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New edition of Primary Clinical Care Manual launched

14 June 2019

A new edition of a manual providing standardised clinical care and health management guidelines for rural and remote health professionals was launched in Cairns this week.

The 10th edition of the Primary Clinical Care Manual is being progressively rolled out to all rural and remote health services in Queensland.

The manual is developed every two years in a long-standing partnership between the Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland and the Rural and Remote Clinical Support Unit which is hosted by the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

Rural and Remote Clinical Support Unit Executive Director Julie Hale said a wide range of clinical specialists and the various state-wide clinical networks also contributed to the work of reviewing, editing and endorsing the manual.

Ms Hale said the new edition of the manual included more medicines authorities than ever before.

“The 10th edition contains more than 40 additional medicines authorities for every class of clinician using the manual,’’ she said.

“The manual aligns with best practice in pain management, it returns continuing contraceptive management back to local clinicians, and it aligns antibiotic management with the best of what we can currently offer in the management of sepsis and meningitis.’’

Ms Hale said the new manual was fully aligned with the Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guidelines and the content had been moderated with the contribution of the Rural Maternity Taskforce.

“This assures a more family friendly and culturally sensitive approach is taken to maternity care, keeping appropriate groups of pregnant women closer to home up until 36 weeks gestation,’’ she said.

“These practices maintain cultural safety, the highest levels of community support and have been proven to reduce the risk for pregnant women and neonates.”

Ms Hale said the latest edition of the Primary Clinical Care Manual also took account of the new and expanding role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner role was introduced this year, with the aim of improving the delivery of accessible and culturally safe clinical services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, meaning earlier access to services where they live.

They will be able to provide a range of clinically focused activities including administering medicines, arranging referrals, assisting with sexual health and oral health checks.

“For the very first time, these new Health Practitioners will be authorised to provide clinical care by the Health Management Protocols within this new manual – including to administer emergency box jellyfish treatment and Ventolin,’’ Ms Hale said.

“In addition, we can look forward to a future where the dental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is improved through the opportunity for appropriately trained and authorised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners to apply fluoride varnish.’’

Ms Hale said although originally primarily written and structured for use by staff within Queensland Health, the manual had grown immensely in popularity and usefulness.

“It is now recognised as a leading clinical reference guide and is used across a number of other jurisdictions including New South Wales, Victoria, a range of Indigenous medical services and across all branches of the Australian Defence Forces both in Australia and on deployment overseas and at sea,’’ she said.

“It is also increasingly popular as a reference text for both tertiary level undergraduate and postgraduate health science education courses.’’

Access the new manual online

Last updated: 21 June 2019