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Richmond Gains Ministry of Health Certification

Richmond Gains Ministry of Health Certification

New Zealand’s largest provider of community based mental health services has achieved Certification by the Ministry of Health.

Richmond Fellowship New Zealand is the largest non-governmental provider of mental health and community support services to reach certification standards to date.

Confirmation of Richmond’s success is the culmination of 18 months of work on quality management systems. Certification means Richmond meets all of the standards required by organisations to provide services on behalf of Government departments and public agencies.

A 582-page report by the Ministry’s auditors, covering everything from client services to organisational management, contained several special commendations. There was praise for a number of Richmond’s unique initiatives within youth services and for its comprehensive response to the standards for Restraint Minimisation and Safe Practice. The report also noted a high level of consumer and family participation, strong leadership for the quality improvement programme, a willingness to share information, and strong programmes for infection control and medication management.

Richmond’s chief executive, Dr Gerry Walmisley, says certification is a stunning achievement for an organisation of Richmond’s size and complexity. “It’s a real credit to our people who, up and down the country, have risen to the challenge and embraced the whole concept of continuous quality improvement.”

“It was pleasing to see 97 per cent of all services and processes certified without recommendations in the first inspection, which is the among highest compliance level in the sector. Of the remaining three per cent, some minor corrective actions have been carried out and there will be some further development as the quality improvement process continues.”

“Achieving certification is another important milestone and reflects an organisation going from strength to strength.”

In addition to completing the certification process on time, Richmond has also completed contingency planning for the referral of new clients from other services. “It’s likely that some service providers will not be able to meet the Ministry of Health standards,” says Gerry. “We have been working to ensure that there is sufficient flexibility within our services so that we can respond to the needs of new clients at short notice, if it’s required.”

About Richmond Fellowship Richmond Fellowship is a major non-governmental provider of community health and support services throughout New Zealand. Richmond has developed specialist services for a range of purchasers including the Ministry of Health, Community & Public Health, Child Youth and Family Service, Corrections Department and District Health Boards. Service provision includes programmes for people with psychiatric or psychological disabilities, primary health services, respite and emergency support, consumer based drop-in services, specialist youth programmes, dual diagnosis services (including intellectual disability/mental illness), alcohol and other drug services and intensive support for people with the most complex needs.

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