General practice in the spotlight as COVID-19 cases set to increase

Hospitals have largely managed COVID-19 cases to date. That looks set to change as the number of cases grow and managing COVID-19 becomes a part of our new normal.

Since 2020, Healthy North Coast has worked closely with the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health Districts to respond to COVID-19 and support the vaccination program.

13 HealthPathways were localised and are regularly updated with ongoing changes.

Scenario planning was undertaken to plan for outbreaks in residential aged care, residential disability care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and widespread transmission across the broader community.

That planning led to Healthy North Coast launching resources to support a proactive response:

With the number of COVID-19 cases expected to rise, NSW Health and the Australian Government Department of Health are developing models that support a whole of system response to COVID-19.

The Department of Health is in the early stages of developing additional supports that will see general practice play a pivotal role in managing people with COVID-19. They are also investigating the role that healthdirect could play in supporting people without an ongoing GP and after-hours care.

NSW Health’s Agency for Clinical Innovation has also released a draft Framework for Integrated Acute Care of People with COVID-19 in the Community. The framework puts forward principles for local regions to support integrated models of care (inclusive of general practice) and case studies from across NSW currently being implemented, including Healthy North Coast’s framework, so that regions can learn from one another.

While these national and state initiatives are developed and finalised, Healthy North Coast will continue to work closely with the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health Districts on surge planning with the local resources and tools we already have in place.

General practice teams are encouraged to undertake the Primary Care Impact COVID-19 activities available on community transmission and practice operations:

General practitioners and practice nurses are encouraged to be familiar with the COVID-19 HealthPathways (username: manchealth password: conn3ct3d).

Healthy North Coast will schedule online educational webinars in the coming month to support knowledge of these important resources. We will continue to provide updates as they are available from national and state bodies.

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.