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Aim of the clinical community of practice

NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group (TAG) will provide an opportunity for sharing of ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 pandemic preparedness.

The community of practice will be multidisciplinary and include representation from all districts and networks. It will enable clinicians and clinical managers in drug and therapeutics committees from all districts to provide expert advice and guidance to the system, and to escalate matters that require a statewide or system response.

The aim of these sessions is to

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


  • Executive sponsor: Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Resources
  • Clinical Lead: Professor Sarah Hilmer, Head of Department Clinical Pharmacology and Senior Staff Specialist Aged Care, Royal North Shore Hospital and Conjoint Professor of Geriatric Pharmacology, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney.
  • Community of practice secretariat: Dr Sasha Bennett, NSW TAG
  • Key stakeholders:
    • DTC members
    • Directors of Pharmacy
    • NSW public hospitals
    • NSW Private Hospital pharmacy sector
    • NSW Chief Pharmacist
    • Medication Safety Unit, Clinical Excellence Commission
    • Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (NSW branch).

The NSW TAG will escalate issues raised by the community of practice to Strategic Reform and Planning. Key information will be collected and distributed through MOH-COVID19-ClinicalAdvice@health.nsw.gov.au, which will be monitored by Strategic Reform and Planning.

Collated issues/advice will be escalated by Dr Lyons through to the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) and/or the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) as appropriate.

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

Weekly community of practice Updates will be provided to NSW Health Chief Executives.

Clinical leads

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

The clinical 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 impacts a unit or system or allocate funding to recommendations.


This community of practice is open to all clinical pharmacologists, members of DTCs, pharmacists, and clinicians interested in quality use of medicines. As a minimum it will include representation from all districts and networks. However, membership may be extended more broadly to include all interested NSW Health staff as well as professional colleges, private providers/clinicians and other non-government organisations as appropriate to the clinical speciality.

To join the community of practice participants should email nswtag@stvincents.com.au.

Frequency of the community of practice​

Fortnightly basis on a Wednesday at 9am using Skype for business. Skype for business or teleconferencing details will be attached to the calendar invite. Initial meetings commenced 1st April 2020. 

Guidelines and resources​

Current as at: Monday 7 September 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW