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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Winter 2022

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Farewell Sue Shapland | Pain and pain management series: Part 5 | MSWA's Employment Support Service | Tips for staying motivated over winter

RESEARCH When compared

RESEARCH When compared to women who had been pregnant but never miscarried, women with three or more miscarriages had a 35% higher risk of a non-fatal stroke and an 82% higher risk of fatal stroke. The researchers also found that infertility was associated with an increased risk of non-fatal stroke. Dr Mishra told Medical News Today that the mechanism responsible for the increased risk is an area of active research. “It could be due to common risk factors such as genetic factors, that might predispose women to both pregnancy loss and stroke events,” Dr Mishra explained. “It could also be due to endocrine dysfunction.” FROM QIMR BERGHOFER MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE Read more at qimrberghofer.edu.au/apgs/ Australian Parkinson’s Genetics Study (APGS) seeking participants Researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, with funding from the Shake It Up Australia Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation, are undertaking ground-breaking research to help identify genetic factors influencing risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This research, named the Australian Parkinson’s Genetics Study (APGS), will contribute towards the largest study of Parkinson’s genetics ever undertaken, the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2). This revolutionary study will only be possible with the participation of thousands of real patients. The APGS researchers aim to recruit 10,000 Australian residents (male or female) diagnosed with, and medically treated for, Parkinson’s disease and variants that influence a person’s risk of developing the condition and its various symptoms. This will enable the development of new, more effective, and more personalised treatments for the disease. Participation is strictly confidential, and all participant information provided will be maintained in accordance with Australian regulations. Eligible people are now able to participate in the study. To sign up to the Australian Parkinson’s Genetic Study, or to find out more information, visit geneticsofparkinsons.org.au FROM MND AUSTRALIA Read more at mndaustralia.org.au MND Research Shorts; International Research Update: June 2022 MND patients suffer breathing difficulties as the disease progressively worsens. Detecting problems with patient respiration earlier would lead to better outcomes for non-invasive ventilation. Dr Nathan Staff and his team carried out a test to compare methods to measure respiration to see which test could earliest detect alterations to respiration. They found that measuring overnight oximetry to detect small changes in oxygen levels was the most sensitive manner of determining early respiration issues in ALS patients. 10

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TEAM TAKE PART AND REAP THE BENEFITS There are two numbers that every National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant should keep front of mind. The first is Western Australia's average NDIS plan utilisation level sits at 73%. The second is the average amount that NDIS plan values are dropping according to the recent NDIS Quarterly Report is 4%. Why are these two numbers important and related? Because if the NDIA is looking to rationalise dropping plan values, a 27% under-utilisation could be mentioned as rational, and this will have an impact on participants' future health outcomes. So, why is plan utilisation so important? Because the NDIS has always been a ‘use it or lose it’ endeavour. Any funding not spent in NDIS plans goes directly back to the agency and participants will be forced to justify why they should receive the same level of funding again next year. I recently spoke to one family whose son’s plan had been impacted by underspend and it took them three years to get back to the original level. This is a widespread problem and one that may worsen as the Agency grapples with a growing financial commitment to Clients. Therefore, it’s not enough to have an NDIS plan, you must actively participate in managing your funding if you want to ensure your future needs are met. The first thing an active NDIS participant needs to know is how much you have in your plan, and equally importantly how much you have spent. Each NDIS participant has access to an online portal via my.gov.au where you can track your plan spending. While not as friendly as some websites, it is a useful tool in tracking how your plan spending is going. Once you know how much you have left it’s important that you are proactive if something happens to your services. Holidays, extended hospital stays, COVID-19 lockdowns, and outbreaks are all things that have the potential to interrupt your services. If these events happen, you should work with your service provider to identify additional or alternate services to make up the difference. Equally, if you decide to take a break from a service or want more of something, then let your provider know and they can work with you to reallocate your funding to meet your needs. It should be mentioned that the flip side of this scenario is also true. If you notice that your plan is being overspent due to changes to your condition or situation, it is important that you speak to your Support Coordinator, LAC, or MSWA to start a change of needs process and adjust your roster of care to match your remaining funding. Unfortunately, in most cases, unless rectified, once your NDIS funding runs out it can impact access to your services. The world of funding can be confusing, however your assigned Client Liaison Coordinator is able to help you understand the various scenarios to make sure you are getting the most out of your allocated funding. This team also keeps an eye on funds allocated to MSWA to ensure you are tracking ok. Finally, if you are one of a growing list of participants with a Plan Manager, it's important to make sure they are aware of pricing changes and are active in helping you to keep in front of your utilisation and billing. The good news is that in most situations, it is relatively easy to adjust your plan allocations to ensure appropriate utilisation takes place. If you identify over/under spending concerns quickly enough, you should be able to ensure your services meet both your current and future needs and MSWA is available to help you in this endeavour. GEOFF HUTCHINSON MANAGER CLIENT ENGAGEMENT 11

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