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Aim of the clinical community of practice

The NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service (ACI Spinal) 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 as appropriate. It will enable clinicians and clinical managers in spinal cord injury 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 spinal cord injury
  • identify, prioritise and escalate issues related to COVID-19 which are actually or potentially affecting clinicians providing spinal cord injury 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 James Middleton, Director of State Spinal Cord Injury Service, Royal Rehab, Northern Sydney Local Health District
  • Community of practice secretariat: Danielle Collins, ACI Spinal Network Manager - 0436 939 683
  • Key stakeholders: Spinal Unit: Medical Directors (or delegates), senior nurses, physiotherapists, with a cross representation of acute care and community settings as required.

The NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service (ACI Spinal) 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 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 Branch 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 key personal representing the NSW spinal services. As a minimum it will include representation from all spinal services. 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 Danielle.Collins@health.nsw.gov.au.

Frequency of the community of practice

Fortnightly basis on a Thursday at 2:00pm. Meetings commenced 26 March using Pexip. Pexip details will be attached to the calendar invite.

Guidelines and resources

Page Updated: Wednesday 13 May 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW