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Practice News (December 2019)

By December 10, 2019December 11th, 2019No Comments

Supervisor and ME PD

Workshop Format

The standalone one day Supervisor Workshops at Hawthorn this year have proved quite popular so we have decided to continue to hold some one day meetings in the metro space next year. The one day meetings this year were held to replace the residential workshops which did not happen in 2019 because EV hosted GPTEC. Quite a number of supervisors told me they liked the dedicated 1 day meeting rather than a half day which often occur in the evening after a hard day at the office. It allows more time to clearly focus on educational matters. So look out for these 1 day events as well as the normal sub regional meetings in 2020.

We will again have 2 Supervisor residential workshops in 2020. The dates are May 1-2 in San Remo and October 9-10 in the Yarra Valley. Dr Susan Wearne will be the key note guest speaker. Susan spent many years as a GP in Alice Springs but more recently is the Senior Medical Advisor, Health Workforce Division of the Department of Health. Susan has done a lot of work around GP supervision both onsite and remotely. In fact, this was the basis of her phD, so she knows lot about GP Supervision. The 2020 overarching Supervisor PD theme is ‘Transitions’ and Susan’s keynote will relate to this and well as providing other insights from her perspective. We are very lucky to have someone of her status agreeing to come to our meetings.

So our transitions theme includes transitions by registrars from hospital into GP and well as transition out of GP training into the rest of your career. Topics like “Managing Uncertainty” such a key skill for registrars to learn and become more comfortable with as well as things like the importance of leaning about the business of GP perhaps as you move beyond GP training would be very relevant to the transitions theme. We are especially keen to get more supervisors involved in presentations next year both at the residential and in other meetings.

Have a think about the theme and whether you think you might like to present something. Among the opportunities are short 10-15 minute presentations or indeed longer workshop style activities. We are also hoping that we might have a debate as part of the residential, any volunteers. What topics should be debated?

Of course the social part of these meetings is very important and we again hope that some supervisors may contribute here. So come on pitch your idea and let’s see what we can come up with.

So we are looking for input.

Feel free to contact myself patrick.kinsella@evgptraining.com.au or Julie Willems the manager of Supervisor PD julie.willems@evgptraining.com.au with your ideas.

Small Group Meetings

As you may know we piloted the idea this year of small groups of supervisors meeting on an intermittent basis for a facilitated discussion over a meal. So a group of 8 or 10 supervisor met each 2-3 months and spent time discussing what they do rather than listening to a presentation. The idea was to strengthen networks and build peer support. The feedback has been positive so we are seeking to expand this activity this year. Would you like to facilitate one of these small groups?


One final point, since we went to online rather than paper based evaluations of our workshops and meetings, the numbers of responses have been dropping off. Please make the time to always complete the evaluations, it is important feedback to presenters and also it is important from a memory perspective to bring to mind things that you learned at these meetings. Current theoretical models of memory stress the importance of revisiting material stored in your short term memory to make it move to long term memory, completing evaluations helps this process for you. So it’s more than just giving feedback to the program and presenters but rather helping to fix information in our memories.

Have a great Christmas everyone.

Dr. Patrick Kinsella
Professional Development Coordinator – Supervisors & MEs




Supervisor Liaison Officer Reports

Rural – Dr Peter Stevens

A lot has been said recently about the GPRA’s push for a single employer model. One of the significant drivers for this is the potential provision of benefits including maternity leave.

One of my Registrars commenced maternity leave this week. The Commonwealth, tax-payer funded scheme, provides for up to 18 weeks paid maternity leave, based on workers average weekly earnings, at a rate of $740.60 per week which amounts to $13,330 over that period. My registrar has been working half-time for the last 18/12 as a GPT1&2. The base rate for half-time GPT1 is $736, GPT2 is $884 & GPT3/4 is $ 884, so the payments level, are not too far away from those rates. I commend the opportunities that this offers Registrars to combine their training with motherhood.

I attended a meeting last week at which the Rural Health Commissioner, Prof Paul Worley, spoke. He talked at length about the National Rural Generalist Program. The concept, agreed by the Health Minister, is to roll out a program of integrated training based in, and designed to, allow students and registrars to undertake the majority of their training within rural regions (grow your own).

Monash University’s decision to consolidate their medical school at Clayton will almost certainly place Gippsland and Gippslanders at a severe disadvantage with this immersion model proposed.

This is an issue that warrants the engagement of the GP Supervisor group to explore possible solutions


Pictured at the recent EV Supervisor Workshop, Churchill is L to R: Dr James Brown, Dr Patrick Kinsella and Dr Peter Stevens.


Metro – Dr Gerard Connors (South East Region)

Peter Stephens refers to a ‘single employer model’ (SEM), see his article above.

1. What is the SEM and why is it being discussed?
GP Registrars would like:

(i)   Portability of leave entitlements, in particular maternity leave entitlements (between Hospitals and General Practice)
(ii)  Maintenance of salary conditions between Hospitals and General Practice-some registrars incomes drop (particularly in practices that bulk bill and even in mixed billing practices that have low patient numbers).

GPRA realises that with a 5-year Medicare freeze, General Practice cannot afford to fund any changes, so have approached Government (supported by the AMA) to explore alternative payment mechanisms. The most discussed is the SEM. That SEM could be Federal Government, State Governments or even RTOs. None of this has been decided yet.

Any change will initially be for the new Rural Generalist program and may or may not flow through to the metropolitan training program. It is not certain that SEM will be the model-several different funding models will be trialed in rural and remote areas, one of which will be a ‘portability’ scheme for entitlements (apparently such schemes already exist in some industries-like the building industry, where workers move between employers).
Some models will suit rural and remote, but not metro.

At this point and for the foreseeable future the way we pay Registrars in the metro area is NOT CHANGING and any changes to Rural and remote registrar pay and conditions is dependent on trials to be run by the Federal Government in 2020.

2. In October you received a letter from EV in regards to a change in the way Supervisors are categorised. We now have 2 categories-Educational and Clinical.

To refresh your memory, I refer you to an email sent from EV on 1/10 or soon after.
If you have any questions in regard to these changes please contact Pauline Gunn (Metro Supervisors) on 98159511 or Churchill on 51323200 (Rural Supervisors).

3. Our NE SLO, Carolyn Royse has stepped back for at least 3 months due to ill health. We wish all the best for Carolyn and look forward to her resuming full SLO duties when able.


Dr Gerard Connors pictured with Registrar Dr Allara Walsh-Howe and Practice Manager, Linda Blaich

Accreditation and Practice Support

Overview of key activities for accreditation and practice support 2019

Pre-accreditation workshop (PAWS) – 4
New practice accreditation – 7 across the region (6 general; 1 rural)
Practice reaccreditation – 55 across the region (45 general; 7 plus 3 branch practices rural)
Reviews of newly accredited practice – 4 general
New supervisors – 59 across the region (46 general; 13 rural)
ESP accreditations – 4 across the region (2 general; 2 rural)
ESP reaccreditations – 2 across the region (1 general;1 rural)
ARST accreditations – 1 rural
AST reaccreditations – 1 rural (one in progress)
ACRRM posts requested to be upgraded from provisional to full – 3 rural
Practice manager workshops – 5 across the region (2 general; 3 rural)
New practice phone reviews – 4 general
Accreditor training workshop – 1

Conference and Workshop Presentations

“The educator as coach” – workshop delivered at ANZAPHE, Canberra in July by Heather Grusauskas and Patrick Kinsella.

Heather Grusauskas attended the AMEE conference in Vienna, Austria and presented a paper on the “Coaching workshops” that had been run at EV.
“The coaching role of the GP supervisor: enabling your registrar to kick goals” was run as an ALM at GPTEC2019 in Melbourne. This workshop has since been run for the supervisors at GPEX.

“Difficult Conversations” was run at the November EV Supervisors Workshop.

Emergency Supervision

Reminder that we have a process in place for both short term emergency supervision and longer term cover (blended supervision application). Contact us for more information.

Feedback themes on practices from ECTVs; RCTIs and registrar feedback.

Please find below some generalized feedback from these reports.

  • Contracts and terms of employment are now being used consistently across the region. Some of the registrars have remarked on the value they see in being involved in early discussions with the practices as this benefits their understanding of employment options
  • Direct supervision provided by supervisors to registrars is highly valued and is viewed by them as being very relevant to their clinical practice
  • Protected teaching time provided by the practices for the registrars is also highly valued and they enjoy being active participants in these sessions
  • Alternative ways to increase patient numbers for registrars has been greatly appreciated!

Work plans for our team in 2020 include:

  • Supervisor workshop on “addressing uncertainty in providing feedback”
  • A increased amount of supervisor workshops being available online
  • Looking at new ways of supporting our training practices

Dr Heather Grusauskas
Accreditation and Practice Support Coordinator