Have you thought about a group that could help your winter patients be more self managing and stay well? 

Your patients already know and trust you and they know how to get to your place. If you have the space, a group at your practice could meet a number of needs.  

In 2018, two winter practices successfully initiated groups – see Health Literacy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Groups below.

Stepping On, a falls prevention group, is also available throughout the region – you can talk with the Stepping On Coordinator about existing groups in your area or you could run one at your practice if you wanted to.


Stepping On is an existing 7 week program aimed at preventing falls, encouraging active living and maintaining independence in older people.

Stepping on is coordinated by the Northern NSW LHD.

Contact Stepping On Coordinator Freyja Smith on 6620 2553 to find out about Stepping On groups in your area or to discuss running one at your Practice.

Stepping On programs usually run with about 15 participants (maybe less, talk with Freyja). It goes once a week for 2 hours with morning tea and its free! A booster session is run 2 months after the 7 week program.


In 2018 Donna Gibson, a diabetic educator and practice nurse from Goonellabah Medical Centre ran a health literacy group for Winter Strategy participants. It was really well received and it helped patients to understand what all this “talk about sick day action plans was about”

Knowing about health conditions, how to use services and self-manage health conditions is all part of health literacy.

A group can be a great setting for people with long term conditions to increase their understanding and support one another stay on top of their long term conditions.

NNSW LHD Health Literacy Project Officers Taya Prescott and Riley Bice are available to run groups for staff or patients at your practice. They can also co-run the group with you or help you to plan a session that you would like to run yourself

If you would like Taya or Riley to run a Health Literacy Group please email or contact Bernadette Carter on 6618 5412 for more information.


In 2018 Joni McKenzie from Alstonville Clinic ran Huff ‘n’ Puff, a six week pulmonary rehabilitation program for her winter patients. It was well received and achieved some great outcomes.

Joni used the winter strategy allied health funding to engage and Exercise Physiologist to run the session and added a specialty topic, for example, diet and nutrition, each week.

The same funding support is available this year. If you would like to run a group using allied health interventions contact Bernadette Carter on 66185412 or email for more information or assistance.