14 December 2022

The Go4Fun healthy lifestyle program for families and children aged seven to 13 is returning at seven locations across South Western Sydney in Term 1, from Monday, 30 January 2023.

You can register by phoning 1800 780 900 or visiting go4fun.com.au.

Enrolments are being accepted up until Friday, 10 February 2023.

  • A new program location will also launch in Term 1, at Appin Community Hall on Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm. Download the flyer

What is Go4Fun?

Go4Fun is a free program for children aged seven to 13 who are above a healthy weight, and their families. Trained health and community professionals like dietitians and exercise physiologists run the program which is a fun way to build self-esteem and learn about eating well, staying active and living a healthy life.

Go4Fun takes place during school terms, usually after school. Sessions run once a week for two hours, during a 10-week period. A parent or carer must come to every session.

Find out more about what's involved

Aboriginal Go4Fun

Aboriginal Go4Fun was developed in partnership with Aboriginal communities and is delivered by local Aboriginal organisations together with NSW Health. The program encourages the whole community to join in.

Aboriginal Go4Fun includes:

  • Aboriginal support staff
  • Traditional Indigenous games
  • Tailored resources
Find out more about Aboriginal Go4Fun

Go4Fun online

Go4Fun Online is perfect for families that can’t make it to our face-to-face program, but still want to make health changes to their lifestyle.

Go4Fun Online runs over 10 weeks and includes:

  • Weekly online activity sessions
  • Weekly phone coaching with a health professional
  • Resources and prizes
  • Our online community where you can chat to other families in the program
  • Email and text message support
Find out more about Go4Fun online
09 September 2022

Register your child or register your patient for Go4Fun’s Term 4 program.

What is Go4Fun?

Go4Fun is a free program for children aged seven to 13 who are above a healthy weight, and their families. Trained health and community professionals like dietitians and exercise physiologists run the program which is a fun way to build self-esteem and learn about eating well, staying active and living a healthy life.

Go4Fun takes place during school terms, usually after school. Sessions run once a week for two hours, during a 10-week period. A parent or carer must come to every session.

Find out more about what’s involved

Aboriginal Go4Fun

Aboriginal Go4Fun was developed in partnership with Aboriginal communities and is delivered by local Aboriginal organisations together with NSW Health. The program encourages the whole community to join in.

Aboriginal Go4Fun includes:

  • Aboriginal support staff
  • Traditional Indigenous games
  • Tailored resources

Find out more about Aboriginal Go4Fun

Go4Fun online

Go4Fun Online is perfect for families that can’t make it to our face-to-face program, but still want to make health changes to their lifestyle.

Go4Fun Online runs over 10 weeks and includes:

  • Weekly online activity sessions
  • Weekly phone coaching with a health professional
  • Resources and prizes
  • Our online community where you can chat to other families in the program
  • Email and text message support

Find out more about Go4Fun online

Find a session

General – Term 4 program starts 10 October in locations including Camden, Campbelltown, Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool

Aboriginal Go4FunCampbelltown, Liverpool, Revesby

11 July 2022

Diabetes is one of the most significant health problems in South Western Sydney.Diabetes

Overall, diabetes or high blood sugar affects 14.5 per cent of people in South Western Sydney, higher than the state average of 11.3 per cent – and that number is steadily growing.

People with type 2 diabetes make up the greatest proportion of these numbers. Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with overweight and obesity and is therefore, largely preventable.

SWSPHN partners with South Western Sydney Local Health District, healthcare providers and community to reduce the risk of diabetes in our community, and support primary care providers in managing diabetes.

This National Diabetes Week, 10 to 16 July, learn more about our work below:

About diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects the whole body.

Diabetes occurs when the body can’t maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar; it is the main source of energy for our bodies. Unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood can lead to health complications.

There are three main types of diabetes, they are:

Type 1 diabetes, a genetic condition which often shows up early in life

Type 2 diabetes, mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time

Gestational diabetes, occurs during pregnancy

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, chronic kidney disease and dialysis, lower limb amputations, heart disease, stroke, complications in pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes. These complications have significant impacts on individuals, communities and the health system as a whole.

Who is at risk of Type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes runs in the family. If you have a family member with diabetes, you have a genetic disposition to the condition.

While people may have a strong genetic disposition towards type 2 diabetes, the risk is greatly increased if people display a number of modifiable lifestyle factors including high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.

People are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if they:

  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are older (over 55 years of age) – the risk increases as we age
  • are over 45 years of age and overweight

You can assess your risk by using the diabetes risk calculator on the Diabetes Australia website.

What can people do to prevent diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in up to 58 per cent of cases by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and following a healthy eating plan.

People at risk of type 2 diabetes can delay and even prevent the condition by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Regular physical activity
  • Making healthy food choices
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Managing cholesterol levels
  • Not smoking

SWSPHN’s role

General Practice

We support primary carers through a range of programs to ensure patients at risk of diabetes are receiving the best possible care.

Two examples:

The Integrated Diabetes Program funds hospital specialists to provide case conferencing in general practices to manage complex patients. Case conferencing assists GPs to support patients with type 2 diabetes. An endocrinologist and diabetes educator come to the practice, and the GP works with the endocrinologist to identify the patient’s care needs, identify outcomes to be achieved by each team member; and identify tasks which need to be undertaken to achieve these outcomes. The diabetes educator works with the patient to provide education and support developing skills in self-management.

Education including the Western Diabetes Education Program which is designed to increase awareness of the impact of diabetes, as well as build knowledge and develop skills in the management of diabetes for healthcare providers like GPs and general practice nurses.

Community

We also support our community through a range of initiatives and promotion of services to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Contraception and Pre-Pregnancy Planning

High rates of congenital malformations exist in South Western Sydney in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Contraception and Pre-pregnancy Program has been designed to develop a more integrated approach to supporting women of childbearing age with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This program has been implemented elsewhere and has reduced the rates of congenital malformations, miscarriage and stillbirths by up to 70 per cent.

We’re working with Western Sydney University and the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) to implement this program which:

  • raises awareness of risk of unplanned pregnancy and contraception methods in healthcare providers and women
  • provides easy access to best practice pre-pregnancy care for women who have decided to become pregnant

DiRECT-AUS Study

SWSPHN provides funding and support for the Australian arm of the Diabetes NSW DiRECT (Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial) Study. The program found that in the UK almost half of participants in the overweight or obese range who followed an intensive low-calorie diet of around 850 calories a day, for between eight and 20 weeks, were able to put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

Five general practices in South Western Sydney are participating in the trial, including Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service. Download media release

The DiRECT study will be completed in July, with a full report to be released in January 2023. Additional research has also begun to look at how to effectively scale up the program.

Health Resource Directory

Health Resource Directory is a website developed by SWSPHN which provides reliable, local health information. It provides information on the main types of diabetes, as well as where to access supports and strategies to manage the condition.

Community representative invited to join diabetes sub-committee

SWSPHN is looking for one GP and one community representative to join our South Western Sydney Diabetes Framework to 2026 Primary and Community Diabetes Care Sub-Committee.

The sub-committee provides direction and clinical leadership on primary and community-based diabetes service provision in our region. It has representatives from SWSPHN and South Western Sydney Local Health District, in addition to endocrinologists and local GPs.

Meetings occur every two months, on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 6pm to 7pm via Microsoft Teams. Participants will be required to attend meetings to provide input based on their experience and expertise, and to read meeting papers prior to meeting (including the previous meeting’s minutes).

If you have an interest in improving diabetes care in South Western Sydney, please apply by contacting Kathryn Dovey at Kathryn.Dovey@swsphn.com.au

11 July 2022

Diabetes is one of the most significant health problems in South Western Sydney.

Overall, diabetes or high blood sugar affects 14.5 per cent of people in South Western Sydney, higher than the state average of 11.3 per cent – and that number is steadily growing.

People with type 2 diabetes make up the greatest proportion of these numbers. Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with overweight and obesity and is therefore, largely preventable.

SWSPHN partners with South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), healthcare providers and community to reduce the risk of diabetes, and support primary care providers in managing diabetes.

This National Diabetes Week, 10-16 July, learn more about our work.

About diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects the whole body.

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, chronic kidney disease and dialysis, lower limb amputations, heart disease, stroke, complications in pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes. These complications have significant impacts on individuals, communities and the health system as a whole.

There are three main types of diabetes, they are:

Type 1 diabetes, a genetic condition which often shows up early in life

Type 2 diabetes, mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time

Gestational diabetes, occurs during pregnancy

People are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if they:

  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are older (over 55 years of age) – the risk increases as we age
  • are over 45 years of age and overweight

Some population groups within South Western Sydney have a higher than expected prevalence rate of diabetes and/or experience greater complications as a result of their diabetes than those in other groups. These priority populations include: Aboriginal communities; people from the pacific islands; people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities; people from rural areas; people; experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage; people with mental health issues; the frail aged; and those living with disability.

Integration

SWSPHN and SWSLHD partnered in 2019 to develop an Integrated Diabetes Plan for the region. The plan is guided by the South Western Sydney Diabetes Framework to 2026 and the partnership has so far delivered: 

General Practice

The Integrated Diabetes Program funds hospital specialists to provide case conferencing in general practices to manage complex patients. Case conferencing assists GPs to support patients with type 2 diabetes. An Endocrinologist and Diabetes Educator will come to the practice, the GP works with the endocrinologist to identify the patient’s care needs, identify outcomes to be achieved by each team member; and identify tasks which need to be undertaken to achieve these outcomes. The Diabetes Educator will work with the patient to provide education and support developing skills in self-management.

Education including the Western Diabetes Education Program which is delivered by Western Sydney University’s School of Medicine and is designed to increase awareness of the impact of diabetes, as well as build knowledge and develop skills in the management of diabetes for healthcare providers like GPs and general practice nurses. Through this program, healthcare providers gain a better understanding of complex and evolving diabetes care including: different types of diabetes; risk factors of diabetes; effect of diabetes on the normal regulation of blood glucose; common diabetes tests and screening procedures; complications associated with diabetes; management of diabetes, including lifestyle modifications and medical therapy; appropriate referral systems; impact of diabetes both in Australia and globally.

Community

Diabetes Contraception and Pre-Pregnancy Planning

High rates of congenital malformations exist in South Western Sydney in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Contraception and Pre-pregnancy Program has been designed to develop a more integrated approach to supporting women of childbearing age with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This program has been implemented elsewhere and has reduced the rates of congenital malformations, miscarriage and stillbirths by up to 70 per cent.

We’re working with Western Sydney University and South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) to implement this program which:

  • raises awareness of risk of unplanned pregnancy and contraception methods in healthcare providers and women
  • provides easy access to best practice pre-pregnancy care for women who have decided to become pregnant

DiRECT-AUS Study

SWSPHN provides funding and support for the Australian arm of the Diabetes NSW DiRECT (Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial) Study. The program found that in the UK almost half of participants in the overweight or obese range who followed an intensive low-calorie diet of around 850 calories a day, for between eight and 20 weeks, were able to put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

Five general practices in South Western Sydney are participating in the trial, including Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service. Download media release

The DiRECT study will be completed in July, with a full report to be released in January 2023. Additional research has also begun to look at how to effectively scale up the program.

Other sources of information/support

Health Pathways South Western Sydney

Access to clinical guidance and resources through HealthPathways South Western Sydney which provides evidence-based and localised clinical guidance to support the prevention, assessment and management of type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes. The site also provides information on local health services, including referral processes.

Health Resource Directory

Health Resource Directory is a website developed by SWSPHN which provides reliable, local health information for your patients. It provides information on the main types of diabetes, as well as where to access supports and strategies to manage the condition.

GP representative invited to join diabetes sub-committee

SWSPHN is looking for one GP and one community representative to join our South Western Sydney Diabetes Framework to 2026 Primary and Community Diabetes Care Sub-Committee.

The sub-committee provides direction and clinical leadership on primary and community-based diabetes service provision in our region. It has representatives from SWSPHN and South Western Sydney Local Health District, in addition to endocrinologists, and local GPs.

Meetings occur every two months, on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 6pm to 7pm via Microsoft Teams. Participants will be required to attend meetings to provide input based on their experience and expertise, and to read meeting papers prior to meeting (including the previous meeting’s minutes).

If you have an interest in improving diabetes care in South Western Sydney, please apply by contacting Kathryn Dovey at Kathryn.Dovey@swsphn.com.au

31 May 2022

Registrations are now open for Go4Fun’s Term 3 program.

What is Go4Fun?

Go4Fun is a free program for children aged seven to 13 who are above a healthy weight, and their families. Trained health and community professionals like dietitians and exercise physiologists run the program which is a fun way to build self-esteem and learn about eating well, staying active and living a healthy life.

Go4Fun takes place during school terms, usually after school. Sessions run once a week for two hours, during a 10-week period. A parent or carer must come to every session.

Find out more about what’s involved

Aboriginal Go4Fun

Aboriginal Go4Fun was developed in partnership with Aboriginal communities and is delivered by local Aboriginal organisations together with NSW Health. The program encourages the whole community to join in.

Aboriginal Go4Fun includes:

  • Aboriginal support staff
  • Traditional Indigenous games
  • Tailored resources

Find out more about Aboriginal Go4Fun

Go4Fun online

Go4Fun Online is perfect for families that can’t make it to our face-to-face program, but still want to make health changes to their lifestyle.

Go4Fun Online runs over 10 weeks and includes:

  • Weekly online activity sessions
  • Weekly phone coaching with a health professional
  • Resources and prizes
  • Our online community where you can chat to other families in the program
  • Email and text message support

Find out more about Go4Fun online

Find a session

The program is held at the following locations:

  • Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Airds (Aboriginal Go4Fun) – Tuesdays, 4pm to 6pm
  • KARI – Liverpool PCYC (Aboriginal Go4Fun) – Mondays, 4pm to 6pm
  • South West
  • Liverpool PCYC – Saturdays, 1pm to 3pm
  • Prairiewood Youth and Community Centre – Tuesdays, 4pm to 6pm
  • Yagoona Community Centre – Thursdays, 4pm to 6pm
  • Macarthur
  • Eagle Vale Leisure Centre – Monday, 4.30pm to 6.30pm (pool)
  • Mount Annan YMCA – Saturday, 1pm to 3pm (pool)
  • Minto PCYC – Wednesday, 4.30pm to 6.30pm
02 September 2021

It’s not too late to register for the Diabesity Masterclass 2021 Series which is held Mondays, 7pm to 8.30pm via Zoom and runs until 25 October.

South Western Sydney Local Health District and South Western Sydney PHN will present over the next three weeks of the 12-week program.

The presentations will cover:

  • September 6: Diabetes in Pacific Islander and Aboriginal People
  • September 13: Starting and Adjusting Insulin
  • September 20: Diabetes in the Child-bearing Years

To view the full program

Once you’ve registered you will have access to view the presentations from weeks one to five on the myINTERACT app. You can also still receive a Certificate of Attendance to be used to claim CPD points.

The event is for GPs, pharmacists, diabetes educators, practice and community nurses, endocrinologists, dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists and podiatrists to better equip them with the skills to better manage type 2 diabetes.

To register

26 May 2021

Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) at Campbelltown has so far seen ‘outstanding results’ in clients participating in a trial to show type 2 diabetes remission can be achieved through a weight management program provided in primary care.

Eight Tharawal AMS clients aged 49 to 63 are participating in the DiRECT-Aus research trial in two phases, with clients in the first phase already experiencing weight loss of up to 15kg and improving their glycemic control without the use of diabetes medications.

The trial is a partnership between Diabetes NSW & ACT, five primary health networks, including South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN), and the University of Sydney. Five general practices in South Western Sydney are participating in the trial.

It is looking to replicate the active arm of the DiRECT-UK Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial which saw type 2 diabetes remission achieved in 67 per cent of participants with weight loss greater than 10kg.

We spoke to dietitian Renee Zahar (pictured below) who is part of the specialist team – including GP, Dr Eva Constantinidis and practice manager/registered nurse Joanne Ross – overseeing the project at Tharawal AMS.

Ms Zahar said Tharawal AMS got involved in the trial to provide clients with access to a free diet replacement product, the support of a specialist team and education about healthy food choices.

 

How does the diet replacement product work?

The diet replacement product is designed to cause rapid weight loss. It is used during the first three months of the trial in addition to low energy foods like stir-fries. The diet replacement product provides all the vitamins, minerals and protein that your body requires and is typically used by people who are significantly overweight, particularly when there is another condition that is impacting on their health. Also, it’s typically used prior to having to surgery to reduce operating times, recovery times and reduce some risks associated with surgery.

The diet replacement product is a tool for achieving short-term weight loss only and long-term weight control. Keeping the weight off depends on the long-term changes, behaviour change and attitudes to eating and exercise habits. For this reason, we also include an education element each week. Participants said this was the most valued part of the program in the UK.

The diet replacement product is used for medical reasons and its use should be medically supervised by a healthcare team.

 

What results are you getting?

The results have been outstanding. With the initial group I have seen weight loss of up to 15kg and excellent glycemic control without the use of diabetes medications. With the second cohort, after the first four weeks there was already weight loss of up to 7.7kg and a drop in blood glucose levels, again without medication or greatly reduced doses to get started.

However, what is most thrilling is the positive impact mentally it’s had on the patients. What I have observed is the sense my patients feel they can take some control back from their diabetes. While some have had huge gains in weight loss and improvements in their glycemic control, the attitude, behaviour change and relationship with food has been incredible from all participants. Not only that, it has had a profound impact on their individual family units and family members have also lost weight because of healthier food choices.

Also, what has been amazing is the support and ideas shared by clients when I developed a WhatsApp group called the Tharawal DiRECT Warriors. It’s been priceless.

 

What feedback are you getting from patients about the ease/difficulty of sticking with the weight management program?

Client 1

Number one thing is you have to want to do it. The program is magnificent, the encouragement too. I have found it super easy to stick to. The first week I was hungry but it’s mind over matter, getting rid of old unhealthy habits. The healthy options are great too. I’m feeling on top of the world today and have had a massive burst of energy.

Client 2

I wanted to do the program due to the support I was going to get and education to train my mind to choose healthier options instead of quick on-the-run foods. So far, the support and guidance have been really good. I’m not hungry but still have cravings. I’m training my mind to eat something healthy or use movement (walking or cleaning). I’m learning a lot about healthy eating.

Client 3

I have really enjoyed this. I have had so much support which has made it so easy to stick to and I feel great. I find the shakes are nice and all the other people around who are doing the same thing as me will feel the same. I just love it, I have tried everything and nothing has worked until now, so thankyou Renee.

Client 4

I am determined! I haven’t strayed from the program, even refusing chocolate. I love the convenience of this program, how easy it is to have my shakes or bars instead of going to all the takeaway food outlets that I used to. How easy is it to make a lovely vegetable stir-fry? I’m choosing healthy options now. My sugar levels are great at the moment with no medication and it’s because of this wonderful program that has me accountable every fortnight. I love the support groups as well, as they also give me motivation to get healthy and improve my quality of life.

Enquiries about the DiRECT-Aus research trial can be directed to SWSPHN’s Vitor Rocha via email  Vitor.Rocha@swsphn.com.au

14 August 2020

The Wollondilly Health Alliance has challenged local schools to adopt a healthy canteen menu.

We all know children are influenced by what they see around them, including what food is on offer, what they see their friends, family and other role models eat, and how food is advertised.

A healthy school canteen is one way to create a healthy food environment and the NSW Education Department’s Healthy School Canteen Strategy aims to make healthy choices easy for students.

The Wollondilly Health Alliance, a partnership between Wollondilly Shire Council, South Western Sydney Local Health District and South Western Sydney Primary Health Network, has been supporting local schools by offering prizes for those taking on the healthy school canteen challenge.

So far, 12 of the 14 public primary schools in Wollondilly have put in a fantastic effort and are now offering a range of healthy food and drinks to their students.

The canteen strategy has four key components: asking schools to fill 75 per cent of their menu with “everyday foods”; selling healthy drinks and no sugar-sweetened beverages; ensuring packaged foods meet portion limits and have a health star rating of 3.5+; and ensuring only healthier options are promoted to students.

Wollondilly Mayor Matthew Deeth said it was great to see the Wollondilly Health Alliance encouraging and supporting schools to provide healthy eating options for our kids.

“As a dad I certainly know how hard it can be to get your kids to eat healthy,” he said. “There are so many pressures and temptations on them to do otherwise, so having the right choices in our canteens is really important.”

Through this initiative almost 2,700 students across the Wollondilly Shire now have access to healthy food in their school canteen.

All Education Department schools were required to adopt the strategy by December 2019, with all school sectors (including Catholic and Independent schools) encouraged to adopt the guidelines.