Sharyn White, CEO NCGPT

The North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) has recently commissioned North Coast GP Training to deliver a range of professional development and networking events across the North Coast over the next 12 months. 

Sharyn White, the new CEO of NCGPT, outlines their plans.

NCGPT is excited at the prospect of being able to facilitate educational events for the NCPHN. We have made a commitment to deliver educational opportunities that are high quality, locally clinically relevant and that will build strong local clinical neighbourhoods.

Under the contract NCGPT will deliver a range of CPD events and support local clinical societies and nurse networks across the region.

Clinical education groups (referred to as “Clinical Societies”) that are supported by NCGPT can expect administrative support and assistance with obtaining professional development points for the meetings. This will be welcomed by local educational groups which have struggled with this administrative burden in the past. 

The program will provide funding for venue and catering costs for four meetings a year and can pay up to eight hours per month for a clinical lead within the group to help with planning content and liaising with speakers. There is a small fund available to support travel and accommodation costs for speakers outside the area but the preference is to build local connections.

Under the contract there are several requirements that have to be met.  

The first is that the topics need to meet a local clinical need and/or a PHN priority. The current PHN priorities are Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Aboriginal Health, being Digital Healthy, Population Health and the Health of Older People. These are broad categories, so there is lots of scope for topic choice, albeit through a lens of local clinical relevance.  

As part of the contract, Clinical Societies supported under the program must have stated learning outcomes and content designed to meet these outcomes. This is a requirement of obtaining CPD points from the relevant colleges.

The third caveat is that meetings are open to all local health professionals, which will help build better relationships, an essential building block to delivering better care. 

The NCGPT is keen to work with the Clinical Societies and Nurse Networks that are aware of their local problems and are best placed to find the solutions that work in their communities. 

NCGPT undertakes to have five Clinical Societies in the NCPHN footprint running by the end of 2019. 

Additional resources will be available for smaller locations that may want to establish a Clinical Society, but are not quite ready to commit to four meetings a year. This will help smaller towns like Casino, Grafton, Kempsey and Nambucca to access quality education.

NCGPT will also support the four existing Nursing Networks and will continue the previous  NCPHN programs in immunisation and cultural awareness training. 

In addition to the local Clinical Societies and Nurse Networks, another component of the contract is the delivery of Multidisciplinary CPD events. It is likely these will be clearly aligned to NCPHN priorities and will be repeated in locations across the region.

An educational advisory committee will soon be established and a key role of the committee is to help prioritise topics and assist in their design.

Expressions of interest from groups interested in being supported as a Clinical Society under the program will soon be open and announced in the NCPHN practitioner newsletter. 

At this time support for those existing organisations who are unable or do not wish to meet the specified restrictions will fall outside this contract.

Under the contract NCGPT will deliver on all components of the contract and provide around 50 individual meetings and events by June 2020. The events are scheduled to commence in October 2019.

The contract runs until June 2020 and the NCPHN will evaluate uptake by local clinicians before commissioning further educational activities. 

It is now time for those who have been advocating for more investment in clinical education to get involved so that we can have a secure provider of high quality, locally focussed education for clinicians in our region.