News and Events

Education Events for Health Professionals

Save the date: St Vincent's Hospital Annual GP Symposium 2019. Saturday 23 March 2019.

East Melbourne location.

  • The low back pain epidemic: common back pain syndromes and their management.
  • Palliative care: supporting patients and GPs in end of life care.
  • Knee osteoarthritis: how good is conservative management and if, when and how to move to surgery.
  • Thyroid function testing, subclinical syndromes, immune checkpoint inhibitors and those pesky thyroid nodules!

Program will be accredited for Cat 2 RACGP QI&CPD points.

Registration and flyer coming soon!

If you have any queries, please contact Wendy at

11th IBD Symposium Saturday 30 March 2019.

This event would also be of interest to GPs with a specialisation in gastroenterology in young adults.

  • For the flyer with more information and to register please click here.
  • For any enquiries, please contact
  • Annabelle Pontvianne Tel: (03) 9231 2705 (Mondays and Thursdays)

    Clinical Placement Program in Cancer Survivorship at St V's
    ** Please note: Applications close 14 February 2019 **

    Invitation to GPs. Free placement is accredited for 40 Category 1 RACGP QI&CPD points.

    Please note: Applications close 14 February for placements available to end March 2019, so you need to register your interest soon to make sure you gain a place at a time most convenient to you.

    Aims of the placements:
    • Enhance your ability to care for people living with and beyond cancer.
    • Build better relationships with your Cancer Specialist colleagues.

    What the program involves:
    • Attendance at 2 or 3 Specialist Cancer Clinics, across a range of cancer types and stages and one Multi-Disciplinary Meeting (MDM) with the full gamut of medical, surgical and radiation oncology specialists, nursing and allied health.
    • Time commitment is ~10 hours (GPs).
    • Available at St Vincent’s and several other metropolitan hospitals.

    To apply, please see the flyer or click here 

    For more information, please contact Eliza Short,
    Cancer Services Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital
    Email: or Phone: (03) 9231 3021

    For more information about survivorship education for healthcare professionals, click here:

    If you experience issues accessing the application form, please contact Leisa Leon
    ACSC Education Coordinator P: (03) 8559 6222 E:

    Cancer Survivorship Education for GPs, Practice Nurses and Allied Health Professionals

    The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) with the University of Melbourne is providing valuable learning opportunities to assist primary care practitioners, including GPs, nurses and allied health professionals to provide effective cancer survivorship care.

    For cancer survivors who are no longer in treatment, health care requirements include surveillance for recurrence, screening for the development of secondary cancers, monitoring and intervention for the long-term and late physical and psychological effects of cancer and its treatment, management of comorbid medical conditions, as well as routine preventive and primary care. Primary care providers play a key role in caring for cancer survivors.

    Learning opportunities available:

    • Free online course via The University of Melbourne's FutureLearn platform (register now for Monday 1 October 2018 start - 3 hours per week x 4 weeks) and/or
    • An Active Learning Module (ALM) at GP18, Gold Coast, 10 October 2018 (8:30am - 3:30pm).

    For more information including learning outcomes, locations of workshops click here

    For information about the online course (MOOC) or workshop registration, contact Kyleigh Smith via email or phone 03 8559 6150.



    Advance Care Planning One Day Workshops 

    St Vincent's Hospital - 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Healy Wing Level 3 Medical Education Conference Room

    Level 1:

    Dates 2019 to be advised

    Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm

    This one day workshop covers what Advance Care Planning (ACP) is, the current legal framework, communication skills, cultural considerations and the St Vincent’s

    bestCARE model. The workshop is open to all healthcare professionals. It is free and equips you with the knowledge and skills to participate in Advance Care Planning.

    To register, please click on this link and select your workshop date.

    For further information about this training and to be registered on a waitlist, please contact Caroline Scott on phone: 9231 2847 or email:

    For more information about Advance Care Planning, go to HealthPathways Melbourne, login and search Advance Care Planning or ACP.
    Click here for a summary of Advance Care Planning MBS guidance for GPs and practice nurses.

    Palliative Care Clinical Attachment for GPs 

    St Vincent’s Caritas Christi, Kew.

    Ongoing: Tuesdays & Thursdays.  More information and to book your place.

    Update your skills in providing palliative care and end-of-life care. (6 Category 2 Points).

    Presentations by St Vincent's Hospital Specialists (RACGP QI&CPD Cat 2 points available) 

    Available free online. RACGP Category 2 QI&CPD points available when you complete the evaluation.

    Login and access here:       


    GP Symposium 2018

          Functional bowel disease - the four pillars of treatment of IBS explained.
          Dr Chamara Basnayake

          Fatty Liver - making the diagnosis, when to worry and what treatment works.
          Dr Marno Ryan

          The challenges of breast care in the Google age: customised screening, the worried well and how to get it right!
          Miss Caroline Baker

          Pills or Pot, Placebo or Panacea: pain management in an era of opiate misuse.
          Barbara Walker Centre for Pain Management

          Demystifying heart failure and pulmonary hypertension – GP management or referral?
          A/Prof David Prior & A/Prof Andrew Burns


    GP Symposium 2017

    Why is difficult asthma difficult? Dr Naghmeh Radhakrishna – Respiratory Physician

    Why is surgery important in the management of morbid obesity? Mr Michael Hii – Upper GI Surgeon

    Managing Type 2 Diabetes in 2017. Prof Richard MacIsaac – Director of Endocrinology/Diabetes

    Updates in uro-oncology: A GP perspective. Mr Lih-Ming Wong - Urologist


Health Alert: Mycobacterium chimaera - Update August 2017

In the coming month, hospitals throughout Victoria will be writing to patients regarding a potential exposure to a bacterium called Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera) from heater-cooler units used during cardiac bypass procedures. The risk of acquiring M. chimaera is very low. Approximately 100 patients have been diagnosed with this infection worldwide and only five in Australia. One case has been reported from Victoria. St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne is providing patients with a number to call for further information but they may possibly want to discuss this issue with you as their general practitioner.

Further information provided below or call the advice line if you require patient-specific advice on Tel: (03) 9231 5096


  • There is a risk that certain heater-cooler devices used in cardiac surgery have been contaminated with an uncommon bacterium called Mycobacterium chimaera (or M. chimaera). 

  • The risk of infection with M. chimaera for each individual patient is very low. Approximately 100 patients have been diagnosed with this infection worldwide and only five in Australia. One case has been reported from Victoria.

When to consider the possibility of M. chimaera infection:

  • Patients who have had a prosthetic implant (such as heart valve replacements or aortic root replacement) and cardiac bypass in the last 5 years


  • Have unexplained (ie- standard culture negative) surgical site infections, endocarditis, prosthetic valve infection, para-valvular abscess, graft infection or myocarditis.  Fever, shortness or breath and weight loss are common albeit very non-specific symptoms of M. chimaera infection.

How can patients suspected to have M. chimaera infection be investigated?

  • There is no indication for testing asymptomatic patients, as there is no screening test or serological assay that can determine if a patient has been exposed.

  • If you suspect your patient may have an M. chimaera infection, please call the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne advice line on phone: (03) 9231 5096.

How is M.chimaera treated?

  • M. chimaera infection is treated with antibiotics similar to those used for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). An Infectious Diseases Physician can prescribe and manage this treatment.

What is St Vincent’s Hospital doing to minimise risk to patients

  • We have tested all the Heater-Cooler Units used at St Vincent’s Hospital. Like many other hospitals, we have had a device test positive for M. chimaera. This device was used on a limited number of patients and was immediately decommissioned.

  • Our other Heater-Cooler units used at St Vincent’s are not of the type implicated in this factory contamination (ie- not the LivaNova 3T) but we are proceeding with a schedule of routine testing for M. chimaera contamination and preventative disinfection.

  • We are writing to involved patients to let them know about this issue and the potential symptoms of M. chimaera infection as treatment is available should patients develop an infection.

Where you can go for further information

  • St Vincent’s Hospital M. chimaera advice hotline on phone: (03) 9231 5096

Updates for GPs

Referrals to St Vincent's for patients with a positive FOBT:

A reminder, when referring your patients with a positive FOBT to Endoscopy Services to St V's, please indicate clearly on your letter whether the test was done through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).

Patients with a positive FOBT in the NBCSP are fast-tracked and will get their endoscopy with 30 days, so please let us know.

Please use our special Endoscopy Referral form for all referrals where your patient is likely to require an endoscopy. For referral form, click here.

Advance Care Planning information for GPs

St Vincent’s supports Advance Care Planning and has an Advance Care Planning Program called bestCARE. St Vincent’s encourages clinical staff to have discussions with patients and their families, and to assist them to consider and express their informed free and autonomous preferences about their future health care needs and treatment goals.

When you refer patients to St Vincent’s, if they have an Advance Care Plan, please provide this to us. Similarly if a patient you care for is a known St Vincent’s patient and has an Advance Care Plan, please provide this to St Vincent’s. This encourages shared decision making in line with the patient’s values and presences and in accordance with the impending legislation, Medical Treatment, Planning and Decisions Act 2016.

For further assistance with Advance Care Planning at St Vincent's Hospital, please contact the Advance Care Planning Program Manager, Caroline Scott on 9231 2847 or at  or visit our website /our-services/departments-and-services/a/advance-care-planning

Please note:
St Vincent’s also offers Advance Care Planning 1 day workshops which are open to GPs and practice nurses (please see "Education Events for Health Professionals" section above or click here to register).

For more information about Advance Care Planning, go to HealthPathways Melbourne, login and search Advance Care Planning or ACP.
Click here for a summary of Advance Care Planning MBS guidance for GPs and practice nurses.

National Health Services Directory:

Please ensure your practice details are up-to-date in the National Health Services Directory (NHDS) so that correspondence about your patient's care can be sent from the hospital.

To update your details in NHSD please Phone: (02) 9263 9092 or Email:

Secure Messaging:

Are you receiving outpatient letters via secure messaging from St Vincent’s?

You too can save time and receive secure messages by following these instructions.

Please Note: You do not need to set this up if you already receive secure messages via Argus from The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Northern Health or Monash Health.

This is a free service provided by OzeScribe - powered by Argus

Quality Improvement at St Vincent's Hospital:

Improving Follow-Up Care for Patients with Low Risk Urological Cancers: Project Report

Improving GP Integration in Cancer Supportive Care in Advanced Disease Project ReportArticle published in the Australian Family Physician (Jan/Feb 2017)

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