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Aim of the clinical community of practice

Health and Social Policy (Disability, Youth and Paediatric Health Unit) at the Ministry of Health provides an opportunity for sharing ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 Pandemic preparedness.

The community of practice is multidisciplinary and include representation from all districts, relevant networks, pillars, and the community. It enables clinicians, clinical managers, program managers and key stakeholders from all districts and networks to work in partnership to provide expert advice and guidance to the system, and to escalate matters that require a statewide or system response.

The aim of these community of practice sessions are to:

  • support clinicians, managers and key stakeholders to network and share strategies, local solutions and issues with respect to pandemic preparedness for disability services
  • identify, prioritise and escalate issues related to COVID-19 which are actually or potentially affecting clinicians providing care to people with disability that require a statewide or system response
  • review and provide expert clinical advice on guidelines, resources and other information
  • share approved advice and resources on the response to COVID-19 that can be circulated within all districts and networks.


  • Executive sponsor: Deb Willcox, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Resources
  • Clinical lead: Andrew Davison, Chief Allied Health Officer – Andrew.Davison@health.nsw.gov.au
  • Policy lead: Sarah Morton, Director Disability, Youth and Paediatric Health – Sarah.morton2@health.nsw.gov.au,
    0436 668 540.
  • Community of practice secretariat: Hannah Quinn, Senior Policy Officer – Hannah.Quinn@health.nsw.gov.au, MOH-COPDisability-COVID-19@health.nsw.gov.au
  • Key stakeholders:
    • Operational and clinical leaders and managers from local health districts, speciality health networks, pillars and networks delivering or supporting delivery of services for people with disability in NSW.
    • Key stakeholders across NSW and within the Commonwealth health and disability related agencies.

Health and Social Policy will escalate issues raised by the community of practice to Strategic Reform and Planning.

Collated issues/advice will be escalated by Ms Willcox through to the Public Health Response Branch (PHRB) and/or the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) as appropriate.

PHRB and SHEOC responses will be provided to Strategic Reform and Planning and then to the community of practice secretariat(s).

Regular community of practice updates will be provided to NSW Health Chief Executives.

Clinical/policy leads

Each community of practice will have a clinical lead appointed by Deb Willcox, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Resources.

The clinical/policy lead will:

  • assist with the facilitation of the community of practice
  • work with clinical peers in the districts and networks to share ideas and develop appropriate response strategies
  • provide expert advice and guidance to the system and Ministry as required
  • escalate relevant matters to the Ministry that require a statewide or system response
  • provide expert advice to respond to media enquiries.

This community of practice scope is not

A group which is able to endorse statewide changes or make decisions that impact a unit or system or allocate funding to recommendations.


This community of practice is open to all key district contacts of disability health care services, and contacts from other relevant services. As a minimum it will include representation from all relevant districts and networks. Membership may be extended more broadly to include all interested NSW Health staff, professional colleges, private providers/clinicians and other non-government organisations as appropriate to the clinical speciality.

To join the Disability Community of Practice participants should email: MOH-COPDisability-COVID-19@health.nsw.gov.au.

Frequency of the community of practice

Monthly meetings on Wednesday at 2:30pm using digital platforms. Meetings will occur via Microsoft Teams. Details will be attached to the calendar invite.

Mechanism for escalating COVID-19 issues

Members can raise COVID-19 issues by emailing the secretariat before the next meeting via MOH-COPDisability-COVID-19@health.nsw.gov.au. For urgent issues that are not emailed prior to the meeting, members can raise them during the meeting.

Email naming convention

Members should include the following in the email:

  • Issue type – Public health, Operational, Clinical, Other
  • Detailed description of the issue
  • Who/what is impacted.

Existing communication mechanisms remain for all issues not related to COVID-19.

Guidelines and resources

Current as at: Monday 17 October 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW