Reflections on the Great Russell Conference

Over 75 people attended the recent Great Russell Conference held recently. The Northland Faculty would like to thank Mobile Health for providing two of our speakers this year. Dr Anna Fenton and Dr Peter Freeman who, after sharing 'handy' tips, were both able to catch up with old friends and relatives during The Great Russell Conference. We heard from Dr David Bratt from the Minsitry of Social Development about issues relating to medical certificates and benefits. Dr Lou Querubin, who has the role of GP liaison for NDHB mental health service, presented on the future of mental health services in Northland. GPs welcomed the promise of better communication from the mental health services but the board will be writing to the GM of MHS to clarify that this is not a Trojan horse for a larger burden of mental health patient care.

Dr Alistair Dunn gave a passionate plea for othe GPs to join him in becoming a certifying consultant for terminations of pregnancy. Philip Balmer from the new PHE made himself available to talk to GPs about Mahitahi Hauora.

Dr Ian Murphy from NZ Rugby presented on concussion (and a big thank you to his children that travelled 700km by road to explore Northland this week). Local and national data on rheumatic fever, GAS and the throat swabbing program was laid out for us by Dr Michel Baker and Dr Anil Shetty and despite a fairly lively debate with the help of our Dr David Hammer we probably all needed a 30 minute bath and 20 minute lie down to reduce our SNS overdrive as suggested by Dr Giresh Kanji.

2020 will be the year of the WONCA Asia Pacific conference in Auckland. Members voted that, despite this, they would like the Faculty to continue with our annual conference. Dr Emma Clare has stepped up to organise next years conference as Dr Tanya Quin steps down. It is a great way to get to know your colleagues so please let us know if you have ideas or would like to join Emma in bringing us together next year.

If GPs need to further discuss issues with Philip Balmer, Alistair Dunn, Lou Querubin or David Bratt then you can contact the Faculty who can provide you with their contact details.

Photos from the conference are available for everyone to laugh at on our website

Reminder of upcoming events

Your Northland GP Faculty would like to remind you of a number of events coming up

  • Kapa Kaiaka injection skills evening, Thursday 8th May
  • Rural Emergency Skills, Friday 17th May (hosted by Mobile Health)
  • The Great Russell Conference, 18th-19th May

Please find the contact details on our website and you can check our updated conference speaker list and register for our conference online.

Kapa Kaiaka joint injection workshop

A joint injection workshop will be held Thursday 8th May in the Ratu Room, Manaia PHO. Led by experienced GPs the workshop will demonstrate injections of knees, shoulder, carpal tunnel, De Quervains and fine needle aspirations. Workshop is free for Kapa Kaiaka members and GP registrars. Dinner provided. Please contact Emma Clare to register:

Joint Injection Event poster.jpg

Free rural emergency skills course

The team at Mobile Health is running a FREE Rural Emergency Skills course on Friday the 17th May 2019. This is open to 6 doctors and 6 nurses for the day lead by Dr Peter Freeman ED specialist. Contact Sandra ( if you can make that Friday free to participate in this hands on workshop that covers skills and knowledge required in the initial management of common medical emergencies. After that, join us in Russell for a warm up at the Duke of Marlborough hotel before The Great Russell Conference on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2019. Check out our registration page for this years line up and go into the draw for a free conference if you register early. This year our Saturday night dinner entertainment will be the trivial mind of Dr Cunningham testing the depths of our knowledge, so brace yourselves!

Rural Emergency Skills Course Flyer - Kerikeri (17 May 2019).jpg

Reminder of MedNZ Talks symposium

Don't forget to register for our symposium 'MedNZ Talks' being held in Kaitaia this year Saturday 3rd November. All involved in primary care are welcome to attend so forward our link on to your colleagues, practice managers, nurses, health workers and pharmacists.

Also the Northland faculty has purchased a projector and screen for our educational meetings. If members are presenting to community groups in Northland in a non-profit making capacity they are welcome to borrow this equipment. Please contact the Faculty.

MedNZ Talks - Kaitaia

This year, on 3rd November, the Northland Faculty is pleased to present the annual spring symposium in Kaitaia at the amazing Te Ahu centre. Join fellow primary health care professionals from around Northland to learn from fellow colleagues and enjoy each others company.

Topics include registrar audits, physio solutions for common problems, anaesthetic pain procedures, managing the long list of medications in renal patients, plant based diets, sudden dependence in older age, managing a relationship with the police, how to write a novel, travel medicine tips, insights from a designated doctor and harrowing histories in medicine.

For more details see the webpage

Northland Faculty at the Auckland RNZCGP conference

This week the Northland Faculty will not only be co-hosting the college conference in Auckland, but we will be working with NorthlandInc to promote our region. Conference attendees will be encouraged to visit our stand and answer an online quiz about our region to be in to a draw to one of three Northland prize packs to the total of $5000.

Luxury getaway

  • A night for two at Kauri Cliffs Luxury Accommodation
  • Three day cruise Cotton Blossom II, (V & D France Kerikeri Cruising Club)

Adventure getaway

  • 18 Holes golf for two at Kauri Cliffs
  • Fullers hole in the rock tour for two
  • Headsup Mountain Bike adventure for two
  • Yacht Race Kerikeri Cruising Club

Foodie prize

  • Lunch for two at Kauri Cliffs fine dining
  • NOSH Waipapa with Northland goodie pack
  • Wild West Worcester Ltd

We will post the links of our sponsors on our website and thank them for their support of our region and Northland general practice. We would welcome our members to join in at the stand, chat and relax

Register for The Great Russell Conference!

Registrations are going well for The Great Russell Conference! Dr Sam McBride will speak on Sunday morning to help make sense of cannabis as a medicine, for those of us who find the area 'hazy'. BPAC has a recent article that might be useful to read

Here is the link to our website for the registrations and list of speakers. We hope that Burton Shipley will make for an interesting after dinner speaker at the Saturday night dinner. Your Faculty Board informally meet at the bar on Friday night, so see you there.

Women’s Health Evening

The Kapa Kaiaka group was lucky enough to host Dr. Orna McGinn, from Auckland, for an evening of education regarding long acting reversible contraceptives. This was held at Te Whare Ora O Tikipunga and thirteen Kapa Kaiaka GPs from throughout Northland attended the evening. The goal of the session was to become more informed about the use of LARCs and have some skills based teaching regarding insertion of Jadelles, Mirena, and Copper IUDs. The session started with teaching by Orna and then there was opportunity for practice on models provided by Anton Garrido of Bayer. After the session we have endeavoured to match Kapa Kaiaka trainees with GPs who are already experienced in inserting IUDs and Jadelles in order to gain some supervised experience. There is a lack of a standardised training protocol for LARC insertions in NZ and Orna is instrumental in attempting to get one up and running, so we were very lucky to benefit from her expertise. Obviously a major barrier to LARC access for patients is the availability of GPs who are able to perform their insertions, so hopefully this session will enable a newer cohort of GPs to start learning these skills and increase patient access to LARCs in the future.

Safe Hands, Safe Plans workshops

Four Safe Hands, Safe Plans free RHANZ workshops for Northland from the 31st October.

The workshop aims to upskill our rural workforce in screening for depression and suicide risk, developing safety plans, counselling about access to lethal means of suicide, and organizational or office protocols for this important work. There is more information about the dates, venues and content of the workshop plus a registration page through this link

Also, don't forget the Homegrown Treasures symposium Vintage Car Club, Kiwi North, Maunu Saturday 28th October 2017. Register here