CESPHN Primary Health Awards 2022 winners announced

Celebrating the achievements of primary health professionals in our region, Central and Eastern Sydney PHN stakeholders gathered at the CESPHN Primary Health Awards last week to acknowledge the valuable contributions made in primary health.  

The inaugural Primary Health Awards recognised primary health care providers in three categories: 

  1. Improving integration of care 
  1. Improving practice in primary health care, and 
  1. Service delivery that meets local needs 

The finalists and winners were announced in front of a large audience. The attendees also heard Dr Ben Bravery’s keynote speech followed by live music and an open dance floor.  

The winners and finalists in each category were: 

Improving integration of care 


20221110 Cesphn Awards Night 2022 Photog Photography David Rouse Web 1067

Dr Portia Predny  

Dr Portia Predny has been working at Rozelle Medical Centre since 2018. She specialises in providing healthcare for patients within the transgender community.  
In 2019, Dr John Hayes, a renowned endocrinologist was supporting a significant number of transgender patients with hormone replacement therapy retired and suddenly closed his practice. This left a significant number of transgender patients in the community completely vulnerable, with the fear that they would no longer to be access what is an essential service for their well-being and limited clinical handover provided for ongoing treatment. 
Dr Predny worked with ACON to understand the needs of the community, and ensure patients became aware of Dr Predny’s availability to provide continuity of care for their ongoing treatment and management. 
Clinically, the ability to provide transgender patients hormone replacement therapy was of critical importance to their ongoing management. Dr Predny sought advice from several colleagues to be confident in providing this service effectively and develop a sound clinical framework for ongoing management. Dr Predny also spent time with each administrative staff member individually to help understand the expectations of these patients and promote a respectful approach to all communication. The topic was also raised and discussed with the clinical team on several practice meeting occasions. 

We would also like to thank and acknowledge our finalists: 

Elizabeth Akhurst, Practice Nurse 

3Bridges Community – Perinatal Family Support Service/Early Years Support Service 

Improving practice in primary health care 


20221110 Cesphn Awards Night 2022 Photog Photography David Rouse Web 1075

headspace Bondi Junction 

headspace Bondi Junction undertook a demand management project involving a clinical redesign grounded in innovation and co-design to address issues contributing to long wait times.  

headspace Bondi Junction experienced increased demand for services year on year of 50% increase on the average monthly intake data from 2016 to 2019 prior to the COVID pandemic. Consequently, they set clear goals to decrease wait times at 3 points of care and to increase percentage scores on YES survey to align with NSW health community benchmark.  

They explored the available data to establish baseline measurements and further identified the existing problems that contributed to high demand and long wait times conducting a series of diagnostic activities including service/process mapping, file audits, observations analysis of available data spreadsheets and systems (i.e. HAPI, YES surveys); issues log collection, grouping and prioritisation, root-cause-analysis and Carer Experience of Service (CES) surveys, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders. 

Outcomes of these actions included: 

  • Reduction in wait time  
  • Every young person accessing headspace Bondi Junction will have an opportunity for a comprehensive-multi domain assessment, via a combination of the InnoWell platform and attending a Treatment Planning Session.  
  • The ability to monitor, track and evaluate response times to high suicidality including the prioritisation of a young person’s safety and care planning, and equitable support and resource prioritisation for clinicians working in suicide prevention. Average response time is approximately 1 day and 12 hours from risk assessment to young person having safety plan/care option in place. 
  • Use of technology and developmentally appropriate therapy and intervention for adolescents in a group-based environment (more cost-effective than one-on one therapy). 

headspace Bondi Junction project used a clinical redesign methodology and offered an evidence-based framework for co-designed innovation and a large suite of tools to ensure the initiative delivered better care, had strong sponsorship, is sustainable and integrated within the system.  

We would also like to thank and acknowledge our finalists: 

Keeping the Body in Mind Primary Care Service 

Campsie Medical Practice 

Service Delivery that meets local needs 


20221110 Cesphn Awards Night 2022 Photog Photography David Rouse Web 1056

The Community Restorative Centre’s Transitional AOD Project 

The Community Restorative Centre’s Transitional AOD Project provides AOD support and counselling to people exiting NSW Correctional Centres. Many people with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system find it difficult to access mainstream AOD services, either because of the complexity of their need (cognitive impairment, mental-health challenges) or because of their offence histories. The Transitional AOD Project is designed to address these barriers to accessing appropriate support for our clients, who are at high risk of relapse into problematic and criminogenic AOD use. 
The project uses a treatment model that is based on best-practice reintegration principles for people with, or at risk of, drug and alcohol use issues exiting custody and takes a holistic approach that recognises the social and community context of AOD use. Staff provide one-on-one outreach rehabilitation support that is intensive and individually tailored. The project also offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people culturally specific AOD counselling by an Aboriginal Identified AOD Transition worker. CRC’s AOD program was invited to participate in the Aboriginal Cultural Guidelines Project by CESPHN, during which researchers conducted a baseline audit of their service. In the resulting Aboriginal Practice Audit Report, CRC was rated as ‘excellent’ across many areas of the program. 
An extensive evaluation funded by NSW Health found that following CRC intervention, the number of days in custody, the number of new custody episodes and the number of proven offences all fell significantly. As much as 100 per cent of clients surveyed in June 2022 reported high levels of satisfaction. 

We would also like to thank and acknowledge the finalists: 

Kirketon Road Centre Inner City Homeless Outreach Service 

Deadly Choices – Cronulla Sharks 

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the nominees. Your important contributions make a difference in the health and wellbeing of our communities.