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Population health

​Population health encompasses intellectual disability, sexual health, needle and syringe and multicultural health services.


Intellectual disability

People with intellectual disability often have more health problems than others in the general community. Many health needs can be met by a person's General Practitioner, but sometimes a specialised approach is required.

Northern Sydney Intellectual Disability Service (NSIDHS) is a multidisciplinary consultative health service that provides comprehensive health assessments for children and adults with intellectual disability, and unmet complex health needs. The team also provide clinical advice and education for mainstream health professionals and general practice teams.  

NSIDHS provides a comprehensive health assessment service including health care planning, advice and referrals. The service works with the person's General Practitioner and/or Paediatrician, and other clinicians who will provide ongoing health care, to ensure high quality health care.

The service can provide advice, information, and resources on the management of care, and the needs of people with intellectual disability including:

  • How to make reasonable adjustments in your service or ward
  • Training on use of communication tools
  • Advice and information on management of care for people with intellectual disability; including strategies to better understand and manage a client/patient's challenging behaviours
  • Resources, tools, information on health services. 

The NSIDHS does not provide routine reviews and will refer clients to the appropriate health services as needed.

To be eligible for the service the child or adult must have an intellectual disability and complex health conditions, with a current unresolved health problem, and health care needs that cannot be met by usual care. The client must also live in the Northern Sydney Local Health District. 

NSIDHS also provides outreach services to Mid-North Coast LHD and Northern NSW LHD.


Clinics and services available include:

  • Medical clinics for school aged children and adults
  • Facilitate access to dental services
  • Education and group sessions
  • Social work service for clients, families and carers.

Referrals can be made by the clients treating doctor. Referrals need to be made using the NSIDHS referral form. Please contact the service and we will send you the appropriate form.

Requests for advice and education can be made by health professionals by contacting the service, and we will send you the appropriate form.

For general enquires and/or referral/request forms please contact us on:

Phone: (02) 8968 3400


Operation Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00am - 4:00pm


Needle and Syringe Program - Responsive User Services in Health (RUSH)

The Needle and Syringe Program is an evidence-based public health program that aims to reduce the transmission of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs.

The Needle and Syringe Program in NSLHD (also known as RUSH) provides a range of needles, syringes, disposal containers and other associated equipment.

The service can also provide education and information on reducing the harms associated with drug use and referrals to counselling, medical care, legal and other social services.

Fitpacks are available from vending machines and self-serve chutes located at emergency departments and community health centres.

Community sharps disposal facilities are available at all Needle and Syringe Program outlets. All of our services are confidential, non-judgemental and are provided for free.


After-hours access

Fitpacks are available 24/7 from vending machines and self-serve chutes at the following locations;

  • Brookvale Community Health Centre
  • Royal North Shore Hospital Community Health Centre
  • Hornsby Hospital ED and outside Drug and Alcohol Department 
  • Mona Vale Hospital Urgent Care Centre
  • Ryde Hospital ED
  • Berowra Community Health Centre
  • Galston Community Health Centre



For clients who are unable to access our services due to lack of transport or other mobility issues we offer a home delivery service on Thursdays. 

Contact us on (02) 9388 5110 or 0412 266 226 by 1pm Wednesday to arrange for a delivery.

The Northern Beaches Needle Syrine Program is based at Brookvale Community Health Centre, Level 1, 612 – 624 Pittwater Rd, Brookvale phone (02) 9388 5110

The North Shore Community Health Centre Needle Syringe Program  is based at 2c Herbert St, St Leonards phone: (02) 9462 9040


Multicultural health service

The multicultural health service works with residents, health services, community groups and other organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of multicultural communities. The service works in partnership with communities, health staff and other organisations to provide health services which meet the cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs of our consumers.

Services are provided free of charge to CALD community groups and individuals and include:

  • information on health and health services including multilingual resources
  • referrals to other health services 
  • information on interpreter services
  • health education and health promotion sessions for community groups
  • information on rights and responsibilities when using health services in Australia
  • a health check-up program for refugees and humanitarian entrants
  • a volunteer mentoring program for refugees and humanitarian entrants
  • opportunities for community members from CALD backgrounds to provide feedback and be involved in the planning and review of our health services. This includes the NSLHD CALD Consumer Advisory Group
We support staff of the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) by:
  • organising cultural competency training
  • facilitating access to interpreting services
  • linking services with specialist multicultural health services and resources
  • working in partnership with services to:
    • develop initiatives and models of care which better meet the needs of people from CALD backgrounds including our patients and carers
    • implement strategies to ensure our patients and carers  from diverse backgrounds are actively involved in their health care
    • access and develop multilingual health resources
    • involve consumers from CALD backgrounds in planning and reviewing services

Anyone from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background living or working in the NSLHD can access our service. The NSLHD includes the local government areas of Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde, Hunters Hill, Willoughby, Lane Cove, North Sydney, Mosman and the Northern Beaches. Community workers supporting people from CALD backgrounds in the NSLHD can also access our service.

You can telephone us on (02) 8968 3410 from 8.30am to 5.00pm (Monday to Friday).

If you need a telephone interpreter to help you contact our service, telephone the free Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 for assistance.

Tell TIS the language you speak and you would like to contact the Multicultural Health Service on (02) 8968 3410.

TIS will contact the Multicultural Health Service while you wait on the phone.


Sexual health

The NSLHD sexual health/HIV service provides a range of sexually transmissible infection (STI) and HIV services for the prevention, monitoring and management of STIs and HIV.

The priority populations for the sexual health/HIV services are:

  • People Living with HIV
  • Gay men and men who have sex with men
  • Aboriginal people
  • People who inject drugs
  • Sex workers
  • Young people


People can refer themselves or are referrals from health professionals. To refer, patients can access the service by contacting triage on (02) 9462 9500.

North Shore sexual health service at Clinic 16 is a free and confidential service for the assessment and management of sexually transmissible infections (STIs), including screening and treatment for STIs. The clinic provides specialist sexual health medical, nursing, education and counselling services.

The HIV services at Clinic 16 are free and confidential and for the assessment and management of HIV, including health education and counselling services. The clinic provides HIV specialist medical, nursing, education and counselling services. Allied health care such as physiotherapy, nutrition, psychology and occupational therapy are available upon request.

The hepatology service at Clinic 16 is also a free and confidential service for the assessment, treatment and management of viral hepatitis. The clinic provides specialist medical, nursing, education and counselling services.

Clients accessing the service require a referral letter from their treating doctor. We encourage GPs to contact the service for information, education and referral advice / support.

More information on Clinic 16 can be found on their website​