Sydney South West GP Link is a not-for-profit grassroots general practice organisation acting for the interests of all practising general practitioners (GP) in local government areas (LGA) of south west Sydney (SWS). The LGA stretch from Bankstown to Macarthur and Camden and include Liverpool and Fairfield covering about 900 GPs in total.
SSWGPL began life as the Campbelltown Division of GP in 1993 and later became incorporated as the Macarthur Division of GP (MacDiv). What started as an avenue for local GPs to share ideas and improve our workflow to serve the community better, the activities of MacDiv expanded when government funding increased. We began delivering clinical services and became involved in many preventative programmes. The Eat It Work It Move It programme was one of those programmes pioneered by MacDiv to improve the health of the communities by working in collaboration with local schools.
MacDiv expanded its catchment areas when we were asked to deliver clinical services to the LGA of Liverpool and Fairfield in 2011. With the expansion, the organisation’s name was changed to SSWGPL in 2011 to better reflect the geographical areas we cover. In 2012, the membership was opened to GPs in Bankstown as well. Today, SSWGPL represents the interests and advocates for all GPs in South West Sydney.
SSWGPL was successful in its tender for the South West Sydney Medicare Local (SWSML) licence in 2011. SSWGPL is one of two foundation members of the Medicare Local and at present, 3 of the 4 GP directors on the SWSML board are appointed by SSWGPL. It was a conscious and deliberate decision by the board of SSWGPL to remain a separate entity from the SWSML.
Today, SSWGPL is an independent corporate entity governed by an elected board of directors, many of whom are graduates of the Australian Institute of Company directors. There is a vibrant mix of skill sets on the board and a strong clinical governance structure in place. We do not receive any government funding and are only answerable to our member GPs.
We champion the interests of local GPs and advocates for all GPs in South West Sydney in their endeavour in delivery quality services to the community of SWS. While the catchment area is heterogeneous with a multiplicity of cultures, our members are a very cohesive group with good networking amongst us. We partner with SWSML in delivering quality Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to clinicians across all the LGAs. Through these regular educational meetings, new ideas and skills are shared and social networking is fostered. We are a non-profit organisation and our members are involved in many charitable activities.
We work closely with SWSML in ensuring that local GPs remain the clinical leader in the primary care sphere. We will continue to be a significant player if and when the new Primary Health Network (PHN) is commissioned in July 2015.