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WA Chair's Report

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the WA State Committee newsletter. I hope that at least some of you were able to enjoy a good break over the New Year, and that we are all ready for the challenges ahead in 2017. 

The rolling out the Building Respect and Improving Patient Safety (BRIPS) Action Plan is continuing. A progress report for 2016 is now available, which highlights all of the achievements that were made last year, and outlines the priorities for this year. We have had a good initial response to the e-learning module, which we are looking to build upon throughout the year. I encourage anybody who has yet to complete the training to do so as it is a compulsory CPD requirement, and only takes about 45 minutes to complete. Many in Western Australia have signed up for the Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators course in 2017 which is also pleasing.

We had hoped to nominate certain individuals to represent RACS' position, and meet with the CEOs of the three main public teaching hospitals. A Memorandum of Understanding had also been drawn up and discussed between RACS, the Chief Medical Officer and the Director General. This was due to be signed, however, it has now been decided that as direct employers, it falls within the remit of the local board to sign-off on this agreement. We intend to have further discussions throughout the year, and I will keep you informed of these.

This issue has been a priority of the State Committee, and we are dedicated to ensuring the success of the BRIPS campaign. However, there are things that we can all do to support this. I encourage every surgeon to be a champion of the BRIPS campaign within their local hospital and to foster a culture of respect.

Other ongoing issues for the State Committee have been:

  • Continuing to advocate for the position of Director of Surgical Services
  •  Advocating for action on elective surgery wait lists
  • Supporting the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth program (PARTY)
  • Providing our support for a National Taskforce to address disparities in Ear Health
  • Seeking an ongoing funding commitment for the WA Audit of Surgical Mortality.

These issues were all covered in our election position statement which was sent to all of the main parties before the state election. We received one response from the Liberal Party, which was published on our website prior to the election. As you know the election has now been held, and we have had a change of Government. The new Ministry has yet to be sworn in, but we anticipate Mr Roger Cook will retain the health portfolio which he held in opposition. The former Health Minister, the Hon. John Day, was not re-elected and as yet no announcement has been made on who the Shadow Health Minister will be.

That’s all for now, but I would welcome comments or thoughts regarding any aspect of the committees work at any time.
Kind Regards
Steve Honeybul

Back by popular demand- WA Surgeons Ball

 SAVE THE DATE Friday 10 November
Anyone who says surgeons don’t know how to have fun clearly didn't attend the Western Australian Surgeons Ball last year- what a successful night!!
Arabian Nights is the theme of the 2017 charity ball, which will be held on Friday 10 November at Crown Towers. Guests can expect a night of mystery and intrigue, with a wide range of entertainment on offer throughout the night.
As well as being a night of good natured fun, the ball also has a serious side and is an excellent opportunity to raise money for the Foundation for Surgery. Last year’s event raised $22,850 which helped support a team of four surgeons to the region of Papua, Indonesia, to provide much needed critical surgical support and training for local practitioners.
We hope to do the same this year for another region.
Tickets are on sale at RACS WA, or you can contact the local office for more information.
Book early as this event will sell out!!
We give special thanks to this years sponsors, Chellingworth, Perth Radiological Clinic and SKG Radiology.

Annual Scientific Meeting

WA, SA & NT Annual Scientific Meeting
Trauma: When Disaster Strikes’
Date: Friday 25 August 2017
Venue: Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth 

Thursday 24 August will provide the following Professional Development courses.

  • Operating with Respect
  • Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators

For registration see information under Professional Development.
ASM Abstract Submission - NOW OPEN

We hope many of our Fellows and Trainees will be interested in presenting at this event. The contribution of presenters is critical and we value your input. Call for abstract information is available at this link 

For additional information, please contact:
RACS WA Regional Office
T: +61 8 6389 8600

WA Regional Committee Elections

Nominations for the WA Regional Committee will open on Friday 17 March 2017.
Fellows will receive an email with a link to the nomination form. 
Submission of your nomination form, including supporting statement and photograph, is completed online. Nominations will close on Monday 3 April 2017 at 1700hrs AEST.
To complete the online nomination, candidates will be required to:

  • Contact two other Fellows who agree to support their nomination;
  • Put into the nomination form the names and email addresses of their two supporters;
  • Declare there are no restrictions on their medical registration;
  • Upload information about themselves and a recent photograph.

There will be 6 positions open for election on the WA Regional Committee.
For more information please contact me at angela.d’

WA's Admissions to Fellowship

Congratulations are extended to the following new Fellows:
General Surgery
Dr Genevieve Gibbons (WA)
Dr Edward Yeboah (WA)
Dr Sasha Rogers (WA)
Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr Matthias Hofmann (WA)
Dr Daniel Meyerkort (WA)
Dr Morgan Prince (WA)
Dr Andrew Wallis (WA)

RACS Awards

Congratulations are extended to the following award recipients:
Mr John Matheson - ESR Hughes Award
Dr Vedella Hinckley – ESR Hughes Award
Dr Genevieve Gibbons - John Corboy Medal
Mr John Dunbar - RACS International Medal
Lord Viliami Tangi - RACS International Medal
Prof Alexander Heriot - The Henry Windsor Visiting Lectureship

CTEC Critical Care Medicine Conference

Saturday 20 May 2017
The University Club of Western Australia, Perth

Convenor: Dr Ruth Blackham
Are you sometimes required to manage a critical care patient and would like to know more about handling their requirements?
This conference is designed to “fill the gaps” of sub specialist knowledge for those that only treat critical care patients on an irregular basis.
Highly regarded specialists from Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care will present ways on how to manage and monitor a critical care patient relating to a particular subspecialty.
Subspecialty topics of discussion include:
Emergency: Toxicology, Emergency Radiology
Anaesthesia: Regional Anaesthetic Techniques, Crash Airway Protocols, Cardiac Surgical Considerations
Intensive Care: Renal Care in ICU, Liver Care in ICU, Paediatric Medicine, Bariatric Considerations
Presentation content would include case studies, tips and some of the latest techniques relating to this topic. Participants will be encouraged to participate in the interactive presentation format. After lunch, we will hold "The Great Debate" on a topic relating to the conference.
Suitable for:
Generalist based hospital doctors (Consultants, Trainees, RMOs, Interns, Registrars, Junior Doctors), Surgical Doctors , ICU Doctors, Anaesthetists, GPs (Rural and Metro), Nurses (Limited places), Medical Students (Limited places)
Fee: Doctors: $240 Nurses: $190 Medical Students: $160
Further information and registration:

Professional Developments


The 2017 Active Learning with your peers booklet is available. Visit the RACS website to register for workshops via the Online registration form (login required).

 Upcoming course in WA
  • Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators 
    The Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators is an introductory course to expand knowledge and skills in surgical teaching and education.In response to the Building Respect and Improving Patient Safety Action Plan, attendance is now mandated for Surgeons who are involved in the training and assessment of RACS SET Trainees by January 2018.
    We have three upcoming courses in WA on 3 April 2017, 24 August 2017, 17 November 2017
  • Operate with Respect - 24 August 2017 - Perth, WA
  • Surgical Teachers Course - 19 -21 October 2017 - Mandurah, WA

    Please send queries to the Professional Development Department on +61 3 9249 1106 or via email.
    Global sponsorship of the Professional Development programming is proudly provided by Avant Mutual Group, Bongiorno National Network and Applied Medical.


Fellows Interface – Removal of Support for Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 8 (IE8)
In the current round of improvements to the Fellows Interface electronic platform, the Australian and New Zealand Audits of Surgical Mortality (ANZASM) is taking steps to minimise security risks to audit data and hosted applications. This is in response to the increased incidence of online attacks targeting medical information technology systems. As an initial step, the Fellows Interface will no longer support IE8, given a number of limitations with this browser, which exposes applications and users to significant risk. A number of changes to internal systems are also being implemented to improve the security of ANZASM applications.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the WAASM office if you require further information about this change.

Online Surgical Case Forms and First-Line Assessments
As you will be aware, from 1 January 2017, all Surgical Case Forms and First-line Assessments are now being completed online via the Fellows Interface. Paper forms are no longer being used. All Fellows will now have received login details for Fellows Interface, if they have not been  using it previously.  We appreciate that a period of time may pass before you need to use these login details. If you require us to provide you with these details again in the future, or to reset your password, please contact the WAASM office and we will be happy to assist with this.The WAASM would like to thank Fellows for the support received during this transition.

Self-reporting WAASM Cases
The WAASM recognises that there are sometimes delays in sending out Surgical Case Forms to Fellows, depending on how quickly the WAASM receives Notifications of Death (NODs). In these instances, it may be difficult for Fellows to recall the details of the case or to be able to readily access the relevant medical records. The facility for self-reporting a new case via Fellows Interface is a useful function in this respect. It allows Fellows to login to the Fellows Interface and generate a NOD (and subsequently a Surgical Case Form) themselves, thereby allowing completion of case details whilst they are still easily recalled. Step by step details of how this can be done can be found in the online user guide.

Assessors Needed!
The WAASM is always looking to increase the number of Fellows who are willing to undertake the audit’s peer reviews, especially as it is necessary for all cases to undergo a First-line Assessment. Assessments are a very useful way to earn CPD points, particularly for Fellows who may find it difficult to attend other CPD activities. From 2017, completed First-line Assessments accrue 2 CPD points and completed Second-line Assessments accrue 4 CPD points. We will provide all necessary support and information required by new assessors and look forward to hearing from interested Fellows!

UWA Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - Professional Development and Mentorship of Medical Students

Are you interested in giving something back to assist in the development of tomorrow’s doctors?
The UWA Faculty of Medicine is in need of clinical mentors for postgraduate medical students to complete part of the UWA Personal Development and Mentoring Program. What is the mentoring program? Medical students complete a mentoring program where they meet with a clinical mentor to discuss their careers and medio-ethical issues (Minimum 1-2 meetings per year). We endeavour to match students and their interest in a particular field of medicine with the expertise of the mentors.  While this is a volunteer program, students do NOT require clinical time or access to patients for this program. Meetings can be kept informal. 

Benefits to mentors: 
-  Enhance skills in coaching and counselling
-  Gain satisfaction from helping a student develop professional behaviours and attitudes
-  Contribute to their own professional development
-  Increase awareness of different areas of medicine and medical education.
Benefits to mentees:
-  Transition better to the MD course
-  Receive encouragement and support in studies and work
-  Reflect on their learning, learning styles and work life balance
-  Discuss their career aspirations and options, and develop career networks
-  Develop new skills, knowledge and confidence
-  Reflect on their personal and professional behaviours and attitudes
Mentors need to be qualified clinicians, with at least 3 years of post-grad experience. If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact: Ms Deborah Chapman, PDM Academic Services Officer,, ph. (08) 6457 2446. Your involvement would be greatly appreciated.

Access to Counselling Services

Fellows, Trainees and IMGs have access to confidential counselling for any personal or work-related issued through Converge International. Provision of services covers New Zealand and Australia and can be in person, on the phone or via Skype. RACS will cover the costs of up to four sessions per calendar year to this arms-length service. Contact Converge via phone : 1300 687 327 in Australia or 0800 666 367 in New Zealand or via email.


Mr Stephen Honeybul
Western Australian Regional Chair
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
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