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Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NSW Health funded NGOs

We recognise that the C​OVID-19 pandemic is impacting NSW Health funded NGOs and thank you for your continued partnership in supporting the health and wellbeing of the public. The impact of COVID-19 on service delivery will vary, depending on the nature of the service your NGO provides.


Please be assured that continuity of NSW Health’s funding to NGOs will not be impacted if you need to temporarily suspend some elements of your NSW Health funded services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please speak with your grant manager if your NGO is or will have difficulty meeting your agreement requirements with NSW Health. Your grant manager can work with you to support your development of contingency plans that may need to be put in place.

Please speak with your grant manager if you have recommendations for repurposing NSW Health funds to support the viability of your service in the context of COVID-19. Your grant manager can also consider requests to rollover unspent funding to financial year 2020-21, if activities under your agreement cannot take place in financial year 2019-20.​

Service continuity

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 you may need to change the way you deliver services to ensure continuity for your clients.

For NGOs needing to amend their service delivery, we encourage you to refer to the points below. Please assess what will be the best possible arrangement in the context of the needs and safety of your clients and staff.

Your grant manager will be available to support your organisation through this planning work.

COVID-19 will coincide with seasonal flu and therefore contingency planning should have account for the service disruptions that may occur as a result of these two impacts.

Clients and staff with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease are at increased risk. NGOs need to assess the best possible approach for interactions with and assistance to these people.

If your service has a suspected case of COVID-19, you must contact the healthdirect hotline on 1800 022 222.

Checklist tool for your organisation

Questions and issues for your NGO to consider when preparing contingency plans in response to the impact of COVID-19 on your service delivery. This checklist is not definitive and will not cover all the issues that your NGO will need to consider. It is a guide only, intended as a practical tool to help get you started.

Latest health advice

NSW Health is continuously updating its website with the latest information on COVID-19, including suspected and confirmed cases. Your NGO should remain informed on these developments and the guidance for all members of the community. Please refer to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for the most up-to-date health advice.

Targeted information is available for:

Your service - resources, service impacts and logistical impacts

  • Should you cancel any services that present high risk? What will be the impacts for clients and how can these be managed?
  • Different modes of service delivery that you could use to reduce the risk of transmission and exposure? (e.g. tele or digital support)
  • Strategies to meet the social distancing requirements including physical changes to your service to limit over-crowding and close physical contact?
  • Strategies to increase routine cleaning, waste management practices etc. to improve infection control procedures?
  • Have you kept your contract manager in the loop on any changes being made and sought their input and advice?


  • Strategies to manage and acknowledge fear and anxiety experienced by clients
  • What precautions might you need to take for any clients who may be more vulnerable to respiratory disease? (e.g. people with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease, including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure, people with suppressed immune systems and older people are at a higher risk of serious disease)
  • A plan for supporting clients during periods of self-isolation
  • What special requirements are needed in relation to the age, demographics and comorbidity of your clients?
  • How are you going to address the ability for clients to access treatment service, should service closure occur?
  • Do you have a communication ready about isolation and treatment access should an individual become infected or be at risk of infection (i.e. through travel or contact with a known case)?
  • How are you enabling and distributing up-to-date information about COVID-19? What is the best way to ensure that clients understand the precautionary measures required?
  • Does your service need to promote multilingual resources about COVID-19 to your clients?


  • Strategies for any surge in staff absenteeism
  • Strategies for managing and acknowledge fear and anxiety experienced by staff
  • Are there critical roles or functions performed by specific staff that you need to protect?
  • What measures can you take to reinforce work health and safety requirements, promote staff well-being and prevent fatigue and illness?
  • Are there alternative work arrangements or special leave conditions you should put in place?
  • What additional measures do you need to take with regards to infection control at your service?
  • What level of personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed?
  • What training and education in infection control measures such as hand hygiene and use of PPE is needed?
  • What is the criticality of your service/s?
  • Are there any sub-contractors you need to speak with about their preparedness?
  • Is the Board up to date and providing oversight of your continuity planning?


List of LHD and Ministry grant managers

​​NSW Health NGO grant program update – July 2020

NSW Health can now advise that base funding for non-government organisations (NGOs) delivering services in 2020-21 has been approved, subject to the maintenance of funding in the 2020 State Budget. 

Please note the 2020-21 State Budget process has been deferred until later in the year. Until Government delivers the State Budget, NSW Health will not be able to confirm the rates of indexation for 2020-21. Quarterly payments will be made at base funding levels until any indexation is determined. When determined, indexation will be provided for the full financial year. Where applicable, SACS-ERO increments will be provided in full.

For NGOs that have their funding agreements expiring at the end of 2019-20, an assessment process has occurred. As part of the assessment process, NSW Health grant managers liaised with NGOs about proposed individual funding arrangements from 1 July 2020. For each Ministerially Approved Grant that has been approved, NSW Health grant managers will confirm arrangements and enter into new grant agreements with the relevant NGOs. 

NSW Health thanks NGOs it has worked closely with in 2019-20. For further information, please contact your relevant Ministry or Local Health District grant manager.
NGO grant program in 2019-20

In 2019-20, NSW Health committed approximately $160.5 million base funding in Ministerially approved grant funding to NGOs across NSW. 

Funding has enabled NGOs to deliver community-based activities that support the health and wellbeing of the public, and in particular, vulnerable or hard to reach populations.

Activities funded through the NGO Grant Program have contributed to the achievement of current NSW Health priorities, strategies and policies across Aboriginal health, aged care, chronic and disability care, community transport, drug and alcohol, children and families, mental health, palliative care, population health, women’s health and other priority areas.

In 2019-20, NSW Health has continued its focus on enhancing how it funds and works with the NGO sector to deliver these community-based activities. Priorities have included:

  • strengthening partnerships and service outcomes through longer term agreements that promote greater sustainability of services
  • alignment of NGO activities funded by NSW Health with Government priorities
  • enhanced performance frameworks
  • demonstrated effectiveness and value for money.

Throughout this work, NSW Health has engaged with NGO peaks and grant holders, and received guidance from its NGO Advisory Committee on how to optimise its strategic partnerships with the sector.​

Page Updated: Wednesday 1 July 2020