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Aim of the clinical community of practice

The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) will provide an opportunity for sharing of ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 pandemic preparedness.

The Infectious Diseases Community of Practice will include representation from all districts and networks. It will enable infectious diseases specialists and other physicians from all districts to provide expert advice and guidance to the system, and to escalate matters that require a statewide or system response.

Community of practice members will link with national colleagues and organisations to inform the community of practice discussions.

The aim of these sessions is to:

  • support clinicians to network and share strategies, local solutions and issues with respect to pandemic preparedness for COVID-19
  • complement the work of the Infection Prevention and Control and other communities of practice
  • identify, prioritise and escalate issues related to COVID-19 which are actually or potentially affecting clinicians providing care that require a statewide or system response
  • review and provide expert clinical advice on guidelines, resources and other information
  • advise on the diagnosis, treatment / care, clinical outcomes, period of isolation and de-escalation from isolation, and short and longer term follow up of COVID-19 patients
  • advise on a statewide dataset for the collection of clinical information on COVID-19 patients
  • share Ministry 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 Planning
  • Chairs: Dr Nicky Gilroy and Dr Matthew O'Sullivan, Westmead Hospital, Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Clinical leads: Dr Nicky Gilroy and Dr Matthew O’Sullivan
  • Community of practice secretariat: Carolyn Ellis, CEC
  • Key stakeholders: Infectious Diseases Specialists.

CEC 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 the Strategic Reform and Planning.

Collated issues/advice will be escalated by Ms Willcox 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 Deb Willcox, 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 infectious diseases specialists and physicians in districts / hospitals without an infectious diseases specialist. 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 CEC-COVID19-ID-CoP@health.nsw.gov.au.

Frequency of the community of practice

Fortnightly basis on a Wednesday from 10:30am -11:30am. Meetings commenced 22 April 2020 using Skype for business. Skype for business details will be attached to the calendar invite.

Current as at: Wednesday 15 March 2023
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW