Nhi Nguyen - ICU Operations Clinical Advisor

Credit: ICU footage in this video is courtesy of Western Sydney Local Health District.

The clinical community of practice and the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) have been working hard to ensure Intensive Care Units (ICU) are ready for what lays ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From PPE, to ventilator availability and triage protocols, all necessary processes and provisions have been put in place to ensure NSW is ready for the months ahead.

Clinical Director, Intensive Care NSW and Clinical advisor to Intensive Care Operations Team in SHEOC, Dr Nhi Nguyen and her colleagues have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 planning.

Flattening the COVID curve through physical distancing, quarantine and contact tracing has meant that ICU teams have had much-needed time to prepare.

Evidence-based guidelines for ICU response to COVID-19 have been developed, additional ventilators and other vital medical equipment sourced, telehealth options for tertiary ICUs to support rural and remote communities have been explored, best PPE practice has been embedded, and localised management plans have been developed. The short break in elective surgery also provided an opportunity for sharing of knowledge between anaesthetic nurses and intensive care nurses about anaesthetic ventilators which may be needed to be used for intensive care patients if there was significant demand.

We’d also like to extend a special thanks to all the additional staff who have been trained to ensure an alternative workforce is available if needed!

COVID-19 Intensive Care Guidelines have been developed and are available on the NSW Health Communities of practice.

Aim of the clinical community of practice

The aim of these session is to bring together a group of clinicians who share a common interest and expertise to network, share and improve knowledge about respiratory pandemic preparedness.

ICNSW will provide an opportunity for sharing of ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 pandemic preparedness.

To provide an environment to safely discuss issues which are actually or potentially affecting intensive care clinicians.

There is an opportunity for intensive care clinicians to raise concerns to ICNSW, who will provide feedback to the appropriate branch of Ministry of Health for consideration and action where required.

Clinical leads

  • Dr Nhi Nguyen (Adult), A/Director, Intensive Care NSW
  • Dr Marino Festa (Paed), Clinical Program Director Critical Care, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

This community of practice scope is not

A group which is able to endorse state wide changes or make decisions that impacts a unit or system or allocate funding to recommendations.


This community of practice is open to all senior intensive care clinicians and those working in or with intensive care.

Ministry of Health representatives may be invited depending on the information required from the community of practice.

Frequency of the community of practice

Fortnightly basis on a Tuesday from 9am-10am via Skype for business, number will be attached to the calendar invite.

If you would like to join the community please contact ACI-Intensive-Care-NSW@health.nsw.gov.au.

Guidelines and resources

Current as at: Monday 17 April 2023
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW