Bankstown Practice winner of Small General Practice of the Year Award

6th June 2018

headspace team

Bankstown headspace General Practice was announced finalists in the AGPAL Small General Practice of the Year Award and was highly commended at the AGPAL & QIP 2018 conference on 18 May. The AGPAL Excellence Awards recognise AGPAL accredited practices, organisations and services that constantly go above and beyond to implement and embed quality improvements, with teams that love to innovate, demonstrate dedicated approaches to patient care, and have a clear understanding of the industry standards.


headspace Bankstown only sees young people aged 12 to 25 years old and deals with youth mental health, mostly in the mild to moderate spectrum but also sees a lot of complex, serious or severe cases.headspace Bankstown office

Currently there are two GPs working at the practice, which started in 2015. Dr Kiely Kim, who has been a qualified GP for 15 years, joined the practice in 2016 and was the only GP at that time.


The practice also employs senior youth access clinicians who come from various professional backgrounds such as social work or psychology. They form the first point of contact when a young person comes to headspace, the practice works with private psychologists, local GPs, drug and alcohol health workers, as well as employment agencies that help young people find work.

Having a multi-disciplinary team was a huge factor that contributed to the success of the practice. Everyone who is involved in a young person’s care has a chance to meet regularly with the rest of the team, Dr Kiely thinks this is quite important for her as a GP as she gets a chance to chat to the rest of the team about every individual case and can closely follow up on how that young person is going. “ As a GP you are normally working alone, you might refer the young person to other services outside the clinic but in our practice we all work as team and we are all involved in the young person’s care which usually leads to better outcomes,” she said.  

Dr KielyDr Kiely used to work at headspace and in a general practice at the same time and used to see patients of all ages, now she is only seeing young people, and this has become her main area of interest.

“I really enjoy working with young people, I don’t only see them about their mental health, I also see them about their physical health, young people may rely on their social network or friends for health information, which can be incorrect or inaccurate sometimes, this gives me a chance to provide them with health information and improve their health literacy,” she said.     

Soon after Dr Kiely joined the Bankstown headspace team, she worked closely with the Practice Manager Erin Jones and South Western Sydney PHN to meet the RACGP standards of what her general practice should have, they have also set the standards to meet the AGPAL accreditation criteria with the right advice from SWSPHN Practice Support team, after working hard with her team over the last 12 months the practice was announced as finalists in the GP Small General Practice of the Year category for the AGPAL Excellence Awards.

“South Western Sydney PHN helped us a lot, we are really thankful to all the support and advice from the PHN, we mainly wanted to get the accreditation so that young people feel confident and comfortable when they walk into the clinic to see a GP, things have worked quite well since then and we were able to build that trust and that good relationship with young people,” Dr Kiely said.

The practice aims to continue to take care of young people without replacing the role of their regular GP - if they have one, while keeping a top level of communications with GPs outside the practice, encouraging young people to continue to have a regular GP, and encouraging other GPs to refer young people to headspace, these communications can include a direct phone call to the young person’s GP and a follow up letter from the Psychologist. The practice also offers support to young people who don’t have a regular GP or who don’t know how to access healthcare services.

Dr Kiely thinks the AGPAL award was a nice bonus, the team at headspace Bankstown get their real feeling of satisfaction when they see a young person improving and making progress, being able to change a young person’s life and making them feel better about themselves is the greatest achievement for the team. 

For more information on the AGPAL awards visit

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