that the people asking to join are GPs. The posts are not seen by anyone else except the group members.


Dr Jayne Ingham

Chair, GPpartners