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NT Budget’s investment in health an opportunity

14 May 2024

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the investment in Northern Territory health services as part of the Territory Budget delivered by Chief Minister Eva Lawler MLA today.

 

The Budget includes $12 million for design and preparation for a new 120‑bed residential aged care facility in the Palmerston Regional Health Precinct, as well as $108 million for a range of mental health measures at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

 

President of the PSA Northern Territory and South Australia Branch Dr Manya Angley FPS welcomed the investment, highlighting the opportunities for pharmacists to bolster high-quality aged care and mental health.

 

“The Northern Territory Government’s investment in health services is critical to making care more accessible to Territorians,” Dr Angley said.

 

“The announcement of a new 120-bed residential aged care facility in Palmerston is another opportunity for pharmacists to support older Territorians through the soon to be launched federally-funded Aged Care On-site Pharmacists (ACOP) program, supporting Quality Use of Medicines and reducing the risk of medicine-related harm in aged care.”

 

Pharmacists will be better able to support the mental health care of patients across the Territory, with increased investment into the Royal Darwin Hospital’s mental health capacity, says Dr Angley.

 

“Increased funding for mental health services is a chance to harness the skills and expertise of pharmacists to enhance the delivery of high-quality mental health care through optimising medicine use.

 

“We are continuing to work with the Northern Territory Government to ensure that all Territorians have access to appropriate care when and where they need it, including from pharmacists practising across our health network,” Dr Angley concluded.

 

 

 

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

South Australian pharmacists recognised

15 April 2024

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has recognised outstanding pharmacists at its 2024 South Australia and Northern Territory Excellence Awards in Adelaide over the weekend.

PSA’s Excellence Awards recognises local pharmacists involved in innovative practice, those who are striving to raise practice standards, and those who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice which others seek to emulate.

Awards were presented to:

  • Natasha Downing, SA/NT Pharmacist of the Year
  • Chloe Hall, SA/NT Intern Pharmacist of the Year
  • Raymond Truong, SA/NT Early Career Pharmacist of the Year
  • Peter Halstead, SA/NT Lifetime Achievement Award

PSA also awarded the Pharmaceutical Society Gold Medal, recognising the University of South Australia student with the highest grade point average (GPA) in the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) above 6.25.

Given the stringent criteria, the PSA Gold Medal is not awarded every year.  It is our most prestigious student award, and the recipient joins a very impressive and select group of pharmacists. PSA has been awarding the Gold Medal since 1896.

PSA SA Branch is pleased to present the Pharmaceutical Society Gold Medal to Amelia Thompson.

PSA South Australia and Northern Territory President Dr Manya Angley congratulated the award recipients.

“The passion and dedication of pharmacists across South Australia and the Northern Territory is clear. It is our pleasure to recognise some of them tonight on behalf of the PSA.

“Natasha, Chloe, Raymond and Peter exemplify the highest level of pharmacy practice, from embracing every early career opportunity to driving positive rural health outcomes through to to a lifetime of professional excellence.  I applaud Amelia’s achievements and look forward to what is in store for her.

“I’m proud to present these awards tonight, and congratulate each of the recipients on their awards,” Dr Angley concluded.

 

Media notes

Natasha Downing, SA/NT Pharmacist of the Year

Natasha Downing is a proud South Australian rural woman. She was born and spent her childhood in Jamestown, South Australia. After a high school education in Adelaide and completing her university studies, she returned to the area where she has been a community pharmacist since 2007.  She has a deep commitment to ensuring all those who call the mid-North of South Australia their home can achieve best possible health outcomes.

Since her credentialing in 2015, Natasha has seized every opportunity to advance the integration of pharmacists across service delivery in the wider region. As a local, she has a deep understanding of her patients’ journies and needs. She came to the attention of the Goyders Line Medical Practice through her high-quality medication reviews (HMRs and RMMRs), and community pharmacist roles, and then was welcomed as one of the general practice team through a Primary Health Network (PHN) funded Pharmacist in GP practice opportunity.

Natasha has a warm, generous and empathetic nature and is an exceptional communicator which make her perfectly suited to health care and ensuring best patient outcomes via her person-centred approach and her ability to be an integral member of the team around the person. Across all her roles, Natasha connects well with patients from all walks of life and delivers the same respectful, caring, flexible and high-quality service to all. She goes above and beyond to meet the needs of patients and ensure they use their medicines optimally while considering the broader context of their health care. These skills are best applied in her palliative care role, which is an extremely challenging time for both the patient and their loved ones, where she ensures her patients can express choice and maintain dignity and comfort.

Natasha is both a trail blazer and a quiet achiever within our profession. She is an exceptional role model, especially for rural women. Natasha exemplifies PSA’s mission to embed, equip and enable pharmacists to be at the forefront of healthcare in Australia.

 

Chloe Hall, SA/NT Intern Pharmacist of the Year

Chloe Hall’s intern year has been a case-study in the power of self-belief. She started her intern year with plenty of fundamental skills and a desire to achieve, but maybe a little self-doubt. As the weeks went by, she continued to extend herself beyond her comfort zone, leading trainings, embracing opportunities for complex conversations with patients, collaborating with doctors, and conducting new pharmacy services.

The more she did these activities, the more evident were her abilities, and as she came to quietly recognise this herself, her practice leapt to an exceptional level. By the end of her internship, the quality of her work, initiative, knowledge and  skills made her the pharmacist that patients were asking for and the pharmacist that more experienced pharmacists would consult and confer with.

 

Raymond Truong, SA/NT Early Career Pharmacist of the Year

Early Career Pharmacist Raymond Truong is a fierce advocate and true leader, with a particular focus on supporting and elevating the voices of Early Career Pharmacists.

Raymond is deeply committed to promoting opportunities for ECPs across all practice settings.

Raymond has been an active PSA member since 2016 and has taken full advantage of the leadership and mentoring opportunities PSA offers.  In 2021, Raymond was a member of the SA/NT PSA ECP working group committee.

He joined the ECP Communities of Special Interest Leadership Committee in 2023. In the same year he became the ECP representative on the SA/NT Branch Committee (an observer role). He enthusiastically volunteers to represent our Branch to showcase our strengths and build interdisciplinary relationships with other professional groups e.g.  Raymond has presented at interprofessional collaboration events between pharmacists and dentists (2021, 2023) and podiatric prescribers (2023).

In his community pharmacy roles, Raymond has driven vaccination services, administration of other medicines by injection and a broad range of other advanced professional services. He is a COVID-19 vaccination provider, influenza and whooping cough, a Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence service provider, and has played a key role in integration of professional services including B12 administration, Take Home Naloxone, MS-2 dispensing, and expansion of vaccination services in his practice.

Raymond has made the most of every opportunity offered to advance professional pharmacy practice services. He has held the position of Pharmacist Manager at Terry White Chemmart Paragon (Modbury),and is currently Professional Services Community Pharmacist at Terry White Chemmart Findon (Part time) and is a Community Pharmacist at Chemist King, Klemzig (part-time).

In addition to focussed efforts to expand professional services in community pharmacy, embracing leadership roles within PSA, becoming credentialed to conduct medication reviews and establishing a private consultancy, Raymond was elected Chair of SA General Practice Pharmacist Peer Network (SAGPPPN), a Community of Practice of primary care pharmacists.

In October 2023, Raymond became credentialed to conducted medication management reviews and established a private consultancy, Pill Box Education Services. Raymond is regularly conducting residential medication management reviews (RMMRs) at Pennwood Village Aged Care Home and actively participating in Medicines Advisory Committee meetings in preparation to take on a role as an on-site aged care pharmacist when this program rolls out. He has also commenced conducting Home Medicines Reviews.

 

Peter Halstead, SA/NT Lifetime Achievement Award

Over his 40-year long career, Peter Halstead has made a sustained contribution to the pharmacy profession and associated organisations, dedicating himself to developing and advancing Australian pharmacy practice. Through these activities, Peter has made a significant contribution to patient care. He has been an advisor, mentor and friend to many members of our profession and epitomises the values of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

After graduating in 1980, Mr Halstead worked as a community pharmacist and was instrumental in developing new areas of practice and became a pharmacist adviser to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Drug and Alcohol Services and The Family Planning Unit at SHINE SA.

In 1996, Peter joined the School of Pharmacy as a research fellow involved with Professor Andy Gilbert and others in the development of new pharmacist roles, particularly in the area of Aged Care services.

In the period 2000 to 2001, Peter was the Education Officer of the Pharmacy Board of South Australia and from 2001 to2010 he was the Registrar of the Board, a position which he held with distinction until the formation of the National Pharmacy Board. During his tenure, Peter developed and implemented systems and procedures that allowed the formal assessment of the competency of recent graduates and others seeking registration as pharmacists in South Australia.

 

Peter was a Director of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) from 1996 to 2010 and since 2010 has been the Senior Pharmacist for the APC involved in the development of assessment processes for intern pharmacists as well as pharmacists from overseas seeking registration with the National Pharmacy Board. He actively supported many overseas pharmacists who were going through the formal process of seeking registration and became a mentor to many.

Peter was appointed as the General Manager of the Pharmacy Regulation Authority, South Australia (PRASA) in 2010, a position he held for 12 years until his recent retirement. During this period, he continued to engage with the Pharmacy Board of Australia on many issues affecting Australian pharmacy practice. Peter Halstead is a most deserving recipient of the PSA Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Statement on resignation of Natasha Fyles

19 December 2023

 

Quotes attributable to Dr Manya Angley FPS, PSA Northern Territory and South Australia President

On behalf of pharmacists across the Northern Territory, I thank outgoing Natasha Fyles MLA for her service and leadership over her time as Chief Minister and Minister for Health.

Ms Fyles, alongside then  Chief Minister Michael Gunner, led the Northern Territory through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued to support the health sector through its lasting impacts.

Under Ms Fyles’ leadership, NT Health introduced Real Time Prescription Monitoring, reducing the risk of dose escalation, dependence and overdose of controlled and high-risk medicines.

In 2022, the Fyles Government passed legislation to address legislative barriers to the supply and regulation of scheduled substances, reflecting modern practice. This has provided pharmacists with more agility to meet the health care needs of Territorians, especially those living in regional and remote areas.

Just recently we have also seen the expansion of pharmacist-administered vaccines in the Northern Territory in line with other jurisdictions, unlocking the full potential of our immunisation workforce and allowing outreach clinics to offer targeted health promotion.

Each of these measures has had a real impact on the health and wellbeing of communities throughout the Northern Territory, and will continue to do so into the future.

I look forward to working with the next Health Minister and the broader Northern Territory parliament to ensure that pharmacists are able to practise at their full and top of scope, providing accessible and timely health care to Territorians.

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

NT Pharmacists to administer more vaccines to more Territorians

19 December 2023

 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the Northern Territory Government’s move to cut unnecessary red tape and allow qualified pharmacist-immunisers to administer a wider range of vaccines from early next year.

From 1 January 2024, pharmacist-immunisers will be authorised to administer all vaccines listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule, including as private vaccines to those who are not eligible for NIP funding, for consumers aged five years and older.

The update also authorises pharmacists to administer vaccines outside of community pharmacy settings, opening the door for pharmacist-led vaccination outreach clinics across the Territory.

PSA Northern Territory and South Australia President Dr Manya Angley FPS said that these changes send the right message to the community.

“Maintaining immunisation is a lifelong commitment and pharmacists are accessible and trusted health practitioners in communities throughout the Northern Territory,” Dr Angley said.

“There should be no wrong door when a patient is seeking a vaccine, whether from their local GP or pharmacist.

“Allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines in a range of settings also unlocks the full potential of our immunisation workforce, allowing outreach clinics to offer targeted health promotions.

“I am proud to see years of PSA’s advocacy has led to real outcomes not only for the pharmacists who will be able to play a greater role in delivering vaccines, but for our communities who will be able to access eligible vaccines closer to home, at their convenience.

“We look forward to continuing to work with NT Health and the NT Government to ensure that all Territorians have access to quality health care, no matter where they live,” Dr Angley concluded.

Ahead of the NIP Vaccination in Pharmacies expansion on 1 January 2024, PSA has released a comprehensive and updated immunisation course for pharmacists with renewed clinical content, interactive videos and revised layout.

The updated PSA immunisation training program is available to all pharmacists here.

PSA members can now enrol in immunisation refresher course for free here.

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au