Commonwealth Grant May 2023 update

25 May 2023
From Alex Sweetman

Primary care grant program picks up speed
In just under a year, the ASA’s primary care grant program has racked up a number of important achievements. 

That last month has seen progress in relation to nurses, GPs and psychologists, along with opportunities to consult with members and advocacy work.

We have been working with the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) on several primary care nurse sleep health education and promotion activities as part of the Commonwealth grant. 

We will be attending the Festival of Nursing  in July to present information about sleep health management by primary care nurses, and discuss sleep health education needs with nurse members. The Australasian Sleep Association are also working with APNA to support scholarships for 6 primary care nurses to attend Sleep DownUnder in Adelaide this November, to learn more about sleep health and meet members of the ASA.

International exposure for the GP Guideline
Professor Nick Zwar has submitted an abstract describing the development, approval, launch and promotion of the new online GP Insomnia and Sleep Apnoea Guideline  to the North American Primary Care Research Group Conference. The ASA has been monitoring the gradual increase in access to the Guideline since its launch in November 2022, and working with other GP organisations, primary health education groups, and primary healthcare networks to promote the guideline.

The ASA has organised an insomnia skill-building session  at the World Organisation of Family Doctors, in Sydney this October. This session will provide pragmatic suggestions about the screening, assessment, management and referral of chronic insomnia in primary care, with a focus on the insomnia components of the guideline.

The Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders education subcommittee and Australian Psychological Society are continuing to develop an on-demand Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) education program for psychologists and other health professionals. The program will include information about the referral, assessment, and management of insomnia in psychological practice, including a suite of downloadable resources and a manualised CBT-i program.

Preventive Health Roundtable meeting
We recently had the opportunity to attend a roundtable meeting with the Department of Health and other awardees  of the Health Peak and Advisory Bodies program funding in Adelaide. This was a great opportunity to hear about the Department implementation of the National Preventive Health Strategy, meet other awardees in person, and hear about the many preventive health activities funded through this program.

State meetings
May’s State meetings in Melbourne and Adelaide saw the CEO join members to share news about ASA’s health policy and advocacy work. It was also an opportunity to discuss local issues with members and hear ideas about new advocacy opportunities.

The Clinical Committee has been hard at work providing responses to requests for information. Therapeutic Guidelines asked for feedback in relation to the upcoming review of its sleep disorders guidelines. Other work included providing advice on an application to the Medicare Schedule Advisory Committee. 

The ASA is now working alongside the Sleep Health Foundation to prepare a submission for the Senate Inquiry Assessment and support services for people with ADHD.

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