The principal function of the Primary Care Clinical Stream is to provide a health care continuum that meets the health needs of people in custody. This commences in the police cells with a risk assessment of all people coming into custody.

When the person is moved to the Reception Centre they have a more complete assessment of their health needs. From this point patients are referred to the appropriate services either within the gaol environment or externally if the patient requires services that are not delivered by the Network.

The Primary Care Clinical Stream provide a number of clinical services which respond to the current and future challenges of caring for people in custody. They include:

  • Gender specific services to women in custody performed by the Nurse Practitioner Women’s Health and include cervical and breast screening services
  • Operational Management of General Practitioners who operate Primary Care clinics throughout the state within the Correctional Centres, Long Bay Hospital and Forensic Hospital
  • Provision of Pharmaceutical medications throughout the state for every Health Centre, Long Bay Hospital, Forensic Hospital and Transitional Centres
  • Medical Imaging in a number of sites across the state including Long Bay, Silverwater, Mid North Coast, Wellington and Goulburn
  • Physiotherapy which provides a state-wide service including musculoskeletal outpatients, inpatient rehabilitation, orthopaedics, hand therapy and aged care
  • Face to face services are provided in the metropolitan areas and telehealth has been facilitated in the rural sector
  • Dentists, Dental Assistants and Dental Therapists who provide a state wide oral health service to both patients within the custodial environment and patients in rural and remote Local Health Districts through the Rural Oral Health Outreach Program
  • Optometry where optometrists come into the Health Centres and perform eye tests for people who require glasses as well as assessing patients who have chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • Hearing services which enable people to increase their productivity with the provision of hearing aids
  • Primary Care and chronic diseases Clinical Nurse Consultant who provides expert clinical advice to patients and other health care professionals in relation to acute and chronic care
  • Primary Health Nurse Practitioners who provide face to face clinical care to patients and fill in the gaps of service delivery in Primary Care
  • Endorsed Midwife and Clinical Midwife Consultant who case manage all pregnant women as they come into custody and link them back into the community obstetric services

Primary Care includes active treatment, screening programs, health education on individual health risks, and more broadly, efforts to address health concerns for the entire custodial community through preventative health activities.

The Primary Care Clinical Stream in collaboration with Operations and Nursing provides clinical pathways for disease management and interventions to identify and manage acute and chronic conditions.

Strategic direction for the Primary Care Stream is provided by the Service Director Primary Care.