Steptember – raising money for Cerebral Palsy

BLACKBURN CLINIC is raising money for CEREBRAL PALSY.  Many of our doctors, nurses, administration and reception staff are attempting to walk 10,000 STEPS every day for the month of September. We have 35 staff members participating within 12 teams.

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture.  It is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.  Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance.  Did you know, Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood?

Support this worthwhile cause by donating at

Click on DONATE and search for BLACKBURN CLINIC.  Donate to anyone on our list—we don’t mind who!

New Pharmacist Advisory Service for our patients

Blackburn Clinic has been granted funding to engage a Clinical Pharmacist to provide a range of medication support services for eligible patients. The project will run for 9 months and aims to improve management of medications for older patients, particularly for those with multiple chronic conditions, taking multiple medications, or taking medications that are difficult to manage or have side-effect problems. There will be no cost to our patients for services provided through this project.

The Pharmacist will work from the consulting rooms at Blackburn Clinic, making it easy to liaise with our GPs about patient care. The Pharmacist will not dispense (sell or provide) medications, but will perform a range of activities including consultations with patients to:

a) review medication adherence and identify ways to help patients integrate their medicine-taking into their lifestyle.
b) review medications to identify and resolve Medication Related Problems (examples of Medication Related Problems include adverse reactions, over-dosage or under-dosage, interactions with other medications or other medical conditions, and difficulties in taking medications).
c) improve patient understanding of both their disease/conditions and how their medications work.

The Pharmacist will work closely with our doctors to improve the management of individual patients and through education of the general practice team, aim to improve quality prescribing.
Where appropriate and with your GP’s approval, the Pharmacist may recommend a Home Medicines Review in order to better clarify your needs, alternative or natural medicines being taken. There is no cost to the patient for a Home Medicines Review.

A coordinated approach between the pharmacist and GP can help streamline medication regimens, move patients to safer medications or safer dosages, ensure patients take their medications in the best possible manner and ultimately result in fewer Medication Related Problems.

The practice pharmacist can also be a link to existing community pharmacy services, and liaise with other care providers where appropriate.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has backed the concept of in-practice pharmacists “as a means of improving medications management in primary care and avoiding adverse medication events leading to hospitalisation” 1 .

If you are 65 years of age or older and take six or more medications (including over the counter medications), or have had a recent stay in hospital, you may benefit from this program. Please ask your GP whether it is suitable for you.

This program is funded by Eastern Melbourne PHN as part of the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

1. Lambert J. Do in-practice pharmacists really make a difference? The Medical Republic, 31 May 2018.

Dr Dunn supporting Operation Cleft.

Dr Rob Dunn is cycling 100 km on 7th October 2018 to raise money for cleft repair operations for children in Bangladesh.
More than 5,000 children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate in Bangladesh each year. Cleft repair surgery is not covered under the Bangladesh health care system, and the cost of surgery out of reach of most Bangladeshi families.
Operation Cleft is a unique Rotary project that provides free cleft repair surgery to underprivileged children in Bangladesh. Operation Cleft began in 2005 as a project of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central and is still supported by them.
Unfortunately, these children are shunned by society, discouraged to attend school and generally excluded because of the way they look. Children with cleft problems have difficulty feeding as babies and difficulty eating when older, risking malnutrition. They are susceptible to ear, nose and throat infections. Without treatment children develop nasal speech patterns that are difficult to change, so treatment is best done while children are young.
Operation Cleft Australia Foundation depends entirely on community donations to achieve 1,000 operations each year. Operation Cleft also speech therapy programs following cleft repair surgery.
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia. To sponsor Dr Dunn’s cycling challenge online go to Donation tins are also available at Blackburn Clinic reception.

The My Health Record (MHR) is becoming “opt-out”

The MHR is a digital summary of a patient’s medical record that can be shared securely online between the patient and the healthcare providers that they visit.  It includes a list of the patient’s medications, their medical diagnoses, allergies, organ donor status and their vaccinations.  It will soon contain pathology and radiology results as well.

Australians have a three-month window from 16 July to 15 October 2018 during which to opt-out if they do not want a MHR to be created.  For those who do not opt-out, a MHR will be available from 15 November 2018.  The MHR will not contain any content until either the patient logs in or a healthcare provider accesses the record.  Upon access, two years of Medicare and PBS (prescription) records will automatically be added to the record.

The MHR allows GPs, hospital staff and other health professionals to access the record of patients who present, which may help avoid medication mix ups, improve patient outcomes, avoid duplication of services, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.  The MHR may enable patients better self-management through access to key health information to support improved decision making and continuity of care.

Patients can add information to their record themselves and can stipulate that certain clinical documents are not uploaded to their MHR.

What do you need to do?

If you are happy to have a MHR automatically created by the Government, you don’t need to do anything.  Likewise, if you have already created a MHR, this will continue without you doing anything.

If you do not want the Government to create a MHR on your behalf, you need to opt-out between 16 July and 15 October 2018, by telephoning 1800 723 471 or visiting the MHR website at

Flu Vaccines Available -Please phone for an appointment. Do not book online for Flu.

Like last year, the Free Government flu vaccine in 2018 is a Quadrivalent vaccine for patients under the age of 65.  This vaccine is also available privately at Blackburn Clinic for patients who are not eligible for the Free Government vaccine.

There is a new boosted/stronger Free Government flu vaccine for patients aged 65 years and over.

When there is sufficient patient demand we run special Flu Clinics, and at other times you can book for a flu vaccine with your regular doctor.

We recommend patients phone for a Flu appointment, so that staff can identify that the appointment is for a Flu vaccine.


Private Quadrivalent flu vaccine = $20 (incl. GST) plus Consultation fee^^

^^If you attend a Flu Clinic, the Consultation will be bulk billed.  Flu Clinic appointments do not address anything other than your flu vaccine.  If you have your flu vaccine as part of a normal consultation with your regular doctor, consultation fees will be the doctor’s discretion.

If you are eligible for a Free Government flu vaccine, and attend a Flu Clinic, there is no cost to you.

Eligibility criteria for free government supplied seasonal influenza vaccine#

# Source:
•    People who are 65 years of age and over
•    Pregnant women at any time during their pregnancy
•    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months to under five years and 15 years and older
•    Any person 6 months of age and older with a chronic condition placing them at increased risk of complications from influenza
–   New eligible group for 2018 – all children from 6 months of age, to under 5 years of age.