Chronic conditions: health professionals

Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit

The Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit works towards reducing the burden and impact of chronic conditions for Territorians.


The role of the Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit includes:

  • providing strategic advice on a range of issues, strategies and policies that relate to chronic conditions, towards improving the health of all Territorians
  • coordinating the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the Northern Territory Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010 to 2020
  • facilitating the development of common understandings of the social determinants of health and the impact on chronic conditions
  • coordinating the Chronic Diseases Network
  • contributing to strategies aimed at closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health, particularly in rural and remote communities of the NT
  • supporting the chronic conditions workforce to deliver better chronic care.


Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit
PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811

Deb Butler
Program Leader
Phone: 08 8985 8176

Chronic conditions prevention and management

Chronic conditions prevention and management Strategy 2010-2020

The Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010-2020 serves as a framework for building and strengthening a system-wide response to prevent and reduce the impact of chronic conditions for all people in the NT and across the continuum of care.

The NT Department of Health has worked with partners in the non-government, private and Aboriginal health sectors and consulted widely with other stakeholders to develop the strategy.

The strategy highlights a number of conditions:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • rheumatic heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • chronic airways disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic mental illness
  • cancers associated with common risk factors for other chronic conditions.

Read the Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010-2020.

Eight key action areas have been identified to enable change using system approach:

  • action on social determinants of health
  • primary prevention
  • secondary prevention and early intervention
  • self-management support
  • care for people with chronic conditions
  • workforce planning and development
  • information, communication and disease management systems
  • continuous quality improvement.

The Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010-2020 Implementation Plan 2017-2020 is the final triennial plan for the Strategy. The Plan is the result of collaboration between the NT Department of Health its key partners and stakeholders across health and non-health sectors. The Implementation Plan pulls together achievable actions that will contribute to reducing the burden of chronic conditions on Territorians with an emphasis on Aboriginal people living in remote areas. Health services are encouraged to use the Plan as a guide in identifying their priorities to support people who are at risk of developing chronic conditions and those who are living with chronic conditions.

The Department of Health has recently completed the evaluation of the Northern Territory Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010 2020 to assess: the implementation and impact of Strategy as well as ways to improve the development of a future Northern Territory chronic conditions strategy.

The summary findings of the evaluation can be described as follow:

Implementation: The Strategy is an NT-wide strategy to guide health providers to improve prevention and management of chronic conditions.  Due to the lack of agreed process including lack of agreed key performance indicators, the evaluation found inconsistencies in implementing the strategy across the health sector.

Impact: The evaluation found there was some improvement in life expectancy for most population groups.  The rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations due to chronic conditions remain high, no significant changes in low birthweights and mortality rates due to chronic conditions.

Improvement:  The key proposed areas are Aboriginal leadership/ stewardship, further strengthen stakeholder engagement beyond partnership to collaboration, include consumer input and consider a Wellbeing approach. A shorter duration for the strategy ie 5 to 6 years as well as focus on small and achievable priorities.

Chronic Conditions Self-Management Framework 2012 – 2020

The NT Chronic Conditions Self-Management Framework should be used in conjunction with the NT Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy.  The Framework was developed to:

  • provide guidance/assistance to health professionals to deliver evidence based self-management support
  • ensure clients are prepared and empowered to self-manage their health
  • work towards sustainable systems and practice change by policy teams and clinicians.

Chronic Diseases Network Steering Committee

The Steering Committee provides strategic direction and governance for the implementation and monitoring of the strategy.

It is made up of executive representatives from government and non-government organisations.


Chronic Conditions and Prevention Unit
PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811

Phone: 08 8985 8176

Chronic Diseases Network (CDN)

The Chronic Diseases Network (CDN) is an unincorporated network of health professionals and organisations from government and non-government sectors, committed to addressing the rising burden of chronic disease in the Northern Territory.

The Chronic Diseases Network (CDN) aims to facilitate communication, collaboration, coordination and knowledge management with stakeholders engaged in the prevention and management of chronic conditions across the Northern Territory (NT).

At a broad level the CDN seeks to improve chronic condition prevention and management through:

  • contributing to the design of responsive, person-centred, effective systems of care that can improve health outcomes and quality of life for people with chronic conditions;
  • advising on the development of evidence-based recommendations and position statements on policy priorities to reduce risk factors for chronic conditions;
  • advocating for, and contributing to, policy initiatives to prevent chronic conditions; and
  • collaborating with government, public health groups and other stakeholders to develop and implement policy priorities.

The CDN is also committed to better preventative efforts and addressing the social and cultural determinants of health. We work with partners in across Government, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, research institutions and in the not-for-profit sector, to encourage initiatives in the areas of:

  • strategic coordination, building partnerships and capacity building;
  • community development;
  • raising public awareness and engagement;
  • creating environments for living, working and recreation which support healthy lifestyles;
  • economic interventions;
  • legislation and regulation; and
  • development of healthy policy at government and organisation level.

Strategic advice and leadership of the CDN is provided by the Chronic Diseases Network Steering Committee (CDNSC). The CDNSC is comprised of government and non-government representatives with major interests in the common chronic diseases affecting the NT population, across the continuum of care.

The existence of the network is a crucial part of the NT Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy (CCPMS).

Secretariat support is provided by the Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit in the Department of Health.


Membership to CDN is free. Submit a membership form CDN membership form to

CDN provides members information through a variety of channels including the biennial CDN conference, the quarterly publication The Chronicle and the monthly publication e-CDNews.

CDN conference

The biennial CDN conference is a key event on the calendar of NT health professionals, with a major focus on challenges and innovation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

It is an exciting opportunity for stakeholders to come together to communicate, coordinate, collaborate, network and promote their services and activities.

Conferences may include pre/post conference interactive workshops. Further information on workshops will be advertised prior to the conference.

Past conferences

2019‘Healthy Body, Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities’
2017Integrated Care: Healthy Child to Healthy Ageing
2016'Protection, Prevention, Promotion' Healthy futures: Chronic conditions and public health
2015Connecting the Care Across the Lifespan
2014Equity @ the Centre: Action on Social Determinants of Health


David Scholz
CDN Coordinator
Phone: 08 8985 8173

Susan Wong
CDN Member Services Officer
Phone: 08 8985 8174