Thanks to all those who responded to check their email access into Hauora Tairāwhiti with the recent issues with blocked emails. I have replied to everyone who responded. If you emailed me and haven’t heard back, please text on 021 863 660 and I can ask IT to manually unblock your address.
The Pink Zone will be open Monday/Wednesday/Friday next week for swabbing referrals. Over the weekends and on Tuesdays and Thursdays please swab in your practice red zone when a same day test is deemed necessary, or send your referral to be actioned Monday/Wednesday/Friday if this is considered clinically appropriate. Local Public Health perspective is that for non-HIS patients this delay is acceptable. While a same day swabbing service available everyday would be ideal, the current demand does not support the resourcing required. If demand increases the Pink Zone is able to step up their service again in response to this.
The BPAC form outlines all the standard indications for USS.
Please include information as requested (eg LFTs, whether IUD present/removed for DUB etc) If required information is not included the request will be returned
If you have an indication for USS that is not on the form you must phone and discuss with a radiologist.
If you have any urgent USS request (same/next day request) you must phone and discuss with a radiologist to ensure it can be prioritised and results relayed.
When you phone radiology reception for either of these indications, please state whether your request is urgent or non-urgent. The radiologist will return your call if busy, and ensure this is done in a timely fashion for all urgent scans.
I appreciate there have been some issues with getting through to a radiologist recently, this has been discussed within the department and hopefully will be smoother moving forward.
The surgical team moved to using new national guidelines on polyp surveillance earlier in the year. They review all patients on their surveillance list and contact any patients (with cc to GP) for any people whose surveillance recommendation has changed. There is no expectation that you action anything from this as the surgical team will continue to manage the surveillance list, but for your information here is the link to the new guideline: https://nzsg.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Update-on-Polyp-Surveillance-Guidelines-2022.pdf
It is important that you record an accurate family history in all colonoscopy referrals to enable the correct surveillance pathway.
In response to some questions about the new bowel screening programme and the FIT test here are the following responses from Sameer Memon (local lead for bowel screening):
The FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) uses antibodies that specifically recognise human Hb. It is not affected by any food or medication.
The FIT only detects lower GI bleeding as the molecule it measures is broken down in the small bowel.
It is a more sensitive and specific test that FOB, and only requires a single sample.
Here is a simple 1 minute patient directed video on how to do the test: https://www.timetoscreen.nz/bowel-screening/doing-the-bowel-screening-test/
Here is a 10 minute video for GPs from National Bowel Screening primary care lead John McMenamin, with some extra Tairawhiti specific information at the end. This includes a preview of the local videos that have been/ will be released to encourage screening. https://vimeo.com/452409113
These local videos can be used on practice waiting room TVs if you are interested. It would be a great way to promote the programme. They have been subtitled so that sound is not required. Please contact Toni.firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to use the videos.
A selection of posters and pamphlets have been ordered to be distributed to practices, we are awaiting their delivery.
For reordering or specific resources your practice may want- here is a link to the national posters and pamphlets you can order free for your practice- they are available in several languages: https://www.healthed.govt.nz/search?topic%5B0%5D=65&type=resource&mode=picture-view