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Aim of the clinical community of practice

The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) will provide an opportunity for sharing of ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and pandemic recovery strategies.

The community of practice will be multidisciplinary and include representation from all districts and networks. It will enable clinicians and clinical managers in surgical services 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 surgical services
  • identify, prioritise and escalate issues related to COVID-19 which are actually or potentially affecting clinicians providing surgical 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: Deb Willcox, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Resources
  • Clinical lead: Professor Neil Merrett, Program Director of Surgery South Western Sydney Local Health District.
  • Community of practice secretariat: Ms Jessica Wragg.
  • Key stakeholders:
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    • Clinical Excellence Commission
    • Ministry of Health System Purchasing Branch.

ACI 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 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.

Clinical lead

The 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 individuals employed in the areas of surgical care and surgical service delivery in NSW. This includes directors of surgery, members of the Surgical Services Taskforce, theatre managers, perioperative clinicians and service managers. At a minimum, it will include representation from local health districts and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.

However, membership may be extended more broadly to include other interested NSW Health staff, surgical specialty representatives, professional colleges, private providers and clinicians, and other non-government organisations as appropriate to the clinical speciality.

To join the community of practice, participants should email Jessica.Wragg@health.nsw.gov.au or ACISurgery@health.nsw.gov.au with their request, including details of their professional role, location and best point of contact.

Frequency of the community of practice

Monthly basis on a Thursday from 5.30pm using Teams virtual meeting platform. Teams details will be attached to the calendar invite.

Guidelines and resources

Agency for Clinical Innovation: COVID-19 Response: Communities of Practice

Current as at: Tuesday 21 March 2023
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW