The prevalence of COVID-19 in NSW is currently very low, and the vast majority of cases that do occur come from a known cluster of confirmed case. This means if you’re working in an Emergency Department in NSW your chance of coming into contact with active COVID-19 infection is actually incredibly low.

Your safety is most important. Through the Communities of Practice, senior clinicians from across the state from a number of specialties are working together to develop guidelines to prepare NSW Health for the pandemic.

On this page

Aim of the clinical community of practice

The NSW Agency of Clinical Innovation (ACI) 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 from emergency departments across 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 emergency departments.
  • identify, prioritise and escalate issues related to COVID-19 which are actually or potentially affecting clinicians providing emergency department 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.

Governance

  • Executive sponsor: Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning
  • Clinical lead: Dr Lai Heng Foong, Staff Specialist Emergency Medicine at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital
  • Community of practice support
  • Key stakeholders
    • Clinicians​
    • Managers and consumers within NSW
    • ACI Emergency Care Institute
    • Health Services Operation – Emergency Care stream
    • Strategic Reform and Planning Branch.

The NSW Agency of Clinical Innovation 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.

Membership

This community of practice is open to emergency department directors, senior nurses, other medical practitioners and nurses, and representatives from allied health and community backgrounds working with emergency departments in NSW. As a minimum it will include representation from all districts and networks. However, membership may be extended if needed 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 ACI-ECIs@health.nsw.gov.au

Frequency of the community of practice

Fortnightly​ basis on a Wednesday at 3pm using Skype, details will be attached to the calendar invite. Register to attend​.

Guidelines and resources​

Page Updated: Monday 19 October 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW