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Annual Report 2022/23

Practice support


interactions with general practices in the 12-month period

Interactions on various types of practice support topics included:


accredited general practices


practices supported on infection control


education events with an average of 69 attendees / learning outcomes achieved – an average of 87.86%

The Practice Support and Development Team continued to support primary health providers to help improve quality of care and better patient health outcomes. 

Through innovative initiatives and responsive solutions, we have worked diligently to support General Practices with tools they need to navigate the complex healthcare landscape. To support the capacity in primary care, the teams tailored engagement meets the needs of each general practice through a structured and integrated approach. Consisting of eight Practice Support Officers, the team are dedicated to supporting their own allocated practices. This method ensures continuity of support and enhanced engagement and promotes relationship building. 

Coming out on the other side of COVID-19, we have made significant strides in helping practices return to a ‘business-as-usual’ type model, with COVID-19 still in the forefront. Facilitating continued support on risk management, pandemic and emergency preparation, infection prevention and control ensures practices are always vigilant.  

Key highlights 

The team supported 209 (54%) practices to achieve Accreditation against the RACGP 5th edition Standards. Accreditation, being a 3-year cycle, a planned and timely approach to ensure practices are ready for their final accreditation survey audit is essential. 

The team also supported general practice with over 2,560 engagement interactions, including 279 practice visits and over 200 support engagements on infection control. 

Eleven educational events with an average of 69 attendees were hosted and facilitated. Interestingly, topics such as Health Assessments, Infection Control and Triage attracted the most attendees with over 80 people attending. An overall consistent average of 87.86% rating of learning outcomes was achieved. 

Practice Nurses in general practice

Nurses working in general practice play a pivotal role in delivering primary care and CESPHN is committed to supporting and optimizing this role. Nurse orientation sessions are offered ensuring transitioning to general practice from other areas of health is effective and positive. 

A ‘glance’ into this program for the future, we will see more education opportunities such as cervical screening training, Spirometry training and an Annual Practice Nurse Forum. We also hope to increase our engagement with practice nurses, introducing an Advisory Group to help identify gaps and needs within the sector.  


Other programs the team has supported include the distribution of PPE during COVID-19 peak period, Vax at Home Program, COVID at Home Program, GP Grants Program 2023, World Pride Sydney 2023, GP Registrar and workforce development.  

Participation in the St George Hospital Integrated Working Group aims to support the development of improved communication between General Practices and St George and Sutherland Hospital clinicians. This group has promoted improvements in discharge summaries to GPs, increased linkages with nurses working in general practice and participation in HealthPathways. The establishment of a GP Grand Round Education Program has also been a successful contribution to the ongoing connection between acute and primary care.  

By focusing on collaboration, innovation, education and quality improvement, the Practice Support and Development team aims to contribute significantly to the ongoing transformation of primary care.  

Thank you to our team for their dedication to this important program and also to the general practice staff who continually show up to be the front line of healthcare and for their unwavering commitment to achieving the best outcomes for their patients. 

World Pride February 2023

World Pride 2023 came to Sydney in February 2023, with up to 500,000 people from all over the world embarking on our wonderful city to attend the festivities. WorldPride is a global LGBTQIA+ festival that has been staged since 2000.  

To ensure access to primary care was available within the Central and Eastern Sydney region during this time, an expression of interest was distributed to general practices within targeted areas to have the opportunity to participate and support this initiative. Five general practices were successful and offered the opportunity and funding to extend their practice operating hours in order to support those people visiting and attending the festivities who may need medical care.  

As a result of this initiative, 233 consumers were seen in these extended hours in general practice during the 17 days of the WorldPride festivities, therefore supporting other services such as emergency departments in local hospitals. Thank you to the following general practices who participated in this program – Key Health CBD South, O’Connell Street Clinic, Holdsworth House, CityDoc Medical Centre and East Sydney Doctors. 

GP Grants Program 2023

The Australian Government has provided $220 million in grants, over two years from 2022-23 to support general practices and eligible Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to expand patient access and support safe, and accessible, quality primary care.

Under the Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program a single one-off grant of either $25,000, $35,000 or $50,000 (based on practice size and accreditation status) were made available to support innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works on any of the three investment streams below:

  1. Enhancing digital health capability,
  2. Upgrading infection prevention and control arrangements,
  3. Maintaining or achieving accreditation

A GP Grant expression of interest was sent to all general practices within the CESPHN region in April 2023.  Four hundred and eighty-four practices were approved for the grant and $12.8 million was provided to support practices within the CESPHN region.

The GP Grants Program has also enabled CESPHN to update its internal contract systems, upskilling of staff and enhanced collaboration across teams.

We surveyed general practices who had received a grant. Of those who responded

  • Ninety-six percent (n=106) felt that the grant funding will help support their practice to implement quality improvement initiatives and that the application process easy or very easy.

Pleasingly 90% (n=93) indicated the support offered from CESPHN during the application process was very helpful or extremely helpful.

Next steps for this program will be for our CESPHN teams to continue to support general practices in their quest to implement quality improvement initiatives and guidance through the reporting requirements for this program.

Allied health

In June 2022, we facilitated a bespoke CPD event: ‘A focused look at running a successful private allied health practice’.

This was a great opportunity for networking and discussion between the allied health professionals in attendance and the panel of experts on a range of points related to marketing, accounting, human resources and culture within a practice. 

As part of the implementation of the Allied Health strategy, we supported practitioners to connect and belong through our support services and education events.    

 We also provided CPD events related to My Health Record, secure messaging, digital supports for the NDIS and running a successful private allied health business.  

The number of allied health professionals connected to secure messaging increased from


in 2022


in 2023

"I would like to let you know of the very valuable support CESPHN has shown me over the last few weeks. I had recently become the Practice Manager with accreditation only a couple of months away. I had no experience with Practice Management let alone accreditation. I was a "deer in headlights". CESPHN's team showed me nothing but support and a lot of help. They uniquely changed training style to adapt to my needs.

CESPHN made it all about "me" and "my" needs to get through the process. They always delivered on any request and explained things thoroughly. I honestly could not go through this process without them! Their industry knowledge is remarkable, and they always reassured me that I'm the right track. And always there to help with anything. Without this team, there would be no one else to turn to for accreditation. They are so positive.

I very much appreciate the support PHN have provided. THANK YOU!!!"

Practice Manager, Woolooware Medical Practice

"We are so grateful to the entire team at the PHN. Since opening our practice in 2021, they have been an immense support and have been there for us every step of the way.

Our CESPHN Practice Support Officer has guided and assisted us in too many ways to mention; it feels like they are a part of our team. Whether it's supporting our clinical staff or answering the thousand-and-one admin questions that crop up in the everyday running of a practice, it is such a great comfort to know we have them as a port of call. Their knowledge, experience and genuine care have helped us through the many hurdles encountered while opening a practice mid-pandemic, and they were instrumental in helping us attain accreditation within less than twelve months of opening. They continue to be an immense support, are a real treasure, and a credit to the PHN.

Navigating the complex web of online accounts and platforms required to run a paperless practice can be a nightmare, but Chelsea, our Digital Health Officer has made it a breeze. She is always more than happy to step in when we find we have no idea what we are doing and has helped us operate in an infinitely more efficient manner. Her assistance with everything from telehealth to the PIP and keeping on top of changes as they occur has been invaluable to us.

Many patients at our practice have greatly benefited from referral to CESPHN’s Mental Health Service. Without the range of accessible and targeted mental health and psychosocial services offered by the PHN, many of these patients would simply not have received the care that they need.

We were proud to work with the PHN on a trial program in 2022. The Sutherland Shire COVID-19 Respiratory Kids Program was established to respond to the need for after-hours care of infectious children, alleviating demand on crowded EDs and providing safe, quality after-hours care for local families. It is one of many initiatives that have been created and funded by the PHN to meet local health needs. I appreciate that the PHN provides opportunities for General Practices to contribute to emerging issues in the community, and helps primary healthcare providers to stay relevant, proving their worth in a constantly shifting healthcare landscape.

The PHN has helped us upskill our staff, and the range of high standard training sessions and CPD opportunities they offer are both relevant and well thought out. Personally, as a Practice Manager, I don't know where I or my practice would be without the care and support provided by the PHN. I am forever thankful for their help in making us the best that we can be."

Christine, Practice Manager Bethany Medical Centre

"Our support officer is very knowledgeable and has supported us at Enmore Medical Practice continuously for many years in the process of accreditation as well as in other aspects of General Practice whether related to clinical or management aspects.They are always up-to-date with the latest information and regulatory guidelines assisting me in resolving concerns and issues at our medical practice.

They are always prompt in responding to calls and queries. Their thorough knowledge and sharp acumen to reason things and advise appropriately has helped us a lot.  And their positive attitude and commitment makes it easy for me as they endeavour to find and convey proper responses in case they are unable to provide answers immediately. In addition to being thoroughly professional, their congeniality and compassion makes it easy for me to ask even trivial questions without being judged about my lack of knowledge in some areas. Practice Support Officers like this make life really easy even if it's the tedious process of accreditation or dealing with difficult patients."

Raksha Sharma Practice Manager, Enmore Medical Practice